NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading

Frozen vs Fresh vs Organic vs Free Range

cooks44's picture

Any thoughts on the merits of paying more for an organic free range turkey vs a cheap frozen one.  I keep hearing that organic free range is the way to go, but CI did a taste test a few years back and the frozen cheap one tasted the best with the organic free range coming in last.


What do you think ... is it worth the money?

MadMom's picture

(post #31705, reply #1 of 51)

Frankly, you have to remind yourself that CI said that artificial vanilla was preferred over the real thing, so what on earth do they know?  I've bought organic free range turkeys for the past few years and loved them.  When you think about it, even they are not that expensive, so why not splurge?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #31705, reply #2 of 51)

Well, I only have experience with organic, free range chicken, but I tasted a difference, whereas my mother did not.

And while there was a difference, it wasn't so astonishing that I'd mortgage the house over it.

I think it made the most difference in just plain, roast chicken. So, if you have the moolah, I'd go for the organic, free range, fresh (never frozen) turkey.

And if it doesn't taste remarkably better to you, your only out what, $10? It won't taste bad, that's for sure.

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. ~ George Burns

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #31705, reply #3 of 51)

cooks44's picture

(post #31705, reply #4 of 51)

Thanks, this article's conclusions were similar to CI's.  The frozen processed birds tasted better and required less work than the organic free range.  I was planning to try brinning this year so I wanted to get a turkey that was not already "shot up" with a salt/broth solution, but when I inquired about price I started rethinking my plan.  I can get a Butterball for about $12 (12-16 lb) and the organic free range is $4.99/lb (over $50 for a 12-16 lb).


So I am wondering if it is worth the extra money and effort or if I should just get a butterball at the local grocery store and take the easy and cheap way out.

Jean's picture

(post #31705, reply #5 of 51)

The wild turkeys that my DH hunts are organic and free range, and flavorful, but --unless they are brined for a long time, they are tough as shoe leather. I've been experimenting for a few years now, and for the best ones I used MC's brine and then cooked in an oven bag. (skinless breasts only--DH  refuses to spend the time plucking them and I don't blame him.)


Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
ghcook's picture

(post #31705, reply #24 of 51)

Jean-


I have a wild turkey breast (skinned) in my freezer from a hunter friend.  I'm supposed to make it soon but have been concerned about how to prepare it without turning it into shoe leather.  How long do you brine it?  Do you put anything in the cooking bag with it?


TIA for any advice

Jean's picture

(post #31705, reply #28 of 51)

Brine it at least the same length of time you would a domestic and follow the instructions on the bag as for additions to the bag. Time is usually a guessing game -- use a thermometer like you would for regular turkey if you have one.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
ghcook's picture

(post #31705, reply #31 of 51)

thanks.  I'll report back.

ghcook's picture

(post #31705, reply #38 of 51)

Jean-


thanks for the advice on the wild turkey breasts.  I finally made them this weekend.  I ended up brining the two breast halves that had been boned and skinned (with the tenderloins already separated) in an apple juice/bay leaf/juniper berry brine for about 10 hours.  Then decided to try to maximize moisture by butterflying the breast halves, rubbing them with a fresh sage compound butter, putting the tenderloin inside and rolling them up and roasting them in an open pan at 400 deg. for about 35-40 min.  One of the hunters said, "this is as good or better than a domestic turkey" so I guessed it worked.  Served with cranberry compote, roasted veggies and traditional stuffing.  Photos attached (I hope). 


I'll do it again next harvest season.


edited because I can't get the photos to attach.  If anyone wants photos, email me and I'll send them until I can figure out what I'm doing wrong here.


Back to lurk mode.


Edited 1/9/2006 7:33 pm ET by ghcook

Jean's picture

(post #31705, reply #39 of 51)

High praise, indeed! Glad it worked for you. I'm taking notes. The sage butter rub is a great idea! Roasting time is always the question for me. Did you use a thermometer at all?


Your photo didn't attach. Try again. I'd love to see it.



If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.    -Katherine Hepburn- 


 

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
ghcook's picture

(post #31705, reply #40 of 51)

Jean-


I did use a thermometer, but because it was rolled, it never got to the 170-180 I knew was "done" in a solid breast.  It got to about 150 then I cheated with a paring knife, cut into one and it was done so I pulled it out and rested them for 15-15 min.  I'll email you photos since I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.  BTW, the hunter's wife cracked her tooth on a piece of shot he and I both missed in the meat.  Oops.

Jean's picture

(post #31705, reply #41 of 51)

Uh oh. That's one thing you don't have to worry about with a domestic bird. She can at least blame her husband. LOL.


I'll send you my addie. You can't attach pictures via the forum.



If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.    -Katherine Hepburn- 



 

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com


Edited 1/9/2006 7:42 pm ET by Jean

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
ghcook's picture

(post #31705, reply #42 of 51)

I'll try again to attach the photos.  If it works, it's due to Jean's coaching.


