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The Greatest Mail-Order Turkeys of 2023, Examined & Reviewed

Straight to the Level

The very best mail-order turkey is from Grassland Beef. It arrives frozen in absolutely recyclable packaging and is pre-trussed for straightforward cooking. This hen was additionally straightforward to carve and stayed collectively properly.

Thanksgiving is a vacation filled with traditions. Throughout the U.S., households collect to cook dinner, take pleasure in a soccer sport, and bask in slightly Champagne whereas watching the Nationwide Canine Present (that’s not simply us, proper?). No matter your loved ones’s custom could also be, probably the most iconic image of Thanksgiving is undoubtedly the turkey. It’s the centerpiece of the desk, the supply of endless leftovers, and the solar round which your favourite aspect dishes orbit. 

Nostalgia apart, cooking a turkey is usually a little tough. These are massive birds, and attaining the perfect mixture of juicy chicken, tender darkish meat, and crispy pores and skin takes some planning. Beginning with a high-quality hen could make this ceremonial activity considerably simpler. Customary supermarkets are inclined to inventory turkeys from industrial farms and huge producers, however ordering a turkey on-line lets you have extra management over the kind of hen you’re working with. 

To that finish, we examined 10 mail-order turkeys, starting from $66 to $310, to search out the most effective birds to your vacation tables. (Sure, this implies we spent weeks defrosting and cooking birds to land on our three favorites.)

The Winners, at a Look


Grassland Beef


Grassland Beef’s pasture-raised turkey makes a worthy centerpiece for any autumnal feast. As soon as roasted, the pores and skin turned golden and crispy whereas the meat remained tender and juicy. This hen additionally scored bonus factors for arriving absolutely frozen in recyclable packaging. It is accessible in a larger size, too, which is at present offered out.

D'Artagnan Green Circle Turkey

D’Artagnan


This hen was tasty, straightforward to carve, and well-proportioned. Roast chicken followers will recognize the delicate taste of this hen. 

D'Artagnan Heritage Turkey

D’Artagnan


A flavor-packed heritage turkey from a legacy model. Turkey individuals will recognize the marginally extra gamey profile of this hand-processed hen. 

The Exams

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


  • Packaging Check: Upon supply, we inspected every hen to be sure that it arrived absolutely intact and at a food-safe temperature. We disposed of the packaging in keeping with its directions, evaluating the related waste. 
  • Preparation Check: We thawed and roasted every turkey utilizing the identical technique. We dry-brined every hen by rubbing it with salt, allowed it to sit down uncovered in a single day in a fridge, after which had it come as much as temperature for one hour earlier than roasting. Every hen obtained an olive oil rubdown after which went right into a 425°F oven for one hour. Then, we decreased the temperature to 375ºF and continued roasting till the deepest a part of the thigh reached 165ºF utilizing an instant-read thermometer
  • Style Check: After roasting we carved and sampled every turkey, evaluating the style and texture. 

What We Realized

There’s Extra Than One Option to Ship a Turkey

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


Delivery uncooked poultry is a fragile affair. The packaging wants to forestall its cargo from getting bumped or bruised whereas additionally maintaining it sufficiently cool. Nearly all of the turkeys we examined arrived in good situation and at a food-safe temperature. The first distinction was the packing materials itself—the merchandise all took completely different approaches to packing and cooling. Our general favourite, the Grassland Beef pasture-raised turkey, produced the least packaging waste. It arrived with recyclable paper and cardboard lining for insulation and dry ice for cooling—it was straightforward to eliminate all the supplies in an environmentally pleasant method.

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


The Fossil Farms turkey got here in second. It included ClimaCell lining, which is absolutely recyclable alongside paper and cardboard, together with EnvrioIce ice packs, which might be emptied down the drain earlier than you eliminate the plastic casing. Different turkeys, together with the D’Artagnan Green Circle Turkey and the D’Artagnan Heritage Turkey, shipped in styrofoam containers. Though these containers supply stable safety, they’ll solely be disposed of within the trash. 

Plan Forward for Thawing Time 

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


The Farm Foods Market Jaindl Grand Champion and the Organic Prairie Whole Turkey each arrived absolutely frozen—we imply rock stable. Thawing a totally frozen hen takes a number of days—the USDA recommends permitting a full day for every 4 to 5 kilos of meat. The Natural Prairie Turkey was slightly below 15 kilos and after three days within the fridge, there was nonetheless some ice within the cavity. Throughout testing, we discovered that it was tougher to get the absolutely frozen birds to dry out. Even after thawing, salting, and leaving uncovered in a single day within the fridge, the meat was nonetheless leaking a variety of juice and the pores and skin was nonetheless moist. Because of this, the pores and skin didn’t get fairly as crispy, even in a high-heat oven.

The Fossil Farms turkey arrived partially frozen and thawed absolutely inside two days and roasted up right into a crispy-skinned magnificence. Absolutely frozen turkeys might be saved indefinitely within the freezer, whereas partially frozen birds must be ready inside per week, so you’ll want to regulate your supply and preparation plans accordingly. 

Perceive Farming Practices 

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


Meals labeling is notoriously complicated—phrases like “USDA natural,” “free-range,” and “pure” all have particular authorized definitions that aren’t instantly clear. With turkeys, you may additionally encounter extra classifications like heritage or vegetarian-fed. Our favourite birds took barely completely different approaches to farming, however all of our winners are thought of free-range birds.

