Butterball Turkey vs Regular Turkey- Better One?

Butterball Turkey vs Regular
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Butterball Turkey vs Regular

We all know how important turkey is on a special occasion dinner. How well you can cook the bird depends on your experience, the recipe, and the type of turkey you have.

Some may disagree that the brand doesn’t matter, but a Grade A turkey is a must which means that some brands are going to be better than others. Furthermore, there’s a big difference between a brand-name turkey like Butterball, fresh turkey, and a regular frozen turkey.

Our comprehensive comparison of Butterball turkey vs. regular turkey has everything that you need to know to make a decision to suit your skill, free time, and budget best.

Butterball Turkey Vs. Regular Turkey Comparison

 Butterball TurkeyRegular Turkey
Preparation TimeUltra-Quick Preparation, Purchase & Roast In Or Out Of BagOvernight Brining And +- 60 Minutes Preparation
FlavorReliable, Better-Than-Average Flavor For Novices And Those Pressed For TimeBest Potential Flavor With Highest Chance Of Failure Resulting In Lesser Quality Flavor
SustainabilityIndustry Leader In Animal Welfare, American Humane Association. CertifiedUSDA Certification Ensures Sustainably Sourced Turkeys
PackagingAvailable In Roasting Bags For Convenience, Giblets Packed In Cook Safe BagsRemovable Packaging To Be Discarded Provided
AffordabilityTwice The Price Of Regular Frozen TurkeyFrozen Regular Turkey - Half The Price Of Butterball, Fresh Turkey Exceeds The Cost Of Butterball
BenefitsGrade A Turkeys, Hormone Free, Steroid Free, Recipes & Instructions Included In Brief ManualBest Potential Flavor And Texture From Regular Fresh Turkey, No Additives Or Artificial Ingredients When Using Regular Turkey
ConsiderationsLimited Customizability Of Seasoning & Flavors Time-Intensive Cooking Process Including Extensive Brining For Best Results, Purchase Turkey For Immediate Use Unless Large Storage Space Available, Look For High Quality Poultry With Grade A USDA Symbol, Young Turkey For Best Flavor And Tenderness

Butterball Turkey Vs. Regular Turkey

Trying to decide which is better between a Butterball turkey and a regular fresh or frozen turkey? Read on – we’ve got everything you need to know coming up.

Butterball Turkey

Butterball has invested a lot in building and advertising its brand. Yet, is it because of this reason that so many people buy their products? Most definitely not. The company boasts outstanding quality and flavor throughout its range.

butterball turkey
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Let’s take a closer look at what makes Butterball turkey so popular.

Preparation Time

There’s no faster nor simpler way to cook a turkey. All Butterball turkeys come pre-brined and ready to cook in a bag. You don’t have to cook it in the bag for those with very little time on their hands.

A turkey from Butterball is most definitely the most straightforward and fastest route to a delicious roast.


butterball turkey in a black tray
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While Butterball turkeys are praised for being some of the tastiest pre-brined, pre-seasoned turkeys around, they can’t compare to the flavor that’s possible given the right technique and ingredients when cooking a fresh regular turkey instead.

It’s still richer in flavor that most novice cooks can pull off with a regular turkey. Overall, expect a juicy, tasty chicken that’s a step above average but far from as tasty as turkey gets when prepared by a seasoned chef.


Roasted Cut Up Turkey Platter For Thanksgiving with All the Sides
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Butterball turkeys are certified as sustainably sourced and well-treated by the American Humane Association. The company is a market leader in sustaining humane animal care and well-being standards.


The roasting bag that each Butterball turkey is supplied in has ample room for expansion as the turkey roasts. While the roasting time is relative to each oven, expect Butterball turkeys to roast in 3 to 4 1/2 hours on average.

Each turkey’s giblets are sealed in a cook-proof bag which is meant to be removed while making removing them easy. However, it’ll never pose a problem if you forget the giblets in.

A group of fresh Butterball turkeys in blue and yellow packaging for sale in supermarket
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All of the outstanding quality comes at a premium price. Expect to pay up to double the price of an equal weight regular turkey when buying a Butterball.


Butterball certifies all turkeys as Grade A turkeys that are hormone and steroid-free. The company caters to its user’s ease. It guides you through every step of the way, effectively avoiding blunders. Recipes and full instructions are in the manual.

Any confusion concerning which temperature range to use and you can simply consult the guide.


Man Taking Roast Turkey Out Of The Oven
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Due to the fact that each turkey is pre-brined, there’s very little room to pre-prepare and customize the basic underlying saltiness of your turkey before cooking.

Regular Turkey

Almost all regular turkeys are sold at between four and six months old when they’re Grade A quality. In the US and most other countries, Grade A is the only type of turkey you’ll want to bother with and the only variety that Butterball turkey uses across all of their products.

