The 13 Best Turkeys to Order Online for Thanksgiving, According to Customer Reviews

Whether you're feeling a heritage bird or a turducken

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Best Turkeys for Thanksgiving - A stylized collage of different cooked turkeys on a pink background with an Editor's Pick badge.
Paula Boudes for PureWow

You’re set on making your mom’s famous sausage stuffing, classic green bean casserole, biscuits from scratch and your signature cranberry sauce. But as tasty as the sides will be, the meal would feel incomplete without a turkey. With so many on the market, how can you decide which bird is right for you? Here, we answer some of your biggest questions (fresh or frozen? brand name or generic?) and provide our picks for the best turkeys to buy for Thanksgiving, which we chose by pooling editor recommendations and customer reviews and scouring the internet. Whether you’re looking for an impressive heritage bird or the notorious turducken, there’s something on our list that fits your needs. (Spoiler: Our top pick is the Fossil Farms Whole Bird Turkey, which starts at $73.)

Help! It’s Thanksgiving Morning and My Bird Is Still Frozen! Here’s How to Quickly Thaw a Turkey and Save the Day

The Best Turkeys to Order Online at a Glance


Best Overall Turkey for Thanksgiving

Fossil Farms Whole Bird Turkey

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Best Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving

Meat N’ Bone Thanksgiving Amish Turkey

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Best Precooked Turkey for Thanksgiving

Harry & David Oven-Roasted Turkey

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Best Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving

D'Artagnan Natural Bone-In Turkey Breast

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Best Organic Turkey for Thanksgiving

Willie Bird Fresh Free-Range Organic Turkey

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What Is the Best Type of Turkey to Buy?

Try to buy a fresh bird over a frozen one when you can. You won’t have to wait days for it to defrost in the fridge, and it’ll roast slightly faster than its frosty counterpart. (Since they don’t last as long as frozen turkeys, you’ll want to preorder one ahead and pick it up a day or two before Thanksgiving.) On the other hand, frozen turkeys can still turn out delicious—they’re usually cheaper than fresh ones, plus they offer more flexibility in case your plans change (meaning they won’t rot overnight in your fridge).

If you’re willing to spend a little more, look for a free-range turkey. Free-range birds are required to have continuous outdoor access for more than 51 percent of their lives. Because their lives are less stressful, free-range birds tend to taste better. On the flip side, they can be a bit more muscular than other birds due to all that extra movement, so they can taste a bit gamy compared to what you’re used to. But you can always soften that flavor with milk and/or a brine.

The ultimate splurge is a heritage turkey. Heritage turkeys have been bred to stay just as they were many years ago, a far cry from the jacked-up birds of today that have been bred for consumption. Its flavor will be significantly gamy and intense compared to supermarket birds.

If it’s your first time cooking a Thanksgiving feast (or you’re worried about pulling off a brine on your own), opt for a pre-basted or pre-roasted turkey. Many are packaged in a butter and salt solution that makes cooking a moist, tender bird a breeze.

Which Supermarket Turkey Is Best?

In an Epicurious taste-test of six supermarket turkeys, a fresh Bell & Evans turkey was their top choice, due to its tender meat, authentic turkey flavor and attractive outer skin. (The birds are also bred to grow at a slower pace, causing them to have broad, juicy breasts.) Other top brands across various verticals include Organic Prairie and Honeysuckle.

Is a Butterball Turkey Better?

Not necessarily. Many reviewers and taste-testers complain about its off texture (no one wants mealy breast meat), excessive saltiness and lack of flavor (or worse, a chemical-like flavor). Butterball turkeys, like many others, are injected with additives for moisture, but some reviewers found the meat almost too watery. In its defense, some testers say it roasts to a beautiful golden brown and the cost is minimal compared to competitors at about $1.49 per pound. If your only option is a Butterball turkey, it’ll get the job done—but there are plenty of better quality birds on the market.

What Is the Most Popular Turkey Brand?

Butterball is among the most popular, likely due to its affordability and accessibility. Other common brands include Honeysuckle, Jennie-O, Boar’s Head, Perdue, Pilgrim’s Pride and Applegate Farms.

Ready to get cooking? Here are the best turkeys for Thanksgiving to serve this year, according to customer reviews.

Best Overall Turkey for Thanksgiving

1. Fossil Farms Whole Bird Turkey

  • What We Like: cage-free, raised by third- and fourth-generation farmers, all-natural turkeys, free of antibiotics, steroids and hormones, relatively affordable
  • What We Don't Like: nothing
  • Weight Options: 8-10 pounds, 10-12 pounds, 12-14 pounds, 14-16 pounds, 16-18 pounds, 18-20 pounds, 20-22 pounds, 22-24 pounds, 24-26 pounds, 26-28 pounds
  • Shipping: free on orders $175+
  • Promising Review: “As if the ease of ordering, exceptional customer service and the flawless, worry-free pickup weren’t enough, the turkey was tender and delicious. Can’t wait to try some of their other vast array of products.”

