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Test Kitchen Tip

Purchasing a turkey can be complicated. There are so many choices. Here’s what you need to know to ensure that the roasted turkey you bring to the table this year is your best yet.

Based on our experiences in the Cuisine at home Test Kitchen, regular frozen turkeys are almost as flavorful as heritage, free-range, and fresh varieties. Frozen turkeys offer greater availability and cost less. Self-basting turkeys, which are usually injected with broth, save you the hassle of brining.

To gauge the correct size of turkey to purchase, figure that each pound of raw turkey will yield a half pound of cooked meat. Assume that each person will eat a half pound (8 ounces) of turkey, more or less, and buy accordingly. If you want leftovers, add a few pounds to your calculations.

Don’t forget: It takes days to thaw a frozen turkey. An 8-10 lb. bird will need two days thawing time in the refrigerator; an 11-15 lb. turkey will require two to three days; and a 16-20 lb. bird about four days.

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