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Old 11-12-2012, 07:41 AM   #1
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Butterball Turkey better then Store Brand ?

Is it worth the extra $$$ to get a Butterball Turkey?
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:47 AM   #2
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I used to get premium fresh turkeys, thinking they would be better. But I've never had anything come out better than a Butterball. I've probably done 20 Thanksgivings.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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if you get the premium fresh turkeys you can do the brining all the foodie sites are so big on. don't do that with a commercial turkey, because they are already injected with a salty (and sometimes sweet) liquid.

the most important thing is to get the internal temperature right. you really need a good thermometer. of course it's almost impossible to get all the parts of the turkey cooked ideally at the same time. by the time the joints around the legs and places like that are done, the breast tends to be overcooked and thus dry. dryness in meat has everything to do with getting to too high a temp where the protein fibers contract and exude their moisture. think of it like the turkey having an Atkins water weight whoosh which is bad bad bad! LOL

The best thing is just to buy the breast and other parts you want separately (or cut it yourself if you know what you are doing) and roast each to perfection. I know you probably won't do it, but that results in the best turkey! Plus, you get only the parts people like. We will eat breast and thigh and avoid the wings and drumsticks since no one around here really likes those things anyway.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:21 AM   #4
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if you aren't buying heirloom breeds and brining or shooting wild turkey--
my opinion is that all the store brands are about the same. the farms are the same.
get what is reasonably priced.
follow a really good recipe (Cooks Illustrated does a good one)
take out the stupid pop up timer, remove all the gunk, and you can pre-butcher (look for Jacques Pepin's tutorial if you can find it).
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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I've had hit-or-miss with other brands. Butterball and Honeysuckle White are pretty consistent.
I've had good Jennie-O ones and others from that brand that are so salty they're inedible.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:41 AM   #6
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I cannot stand Butterball!! There is a huge amt of some type of mystery fat injected.
I saw one cut in half once and it grossed me out.

I prefer fresh but any is better than those greasy birds....even the ones w 'solution', which I don't buy.

One of the problems w cooking is that the thigh/leg are protected by the sides of the pan so they don't get the heat as soon as the breast.

You can cook the bird in a pan w low sides or use the upside method.
The slow cook method is great.

I have a fabulous recipe somewhere....will try to find the link.

Here it is; bellaonline. How to cook the perfect turkey (or something like that).
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:10 AM   #7
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Since DH can't eat this Thanksgiving, and it's a DD for me, I'm actually considering a meatless turkey/stuffing from Trader Joe's. Am I weird or what?
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dottie View Post
I've had hit-or-miss with other brands. Butterball and Honeysuckle White are pretty consistent.

Same here.

I'm weird though - I don't like fresh Turkey at all. Butterball always tastes the best to me followed by Honeysuckle White.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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I just got a store brand (meijers) natural (nothing added) turkey. Cut it up (I live alone and am going elsewhere for Thanksgiving) like you would a chicken. Froze the drumsticks raw. Removed the breast from the bone and cooked it in a dry crockpot with the wings. Ate the wings immediately. Sliced the breast for easy grab from the freezer. It produced plenty of good juices which I added to the broth and was as moist as I ever had. Not as pretty as oven roasted though. Put the carcass in the stock pot and produced 6 quarts of broth. Cleaned the carcass of remaining meat and have nearly 4 cups for salad. All this from a 10 pound turkey which ended up costing me $11 after discount.

Last edited by cici52; 11-14-2012 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:21 AM   #10
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We brine our birds and deep fry those babies! YUM! I typically buy the store brand fresh bird.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:06 AM   #11
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I cook mine upside down, the meaty thighs get done and the breast stays more juicy. I also use a rack pretty high up so it is roasting dryer. I don't stuff it in any way or put anything on it at all. I don't pay any attention to the pop-up thingy if it has one. I start off at 325 like it always says then lower the temp to 300 about half way through for the duration, I go by the pounds on the package and start checking 1/2 hour early. Just did a super cheap one that we had frozen because we are going out of town for Thanksgiving and it needed eating

Sure the breast has rack marks on it but I don't care!
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:18 AM   #12
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We just buy the store brand smoked turkey since we like them so well.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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I spent more money ($1.49/lb) to get a turkey grown without antibiotics or hormones. That's important to me. How it tastes? Well, I've never had one, but I hope it's ok. My parents always swore by Butterball, and they were good, but the natural turkeys just sound better to me since I try to stay away from hormones in my meat.

I've learned to weave a meat blanket of bacon on top of the turkey (or chicken) when cooking. It helps keep the meat moist and adds delicious flavor. I buy nitrite free bacon at TJs.
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