Q: How do I choose a turkey?
A: There are lots of different types of turkeys you can find these days. We recommend selecting a fresh turkey over a frozen turkey. Fresh turkeys are tastier because of their freshness, and you avoid the time spent during defrosting. Here is the breakdown of options you'll most likely see when you go shopping for a Turkey:
- Fresh - Fresh turkeys have been kept at 26° F or above, and they should be cooked within two days of purchase. Frozen - Frozen turkeys have been kept at 0° F or below and will be frozen solid. Frozen turkeys will keep up to four months but tend to be drier than fresh turkeys.
- Basted or Self-basted - Sold frozen or fresh, these turkeys are injected with a solution intended to make it more tender and juicier. Ingredients in the solution vary from company to company but can consist of oils, butter, or additives to improve juiciness or flavor of turkey.
- Natural - No flavoring or artificial moistening agents or oils have been added to these turkeys. Natural turkeys can include free range turkeys to commercially grown turkeys. If brined, a natural turkey's flavor far exceeds the flavor of a basted turkey.
- Free-Range - These turkeys are allowed to roam outside the coop.
- Kosher - These can be frozen, fresh, natural, free-range, or even organic, but they have been rubbed with salt for a short period of time. Kosher turkeys can be seasoned or flavor-brined to enhance flavor.
TURKEY TIP - Most grocery stores offer fresh turkeys year-round. If you don't see a fresh turkey available at your local grocery store, ask someone in the meat department. Many times, they can order a fresh turkey for you and have it ready to be picked up within a day or two.
Q: What size turkey should I buy?
A: Rule of thumb is 1 pound of turkey per person. If your family really loves turkey sandwiches or you want to have some leftovers, then buy 1.5 lbs per person.
Q: Can Turkey Perfect be used for meats other than turkey?
A: Yes, our brine works well for other lean meats such as chicken, pork, and wild game (venison, pheasant, other game birds). Brine 1 hour per pound.
Q: Does Turkey Perfect really have a shelf-life?
A: Turkey Perfect is totally safe to use at any time. For best flavor, though, use by the suggested date which is 5-years from the packaging date. The shelf life on Turkey Perfect reflects the time period in which the brine will be best quality. Turkey Perfect is a dry brine mix, so its ingredients aren't perishable; after the suggested "use by" date, however, the brine's spices have less pronounced flavor
Q: How do I thaw a turkey?
- Thaw breast side down, in an unopened wrapper, with enough cold water to cover your turkey completely.
- Change water every 30 minutes and if turkey cannot be completely covered, rotate every 30 minutes to keep the turkey chilled.
- Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb.
Q: Can I stuff my brined turkey?
A: We do not recommend stuffing a brined bird because the drippings from the turkey can add too much salt to the stuffing. We prefer to cook our stuffing separately. If you prefer to stuff your bird, do not add an additional salt to the stuffing. Also, make sure to check the temperature of the stuffing when you finish cooking the turkey. The stuffing temperature also needs to reach 165°F before it's safe to eat.