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Trader Joe's Turkeys? [moved from Boston board]

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chuck s Nov 16, 2009 07:11 AM

I usually get my turkeys at Wilson Farms but I noticed fresh brined turkeys at TJs. They were packaged nicely. Has anyone had experience with them?

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Wilson Farm
10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

Trader Joe's
1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

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  1. srgoodman RE: chuck s Nov 16, 2009 12:38 PM

    I made one of their pre-brined turkeys last Thanksgiving. I thought it worked out very well, and plan to get another one this year.

    1. BellatrixStar RE: chuck s Nov 16, 2009 12:42 PM

      Just as I was about to order a Whole Foods turkey, I too saw the TJ's turkeys over the weekend and I'm contemplating it...

      1. Chris VR RE: chuck s Nov 16, 2009 02:48 PM

        I bought a small one last year, after Thanksgiving and not for a crowd- just because we always go to a friend's and wanted our own leftovers. I bought it partly because of the good reviews at

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572032

        and

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572836

        I remember it was very good, and for the price, I think it's a great deal.

        1. w
          weezycom RE: chuck s Nov 16, 2009 03:52 PM

          My friends and I have done a TJ's fresh brined turkey for the past two years. I've been very pleased.

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            another_adam RE: chuck s Nov 18, 2009 06:34 AM

            I've been eyeing these in the store this week, and remembering that they usually seem to be all gone by the weekend before Thanksgiving (at least in Brookline store, where holidays, snowstorms, etc. always seem to lead to a bit of a "swarm of locusts" effect!)

            I noticed that the turkeys have these suspiciously long expiration dates-- like 2 weeks from now. But given that they're already brined, do they continue to get more overbrined if you buy them a bit in advance? I'm not keen on keeping one around for a week, but I was just curious what others' experiences were with this.

            2 Replies
            1. re: another_adam
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              Woof Woof Woof RE: another_adam Nov 18, 2009 09:24 AM

              Suspiciously long expiration dates is because of the saline solution they use. AKA Preservative. Try taking a container of Mortons salt and pouring it down your throat. Trader Joes also just had an ECOLI recall, not on Turkeys duh, but still..

              1. re: Woof Woof Woof
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                another_adam RE: Woof Woof Woof Nov 18, 2009 09:52 AM

                From what I've read, the salt content is tolerably low/moderate on the TJ's turkeys. If that's right, then I'm not so much concerned about the overall salt content. (If it wasn't pre-brined, I'd be adding salt anyway, whether by brining or seasoning, right?)

                I'm more concerned about the texture, since if you leave meat in brine too long, its texture suffers considerably. I was wondering whether the TJ's packaging elves have found a way to "halt" the brining process when they package these up, or whether it's continuing to brine since it was packaged and for the next week...

            2. BellatrixStar RE: chuck s Nov 23, 2009 11:18 AM

              Due to time constraints, I just went ahead and bought the TJ's turkey this weekend...I will surely let you all know how it comes out!
              I've never been dissatisfied by any of their products so I took a leap of faith on this one.

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