Is Shady Brook Farms Turkey Good?

Purchasing and preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving has taken on a kind of mythical status through the years. It can be challenging to take the necessary precautions to correctly store, thaw, and cook the large bird in time for a magnificent entrance to the harvest table because it’s a large chunk of poultry that you only cook once a year. Purchase the best bird. While seasonings, cooking times, and temperatures may not be as easy to control, there is one simple way to get your Thanksgiving feast preparations off to a great start:

In order to assist you in selecting the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving, we purchased, roasted, and sampled five supermarket frozen turkeys from different brands. We had taste testers judge the birds based on tenderness, texture, and flavor to determine a winner. (Also, dont miss We Taste-Tasted 5 Stuffing Mixes & This Is the Best. ).

Shady Brook Farms turkeys are a popular choice for many families, and for good reason. They are known for their high quality, delicious flavor, and affordable price. Here’s a breakdown of what makes Shady Brook Farms turkeys so good:

High Quality:

  • Raised by independent farmers: Shady Brook Farms turkeys are raised by independent farmers who are committed to animal welfare and sustainable farming practices.
  • No growth-promoting antibiotics, added hormones, or steroids: Shady Brook Farms turkeys are raised without the use of growth-promoting antibiotics, added hormones, or steroids. This means you can feel good about serving them to your family.
  • Pre-basted for flavor: Shady Brook Farms turkeys come pre-basted, which helps to lock in flavor and moisture during cooking.

Delicious Flavor:

  • Juicy and tender: Shady Brook Farms turkeys are known for their juicy and tender meat. This is due to the breed of turkey they use, as well as their humane raising practices.
  • Deliciously seasoned: Shady Brook Farms turkeys are seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices that enhances their natural flavor.
  • Versatile: Shady Brook Farms turkeys can be cooked in a variety of ways, including roasting, grilling, and smoking. This makes them a great option for any meal.

Affordable Price:

  • Competitive pricing: Shady Brook Farms turkeys are priced competitively with other brands of high-quality turkeys.
  • Value for your money: Shady Brook Farms turkeys offer great value for your money. They are a delicious and affordable option for feeding your family.

Additional Benefits:

  • Nutritious: Shady Brook Farms turkeys are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Convenient: Shady Brook Farms turkeys are available in a variety of sizes and cuts, making it easy to find the perfect turkey for your needs.
  • Easy to cook: Shady Brook Farms turkeys come with easy-to-follow cooking instructions.

Overall, Shady Brook Farms turkeys are a great option for anyone looking for a high-quality, delicious, and affordable turkey. They are a perfect choice for your next special occasion or family dinner.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:


  • Where can I buy Shady Brook Farms turkeys?

Shady Brook Farms turkeys are available at most major grocery stores. You can also find them online at and

  • What size turkey should I buy?

The USDA recommends 1 pound of turkey per person. So, if you are feeding 10 people, you would need a 10-pound turkey.

  • How do I cook a Shady Brook Farms turkey?

Shady Brook Farms turkeys come with easy-to-follow cooking instructions. You can also find a variety of recipes on the Shady Brook Farms website.

  • What are the nutritional benefits of Shady Brook Farms turkeys?

Shady Brook Farms turkeys are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are also low in fat and calories.

  • Is Shady Brook Farms turkey a good value for my money?

Yes, Shady Brook Farms turkeys are a great value for your money. They are a delicious and affordable option for feeding your family.

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Here’s how we did it

is shady brook farms turkey good

We visited three local grocery stores—Food Lion, Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods—to source our big birds. They were all frozen and ranged in the 12–14-pound range. Three of the birds were already brined in the bag, but two were not injected or received any additional salt.

We cooked the turkey in a very straightforward manner in order to eliminate many factors that might have influenced the outcome. Our recipe called for “spatching” the bird, which is simply chopping off the spine, turning it over, and applying pressure to the breastbone until it cracks so you can flatten it out on a roasting tray. Because the cool, moist inner cavity is no longer skewing how quickly or slowly certain parts (legs versus breast) cook to the right temperature, cooking can proceed more quickly and evenly.

After drying the bird, we rubbed it with a tablespoon of canola oil, two tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper, and a tablespoon of Kosher salt if the turkeys weren’t brined.

After an hour of cooking at 450 degrees in our oven, a Bluetooth meat thermometer was inserted deeply into the breast and programmed to sound an alarm at 150 degrees. After that was done, the legs were checked to make sure they had reached the 165-degree mark, and the majority of them only took an hour and a half to cook. After the temperature was within normal range, the bird was removed and allowed to rest for five minutes before being carved and tasted.

