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Old 11-03-2010, 09:51 PM   #1
hinodis
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Store brand VS name brand turkey

I am doing Thanksgiving dinner this year and I am not sure what kind of turkey I should buy. Is Butterball or Honeysuckle really better then the .38 cents a pound store brand?
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:01 PM   #2
kathie859
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I've tried them all....

Including fresh turkey from a local poultry farm and I think that ANY frozen bird, properly frozen, properly defrosted and roasted will taste remarkably the same and that it's not inferior to a fresh bird . I've had great results with a store brand cheapie I am sure that there are purists out there who swear by Butterball or that fresh, free range is the only way to go--but frankly, my taste buds can't tell enough of a difference to validate the price difference.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:56 PM   #3
maleficentmom
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last year walmart had the cheapest turkeys around here and I got 3...my sister always cooks a butterball and bastes it forever,etc...I cooked mine in a Reynolds turkey Bag (easy and quick) and my kid said "Mom your turkey is so much juicier than Aunt Jane's"..lol...another time I soaked the bird in orange slices and salt water overnight(got the recipe online),stuffed it and used the bag and my sis thought it was great.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:24 PM   #4
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Going from memory....

health food store, kosher, free range turkey.

It will be small, it won't be all plumped up. But it will be the best you've ever had.


Can't believe I just told someone what sort of turkey to eat...will have to spend extra time chatting with the turkeys at the fair next year. But seriously, once my mom could afford those turkeys the meals were SO much better, and none of us ever went back to the ridiculously huge things at the regular store. (of course I went veggie soon after!)
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:33 AM   #5
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I disagree with the concept that a frozen bird will be as good as a fresh bird. Honestly the most important things are that the bird is fresh and hormone free. The fresher the bird the better it will be. I also highly recommend using a brine for your bird or buying one that has been sitting in a brine.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:53 AM   #6
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I guess it's up to your individual tastes. We had a fresh bird a few years back and it was the driest turkey I've ever had. We had to buy two fresh, hormone free turkeys to have enough for the family to eat. (Usually there is just one large, frozen turkey and that is enough for us.) I will definitely not do that again! It was more than twice the price, none of us could not taste any difference... other than it was extremely dry.

I generally buy the store brand frozen turkey and cook it in a Reynolds turkey bag. I've also had Butterball turkeys - I cannot tell the difference in taste. Good luck with whatever turkey you decide to purchase.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:04 AM   #7
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I think Butterballs are disgusting. They're pumped full of artificial gunk.

I usually go to my sister's and she's buys wildly expensive, fresh from the farm, organically raised, free-range, kissed on the lips and tucked into bed turkeys. They taste identical to the frozen $.39/lb birds.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post
I disagree with the concept that a frozen bird will be as good as a fresh bird. Honestly the most important things are that the bird is fresh and hormone free. The fresher the bird the better it will be. I also highly recommend using a brine for your bird or buying one that has been sitting in a brine.
I agree. The best one we ever had was from New Season's Market in Oregon. I am still dreaming of how good that bird was. I only wish we still lived there.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:44 AM   #9
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Like Pigeon said, the fundamental difference is in the filler that is used on the less expensive turkeys. They are injected with filler (which is a nasty thing) to make the bird bigger, hence making it cost effective for the company to only charge 19 cents per pound etc.

That being said, I buy store brand - not the rock bottom one, but next one up. I am aware of the fillers etc, but I frankly just can't afford a top shelf bird, although I would love to. The differences in dryness etc are the result of the cooking process (let's face it, you're not starting with a dry bird), of which everyone has different theories.

Now I'm going to go look up brines, cause I've never done that. Hmmm....
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:46 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Pigeon; I usually go to my sister's and she's buys wildly expensive, fresh from the farm, organically raised, free-range, kissed on the lips and tucked into bed turkeys. [/QUOTE]



Read this awhile ago and still chuckling over your description! Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigeon View Post
I think Butterballs are disgusting. They're pumped full of artificial gunk.

I usually go to my sister's and she's buys wildly expensive, fresh from the farm, organically raised, free-range, kissed on the lips and tucked into bed turkeys. They taste identical to the frozen $.39/lb birds.
I love the visual this puts in my mind!

I'm sure I should doing the hormone free thing (don't even know that I've seen one around here - pretty sure the 23 lb.'er I got last week is NOT), but I buy whatever is cheapest and cook it in a baking bag. I've never noticed a difference between brands. Never done the brining thing, but all of my turkeys have been juicy and delicious regardless.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:51 AM   #12
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When do they usually start putting turkeys on sale for Thanksgiving? What is the ususal price?
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigeon View Post
I usually go to my sister's and she's buys wildly expensive, fresh from the farm, organically raised, free-range, kissed on the lips and tucked into bed turkeys. They taste identical to the frozen $.39/lb birds.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:12 AM   #14
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The folks at Cooks Illustrated recommend a frozen Butterball. Since it is injected with a saline type of solution no brining is needed.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:28 AM   #15
marshallandcartersmo
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what's brining??? Can you tell I'm new to the whole making a turkey thing (it's always been my moms job, but I'm sick of not having leftovers )
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