Every single customer review is five stars and it’s no surprise why. These high-quality Nicholas breed birds from sustainable Fossil Farms are raised in a free-roaming, cage-free environment in Pennsylvania by third- and fourth-generation farmers. They’re fed a vegetarian diet and are all-natural, meaning they’re free of antibiotics, steroids and hormones. What really seals the deal is the price, which comes out to about $9 a pound. It’s more expensive than your average Butterball, but only by a few bucks…and the quality beats it out by a mile. Order for delivery the week of November 14 to get it in time for the holiday (or order the week of and opt for next-day air shipping).

Best Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving

2. Meat N’ Bone Thanksgiving Amish Turkey

  • What We Like: hatched, grown and processed by Amish family farmers, hard-chilled instead of frozen, ethically raised, hormone- and steroid-free
  • What We Don't Like: expensive
  • Weight Options: 8-12 pounds, 12-16 pounds, 16-20 pounds, 20-24 pounds, 24-28 pounds, 28-32 pounds
  • Shipping: from $10
  • Promising Review: “This is definitely a quality bird. You can taste the difference from the typical supermarket turkey. Make sure to take out the neck and giblets from the cavity before cooking and use them to make stock for stuffing and gravy.”

For about $7.50 a pound, you can savor an all-natural bird that’s minimally processed and free of additives, preservatives and artificial ingredients. The turkeys are raised sans-hormones and steroids on a vegetable- and protein-rich diet that’s free of animal byproducts. They live in a roomy, ventilated barn with free access to feed and water. Meat N’ Bone’s turkeys are de-feathered, cleaned and come with giblets. They’re shipped with a hard chill instead of frozen, so you can decide whether to pop them in the fridge or freezer upon arrival. Preorder by October 15 with the code EarlyBird2023 for 20 percent off.

Best Precooked Turkey for Thanksgiving

3. Harry & David Oven-Roasted Turkey

  • What We Like: ready to heat and serve,
  • What We Don't Like: expensive
  • Weight Options: 10 pounds
  • Shipping: express two-day shipping included on this item
  • Promising Review: “This bird was delicious. Took a little longer to cook than directions indicated. But all worked out beautifully and had enough left to make pot pies.”

Behold: the brand’s most popular Thanksgiving bird. This ten-pounder arrives ready to heat and serve. It’s pre-seasoned and roasted, so you won’t have to fuss over a brine or dry rub. As if this Harry & David turkey wasn’t easy enough to prepare, your purchase also includes two-day shipping, so you can order close to the holiday and still get your main course just in time. Note that two reviewers felt the bird was too salty, but that’s the risk you take by getting a pre-seasoned bird. Consider if it’s worth it to you for the sake of convenience before purchasing.

Best Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving

4. D'Artagnan Natural Bone-In Turkey Breast

  • What We Like: naturally raised, broad-breasted hybrid breed, antibiotics- and growth hormone-free, includes ribs, wing meat and back and neck skin, affordable
  • What We Don't Like: breast less impressive than a whole bird
  • Weight Options: 4-6 pounds, 6-8 pounds, 8-10 pounds, 10-12 pounds
  • Shipping: varies by weight, destination and delivery date
  • Promising Review: "Excellent quality. The best turkey I have ever had!"

Serving a smaller crowd? Save yourself the fuss of roasting a whole bird and opt for a turkey breast instead. This gorgeous turkey breast roast is ready to cook the moment it defrosts. Turkey breast roasts (and bone-in turkey breasts) are best for families that love white meat. The turkeys are fed a vegetarian, gluten-free diet that's enhanced with vitamins and minerals, so the meat will turn out deliciously tender and juicy, despite being the breast.

