How To Choose The Best Ground Turkey For You At The Grocery Store

There are many meat options at the grocery store, all with their own set of uniquely crafted marketing terms to sound more appealing. This can make it challenging for consumers to know what they are buying. When it comes to purchasing poultry, you'll want to consider prioritizing organic and pasture-raised when you can because those labels are directly correlated with the bird's living conditions, and will give you the best quality meat.

While phrases on ground turkey like "no added hormones" or "free range" don't actually mean much, they will typically be more affordable, so keeping your price point in mind is also important. There are a variety of different ground turkey packages containing a ratio of white to dark meat. Therefore, understanding the amount of fat that's needed in the recipe you plan to make will help you pick out the best ground turkey.

Turkey breast is the lean part of the bird that's referred to as white meat while the fattier darker meat is located in the legs of a turkey. Since the meat in turkey thighs has a higher fat content, it's great for replicating beef in recipes like turkey meatballs or even ground turkey tacos. On the other hand, white meat goes great in soups, stews, and recipes like turkey chili or spaghetti sauce. Having your ground turkey recipe idea in mind while shopping at the grocery store will help you choose the specific kind that's best for you.

Focus on the fat content of your ground turkey

Since there are varying percentages of white and dark meat, knowing what ratio you need for your meal is crucial. A common mistake that people make is grabbing ground turkey for burgers that is over 93% lean.

Using 97% or even 95% lean ground turkey will cause your burgers to become dry while cooking because there isn't enough fat to keep the meat moist. It's also important not to overcook your turkey. Searching for labels that range from 80% to 85% lean will be a great substitute for beef because of the extra dark meat that's been added to the mixture.

Flavor preference is also important. Once you recognize which ratio of fat to lean protein you enjoy the most, you can begin to modify your meals to your preferences. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for on the grocery store shelves, getting to know your local butcher will allow you to make custom blends. Plus, having turkey breasts and thighs that are freshly ground together will taste amazing in whatever recipe you use them for.