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Pre-cooked Thanksgiving Dinner - Wegmans vs Whole Foods

fldhkybnva Nov 13, 2012 10:55 AM

Any thoughts on these two options?

  1. c
    Cathy Nov 3, 2013 07:44 AM

    After Thanksgiving, both sell the already cooked and chilled whole turkeys and sides dirt cheap. (Two years ago, the turkey was $12 and sides were $2.50-$3 each; in 2007, the cooked turkey was $8). Nobody shops at grocers the day after Thanksgiving.

    1. CindyJ Nov 3, 2013 07:10 AM

      I would just add one note on Wegmans pre-cooked meals based on a prime rib dinner I ordered for New Years a few years ago. The entire dinner had been cooked and quickly chilled down to a "safe" temperature. That meant, of course, that I had to reheat everything. I followed the instructions exactly, but the prime rib got overdone during the heating process. If you're ordering a whole turkey, I'm guessing that there's a good chance that parts of it will dry out before it's reheated to your liking. In hindsight, in the amount of time it took to reheat my rib roast, I could have roasted one to perfection from scratch.

      1. j
        jarona Oct 31, 2013 11:34 AM

        Well. Let me tell you. A couple of years ago, I decided that cooking a turkey was a total P.I.A. I much rather love to concentrate on desserts and sides. My "brainstorm" was getting a turkey cooked at Wegmans. So when I went to pick it up, I found out that it was only partially cooked and still had to go into the oven for 3 hours. That was the first and last time I ever had someone else make my T'giving dinner. It was almost as bad as the Turducken experience!

        1. k
          Karen K Oct 29, 2013 07:38 AM

          Any further commentary on this topic, in particular anyone know how the prices compare?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Karen K
            fldhkybnva Oct 29, 2013 07:44 AM

            I don't know how the prices compare but I'm sticking with Whole Foods this year. I ate their holiday dishes throughout the winter and really enjoyed them.

            1. re: fldhkybnva
              Kajikit Oct 31, 2013 02:47 PM

              I just tried to go online and check out the Whole Foods Thanksgiving prices and it looks like they're not up yet... :(

              1. re: Kajikit
                fldhkybnva Oct 31, 2013 03:12 PM

                They aren't ordering yet at least at my store. Here are my prices from last year in Baltimore -
                Apple pie 16
                Pumpkin pie 9.99
                Sweet potato pie 10.99
                Mashed potatoes white or sweet -10.99
                Mushroom gravy 7.99
                Turkey gravy 7.99
                Whole oven-ready turkey 79.99
                Sage stuffing 9.99
                Macaroni and cheese casserole 13.99
                Cornbread 4.99
                Heat and serve rolls 3.49

                I did not end up buying it, but I initially ordered the "Dinner for 2 plus a few" which was 45.99 for Large sage stuffing, large mashed potatoes, organic cranberry orange relish, turkey gravy, green beans.

                Note - we are big eaters and the sides for 2 didn't seem like enough for us especially at the holidays when we want leftovers. I ended up going back to the store after Thanksgiving to buy sides that they had available all week to fill in the leftovers. When I ordered for New Year's I ordered much more.

                1. re: Kajikit
                  fldhkybnva Nov 8, 2013 05:03 PM

                  What'd you decide?

                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                    Kajikit Nov 9, 2013 01:37 PM

                    Me? At those prices I'll probably make my own from scratch... I'm well enough to cook nowadays, especially if I spread the work out and make my dessert the day before. Last year we had Thanksgiving with a friend who invited us because I'd said that I wasn't well enough to cook and we were probably going to have Boston Market.

                    1. re: Kajikit
                      fldhkybnva Nov 9, 2013 01:56 PM

                      It's good to hear you're feeling better, but don't exhaust yourself. It doesn't have to be fancy, just the time together with friends or families over some sort of plate of food is a lot of the enjoyment.

            2. e
              elise h Nov 22, 2012 09:24 PM

              I just returned from a Tday dinner from Whole Foods. It was excellent and surpassed all my expectations. Included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie. All nicely seasoned. I could not make a better spread.

