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Cooking your Pasture-Raised Turkey

We want you to have the finest dining experience eating your pasture raised turkey.

Some people have their tried and true methods and recipes for turkey, but for some of us, this is our first Thanksgiving hosting it at home!  So whether this is your first time or your 10th, here are a few tips to get you going.

Grass-fed turkeys come in all shapes and sizes, so it's not possible to give precise cooking times. The only sure way to have a properly cooked turkey is to use an internal meat thermometer. The estimated times are given for unstuffed birds.

If you plan to stuff your turkey, add at least 30 minutes to the cooking time. Make sure that your stuffing reaches 165F before you remove it from the bird.

Figure on about 1 pound per person for a normal Thanksgiving feast and 1-1/2 pounds per person if you want leftovers.

For grass fed Turkey, using a meat thermometer, the suggested internal temperature at the time of removing it from the oven is 160F - 165F.

After removing your bird from the oven, allow it to rest for 30 minutes before serving (20 minutes for smaller birds). This will give you time to make the gravy. Out of the oven, the bird will continue to cook, and the temperature will rise another 10 to 15 degrees.

Because of the fine flavor of a grass-fed meat product, you can leave your turkey with no seasonings on it and it will be delicious.

If you want to add a little something, rub your turkey with softened butter, and give it a light dusting of salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, & paprika (go easy).

If you have your own recipe, that's great! But just keep in mind the lower temperatures.


Estimated Cooking Times For Turkey

Based on an oven temperature of 325F

12 to 14 lbs....2-1/4 to 3 hours
15 to 17 lbs....3 to 3-1/2 hours
18 to 20 lbs....3-1/2 to 4 hours
21 to 22 lbs....4 to 4-1/2 hours
       23 to 24 lbs....4-1/2 to 4-3/4 hours

Remove the bird from the oven, transfer (carefully!) to a warm platter,
tent loosely with foil, and let rest for about 30 minutes.


Another option would be to use Reynolds Oven Bags. They produce a moist and delicious turkey, in only 2 to 3-1/2 hours. If you purchase a package of these bags, it will have a time chart for the different sizes of birds.  On the package, it calls for your oven to be at 350.  It is better to keep it down around 325F, and allow yourself 1/2 hour extra cooking time to the total cooking time (not per pound).  Always use a dial thermometer to check for doneness.


Good cooking to you, and have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Cooking Tips for
Pasture Raised Meats

Here are 5 basic principles for cooking grass-fed meats:

1.  NEVER use a microwave to thaw your pasture raised meats.

2.  Put away your timer, get a good meat thermometer, and be prepared to use it.

3.  Turn down the heat.  (As we Bechards say, "cook it LOW and SLOW")

4.  Learn when to use dry-heat cooking methods and when to use moist-heat methods.

5.  Ease up on the seasonings and sauces.  Grass-fed meats should be seasoned delicately so as not to mask or compromise their true flavor.


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