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Giving Ground Turkey Another Chance - What Brand?

I tried ground turkey years ago and it was AWFUL! Literally a "hot mess." Nasty, gloopy, gloppy white ICK that my husband says even the DOG turned up his nose at.

I know you guys use it so it must be better now. (I think they ground the skin into it back in the 80's!)

Can you recommend a good brand? We do have Whole Foods here but no Trader Joe's and I'd prefer something I can get at Kroger or Walmart.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. the best ground turkey that ive had was the one sold at costco... i think its butterball brand but id have to check next time im there as i dont have any on hand right now.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mattstolz

      Thanks, Matt.

      Forgot about Costco. Does it come in a ginormous quantity?

      1. re: Bliss149

        four of the regular "supermarket sized" vaccuum seal packs. can always freeze three and use one (what i do)

        i think the most important part about ground turkey is that it doesnt stand overcooking NEARLY as well as ground beef or pork does due to being much leaner. i crank the heat on mine and cook it super fast so it still gets some brown on it. normally with some good taco seasoning on it.

        1. re: mattstolz

          This is what I do. I think the quality is fine. You don't brown it the way you would ground beef. I think preparing it involves a bit of a learning curve. But it is fine to eat, as far as I'm concerned.

    2. I don't think it's any different now. I have tried it on occasion - blech! The only time I use it is mixed with ground beef and lots of aromatic vegetables and seasonings, in meatloaf, so as to reduce the amount of fat per serving. IMO, ground turkey needs a LOT of help to be at all palatable. I know some people think it's wonderful and question the function of their taste buds!

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        I agree - I can't stand ground turkey. When I need lean meat, I would rather grind eye round of beef myself - it's almost as lean, and tastes 1000000% better.

        1. re: biondanonima

          I hate it, both the smell when substituted where it doesn't belong, and the taste. Gimme grass fed beef, lean or not so lean, every time.

      2. (I think they ground the skin into it back in the 80's!)
        ~~~~~~~~~
        they still do. if you're buying packages that are simply labeled as "ground turkey," you're getting all the tissue components - the white & dark meat, skin, and fat - from all parts of the turkey.

        if you just want the meat, you have to buy packages that are labeled as such - "ground turkey MEAT."

        and if you want just the ground white meat from the breast, the package must be labeled as "ground turkey BREAST."

        2 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Agreed. I have made the mistake before of buying just ground turkey and it was disgusting. I am always very careful now to buy ground turkey breast. I never make burgers or meatloaf. My main use is for turkey chili or instead of ground beef in a baked pasta dish.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Ground turkey breast, or 99% lean, is not for me - too easily dried out and not enough flavor. We buy 94% lean and make turkey burgers.

            To me, the secret to the burger is not to pretend it's beef - season it like it's poultry (e.g. sage).

          2. I have bought Harvestland at Walmart, no hormones or steroids, and it made OK turkey burgers. They also sell Shady Brook Farms, which is actually Cargill, which was subject to the recent ground turkey recall, and I won't buy that. Harvestland was not subject to the recall.

              1. re: PotatoHouse

                Until the recent recall? I notice you use the past tense.

                1. re: coll

                  Is Jennie O part of Cargill does anyone know?
                  EDIT:
                  couldn't find any connection to Cargill BUT they've had their own recall recently:
                  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04...

                  1. re: Val

                    I'm pretty sure the Cargill recall was Jennie O. Not to sound paranoid, but they are confusing on purpose. Remember Topps burgers had a major recall and supposedly went out of business? Not! They are still around under another name, not that they're necessarily poisoning anyone lately.

                  2. re: coll

                    Actually since I got married three years ago. My wife doesn't care for ground turkey.

                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                      Most people I know buy it for their dogs, if they're on the raw diet. That's what it makes me think of unfortunately.

                  3. re: PotatoHouse

                    i use jennie o as well...

                    they used to make a stuffing and breast meal that was pretty good and easy to cook...
                    and their prepared breasts are pretty good...

                    but have not gotten the ground turkey lately..