Everyone seems to be “Talking Turkey” these days with Thanksgiving Day just under one week away. Picking the perfect Turkey can be a stressful task. How big? To stuff or not to stuff? Cover it or uncover it to cook? And the biggest question of all….. Fresh or Frozen??? We’re giving credit to finecooking.com with their precise explanation of what constitutes a fresh or frozen bird. Who knew that turkey meat doesn’t freeze at 32 degrees? We hope this may shed some light on your upcoming decision.
With so many turkeys on the market, trying to choose your holiday bird can be mind-boggling. To help you cut through all the jargon and find the perfect turkey, here’s a glossary of the terms you’re likely to see.
Fresh vs. frozen
- Fresh: A turkey may be labeled “fresh” only if it has never been chilled below 26°F. (Turkey meat, according to the National Turkey Federation, doesn’t freeze at 32°F, but at a temperature closer to 26°F.)
- Frozen: Turkeys chilled below 0°F must be labeled “frozen.” Or, if they’re sold already defrosted, you may see “previously frozen” on the label. Most turkey producers agree that freezing adversely affects the texture and taste of the meat.
- Hard-chilled or not previously frozen: Turkeys that have been chilled below 26°F, but not below 0°F can’t be labeled fresh, but they don’t have to be labeled frozen either. If a turkey isn’t labeled as either fresh or frozen, it’s most likely in this category. This type of bird may also be identified as “hard-chilled” or “not previously frozen.”