What type of turkey should I purchase and how much?
Fresh or Frozen
There is no quality difference between a fresh or frozen turkey. The choice is truly based on your personal preference.
An inspection mark from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) on the label is important. It tells you the turkey has been inspected and is wholesome, safe and accurately labeled.
You also want to look for the USDA grade mark, usually Grade A is what you want to purchase. Grade A means the turkey has a developed layer of fat in the skin and is practically free of pinfeathers, bruises, cuts, tears on the breast and legs and no broken bones.
The age category on the label is also important. The younger the turkey, the more tender and mild the flavor will be. “Young Turkey” label usually means four to six months of age, but a “Fryer-Roaster Turkey” means usually less than 16 weeks of age.
The sex designation of “hen” or “tom” is optional on the label and only indicates the sex and size, rather than tenderness.
The sell by date is the last day the turkey should be sold. If the turkey is fresh, refrigerate it when you get home right away at 40°F or below and prepare it within 48 hours.
A “pre-stuffed” turkey should never be thawed before it is prepared, due to the fact bacteria could begin to grow rapidly as the “pre-stuffed” turkey is thawing.
How large of turkey should I purchase?
The general rule is you need to purchase one pound of turkey for each average appetite adult and a ½ pound per child under 12 years of age. Once the turkey is cooked and carved, that will give you just under ½ pound of turkey per adult. Therefore a 20 pound turkey should feed twenty average adults.
You will need to adjust the sized based on whether you want leftovers, how many children will be eating and whether or not you actually know any average adult.
Also what other meat products you might be serving for the dinner will make a difference on how much turkey will be consumed by the adults, such as serving ham or beef with the meal. If you want leftovers you might consider purchasing a turkey about 2 pound larger than what you figured the adults would eat.
Grocery stores in Hastings include:
- Russ’s IGA
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