Thanks!

PreviewAttachmentSize
done_dinner.JPG
done_dinner.JPG30.49 KB
not_so_wild_turkey.JPG
not_so_wild_turkey.JPG43.35 KB
raw_dinner.JPG
raw_dinner.JPG31.17 KB
Jean's picture

(post #31705, reply #43 of 51)

Good job!  I'm so impressed with the job you did tying those rolls. I watched someone on FoodTV the other day who had obviously never even seen it done. Was it the Barefoot Contessa? Not sure, but she used separate strings and tied them all in little bows!! Not kidding.  I laughed. And no, it wasn't she who shall remain un-named.


Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!


 

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com


Edited 1/10/2006 9:32 am ET by Jean

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Risottogirl's picture

(post #31705, reply #45 of 51)

Not sure, but she used separate strings and tied them all in little bows!! Not kidding.  I laughed.


I learned always to tie rolls off with separate strings - but not with bows LOL. It was much later, back here in the US that I learned the other way.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor


Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

pamilyn's picture

(post #31705, reply #46 of 51)

If you tied them in bows it would be easier to remove I would think..Mmmmm, maybe, maybe not...Pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

MadMom's picture

(post #31705, reply #44 of 51)

Lovely...especially the glass of wine with the finished dinner, LOL.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

TracyK's picture

(post #31705, reply #6 of 51)

There is an easy middle ground between the top $$ organic free-range birds and butterball... you can always just go with a regular supermarket brand fresh turkey ("all-natural" that hasn't been "basted" or "tenderness enhanced"), or a frozen turkey that hasn't been injected with crap.

Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits.
       -- Carrie Bradshaw

tcurda's picture

(post #31705, reply #7 of 51)

Today I ordered a free-range fresh turkey (not organic) from Whole Foods. A 12-14 lb bird will run me roughly $25-28 ($2.00/lb).

Tom aka tomcatt

Live today like there's no tomorrow.

Smile - People will wonder what you're up to.


Tom aka tomcatt

Live today like there's no tomorrow.

Smile - People will wonder what you're up to.
TracyK's picture

(post #31705, reply #9 of 51)

A few years ago I got a 14 lb turkey, fresh, not injected with anything, for $3. :-)Granted, it was after Thanksgiving, but it's spoiled me ever since.

Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits.
       -- Carrie Bradshaw

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #31705, reply #11 of 51)

I ordered 2 18lb fresh NW turkeys (non-organic) from Metropolitan Mkt - .99cents/LB

cooks44's picture

(post #31705, reply #16 of 51)

Thanks again for the input.  It looks like I need to shop around for a better price.  The $4.99/lb quote was from Bristol Farms.  I will call my local big chain grocers and Whole Foods.

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #31705, reply #10 of 51)

That's what we get - the Publix brand, non-greaseball just plain turkey. Always tastes great.

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. ~ George Burns

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

Heather's picture

(post #31705, reply #8 of 51)

I have a friend who always cooks the Safeway Select Broad Breasted turkeys and they are delicious. Around the holidays they are fresh and often on sale. Do not under any circumstances buy a Butterball! They are pumped full of some vile stuff--I think it is related to the stuff they put on chain movie theater popcorn.

Heather's picture

(post #31705, reply #12 of 51)

I'm shocked at this article. Did all the tasters grow up on Butterballs? I've only had one once and it was dreadful.

KarenP's picture

(post #31705, reply #13 of 51)

I'm shocked at this article. Did all the tasters grow up on Butterballs? I've only had one once and it was dreadful.


  Heather?  You don't like sodium phosphate? ;-)

Heather's picture

(post #31705, reply #14 of 51)

Definitely not in my gobblers!!

MadMom's picture

(post #31705, reply #15 of 51)

Actually, I think the key was when they said they didn't brine the birds, and since Butterballs come presoaked in salty water (and whatever other chemicals they can throw in there), it tastes more like a brined turkey than the fresh ones do.  I dare them to compare a Butterball with a fresh turkey brined in Mean's apple brine...and if they choose the Butterball, then they can just soak it in their artificial vanilla and go sit in a corner...but not our corner with the bubbly and chocolates.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Risottogirl's picture

(post #31705, reply #19 of 51)

and if they choose the Butterball, then they can just soak it in their artificial vanilla and go sit in a corner...but not our corner with the bubbly and chocolates.


ROTFLMAO!





Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor


Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Lee's picture

(post #31705, reply #18 of 51)

Hmmm.  I've wanted to try a heritage turkey for several years and ordered an 18 pound Bronze heritage from WF today at the astronomical price of 3.99 a pound.  The article you posted refers to tasty but tough, stringy leg meat, which is DH's favorite part of the bird.  I usually order a fresh Ho Ka turkey (1.99 a pound this year), which is always delicious.  I may cancel the heritage bird and stick with my T&T.