Best Organic Turkey for Thanksgiving

5. Willie Bird Fresh Free-Range Organic Turkey

  • What We Like: certified organic, free-range turkey raised in California, free of artificial pesticides and chemicals, fresh not frozen
  • What We Don't Like: expensive
  • Weight Options: 10-12 pounds, 12-14 pounds, 14-16 pounds, 16-18 pounds, 18-20 pounds, 20-22 pounds, 22-24 pounds
  • Shipping: by order total and destination
  • Promising Review: “The breast meat was tender and moist with a delicate sweet flavor. In contrast, the dark meat was rich and flavorful, just as it should be.” (from The Kitchn)

Searching for a stellar organic bird? Look no further than Williams Sonoma. The Willie Birds are raised in California on a diet of natural grains that's free of antibiotics and hormones, and are famous for their flavor and juiciness. The turkey will arrive fresh with ice packs in a vacuum-sealed bag. Preorder yours ASAP, since quantities are limited for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Best Heritage Turkey for Thanksgiving

6. Elmwood Stock Farm Organic Heritage Turkey

  • What We Like: more equal ratio of dark to light meat, heritage bird, free range, free of synthetic inputs, flavor additives and stimulants, organic
  • What We Don't Like: expensive
  • Weight Options: 6-6.9 pounds, 7-8.9 pounds, 9-10.9 pounds, 11-12.9 pounds, 13-14.9 pounds, 15-16.9 pounds, 17-18.9 pounds
  • Shipping: based on weight and destination
  • Promising Review: “This turkey was ‘super tender and juicy,’ with white meat ‘so rich in flavor that it tastes like dark meat…The dark meat was even more tender and flavorful, prompting one taster to ask, ‘Is this dark turkey or pulled pork? So fall-apart tender that it’s almost shredding itself.’” (from Cook’s Illustrated)

Heritage turkeys are becoming more and more popular every year. If you’ve never tried one, it’s important to know that they’re significantly different than factory-farmed supermarket turkeys that you may have tried in the past. Heritage turkeys have longer, thinner bodies than broad-breasted ones, creating a more balanced ratio of light and dark meat. Its flavor is rich, velvety and, at times, gamy. Elmwood Stock’s heritage birds are free-range and free of additives, stimulants and synthetic inputs. They’re currently available for preorder in seven different sizes and arrive frozen. Pre-order now to be delivered the week before Thanksgiving.

Best Smoked Turkey for Thanksgiving

7. Burgers’ Smokehouse Hickory Smoked Whole Turkey

  • What We Like: arrives ready to heat and heat, flavorful and smoked, good for hands-off hosts
  • What We Don't Like: expensive for a small bird
  • Weight Options: 6-8 pounds, 8 pounds, 12-14 pounds, 12-16 pounds (two-pack), 16-20 pounds (two-pack), 20-24 pounds (two-pack), 24-28 pounds (two-pack
  • Shipping: free
  • Promising Review: “Succulent, moist, flavorful turkey. Hands down the BEST smoked turkey I have ever purchased. So hecking delicious! I can really tell the difference between this actual wood-smoked product and all the rest.”

This beauty has racked up 200+ reviews, the vast majority of which are five stars. Burgers’ Smokehouse has been making smoked and cured meats for nearly a century, so they know a thing or two about smoking a killer Thanksgiving bird. It will arrive to you fully cooked with heating instructions included, so all you’ll have to do is warm it up and serve. The turkey is smoked with real hickory, but don’t worry about the bird turning out dry: Burgers’ specializes in retaining the poultry’s natural juices throughout the smoking process. But note that a couple of Amazon reviewers found the turkey to be tough, and another few thought it was too salty.

  • What We Like: free shipping, already flavored, unconventional, pre-stuffed
  • What We Don't Like: expensive
  • Weight Options: 10-11 pounds
  • Shipping: free on this item
  • Promising Review: “We have had the turducken before and LOVED it. Looking forward to having it again this year, plus the ham for Christmas.”

Ah, the turducken: We’ve all talked about it, but have you ever actually tasted one? For the uninitiated, a turducken is a triple-threat main for the books—a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey. Cajun Ed’s has become famous for its frankenfowl classics, like turporken and sausage-stuffed turkeys, so if you’re going to try this three-way hybrid, they’re a solid purveyor to buy from. Not only will you savor tender roasted poultry in every bite, but a layer of Cajun cornbread stuffing is added between each bird, along with a special seasoning on the outside for maximum flavor. It arrives frozen and cooked, so simply reheat it for a few hours until it’s warmed through.

Best Value Turkey for Thanksgiving

9. Mary’s Organic Turkey

  • What We Like: free-range, no antibiotics, hormones or preservatives, organic, relatively affordable at most supermarkets
  • What We Don't Like: nothing
  • Weight Options: 7-20 pounds
  • Shipping: in-store only
  • Promising Review: “Best Turkey EVER! So juicy and delicious! Mary’s is the BEST!”

The Pitman family has been raising turkeys in California since the 1950s. You can rest assured that all Mary’s birds are free-range, free of preservatives, hormones and antibiotics and fed a vegetarian diet. The brand offers a whole slew of turkey options for the holidays (brined! smoked! pre-roasted! heritage!), but we like the affordability of their standard organic option. Find a shop that sells Mary’s turkeys near you using their handy online store locator.