Let’s take an in-depth look at regular turkeys and how they compare to one of America’s favorite brands of easy-cook, easy-serve turkeys.

Thanksgiving Turkey isolated on white background
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Preparation Time

Buying a regular turkey means that you’ll have to bring it yourself to guarantee that the whole bird comes out succulent and juicy. There’s also the seasoning and time that it takes to get a turkey roasted rubbed down in oil or butter.

As opposed to a Butterball turkey, which is bought and roasted, cooking a regular turkey easily adds an overnight brining period and an hour or so of prep to the process.


Buying a regular, unfrozen turkey doesn’t automatically guarantee a better flavor than roasting a Butterball, but it does open up immense potential for superior flavor.

Homemade Roasted Thanksgiving Day Turkey with all the Sides
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A well-brined high-quality turkey with the right seasoning, stuffing, and roasting technique will always come out tasting better than any frozen, fresh-frozen, or bagged refrigerated turkey.

This being said, turkeys raised on a poor diet will reflect their malnutrition and/or poor living conditions in the quality and flavor of their meat, which is why so many cheap regular turkeys pale in comparison to the taste of a Butterball turkey.


It can be exceedingly difficult to find out whether or not a regular turkey is sustainably sourced or not. Almost every supplier will promise to the ends of the earth that their turkeys are “sustainable,” but promises can’t be trusted and hold very little merit.

succulent roast turkey with hand and a knife carving the meat
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Direct from the farm suppliers is the only way to ensure that your regular turkey is treated humanely during its life and farmed sustainably.


Regular turkeys need to be removed from their packaging. Furthermore, they typically call for cleaning before brining, oiling, and seasoning to ensure they’re safe for consumption.

Finally, the giblets need to be removed manually, which can be tricky and quite a messy operation for the unfamiliar.

turkeys for sale in a supermarket in New York
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The average regular turkey retails for half the price of a turkey from Butterball Turkey. You’re paying for the trustworthy quality and flavor, as well as the extreme convenience that each packaged turkey offers, not the seasoning and bringing per se.

However, a fresh regular turkey instead of a frozen turkey costs a little more than a Butterball turkey but is still in the general price range.


Professional chefs and cooks who value the best flavor and texture possible will always want a regular, unfrozen turkey.

Golden roasted turkey on baking tray in oven
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Buying a regular turkey allows experienced cooks to observe the color and general appearance of the turkey beforehand, allowing them to make a judgment regarding the quality and, most likely, flavor.

Cooking a regular turkey comes with the benefit of having no artificial additives or preservatives. You’re in complete control of the seasoning and cooking process. When cooking a high-quality Grade A free-range turkey, it’s the most wholesome poultry product you can get.


While we have mentioned this briefly earlier, preparing a regular turkey is a time-intensive process. It is a roasted meal that you need to plan ahead, so always keep the brining, seasoning, and other general preparation time in mind before deciding to take home a massive turkey.

Woman holding baking dish with golden roasted turkey
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It is very hard to store unless you’ve got a big fridge or freezer. The best way to ensure that any given regular turkey is of high quality and completely safe for consumption is to look for a certification from your local meat inspection authority.

In the US, poultry products carrying the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) symbol that are graded Grade A are the best turkeys you can buy. They’re free from pinfeathers, bruising, and any cuts, abrasions, and broken bones.

Furthermore, look for a younger turkey to enjoy more tender flesh and a milder flavor.

What Is The Difference Between Butterball Vs. Regular Turkey?

The main difference between a Butterball turkey and a regular turkey is that Butterball products are all in some way pre-prepared and are therefore quicker and easier to cook, whereas a regular turkey requires brining the night before, the right seasoning, and considerable roasting expertise to allow it to come out crispy out the outside and juicy everywhere within regardless of whether it’s frozen or fresh.

Which Is Best Between Butterball Turkey Vs. Regular Turkey?

The best between Butterball turkey vs. regular turkey largely depends on which type of regular turkey you’re preparing and your culinary expertise.

The chef pours olive oil over a whole carcass of chicken turkey
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A regular frozen turkey can taste just as tasty as a Butterball turkey if the proper brining, seasoning and roasting is accomplished. Fresh regular turkey offers the very best flavor and texture but costs far more than either a Butterball turkey product or a cheap frozen turkey.

Butterball turkeys are the best when you don’t have a lot of time to fuss with preparation and when your cooking skill or patience in the kitchen is lacking.

Butterball Turkey Vs. Regular Turkey, Concluding Thoughts

A turkey is vitally important to so many special occasions. So important that no one wants to mess up even a little.

That’s why picking between Butterball turkey vs. regular turkey comes down to how well you can cook, your budget, and the amount of time and effort you’re willing to put into the meal. On a budget? A regular frozen turkey will serve you well.

Pressed for time? A Butterball turkey is the way to go. Looking for the best roast turkey possible? Fresh regular turkey is your only choice.

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