Choosing a Turkey can be tricky. With so many options available, we’ve outlined the things to look out for so that you can find a Christmas turkey the whole family will enjoy
By Pearl Boyd
Turkey tips for Christmas
Turkey age and welfare
The age of your turkey and the conditions it was raised in make a big difference to the quality and the quantity of meat you’ll receive. Make sure the bird is at least 22 weeks old. Birds matured to this age will have a lot more meat than a younger, same weight turkey because of the improved meat to bone ratio.
Sourcing a mature bird, which has been naturally reared to adulthood also means it will have a natural fat layer – which makes cooking even easier with no additional butter or oils required – just season and pop into the oven, no need to baste.
To be truly free range, your turkey should have been outside for at least ¾ of its life. Find out as much as you can about the farm your turkey came from to ensure they adhered to the highest welfare standards all the way through production. A simple supply chain with minimal movement is best.
It’s a good idea to look for a game hung turkey, as this will mean improved flavour and texture. Look for a turkey that is game hung for as long as possible – at least seven days to make a difference. At Copas, turkeys are hung for up to 14 days. Being game-hung for two weeks is integral to their unrivalled eating quality, providing both a truly tender eating experience and an altogether superior depth of flavour.
Accreditations and logos to look for
Look out for the following accreditations to make sure that your turkey will be of the highest standard possible:
Look for an EC plant number on the label to confirm the turkey has been produced in the UK and is FCA quality assured for food safety and consistency.
TFTA – Traditional Farmfresh Turkey Association gives a quality assurance of a traditionally reared turkey.
Organic Farmers & Growers or the Soil Association gives assurance for Organic products.
What type of turkey to buy
As a rule, you’ll need ½ kg per person for generous servings on Christmas day as well as plenty of leftovers of course. For example, this would mean purchasing a 5kg turkey for a family of ten people. Turkeys often come in a range of different ways so it’s important to know how many mouths you’re feeding to ensure there is enough to go around and to avoid wastage.
Still unsure on what turkey to buy for the big day? Copas offers an online turkey calculator – just input your requirements and they will find you the perfect turkey…