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Kosher turkey v butterball or other

smartie Dec 7, 2007 05:13 AM

Just noticed Empire kosher turkeys in my supermarket (frozen with all the others).

has anyone tried these and are they better? I don't keep Kosher although was brought up that way so I am not bothered either way. Just wondered about the flavour and tenderness factors.

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    Diane in Bexley RE: smartie Dec 7, 2007 05:25 AM

    Can't speak to Empire but we bought a Rubashkin’s kosher turkey for Tgiving and it was the best ever in 25 years according to DH. The process of koshering is essentially brining, soaking and salting it in water. Be aware that kosher turkeys are usually minimally "groomed", be prepared to remove pin feathers, etc. The strangest thing, though, was that there was no device to secure the legs and 1st tip of wings was already removed. Not a big thing as I have kitchen twine and trussed turkey myself. We don't keep kosher, either, although raised in kosher Orthodox household. The experience made believers out of us (a revelation!), ha-ha!

    1. NYchowcook RE: smartie Dec 7, 2007 05:31 AM

      A kosher turkey (or chicken for that matter) is going to be better generally than Butterball or other mega-commercial operation.
      Me, I opt for a free-range fresh turkey. Next year I hope to find a heritage breed turkey rather than the standard commercial broad breasted white.

      1. C. Hamster RE: smartie Dec 7, 2007 05:55 AM

        Empire is a good brand.

        1. h
          howboy RE: smartie Dec 7, 2007 06:11 AM

          Empire chicken is much tastier than Perdue (which doesn't taste much like chicken to me), so I bet the turkey is good too.

          1. b
            bebevonbernstein RE: smartie Dec 7, 2007 01:31 PM

            Empire came in first in the CI listings for chicken, so I'd expect their turkeys are also good. If I recall correctly, however, CI basically said that if you brined any chicken (which, as others have mentioned, you don't have to do with the kosher birds), even Perdue (which came in last), you're going to get a pretty good bird.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bebevonbernstein
              Will Owen RE: bebevonbernstein Dec 7, 2007 03:15 PM

              Actually, CI did a turkey tasting as well, and Aaron's Kosher and Butterball were the two popular-priced favorites, both beating Empire Kosher. They seemed surprised at how much they liked the Butterball...

              1. re: Will Owen
                C. Hamster RE: Will Owen Dec 7, 2007 06:26 PM

                Strangely, my family prefers (fresh and untreated) Butterballs, too...

                1. re: Will Owen
                  Diane in Bexley RE: Will Owen Dec 8, 2007 08:52 AM

                  The last name for Aaron's Kosher is Rubashkin, the turkey we had for Tgiving. The day after we bought it, I watched the Today Show and they said it beat the Butterball as well, coming out #1.

              2. f
                fearlessemily RE: smartie Dec 7, 2007 02:04 PM

                I've got to be honest -- I tried an Empire kosher turkey this year, and while the rest of my family loved it, the skin tasted somehow off to me, which I felt made the gravy taste off as well. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was, but the closest I can come is to say the skin tasted sort of plasticky to me... So I won't be buying one again, but I was the only one in my house to have that issue with the bird...

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