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Cheap turkeys, premium turkeys??

howmeisterghowmeisterg Posts: 143
edited 7:12AM in EggHead Forum
Curious on your opinions, is there a difference between the $0.39/lb turkeys offered at stores now vs. the "premium" turkeys offered at upwards of $1.50-$2.00 or more, per pound?

Personally I can't tell the difference enough to justify the extra cost. The Egg makes a fine product regardless.


  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    I agree.....ripoff.Organic and free range are a JOKE!!! ;)
  • If it is your personal preference and you don’t see a value for your money then do what you want.
    Turkeys are a commodity food. They are one of the best values for quality protein at a reasonable price.
    The commodity turkeys offer a couple of things that some value. They are usually injected with a 15% solution of sodium phosphate (intended to keep the product moist if overcooked). This also lets the product be frozen and storable for long periods, an advantage if you have freezer room and can stock up now.
    The downside of the injection is the dilution of the “turkeyness” and a salty taste especially to any pan drippings used for gravy. Obviously you are paying full price for the salt water.
    My advice is not to brine a frozen “enhanced” turkey as this will make them objectionably salty to most.
    Personally I will be looking for an air chilled turkey this year. I have found this gives a far more flavorful chicken when processed this way, haven't tried an air chilled turkey yet and don't know if they will be available.
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    Dude,I've cooked em all,free range,organic, fresh ,frozen,your opinion is like well....use your imagination if you have one. ;) It is a ripoff!Nuff said.
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    Cheaper the better most of that free range /organic stuff is bull...t they just jack up the price.All they have to do to call it free range is let it outta the cage a few minutes a day.It's a rackett!
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
  • Hi,

    I like turkey and cook'em at thanksgiving and also in July. Actually this was the reason I bought my first BGE. I've gotten fresh, premium, butterballs and basic. I did call a guy once to buy a Fresh organic turkey and he wanted to give it to me alive - well that was a bit much for me in the Suburbs and getting it home in the BMW 3 series would have been tough.

    Honestly, my best turkey ever was the basic turkey I bought at Publix and brined.

    I really like turkeys at about 16-20lb. They cook the best in my opinion. Cooked em bigger and smaller and found those in that range are just the best.

    Best of Luck.
  • I have always bought a fresh turkey for holiday cooking, and then buy 1 or 2 of the cheaper frozen turkeys to put in my freezer for a later grilling for not as large a family gathering. I think you can not match the taste of a fresh turkey versus the taste of the frozen bird. I guess that taste test,fresh versus frozen, would be something to try if I ever get another egg. I buy my bird from my local poultry dealer and I know it is fresh, and yes I pay more for it this way, but I am sure it is fresh. No matter fresh or frozen I brine the turkey at least 1 hour per pound, because I know that does affect the moisture in the bird after grilling. I use the Mad Max method and I still bine it.
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    Glad it works for you. B)
  • i can't see paying those ridiculous prices for those premium birds! ...i just got a sur le table catalogue advertising some hotsy totsy bird for $125 for a 15 - 18 pounder .. ..unreal!!

    i usually pay in the $1.00 - $1.30 per pound range for fresh grocery store birds.. . . been doing it for years....and have had great results every year. . .i NEVER brine or inject....i always get moist breast meat....and the turkey tastes like, gee, it tastes like TURKEY!! :woohoo: :woohoo:
  • Nothing better then cooking cheap meat and turning it exceptional. Turkey is a cheap!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,002
    i buy from a local farm that has birds with more breast meat for the size. better for the big day because i like to cook smaller 16 to 18 size birds and still have the meat of a bigger bird. for myself i buy a frozen empire kosher bird, the frozen empire is as good as any fresh supermarket bird imho, i dont think they are solution added, just dusted with some salt
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Raymond's turkey farm?
    that place is a zoo this time of year. when do you pick yours up?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,002
    the secretary picks them up on her way to work :laugh: i buy her a quart of gravy to fight the lines. it really is a zoo. the system is dad pays, secretary gets them, i cook them, seems to work out well :) there really is more breast meat on those carcasses. rest of the year i try to find a frozen empire, they are better than most if you can find them
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Sorry but I have to disagree. Several years ago I spent $150 for a heritage turkey and it was horrible. I consider myself a fairly decent cook but there was no way to make that thing even edible. The breast was tiny and the legs and thighs were huge. The problem was the legs and thighs were almost all tendons.

    And as far as your egg comparison, I have raised my own chickens and other than freshness, there is no discernible flavor difference from what you get in the grocery store. -RP
  • I appreciate all the feedback. One thing - if you are looking for a frozen Empire turkey, you can usually find them year-round if go to a grocery store near/in a Jewish community or an area with a higher concentration of Jewish people.
  • I am just lookin for one that is not injected with 15% solution. I like to brine my birds and pump a little more flavor in there. If they already have solution in them they do not take the brine at all.
  • I'm in the doghouse! Went to p/up a turkey from my favorite organic supplier, only to find them CLOSED! Local grocer only had "Cook From Frozen". Sigh.
    I had to bring it home.
    Anybody have any experience with these "Cook From Frozen" turkeys?
    Have previously only cooked thawed, organic turkeys.
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