Selecting the Right Whole Turkey

Fresh or Frozen?

What Size?

Fresh or Frozen?

First things first: You need to know what to buy. If you're shopping just a few days prior to your dinner, buy a fresh turkey, which you'll find in the fresh meat section. Under proper refrigeration (38 degrees Fahrenheit and below), fresh whole turkeys should remain wholesome until the "use or freeze by" date (the date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality) that is provided on the product packaging.

If you're planning and shopping for a meal in the future or you're not sure when you'll serve the turkey, a frozen turkey will be your best bet. Just remember that thawing it in the refrigerator will take a few days. If you're entertaining a small group, consider serving a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey.

What Size?

The general rule of thumb is to plan on at least one pound (uncooked) per person; however, we suggest buying 2 pounds or more. That may sound excessive, but everyone loves turkey. This way, you're assured of generous second helpings all around, plus enough left over for savory second-day dishes.

Whole Turkey Buying Guide

To Serve Turkey Size
2-4 people 8*-12 lbs.
5-7 people 12-16 lbs.
8-10 people 16-20 lbs.
11-13 people 20-24 lbs.
*Whole turkeys smaller than 8 lbs. are hard to find.