Thanksgiving is coming, fresh or frozen turkey?

Discussion in 'Cooking & Spirits' started by jcamero, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. jcamero

    jcamero If you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind. Subscriber

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    I've never cooked, or eaten a fresh turkey. How are they compared to frozen? My butcher would need me to pre-order one, and he said the sooner the better. I plan on putting it in the smoker this year. Any prep tips for the smoker?
     
  2. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin Well-Known Member

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    I've eaten a few I shot. Delicious. I don't smoke them but my son does. I like em smoked for a couple hours then baked off.
     
  3. superjojo

    superjojo Active Member

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    Your photo suggests you might be considering "milkin' the turkey"...
    However, my opinion is if your going splurge on a fresh guy, don't drown him in oil nor milk him. Roast it properly with all the fixings.
     
  4. Cadillac Kid

    Cadillac Kid Addicted Member

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    You have 81 days and 5 hours -maybe you can find a new butcher that stocks fresh.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  5. jcamero

    jcamero If you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind. Subscriber

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    What I meant was he, (butcher) needs a "head count" of turkeys needed for the week of Thanksgiving. I guess I should of said to reserve one.
     
  6. valvenator

    valvenator curious bystander, serious procrastinator Subscriber

    I would love to try a fresh small turkey.
    Smaller ones cook faster and more evenly.
    Unfortunately around here the small turkeys are more than double/triple the price per pound of the big suckers.
     
  7. kaplang

    kaplang Works for me ! Subscriber

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    Hungry man Turkey dinner.
     
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  8. Te-Te

    Te-Te Well-Known Member

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    I alway's grew up eating a Butterball (Frozen) but for the last decade I've been getting a Fresh bird at a local Turkey Farm. Tell Ya the truth, I really don't taste any difference.
     
  9. kaplang

    kaplang Works for me ! Subscriber

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    Their was a time when a turkey only had to worry about being eaten on Thanksgiving. But since the introduction of Turkey into other food products such as bacon and sandwich meat the Turkeys hope they can make it to Thanksgiving.
     
  10. jimfet

    jimfet AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I usually do a Turkey breast or a big roasting hen.
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat "Road Song" (Pete Turner, R.I.P.) Subscriber

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    We'll do turkey breast here again, if we do turkey--there are only two of us here, and we prefer not to go out. I'm not all that fond of it either, so that is my compromise. The only drawback to doing it on the smoker is that there won't be any gravy off of the meat. Plus, I have to find out the approximate amount of time it has to spend in the smoker before it is done, as I need to prep everything else to be done around the same time.

    If I recall from either a recipe book or at one of the online sites regarding smoking a turkey, one method was to butterfly it so that it smoked more evenly (it exposes the bird to the heat).

    A local chef I'm an acquaintance with has deboned and made a ballotine out of his Thanksgiving turkey. It is a lot more work but also is a unique presentation, and it will bake more evenly since the ballotine is in a consistent shape. One recipe I found online uses the carcass, wing tips and giblets to make turkey broth, and dices up the thigh meat and adds spices (including fresh sage) to use as a "stuffing", which is wrapped by the turkey breast and then tied off as a ballotine.

    upload_2017-9-11_21-19-1.png
     
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  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat "Road Song" (Pete Turner, R.I.P.) Subscriber

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    BTW, fresh vs. frozen...I used to get Butterball turkeys many years ago, back when my ex and I used to have family over, and we always had good luck with them. Haven't made a full bird since then. I bought a Butterball turkey breast last year and it was horrible. Very salty, not very flavorful, tasted slightly like chemicals (or whatever the hell they injected it with), and the meat had a strange feel to it, almost like it was tenderized. Our local market has fresh turkey breast roasts year-round, and they are not badly priced, so I buy those when I need them.
     
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  13. swamppirate

    swamppirate Super Member

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    image.jpeg One taken out of the woods....hopefully.....
     
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  14. Smallies

    Smallies Super Member

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    I think Butterball=brined injected. Safeway fried/roasted chicken has it bad too. Sometimes the fried chicken thighs taste like goddam imitation crabmeat and I run back in and return it. I add water to the roasting pan to conserve the drippings, then add a quart or two of half@half. Cannot have too much gravy. Hate when you don't get the liver=screwed.
     
  15. toomuchvinyl

    toomuchvinyl AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    We have bought both fresh turkeys (local farm raised and commercial) and frozen ones. Where I live we're fortunate to have a major producer in the neighboring state of Utah and I've found no significant difference between their fresh and frozen offerings. The biggest factor seems to be how long the birds have been frozen and whether or not they have been injected with some sort of brine. The less it's processed and the fresher it is, the better it tastes.
     
  16. HiFi in WYO

    HiFi in WYO The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest. Subscriber

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    Either. We usually brine ours for a few days prior then fry them. Oh, and canned cranberry sauce - for some reason, that's the only way I like it!
     
  17. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

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    Not a big turkey fan here but last year my brother came in from NY and we went to eastern market and bought a fresh turkey.

    Turned out well...
     
  18. jcamero

    jcamero If you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind. Subscriber

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    I think I'll just go with a frozen. Since it will be the first time on a smoker, (for me), no reason to have the added expense of a fresh bird. I have smoked whole chickens with great results.
     
  19. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You can have mine...I mean from the turkey, not MINE. :p

    I'm a very eclectic eater but never liked liver. Can't hide it in the stock or gravy either. Used to dice it and sauté it and feed it to my cat - she went nuts for it, turkey or chicken. Sure miss that kitty.
     
  20. peerson

    peerson Active Member

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    I will be deep-frying a turkey breast, for those that like turkey. But my Thanksgiving meat will be a Bone-In, Hickory-Smoked Ham.
     
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