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Rubashkin's Aaron's Best Turkey

In the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated, there's an article on a turkey taste test. Rubashkin's Aaron's Best ended up in the Highly Recommended category. Does anyone know if they're available anywhere in the Bay Area?

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  1. Is that the Aaron's kosher poultry the sell at Trader Joe's?

    2 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Yes it is, it goes fast though, it's a great turkey. Just ask them when thier coming in.

      2. OK, I am going there today to see if they have them and will keep you posted. I always bought Diestel (sp?) turkeys for years, but even after brining it last year, it wasn't to die for. I look forward to trying this turkey and especially look forward to not having to brine it!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jeannew

          If by "there" you mean Trader Joe's, they don't regularly have whole turkeys -- they usually have turkey parts, and last year they had whole turkeys right at Thanksgiving (super cheap, too!). Actually, now that I think about it, you didn't mean you were going to buy your T-Day turkey today (obviously), just that you were going to check out the brand? If so, you could ask them if they're going to have whole turkeys this year, and when they're going to get them in.

        2. Linda,
          Fancy meeting you here! I was looking for the same turkey, it is rated #1 by Newsweek too. Have you found it yet? Trader Joe's?

          1 Reply
          1. re: reginaf

            Trader Joe's has the Aaron's turkey half breasts on a regular basis. I asked last time I was in, and they said they're supposed to have the whole turkeys again this year, but probably only a few days before Thanksgiving. They'll also have "natural" turkeys this year -- whatever that means!

          2. Have you found any other stores that carry the famous Aaron's best turkey since you first posted?

            1. I just called the Livermore, CA store and they are expected to get the Rubashkin's whole turkey in on Nov 9, 2007 so I am assuming the other stores will be getting them in as well. You may want to call your local TJ's.

              Happy Thanksgiving!

              8 Replies
              1. re: linstur

                According to my local TJ's, the turkeys are labelled as Trader Joe's, although they come from Rubashkin's. Whether they are the same as the "Aaron's best" line or not, he didn't know. Also, the turkeys that TJ's gets are "fresh" not frozen. Although pretty icey, a "fresh" turkey is not rock solid frozen. This may sound like a good thing, but as per the Cook's Illustrated article referenced in the opening post, a fresh turkey is not as moist as a true frozen turkey due to ice crystals forming and thawing and reforming which then breaks cell membranes of the turkey, making it drier.

                1. re: EMahn

                  the trader joe's turkey are the same as the "aarons best" line just relabeled

                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                      I have the Fearless Flyer, it says "All Natural, Glatt Kosher Fresh Young Turkeys." I don't know if they're going to put a TJ's label on them or not: the Rubashkin's turkey they carry the rest of the year has always had the Rubashkin's label on it when I've bought it.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        The T.J.'s on Bryant in S.F. says they will be getting their first delivery the 8th or 9th of Nov.....

                        1. re: ChowFun_derek

                          I was in the Bryant Street store this morning and they have the "All natural Glatt Kosher" birds (which tend to be on the small side 12 - 13#) as well as the TJ's All Natural. Neither was frozen. Also, the package label stated that it may contain giiblets. MAY contain??? I'm banking on it!

                          1. re: JockY

                            Don't. Seriously. I don't recall the exact details, but during the koshering process the giblets are handled separately. If they are damaged or contaminated in some way, they cannot be sold and will not be packaged with the bird. So don't bank on it. If it's important that you have them, be prepared and buy them separately. Places that sell Kosher poultry often sell giblets separately for exactly that reason.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              I did not know that. Thank you.

                              I think by now there is all together too much angst surrounding this issue to take any risks. I will buy one of these turkeys to try it but for the big day I think I'll stick with the tried and true Diestel. The big deal about the Aaron's best frozen bird was it's naturallly high fat content and that frozen turkeys have better texture than fresh (as witnessed by subsequent posts on this thread.) At least according to the Cooks Illustrated article.

              2. Anyone know if Mollie Stones carries it too? They always seem to have a good frozen kosher poultry selection...I just never looked at the brand.

                1 Reply
                1. re: peppatty

                  Yes, Mollie carries this turkey. See my post below.

                2. I just checked Trader Joe's in my area asking if they carried the Rubashkin's Aaron's best frozen turkey and they told me no, they carried the Glatt Kosher turkey. I know nothing about this. Is this the same or not?
                  Thanks!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ajaxinca

                    I am sure it is there- the term Glatt is actually refers to a level of higher kosher standard -

                  2. Just talked to Trader Joe's and they said they sell them under Trader Joe's name. Look for Trader Joe's kosher turkey.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: cox880

                      I picked one up yesterday at the Fremont Trader Joe's. Look for a blue label that says All Natural Glatt Kosher turkey. If you look on the bottom of the label, you'll see something like "Processed by Rubashkin's."

                      1. re: agatilao

                        I saw those last night as well. They're pre-brined right? I want one i can brine myself.

                        1. re: DezzerSF

                          ALL 'Kosher' turkeys are "Brined" that is what 'koshering" does, replaces any blood with a salt solution....so do NOT but a Kosher turkey (or chicken) and then brine it!!! It will taste like the "Dead Sea"!!!

                          1. re: ChowFun_derek

                            Gotcha. That would be a disaster. Can anyone share experiences with both Aaron's and their own brined turkey?

                            1. re: DezzerSF

                              Watch out for feathers. Kosher turkeys are full of feathers. Leave yourself time to pull them out, which could take a while. They come out easier after the skin is hot.

                              1. re: wearybashful

                                Yes, I bought one today and the words "minimally processed" were stunningly accurate. A very shaggy bird. We'll see how he tastes.

                                1. re: lexdevil

                                  For those who bought their turkeys already, what are you planning to do with it until Thanksgiving?

                                  1. Freeze it. Doesn't this defeat the purpose of buying fresh?
                                  2. Refrigerate until Thanksgiving. Is this safe?

                                  I'd like to buy early to make sure I get what I want, but I'm not sure what to do with it for 11 days.

                                  1. re: achuang0

                                    I went into TJ Friday to buy a chicken, but they had small turkeys which were cheaper. I noticed it had a sell-by date of Nov.23. I cooked it that day, and it was kind of sproingy- never got very tender. I've read in books about people buying freshly-slaughtered poultry, cooking it right away, and finding it really dense and rubbery. I wonder if there's an aging time that's figured into the sell-by date.

                                    Last year i did buy a turkey fairly early and waited until its sell-by date to cook it. I just kept it as cold as I could without freezing. It was fine.

                                    1. re: wearybashful

                                      This thread is about Kosher turkey from Trader Joes...was yours the kosher one or one of their other turkey;s???

                                      1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                        Chow fun, yes, it was the kosher turkey.

                                  2. re: lexdevil

                                    He's been cooked now. Tasty, but very salty. I like salt, but this was a bit much (though far from inedible).

                                      1. re: wearybashful

                                        I think that brined turkeys often have the sproingy-ness that you mention.

                                      2. re: lexdevil

                                        Thanks for reporting back. I guess I'll brine my own "non-kosher" turkey. =)

                        2. My husband just mentioned that he thought he saw a turkey sign up for the Trader Joes in Menlo Park. Might be work a phone call if you really want one of these to see if they really are doing that.

                          1. Agonize no longer! These exact turkeys are available at Mollie Stone's in Palo Alto. The turkeys that are frozen are on the large side, about 20lbs, and are $3.19 a pound. They have smaller breast only pieces. They may be available elsewhere too. I called T. J.'s (Menlo Park) and they said that today, (Thurs.) will be their last day for the delivery of Rubashkin FRESH turkeys. I hope this info helps!