To make use of this label, animals should be given entry to outside area. The Grassland Beef Pasture Raised Turkey takes issues a step additional, as pasture-raised birds are given more room and should be allowed to graze. Heritage birds, just like the D’Artagnan Heritage Turkey, are a particular breed of turkey extra intently associated to wild turkeys. These typically have a barely gamier, extra complicated taste. Our winners are additionally all raised on antibiotic-free diets.

The Standards: What to Search for in a Mail-Order Turkey  

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


Select a turkey that aligns together with your desired consuming practices, whether or not which means natural, free-range, or standard. In case your schedule permits, {a partially} frozen turkey will likely be simpler to thaw and put together. 

The Greatest Mail-Order Turkeys

Grassland Beef Pasture Raised Turkey

Grassland Beef


What we favored: This hen was scrumptious and straightforward to deal with. It arrived pre-trussed with the giblets packed up in a neat little bag. It thawed shortly and dried simply within the fridge. As soon as ready, the pores and skin was crispy whereas each the white and darkish meat remained juicy. The meat was fork-tender, however agency sufficient that it was straightforward to carve with out shredding. 

What we didn’t: At round $13/pound, this was one of many dearer birds that we examined. It arrives partially frozen, so you will must coordinate supply to verify it arrives inside per week of cooking.

Worth at time of publish: $187.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 14-16 lbs
  • Feeds: 8-10 individuals  
  • Model: Pasture-raised
  • Worth per pound: Roughly $13.36/lb

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


D'Artagnan Green Circle Turkey

D’Artagnan


What we favored: It is a juicy turkey with steadiness of sunshine and darkish meat. It was straightforward to carve with a pleasantly delicate, chicken-like taste. D’Artagnan presents three sizes—you possibly can select turkeys starting from 12 to 22 kilos. That is ultimate for these internet hosting smaller gatherings, or for anybody who plans to reside on leftovers all week. Inexperienced Circle turkeys get particular remedy: These free-range birds are raised on a food regimen of grain and vegetable scraps offered by close by farms. (The apply is licensed by Humane Farm Animal Care.)

What we didn’t: This turkey shipped in a styrofoam container. Though it offered enough safety and inclusion, the non-recyclable materials should be disposed of within the trash. 

Worth at time of publish: $75 to $160.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 8-22 lbs
  • Feeds: 6-18 individuals  
  • Model: Pasture-raised
  • Worth per pound: Roughly $7.27/lb 

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


D'Artagnan Heritage Turkey

D’Artagnan


What we favored: As a heritage hen, this turkey was raised free-range on a small farm. It was extra flavorful than its industrially-farmed counterparts, however not so gamey as to alienate your extra choosey kin.  

What we didn’t like: This was the most costly turkey that we examined—it’s priced at a mean of $19/pound. This turkey shipped in a styrofoam container that arrived barely broken. 

Worth at time of publish: $176 to $310.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 8-16 lbs
  • Feeds: 5-13 individuals  
  • Model: Pasture-raised
  • Worth per pound: Roughly $19/lb

Critical Eats / Madeline Muzzi


The Competitors

  • Fossil Farms Turkey: This hen arrives partially frozen and roasts up properly. It’s packaged properly however produced only a bit extra waste than our best choice. If our best choice is not accessible although, it is a nice choice.
  • Organic Prairie Whole Turkey: This was an amazing fully-frozen hen. It remained pretty juicy after roasting, however we didn’t like that the tail was trimmed off or that the included trussing gadget was plastic.
  • Farm Foods Market Jaindl Grand Champion: After 4 days of thawing and drying, this nonetheless appeared slightly soggy. The included band didn’t maintain the thighs trussed within the oven, and the ensuing meat was fairly dry. 
  • D’Artagnan Organic Turkey: This turkey was much less flavorful than the opposite D’Artagnan birds we examined. It additionally arrived barely beat up in a cracked styrofoam case. 
  • Allen Brothers Heritage Black Turkey: This hen was massive and flavorful however arrived in broken packaging. 
  • Crowd Cow Ferndale Market Whole Turkey: An underwhelming taste and hard-to-find giblets bag stored this turkey out of the highest spots. 
  • Porter Road Whole Turkey: This turkey arrived barely too thawed for our liking. Though it roasted up properly, it did not justify the worth. 

FAQs

How far prematurely do you have to purchase a turkey for Thanksgiving?

The perfect timing depends upon the kind of hen that you just order. A completely frozen turkey might be saved within the freezer for months, partially frozen turkeys must be cooked inside per week. Relying on the service, it could be doable to order your turkey prematurely and request supply for the week of your meal. 

Can I maintain a recent turkey within the fridge for per week?

Plan to organize your hen inside a number of days of thawing. Contemporary turkeys might be safely stored within the fridge for as much as two days earlier than roasting. 

Is it OK to depart a frozen turkey on the counter in a single day?

The FDA recommends thawing frozen turkeys within the fridge. If a turkey is left to thaw at room temperature, the floor of the hen will attain an unsafe temperature earlier than the inside thaws utterly. This could create severe meals security dangers.

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