When it comes to buying turkey pieces, whether you’re planning to roast, grill, stew, or sauté, it’s important to know what to look for to ensure you get the best type of turkey pieces for your needs. Typically, turkey pieces are sold fresh, not frozen, so be sure to check the sell-by or use-by dates.
Some of the most common ways to buy turkey pieces are:
- Ground Turkey: Ground turkey is a versatile option that can be used in place of any other ground meat. Choose ground turkey that is lean and has no fillers or additives. Ensure the packaging is airtight to maintain freshness.
- Turkey Breasts: Turkey breasts can be purchased with the skin on or off, and they contain tender white meat. When buying turkey breasts, check for plumpness, avoid any excessive moisture in the packaging, and ensure the meat is free from any visible defects or freezer burn.
- Turkey Breast Roast: Made with white turkey meat from the breast, turkey breast roasts are a convenient option for roasting. Check for uniform size and thickness when selecting a roast.
- Turkey Legs: Bone-in turkey legs are ideal for roasting in the oven or barbecuing. Choose legs with a rich color and well-trimmed skin. Freshness is key, so avoid any turkey legs that appear dry or discolored.
- Turkey Thighs: Turkey thighs can be purchased either boneless or bone-in. These dark meat cuts are excellent for baking, roasting, or barbecuing. Look for thighs with a deep color and no visible signs of discoloration. Fresh turkey thighs should have a moist, pinkish-red appearance.
- Turkey Wings and Drumettes: These bone-in, dark meat cuts are versatile and can be breaded and roasted or simmered for flavorful dishes. Ensure the wings and drumettes are free from freezer burn and have a rich color.
- Turkey Scallopini: This lean white meat cut is taken from the turkey breast and is perfect for quick cooking methods like pan-frying or sautéing. Look for scallopini slices that are uniform in thickness to ensure even cooking.
- Turkey Strips: Turkey strips are white meat turkey cutlets and offer a quick mealtime option. Look for strips that are fresh, moist, and free from any off-putting odors.
- Turkey Medallions: These are white meat cuts from the tenderloin of the turkey breast. When buying medallions, opt for slices that are well-trimmed and uniform in size for consistent cooking
Safe Storage in the Fridge and Freezer:
To ensure the safety and quality of your turkey pieces, follow these storage guidelines:
- Refrigeration: Store fresh turkey pieces in the coldest part of your refrigerator, ideally at or below 40°F (4°C). Use airtight containers or wrap pieces tightly in plastic wrap or foil to prevent moisture loss and contamination. Consume within a few days, adhering to the use-by dates when applicable.
- Freezing: To store turkey pieces for an extended period, place them in airtight freezer bags or containers to prevent freezer burn and maintain freshness. Label each package with the date to track its shelf life. Keep the freezer temperature at or below 0°F (-18°C).
By choosing the right turkey pieces for your use, and practicing safe storage techniques, you can enjoy delicious, wholesome meals while minimizing food waste and ensuring food safety.
For information on how to cook your turkey pieces, check out Cooking Turkey Pieces