Are Kosher Turkeys More Expensive (You Might Be Surprised)

Are you wondering if kosher turkeys are more expensive than others?

There is a wide variety of commercial turkeys available.

From organically raised heritage turkeys to the traditional boneless turkey crown.

Like these options, there is also a variety of belief systems and dietary requirements.

That means there is a Kosher option from Turkey manufacturers.

So this flavorful and natural bird can satisfy everyone

And for every belief system!

But how much do kosher premium turkeys cost compared to non-kosher?

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So, Are Natural Turkeys With Kosher Approval More Expensive?

Yes.

But for a good reason!

Food prices are a big worry in every American household.

Today I aim to help you understand what you can expect to pay.

What it means for a meat product to be kosher.

And finishing with cooking tips!

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What Is the Average Price for Non-kosher Turkeys?

The average price for non-kosher fresh birds is around $3-$4 per pound.

Note: We had to set a baseline for a fresh turkeys average price.

There is an array of turkeys available that may differ from this price point.

This can include an organic bird or local wild turkeys from a specialist butcher.

What Is the Average Price of a Kosher Bird?

The average price for fresh kosher turkeys can be around $7-$9 per pound.

Which can be almost double the price.

So a 15-pound kosher turkey will cost $120 compared to $60 for a non-kosher one. 

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Does Buying a Frozen Bird Effect the Price?

Buying frozen does have a difference in the pounds of turkey price point.

This is because it can be stored for longer.

Grade A non-kosher frozen turkey can cost as little as $1.50 per pound.

Frozen kosher turkeys can cost $4 per pound.

What Does It Mean for a Turkey to Be Kosher?

The golden question for any meat buyer not familiar with the kosher process.

For meat to be kosher it requires preperation according to Jewish law.

Turkey as raw poultry is permitted to be processed and eaten in the Torah.

I will touch on the main components of this process.

The preperation covers the slaughter, preparing, inspecting, and packaging.

Research yourself for an in-depth understanding of religious values.

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Slaughtering of Turkey

Done with religious intent through prayer and under the supervision of a Rabbi.

The trachea and esophagus are cut with a sharp blade called a Shechita.

This gives a quick death and drains the blood quickly.

Inspection of the Organs

After the turkey has been slaughtered the time is ticking.

A specially trained professional known as a Bodek inspects the internal organs. 

They confirm that the lungs, liver & kidneys are unblemished and without lesions.

Plucking & Salting to Remove Blood

The turkey’s feathers are then plucked with cold water.

The featherless carcass is then heavily applied with kosher coarse salt.

This salt will be applied to the outside skin and the cavity, while the animal is on an incline.

This allows for the remainder of the salt water and blood to drain away completely.

This takes 60 minutes.

Process & Packaging

After being soaked with salt it is then soaked with water.

This removes any additional blood and excess salt.

It is then packaged while supervised within a 74-hour timeframe.

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What Taste Difference Does This Make Compared to Other Types of Turkey?

As you now know, the process of ensuring kosher food is complex and distinct.

This ritual not only ensures the religious law criteria are met.

But makes a difference in the taste and quality of the product.

– Processed and packaged to strict timeframes for fresher meat.

– Completely reduces the chance of artificial ingredients.

– Reduces the chance of blood-spoiled meat and food poisoning.

– Slaughtered by ethical means.

How Will I Know My Turkey Is Kosher?

Kosher products are protected by law.

Criteria and certified labels or stamps will be on the packaging.

Why Does This Increase the Price?

By now it should be pretty easy to understand the drastic price difference.

The Kosher process is meticulous and requires specially trained people to perform it.

It is completely organic without flavor enhancers or synthetic ingredients.

As well as the strict timeframe from slaughter to packaging.

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Does the Kosher Salting Process Affect My Cooking Method?

The use of heavy kosher salt within the processing stage will affect your turkey.

Do Not Brine

The brining process for turkey makes a flavorful bird.

The salt helps the proteins retain moisture through osmosis.

This gives you succulent and tender meat which is prone to going dry.

If a turkey is kosher it technically already has been brined.

So no need to do it!

Season After Cooking

Salt is also the main seasoning ingredient for any meal.

This has been used heavily in kosher products.

To avoid over-seasoning a kosher turkey you should apply salt after it has been cooked.

So you can taste and adjust accordingly.

Cooking Kosher for the First Time – Other Considerations

If you are cooking kosher for the first time for someone then be aware.

There are other dietary considerations to acknowledge.

No Butter

Mixing butter and meat is not allowed in Jewish Law.

So don’t add butter to the turkey or your basting solution!

Kosher Salt

Does the cooked turkey still need seasoning?

Make sure you use kosher salt which has been produced under Jewish Law.

Turkey Cooking Tips for Flavorful Meat

– Season with your favorite spice rub or fresh herbs.

– Smoke the turkey on a low and slow heat of 225°F.

– Baste the turkey while it cooks.

– Situate the bottom of the turkey towards the direct heat.

– The safe-to-eat internal temperature of the white breast meat is 160°F.

– The safe-to-eat internal temperature of the dark meat in the legs or thighs is 180°F.

Wrap the turkey in foil when the white meat is done.

– Rest the turkey for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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