Best Pre-Cooked Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving

10. Omaha Steaks Fully Cooked Turkey Breast

  • What We Like: affordable, fully cooked and seasoned, arrives ready to thaw, heat and serve
  • What We Don't Like: breast less impressive than whole bird
  • Weight Options: 3 pounds
  • Shipping: free on orders $149+
  • Promising Review: "You will never be disappointed with Omaha Steaks. I have used them many times and I am always pleased. If you are traveling for Thanksgiving just give them the address and they will ship it for you. It comes frozen and they know how to package it properly for any place in the world."

Sure, cooking a turkey breast instead of a whole bird is already a good shortcut. But opting for a pre-cooked turkey breast is even more low-lift—and we're here for it. Lightly seasoned and cooked sous vide-style, this turkey breast is guaranteed to turn out extra moist and juicy once thawed and warmed. The leftovers will be prime for Black Friday sandwiches (if there are any, that is).

Best Spatchcock Turkey for Thanksgiving

10. Willie Bird Natural Fresh Spatchcock Turkey

  • What We Like: arrives spatchcocked for quicker cooking, good for roasting and grilling alike
  • What We Don't Like: expensive
  • Weight Options: 16-18 pounds
  • Shipping: $15
  • Promising Review: “These are expensive turkeys, no way around it; but if you're looking for an organic, free-range turkey, I think these Willie Birds are a good choice.” (from The Kitchn)

If you want to reduce your time spent in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, a spatchcocked bird can help. Removing the backbone of the turkey and flattening it not only helps it cook faster, but it also gives you the option of grilling the turkey instead of roasting it in the oven. Don't miss out on this Williams Sonoma exclusive, which guarantees an uber juicy final product your guests will rave about.

Best Fried Turkey for Thanksgiving

11. Uncle Ray's Cajun Mild Deep-Fried Turkey

  • What We Like: pre-seasoned and cooked, unconventional prep, arrives ready to thaw, heat and serve
  • What We Don't Like: expensive
  • Weight Options: 10-12 pounds
  • Shipping: free shipping on this item
  • Promising Review: “Making a turkey for a holiday meal just became easier and hassle-free! Thaw, heat for one hour and serve! My guests said that this was the best turkey they ever had!”

We've all heard horror stories about people trying to fry a whole turkey at home. Why not leave the heavy lifting to the pros so your holiday doesn't end in flames? Uncle Ray's is famous for its fried birds (seriously—the Daily Beast named it one of the top five Thanksgiving turkeys in the country), and they ship them nationwide from Texas via Goldbelly. They hand-pick their birds to ensure they turn out shatteringly crisp on the outside and exquisitely juicy on the inside. Cajun seasonings offer a generous dose of heat and flavor to the otherwise neutral poultry as well.

Best Turkey Legs for Thanksgiving

13. Alewel's Country Meats King's Turkey Legs

  • What We Like: unconventional entree, good for small groups, arrives seasoned and smoked
  • What We Don't Like: only includes four legs, expensive
  • Weight Options: 1 pound per leg
  • Shipping: free shipping on this item
  • Promising Review: "The feedback was fantastic from our family who received the order. They kept gushing about how it was an edible hug. What a home run. Super happy and will be back for more."

Make your holiday spread feel decidedly medieval by serving hulking turkey legs instead of a roast bird. Not only are they pre-smoked and seasoned, but they're also fun to eat and totally unexpected. The main downside is that only four legs come in an order, so it's a prime option for smaller parties. If you aren't serving a crowd, consider this main to mix things up.

When Should I Order a Thanksgiving Turkey?

If you're buying a fresh turkey, you'll want to get it no more than a couple days before Thanksgiving. If you're buying frozen, you can get it several weeks in advance.

What Size Turkey Should I Order for Thanksgiving?

According to Food Network, a solid rule of thumb is to reserve about 1½ pounds of meat per guest if you're buying a whole bird and about 8 ounces per guest if you're buying boneless.

How Long Does It Take to Thaw a Frozen Turkey?

It depends on the size of the bird. Allow approximately 24 hours of thawing in the fridge for every four to five pounds of poultry. (So, a four- to 12- pound turkey will need one to three days to come to temp, while a 20- to 24-pound turkey will need five to six days.)

If you forget to pop the bird in the fridge in time, don't worry: You can likely thaw it in cold water in a few hours. Worst case scenario, you can also cook your turkey from frozen; it'll just take about 50 percent longer to cook through.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...

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