Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here, and friends and family will be expecting a traditional spread. That includes a grand turkey, right at the center of the table.
But do you know when to purchase a turkey? Butterball Turkey Talk-Line Expert Tyler Loranger says turkeys should be available in stores beginning in early November, and the best time to buy your turkey will depend on what kind of turkey you want.
Loranger shares that frozen turkeys can be purchased several weeks in advance. That's assuming you've got enough room in your freezer to store it, of course. She adds, "Just make sure you have enough time to thaw your turkey before the big day."
Butterball recommends thawing in the refrigerator one day for every four pounds of turkey. So, if there is a specific size turkey you want, your best bet is to shop early to ensure you can find it.
Loranger says that Fresh Butterball turkeys sold in November will be good until Thanksgiving if kept refrigerated, but be sure to check the sell-by date on packages. Butterball offers a general guideline that you should cook or freeze the turkey within four days of the sell-by date.
Some stores and butcher shops will let you reserve fresh turkeys in advance so you're not scrambling through the cooler for the right bird. Call ahead as soon as you can, and reserve a fresh turkey at the size you need in your name. Then, pick it up within the week before Thanksgiving.
Depending upon where you live you might be able to purchase a fresh heritage bird. More expensive than supermarket turkeys, they can also be much more delicious.
One such top bird is the KellyBronze. Paul Kelly, the second generation owner of KellyBronze offers turkeys online in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Says Kelly, "Our website is open for orders the day after Thanksgiving right the way through until we are sold out. We only grow to order for our butcher customers and always grow a few extra to ensure we can meet the extra demand we have every year. The time to order is as soon as you can. We normally sell out of the popular weights the first week in November."