"Attention Costco customers. Are you in a need of that perfect bird for your Thanksgiving feast? Then come on down to our meat department and check out what we have for you...(followed by some lame sounding gobble, gobble)." So if this was a real life situation and you were heading down to the meat department as fast as you could make it with your oversize cart, what would you find. If you were visiting the Ann Arbor, Michigan location say on Monday, November 17th, 2014, here is what you would see.
Turkey Type, Price
Butterball Fresh All-Natural Turkey, $1.09/lb
A fresh turkey from Butterball. The label does say all-natural however your not just paying for turkey in this package. The turkey contains an added solution of salt water and spices.
Fran'Mani Diestel Whole Brined Turkey, $3.39/lb
This turkey was raised at Diestel range in Sonora in Northern California. It was then brined by Fran'Mani Handcrafted Foods for Costco. This price for a brined Diestel turkey is cheaper than the $4.99/lb you can expect to pay at Whole Foods Market for a similar brined Diestel turkey.
Just as it's big warehouse store counterpart, Sam's Club, Costco doesn't offer much in the way of selection, neither does it offer a frozen turkey. Of course these stores don't promise the most varieties just the biggest quantities. You want more choices you will have to go somewhere else. Their fresh turkey, a Butterball, was 10 cents more a pound than the fresh one at Sam's (a Jennie-O). I am not crazy about the fact the Butterball has an added solution. This adds to the weight of the meat, I would rather just brine it myself.
What Costco did have that I found exciting was a Diestel's turkey. I didn't think they carried them on my side of the Rocky Mountains. I recently did a post on 9 Reasons to Buy a Diestel Turkey. They run an amazing turkey ranch where they do things the right way - good for the bird, good for the consumer. If it's in your budget to pick up one of their turkeys it should be worth your hard earned money. Yes this turkey is already brined, which of course I would rather do myself. However to have a chance to try one of Diestel's turkey I might opt for it. The ingredient list of the brine includes water, sea salt, sugar, paprika, dextrose, anise, garlic, sage, rosemary, onion powder, and red pepper.