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Frozen vs fresh turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by johncoby, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. johncoby

    johncoby Newbie

    OK. So last year I bought a fresh 12lb turkey for $36.00 at the local meat market.

    I found a recipe and brined it.

    Smoked it at about 250.

    It was OK.

    This year I bought a frozen butterball 12lb turkey for about $10.

    I put salt and pepper and olive oil on it.

    Smoked it at about 250.

    And it was FANTASTIC!!!

    Best one ever. No more fresh turkeys for me.
  2. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have heard ore and more people say this
  3. johncoby

    johncoby Newbie

    My nephew, who is a grand master pitmaster wannabee, was impressed! He smokes chickens, ribs, and briskets but never a turkey. 

    He thought it was pretty good also.

    I am going to try it again for Christmas and see if I get the same results.
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I can't afford a "fresh" Bird, so... yep. [​IMG]
  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Been wanting to try a fresh bird but scored 2 Butterballs at Target at .99 # for the freezer. Thought I scored BIG, but went to Costco and they had fresh Foster Farms turkeys at .99 a pound. Story of my life. Regardless, I believe Butterballs are 'enhanced' with an injected solution to help inexperienced new home cooks survive the ordeal. So, I'm thinking maybe injecting some Cajun Butter in that bird and then smoke it...after brining overnight. OH, meant to mention.....was at Safeway today and frozen, smoked turkeys are $3.00 a pound!!
  6. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    To me there is no difference in the quality of a fresh turkey than a frozen one.  I buy frozen one's that are on sale and will not spend the extra cash for a fresh one.  Fresh is more for folks who dont want to mess with thawing out a bird, no freezer space, and just want one ready to go.  I dont buy Butterball turkeys unless they are on sale and usualy when they are on sale they are more than Jenio for example.  Butterball are enhanced and is a good bird, but i dont see the difference between one of those and a grade A turkey on sale.  How you prepare the bird is the important thing.  I did buy a couple of fresh turkeys after Thanksgiving for around here the store that's long on them marks them down.  69 cents a pound [they are frozen now LOL].  Reinhard
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For years I cooked turkeys that were frozen. This year the fresh birds were only $.50 a pound more and had read about how much better they are. Went with my usual brine and such. This was one of the worst birds ever. It was dry and tough. There will never be another fresh bird in this house again...JJ
  8. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    Gang, this is one of the most informative thread that I've read here in a long time. But for whatever reason, turkey breasts are still expensive here in Charlotte. I'm holding out until they drop down to around .88 a pound.
  9. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I buy a few frozen turkeys during the sales here around Thanksgiving. There are only 3 of us here at my house now with the kids all grown up and kids of their own. My mother-inlaw, my wife, and myself.  I generaly get the birds around 14 pounds or less [did get a 26 pounder for the whole family Thanksgiving meal].  Since one bird is a little too much for us, once thawed, i part the bird out at times and just cook the breast.  The wing tips, back, neck, and giblests go for soup the next day, and i brine/cure the leg quarters and smoke and freeze them.  This way i get the breast for 59 cents a pound.  Now i realize one has to have freezer space for this [which i do] and love turkey [which i do also but not all the time].  So about 8 turkeys are fine for me for the year.  Then comes the next sale period LOL. Reinhard
  10. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yep.....sounds like a good consensus on fresh birds so maybe better I missed out. I prefer mine smoked, GF likes her roasted traditionally so I alternate to keep the peace. Now about .68 a pound here for frozen ones.....might go get another at that price......Willie
  11. waytoodeep03

    waytoodeep03 Fire Starter

    So Im guessing since the frozen bird is already in that solution then it doesnt need to be brined?