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Nov 11, 2010 10:00 AM

TJ's turkeys

My T-day dinner is actually 2 days before, on Tuesday, and I am working crazy hours before that, so I really need a fresh, prebrined bird.

I had asked on my regional board (SF Bay Area) where was the best place to buy a pre-brined, fresh turkey and the general consensus was TJ. I just got the flyer and the regular, fresh, pre-brined turkey will be $1.79 per pound, and a fresh, kosher turkey will be $2.29 per pound. My grandmother kept kosher and could tell the difference between a kosher turkey and one that wasn't, I presume b/c of the salting of the kosher turkey.

So I ask, what would be the difference between the 2 turkeys TJ is selling, and has anyone bought both and prefer one or the other? Price is not the issue, just quality, and I want to justify paying more if the kosher turkey actually will be better. I should add that I haven't cooked a turkey in over 15 years. I'm not afraid of doing it, but if a better quality/tasting bird will help the situation, then I'm going for that one.


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  1. I think kosher means dry salting as opposed to a saltwater brine. I haven't compared the two, but here is a prior thread on the latter: Interestingly, they have been the same prices for several years now.

    3 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Thanks for reminding me of this post, it was the deciding factor in choosing TJ over other places to buy the bird. But when I got to TJ, I saw that they had the kosher bird as well. Definitely going with the TJ brand since it seems to be foolproof. I think I will buy the bird Saturday night instead of Sunday, to make sure it isn't partially frozen and is completely thawed by Tuesday afternoon.

      Thanks again.

      1. re: rednails

        One thing to keep in mind especially if going at night and even more so if you want a bigger bird is to call ahead and have them put one in back for you. I found this out one year when all they had were really small ones by the time I went. I called around and another TJ store had a bigger bird and was happy to hold it for me. Being much smaller than a traditional supermarket the man at TJ's explained that they can only hold so many at a time and they have become really popular. Luckily they always get more in quickly!

        1. re: elliora

          Good suggestion. Luckily there are 2 TJs near me, one larger than the other. I should be able to get a bird at either one.