Turkey Facts to Know and Tell

Turkey Facts to Know and Tell


All poultry is inspected for wholesomeness, but grading is voluntary.

GRADE A

The highest quality and, generally speaking, the only birds you’ll see at the supermarket. This is the Norman Rockwell turkey.

HERITAGE

These are the turkey varieties that were common before the broad-breasted white took over the world. The Bourbon Red and the Narragansett are good examples. Heritage birds are shaped like natural birds rather than engineered breast bombs.

FREE RANGE OR FREE ROAMING

Birds must be given access to outdoors.

YOUNG

Turkeys less than eight months old. Although they’re not quite as flavorful as more senior birds, they are considerably more tender.

TOM

Larger than hens, but they taste the same.

“SELF-BASTING”

Birds that have been injected with a cocktail of fat, broth, water, spices, etc. Technically these birds can be considered prebrined, but with what I ask you? And since they’re significantly heavier than noninjected birds, you are paying more to have someone else do what you can do better yourself.

11 Comments

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  1. 7
    Rip Booker

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ve watched the GE episodes regarding turkey/Thanksgiving. I brined my first bird last year to great success, but I would really like to get my hands on a Heritage bird to step up my game. I’m at loss as to where to find these treasures. Anyhow, thanks for being out there Mr. Brown. Ever present and helping the rest of us keep the A game coming to the table.

  2. 8
    Linda Foster

    What is your thoughts about cutting the back bone out? Sort of butterfly. Oven temperature 325 350 . Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Seems it cooKS more even. Very tender and juicy. I don’t have time to try this. I don’t want my family to kill me. Thanks you.

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