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How to Cook Organic Turkey: Some New Twists on The Old Standard

Organic turkey is becoming very popular as more and more people discover the delicious and juicy fresh quality of the meat. To be certified organic, a farm must adhere to strict standardized protocols and are continually inspected by the USDA Organic Agency to keep their designations. The turkeys themselves are fed a vegetarian diet of organic grains and feed and are usually “free-range”, meaning they have room to forage in the grass and move around. They are always raised without the use of antibiotics, hormones and steroids.

organic turkey

A regular frozen turkey usually needs to be “brined” (soaked in cold water and kosher salt for at least 8 hours) before being cooked, but an organic turkey does not. Because organic turkeys are usually sold “fresh”, meaning they were never frozen, they are naturally much juicier because of their organic diet and therefore do not require any brining or special preparation.

Simply rubbing the turkey beforehand with a good spice rub consisting of garlic, thyme, rosemary, sea salt and a little olive oil will ensure that it picks up some delicious flavor and retains it while cooking.

Here are a few great ways to cook organic turkey at home:

Grill It

A new great way to cook an Organic Turkey is to grill it. When you grill the turkey, it cooks by indirect heat on your outdoor gas or charcoal grill. You must place a pan of water beneath the grill surface for juices to drip into thus preventing unwanted flare-ups. The steamy smoky air cooks the bird. If a turkey is more than 16 lbs, you should not grill it because it can take too long to cook thereby causing bacteria or salmonella concerns. Do not stuff your grilled turkey; stuffing causes the bird to take too long to cook, and the stuffing will not have the flavor you are looking for.

Fry It

Frying an organic turkey is another good way to go; the meat comes out succulent and moist with crispy golden skin. This works best with turkey breasts or thighs. Simply add a small amount of cooking oil to your favorite fry pan and carefully cook the turkey until done. Don’t forget to follow every precaution involved with frying as the usual dangers of burns or grease fires can still occur.

No matter how you decide to cook the turkey, it must be heated to an internal temperature of 175 degrees in the thigh; 165 degrees in the breast. The best way to measure this is to insert a meat thermometer before cooking into the thickest part of the thigh or next to the breastbone. Make sure that your food thermometer is properly calibrated. This will ensure that your organic turkey is safe, delicious and cooked to perfection.

Article courtesy of – a great resource for reviews on the Panasonic Bread Maker, the Cuisinart Food Processor, and Mom's favorite Kitchenaid Pasta Attachment.

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