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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

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It's almost Turkey Day, Milwaukee.
It's almost Turkey Day, Milwaukee.

Turkeys: fresh or frozen?

I have no idea how many turkeys I've cooked over the years and I'm still not certain about what to buy.

The battle, of course, is over fresh vs. frozen turkeys.

For years and years I got a frozen turkey and thawed it out according to the instructions and people just seemed to love the whole Thanksgiving feast.

Then when the high-end Metro Market opened in Downtown, I was at the meat counter one day near the holiday when the guy behind the counter asked if I wanted a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving.

He said they had the very best in fresh turkeys, Bell & Evans. It was more expensive but not by a huge amount, so I said, "Hey yea, let's go fresh this year."

So, ever since then I've gone the fresh turkey route and that's been the rule for Thanksgiving, no matter where it is being held.

I will confess that I can't tell the difference between the two when it comes either to cooking the thing or eating it. They both taste almost like turkey.

The idea of saying "fresh turkey" appeals to the snob in me, but the idea of saving even a little bit of money also has a strong appeal.

Any help on this one would be appreciated, even at this late hour.

Talkbacks

LoDoesDining | Nov. 22, 2011 at 4:36 p.m. (report)

36394 My opinion? Unless you're buying that fresh/never frozen turkey from a local purveyor who raises great tasting birds (because they're heritage breeds, or simply raised in a way that gives the meat additional flavor), you are probably unlikely to see a difference between a "fresh" (which sometimes means previously frozen) and frozen grocery store bird. In part, because there really isn't much of one. Freezer technology is good these days, so proper handling should give you a product that is virtually no different from fresh... except when it comes to the convenience factor (no thawing involved).

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MilwMOM | Nov. 22, 2011 at 4:25 p.m. (report)

They just aired an episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats on the cooking channel where he describes the differences. In a nutshell it sounded like it has more to do with having time to defrost the frozen turkey then one being better then the other (obviously type of turkey would make more difference; free range, organic, etc.). You can get turkey that is "less frozen" as well. A little time on google and I bet you could find this show and get all the details.

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yinger73 | Nov. 22, 2011 at 4:14 p.m. (report)

I prefer my turkey fresh from the field, but I suspect Begel would frown upon that because it involves hunting.

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