The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide

Your complete primer for buying, preparing and cooking a bird that your guests will love to gobble.

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How to Buy a Turkey

Size: It’s a safe bet to allot one pound of bird per person. In other words, 12 guests equals a 12-pound bird. If that sounds like a lot, consider that bones and skin take up some of the total weight -- and what about those turkey sandwiches you’ll want to enjoy the next day? One pound per person will be enough to account for Thanksgiving seconds and leftovers.

Frozen or fresh? It’s an age-old question, so we turned to a pro. “Really, it’s just about convenience,” says Tom Stone of Bell & Evans in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania. “Frozen turkeys are typically processed earlier, and the freezing process might make the bones appear darker than with a fresh turkey. But the meat should eat the same.”

Photo: Thinkstock / The Nest