If you’re planning a Thanksgiving feast, now is the time to be shopping for a turkey. Many grocery stores have low prices on frozen turkeys, so consider buying a second one to put in your freezer if you have room. But don’t do like I did last year and put it in the freezer and forget about it all year.
Here are some of the advertised prices on turkeys at area stores. (Know of other good deals? Leave a comment.) Keep in mind that you might have to make an additional purchase to get the low price. Also, even if it doesn’t say so below, you might need a loyalty card.
Since it takes several days to defrost a turkey in the refrigerator, don’t wait to the last minute.
Turkey thawing and cooking guidelines and tips
How long does it take to defrost a turkey?
Butterball says one day of thawing in the refrigerator per four pounds. Put the turkey breast side up, in an unopened wrapper on a tray.
If you are a last minute kind of person, you can thaw the turkey in cold water for at least 30 minutes per pound. Put the turkey breast down in the unopened wrapper, completely submerged in water and change the water every 30 minutes. Why do you need to put the turkey breast side down if you thaw in water, but breast side up if you thaw in the refrigerator? That’s a question best left to the experts.
How to roast a turkey
This from Butterball:
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels.
- Place turkey breast side up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2½ inches deep.
- Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. (Tucking the wings will help stabilize the turkey in the pan and when carving) Brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance.
- Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh without touching the bone. When the thigh is up to temperature, and if the turkey is stuffed, move the thermometer to the center of the stuffing.
- Place your turkey in the oven.
- When the turkey is about ⅔ done, loosely cover breast and top of drumsticks with a piece of foil to prevent overcooking.
- Your turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer is 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast or stuffing.
- Lift turkey onto platter, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
How long does it take to cook a turkey?
Visit Butterball for a cooking time chart, which depends on the weight of the turkey and whether or not it’s stuffed.
Best prices on turkeys in the Charlotte area
- Harris Teeter Premium Frozen Turkey: 37 cents a pound, with $40 additional purchase. Limit 1.
- Harris Teeter All Natural Fresh Turkey: $1.29 a pound. 10 to 24 pounds. Limit 2.
- Frozen turkey: 37 cents a pound, with minimum $35 purchase. MVP card required.
- Publix young turkey: 57 cents a pound. 10-24 pounds. Limit 2.
- Grade A Frozen Turkey: 59 cents a pound. With card. Limit 2.
- Butterball Grade A Frozen Turkey: 99 cents a pound. With card. Limit 2.
- Fresh whole turkey: 99 cents a pound.
- Butterball 10-24 pound premium frozen turkey: 99 cents a pound. Limit 2.
- Market Pantry 10-24 pound frozen turkey: 79 cents a pound. Limit 2.