How to Choose a Turkey

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when buying a turkey. Firstly, how many people are you serving? From here you should consider how many adults versus children, whether they’re light or heavy eaters, and whether or not you want leftovers.

Our turkey expert has some great pointers for how to pick a turkey:

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Fresh or Frozen Turkey?

Choosing a fresh or frozen turkey depends largely on preference, but also on how soon you plan on cooking your turkey. Make the right decision for you by considering these general tips.

  1. Fresh turkeys are ready to prepare. Fresh turkeys are best if held in the refrigerator for 24 hours before final preparation.
  2. Frozen turkeys can be purchased weeks in advance, but need several days to thaw and require adequate space in your freezer and refrigerator.
  3. Allow 1 day of thawing for every 4 pounds of turkey. Turkeys need to be thawed in the refrigerator or by cold water thawing. Check out How to Thaw a Turkey for more information.

Turkey Tips

Did You Know?

Fresh and frozen Butterball turkeys are all natural, gluten free and raised without hormones.

Fresh and Frozen Butterball turkeys are deep basted for juiciness and flavor.

All natural means minimally processed and no artificial ingredients. All turkeys are raised hormone- and steroid-free in accordance with USDA requirements.

Why Butterball Turkeys are the Best

Butterball turkeys are of the highest quality product and will be sure to impress your guests. Here’s why Butterball is the right choice, especially for the holiday season:

  1. Butterball turkeys are always tender and juicy because we take the extra step of individually pre-brining them based on size. We pre-brine directly in the breast meat ensuring you can take the turkey from the packaging to your pan without a lot of additional preparation before cooking and enjoy the most tender and juicy turkey possible.
  2. Every Butterball turkey comes with an easy to read instructional insert with step-by-step cooking instructions – from thawing to cooking times and temperatures we help guide you through the whole process. If you accidentally toss the instructions you can always call 1-800-288-8372 or contact us for additional help.
  3. Our giblets come in a cook proof bag. If you accidentally leave them in while cooking, the turkey isn’t ruined. If you choose to remove them, the bag makes the removal process easier.
  4. Our easy open packaging makes it easy to remove the turkey in one quick step. Just pull the tabs apart and you’re ready to begin the cooking process with no mess.
  5. Butterball turkeys have a natural leg tuck using the skin to hold the legs in place and make it easier to stuff. There are no plastic or metal locks in a Butterball turkey ensuring you won’t have to worry about a hot metal clip when you remove your stuffing.
  6. Butterball has been awarded American Human Certified® status from the American Humane Association.

Turkey Tips

Plan Perfect Portions

Let us do the math for you. Visit our Calculators and Conversions page to determine the size of Butterball turkey needed for your meal.

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We believe people should feel good about what they eat. That's why all Butterball® products are made with quality turkey for everyone and for any occasion.

Butterball Turkey Talk-Line™

Got a turkey-related question? We can answer it!

Call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or text us at 844-877-3456 to chat with our turkey experts

turkey talk link

More Turkey Tips

How to Brine

Brining is the key to a juicy, flavor-filled turkey. Never tried it before? We'll show you how.

How to Stuff

Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, it's at the heart of any Thanksgiving. Let us show you how to prepare a stuffed turkey.

How to Thaw

Ready to get cooking? We'll show you the do's and don'ts of thawing your turkey.

How to Inject a Turkey

Looking to add a little extra flavor? Try injecting your turkey with a favorite marinade. It's simple and easy.

How to Carve

There's one last step before you dig in: carving! Don't be intimidated. We're here to guide you.

Food Safety Essentials

Get the information you need to store, prepare and enjoy your meal safely.

How to Make a Leftover Turkey Sandwich

Got leftovers? Make a sandwich! Turn your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers into another tasty meal.

How to Choose a Turkey

Fresh or frozen? Big or small? We can help you choose the right turkey for your next gathering with our how-to video.

How to Place a Meat Thermometer

Unsure of how to check if your turkey is done cooking? Use a meat thermometer!

How to Marinate

When you know the basics of marinating, you can guarantee great flavor every time. Let us show you the steps and some great recipes, too. There's a marinade for every occasion and every palate.

How to Inject a Turkey

Looking to add a little extra flavor? Try injecting your turkey with a favorite marinade. It's simple and easy.

How to Check for Doneness

Is the turkey done yet? You may have heard of different ways to check, but there’s only one way to be sure.