Turkey for Thanksgiving is a no brainer for most. Picking out the right turkey for your holiday meal on the other hand isn't always as easy. According to the University of Illinois Extension, about 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving, and since 1970, turkey production has increased nearly 110% in the U.S.
Although running to the grocery store and grabbing the first bird you see with that amount of turkeys available for purchase is tempting, there are some considerations to take into account when selecting the right turkey for your purposes, according to TheKitchn.com.
From deciding between fresh or frozen to how many pounds of turkey you need, here are a few tips you can use before you head to the store.
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In general, calculate 1 pound of bone-in turkey per person, or 1 1/2 pounds per person if you want leftovers.
If your oven is not a standard size, be sure to there is enough room for your purchased turkey and roasting pan.
For frozen turkeys, plan for 24 hours of refrigerator thawing time for every five pounds of turkey, or submerge in cold water that you change every 30 minutes (calculate 30 minutes per pound). Fresh turkeys are usually available right before Thanksgiving and should be purchased within one or two days of Thanksgiving.
Self-basting, basted, or injected Turkeys are generally the least expensive Turkey option, while heritage turkeys (breeds that were originally raised on farms before commercial meat processing plants) are the most expensive option.