              3 Replies
              1. re: elise h
                fldhkybnva Nov 23, 2012 02:36 AM

                I agree. My Whole Foods dinner was lovely. I can't stop dipping into the leftovers. Honest reviews - the turkey was a bit on the dry side but I perhaps might have over-reheated and after all it is turkey breast, the macaroni and cheese casserole is very cheesy so if you're into cheesy cheesy it's right up your alley, the sage stuffing was well seasoned, the mashed potatoes were lovely smooth and well-seasoned (though I did add some roasted garlic as I had a craving for some garlic). All of the desserts were fabulous as well - sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie and chocolate dream cake. I did not have the rolls, but the cornbread is quite addicting! In fact, I was too full to have apple pie for dinner last night and just had it for breakfast and it was fantastic. I highly recommend this dinner. Easy to reheat and after dinner the dishes were piled into the dishwasher and clean in 30 minutes.

                1. re: fldhkybnva
                  b
                  bobbieesol1 Nov 23, 2012 07:20 AM

                  A big YES and Thank You to the Whole Foods prepared dinner.
                  I've always cooked before, so this was a risky move for us. Anyhow, I ordered the dinner for 4, which included a large whole precooked turkey breast, a dozen roles, 2 containers each of mashed potatoes and gravy, a large container of green beans with toasted almonds, a tub on cranberry sauce, and a large apple pie. Everything was WONDERFUL, and there were plenty of leftovers. All I added were olives, carrot sticks, and some Trader Joe's mashed sweet potatoes and a feast was had by all. There's no Wegman's near me, but from what I've read, the Whole Foods dinner wins hands down.

                  1. re: bobbieesol1
                    fldhkybnva Nov 23, 2012 07:53 AM

                    I will add to my review a comment about portion sizes which might only apply to my gluttinous bunch. We are pretty big eaters, particularly on Thanksgiving and tend to load up on side dishes and feed on leftovers for a while when we cook up a big meal. The meal I ordered came with 32 oz sides (each 1 container) which I was skeptical would go very far in this house (yea, big eaters) for dinner let alone leftovers and so was glad that I picked up extras. The roasted turkey breast however was a great portion and we have a lot of that leftover. If you're big on side dishes/stuff your belly sized portions though or want a lot of leftovers, either order a dinner for more than the number of people you have or pick up extras from the prepared food section when you check out the size of your order at pick up.

              2. fldhkybnva Nov 19, 2012 11:13 AM

                I ordered a full spread from Whole Foods and will report back.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fldhkybnva
                  Manassas64 Nov 21, 2012 02:48 PM

                  I think you made a good choice because I have had a lot of WF prepared foods over the years, from different stores in different states and it's all good, all flavorful and all well-seasoned. I don't think you can go wrong there.

                  As I said above, I was not a fan of the Wegmans Thanksgiving spread at all.

                2. f
                  ForFoodsSake Nov 18, 2012 01:21 PM

                  We had some of the Wegman's options at a relative's house last year, and liked those. I haven't had the Whole Foods version, so can't comment on how they compare!

                  1. fldhkybnva Nov 15, 2012 07:07 PM

                    Yea, I have a few days left, I'm wondering which route I should go

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      a
                      adventuresinbaking Nov 17, 2012 05:41 AM

                      I've never had the whole paycheck one, but my sister got the Wegmans Thanksgiving dinner and liked it a lot. However, she does like her food on the plain side, so I am not quite sure how to rate the choice.

                      1. re: adventuresinbaking
                        Manassas64 Nov 21, 2012 02:46 PM

                        My sister did this from Wegmans one year and "plain" is a very good description. I always thought my love for Wegmans had no end, but they stink at prepared foods. It's like they are afraid to season anything.

                        Anyway, the food looks very nice and is not dry or anything, but it is plain and not memorable at all.

                        I have read in several different places people raving (RAVING!) about Bob Evans catered Thanksgiving. Who knew??

                        1. re: Manassas64
                          c
                          Cathy Nov 21, 2012 04:49 PM

                          Because Bob Evans is a restaurant which regularly prepares food, using ingredients and recipes.

                          Wegmans is a grocer which sells ingredients you take home to prepare your own meals.

                    2. g
                      givemecarbs Nov 14, 2012 01:52 AM

                      Nice topical post. I'm no help but I did see several people signing up for T dinner at whole paycheck this past sunday evening. They had a special rep at the courtesy desk

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