Each taste tester was given skin-on breast meat along with a chunk of leg and thigh meat. They had to examine the meat for flavor, texture, and tenderness. They had to rate each item on a one-to-five scale and record their observations. After some calculations and editing, the Eat This, Not That! definitive holiday ranking of Thanksgiving turkeys was produced. Here are the results, listed from worst to best. 6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e.

Disclaimer: The turkeys were cooked over a two-week period, with some tasters present to provide their opinions on each bird, as each one required time to thaw and store, in addition to requiring five identical ovens to roast at the same time. As anticipated, their flavors were quite similar, making any option suitable for a triumphant Thanksgiving dinner. The crispy and delectable skin was achieved through the use of the spatchcock technique.

Size: 12.61 lbs

Additives: Up to 8% of a solution of water, salt, spices, and natural flavor.

Tenderness: Due to the birds’ heavy injections, the meat was surprisingly moist and tender—almost too watery for the breast meat.

Texture: The breast meat was the worst texture of the bunch, with a mealy, kind of crumbly mouthfeel. We speculated that was possibly because of the heavier brine and longer time sitting in a warehouse frozen.

Taste: It had a passable flavor that was almost too salty, but not too strong because there was enough sugar to balance it out. We also didnt note much flavor from “spices. “.

Conclusion: This is a fine option if you didn’t get a turkey before Thanksgiving and it’s all that’s left, but it won’t get great reviews.

Size: 12.92 lbs

Additives: Approximately 9.5% of a solution of turkey broth, salt, sugar, and natural flavoring.

Tenderness: Another plumped-up bird, this one didnt fail to bring a moist and tender bite. The thigh meat was also soft and enjoyable to eat, and the breast meat was easily cut with a fork.

Texture: Once more, the texture was on the softer side due to the quantity of brining and basting that was done at the factory. The proteins structure was possibly more compromised by the extra liquid in the meat being frozen for longer.

Taste: Given that it had the highest solution percentage among the group, it had a somewhat salty taste. But overall it had a solid, turkey-like taste with plenty of brothy and sweet notes.

Conclusion: This bird was flavorful and packed full of brine and additives, but the flesh lacked a pleasing mouthfeel. As such, it’s a passable bird but nothing special.

Size: 12.80 lbs

Additives: Up to 8% of a solution of turkey broth, salt, sodium phosphate, sugar, and natural flavoring.

Tenderness: Possibly as a result of the sodium phosphate that is added to enhance moisture and intensify flavors, this store-brand meat was likewise fairly plumped up and quite tasty. The FDA says that additive is recognized as generally safe.

Texture: This bird’s texture was significantly better, with a firmer, more poultry-like mouthfeel and less mealiness.

Taste: This store-brand turkey has a really good flavor, with a nice, round saltiness and sweeter notes than the others.

Verdict: If you and your guests don’t mind the addition of sodium phosphate, this is a great option that is sure to please the crowd during Thanksgiving.

Size: 13.15 lbs

Additives: Non-injected. Less than 5% of retained water.

Tenderness: When using the spatchcock method, the deeper portions remained nice and tender, even though it’s easier to get a drier bite when there’s no brine.

Texture: Mouthfeel was good, with plenty of real turkey-like taste and more fibrous, but welcome and fleshy bite.

Flavor: Flavor was good, with traditional turkey meat notes of sweetness, saltiness, and umami. Even though it wasn’t organic, you could tell that the bird tasted more naturally because there were no additives.

Conclusion: If you don’t want to pay the additional $3 to $5 for an organic bird, 99 a pound or more, this is a great choice with good flavor. Just do your own home brine before cooking to amp up the moistness. RELATED: 50 Best Thanksgiving Recipes.

Size: 13.64 lbs

Additives: None

Tenderness: Although the meat was not as moist as the injected birds, taste testers found it to be much more appealing due to its firmer and more natural bite. With a little more effort, you could still cut the breast meat with a fork.

Texture: No mealy-ness at all. Mouthfeel was excellent without being tough and gave a nice chew.

Taste: This flavor is quite similar to the authentic, slightly gamey taste of a heritage or wild turkey, if you’ve ever had one. Lots of balanced notes of sweetness, saltiness, and umami made it the winner.

Conclusion: Being USDA certified organic and devoid of any additives, the only area where this bird faltered was moisture. However, that is easily fixed with a homemade brine, and the result is an incredibly tender turkey that tastes like real meat rather than mush.

Here are some more essential Thanksgiving recipes and tips:

How to Prepare a Turkey – Shady Brook Farms

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