Cooking, Handling & Storage
GRADE A vs. UTILITY
Turkeys are graded according to quality of appearance. Grade A turkeys are well shaped, meaty with an even fat covering.
Utility turkeys are birds with minor skin tears or one or more parts missing which in no way affects the quality.
There is no quality or taste difference between Grade A or Utility grade turkeys.
FRESH vs. FROZEN
There are absolutely no quality differences between fresh and frozen turkeys.
Frozen turkeys are flash-frozen immediately after they are packaged to Zero Deg. F or less, and are kept frozen until they are purchased. Once thawed, the meat of a frozen turkey is virtually as fresh as the day it was packaged.
Fresh turkeys are chilled after packaging, rather than frozen. Because they require special handling and have a shorter shelf-life than frozen birds, fresh turkeys are often more expensive than their frozen counterparts.
When deciding between a fresh or frozen turkey, choose the product that works best for you. Frozen turkeys can be purchased in advance, allowing for consumers to take advantage of special sales. Fresh turkeys, conversely, do not require additional time for thawing.