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– November 27, 2015
We bought this turkey for Thanksgiving. After removing the plastic packaging we observed that the bird definitely qualified as “minimally processed” with several bits of the feather stalks still in the skin. This wouldn’t have been an issue – if not for the weird plastic-like taste. Is this from the “brining” process? We cooked the bird according to standard practice.
Threw most of it away – ruined our Thanksgiving – will demand a refund.
– December 1, 2015
I only rate this because they will not allow me to sebmit, otherwise.
We also bought this turkey for Thanksgiving. We were disappointed with the Turkey. It was “minimally processed” in that my husband had to take the pliers and pull the quills out! The Skin being a favorite, tasted wrong, like burnt chemicals or plastic. We threw out the rest of the turkey and will also seek compensation.
– December 2, 2015
Trader Joe’s is my main grocer and I am usually a big fan of their poultry and other meats. However, this turkey was a quite the let down. Mine also had quite a few feathers and it took a good amount of time to remove them, but in reading up on kosher birds, it wasn’t a huge surprise as this is fairly common. I didn’t so much mind the extra work in prep, but I certainly minded the taste! Similar to the previous reviewer, the skin is my favorite part and this year I could barely choke it down. The meat of the bird itself isn’t as bad, but anything close to the surface of the skin tastes awful. I will be requesting a refund as well.
– November 22, 2017
I wish I had read these reviews before I bought mine. I was shocked to see all these long white strands sticking out of the skin everywhere. At first I thought they were feather stubs but when I touched them I noticed they felt soft like fatty strands of skin. Weird!! Took forever to pluck them all out and I got rather grossed out in the process as I wasn’t even sure what those strands were. I HOPE they were just feather stubs. Fortunately the turkey cooked fine and tasted quite good except for the thighs that tasted almost bloody even though they were fully cooked. Oh another oddity: as I was handling the raw turkey, my hands were smeared in grease coming from the bird! I’ve never had this happen with other turkeys. As I was plucking, I was debating if I should just stop and bring it back to TJ for an exchange. But I was too lazy to brave the crowds. Anyway I will NEVER buy this brand again!!! In fact next time I’ll get my turkey from Whole Foods. Yes they’re super expensive but at least it’ll be hormone free, antibiotic free, feather free and organic!! Stupid me, I had read the “Minimally processed” on the label at TJ, I thought I’d be getting a healthy turkey. Even if it was, the over abundance of weird, stringy, fatty strands sticking out of the skin everywhere was GROSS! Looked like a diseased turkey.
– November 22, 2018
My adult sons devoured the turkey!! Serving it again this year. With a nice coating of seasoned butter on the outside and my amazing stuffing in the turkey, this was our favorite. No need to pay for an organic Whole Foods Distel Farms over priced turkey.
– November 23, 2018
Best Kosher Turkey eva! Blows Empire out of the water. Keep it coming…
– November 25, 2018
Bought this turkey for the first time, we thought it smelled weird, leaked all over our fridge, then opened it up to see all the feathers and freaked out. We had 15 people coming in three hours, went into panic mode and another family member was able to find parts of a turkey to cook instead. Will never buy another turkey at TJ again.
– December 5, 2019
I too was freaked out by the pin feathers. I gave up after a while since I put my seasoning paste between the skin and the bird. My hope was when we pulled off the skin to carve the finished turkey, all of the pin feathers would go with it. I purchased a Kosher turkey so that a relative who keeps Kosher could enjoy it. I may go for a different brand next time and pay the premium.
– September 7, 2020
Are these people kidding. Every Thanksgiving I buy 4 Trader Joe’s Kosher Turkeys. I use one for Thanksgiving and freeze the other three. One is for Passover, one for the summer split in half and cooked on the barbecue and one for Rosh Hashonah. I just cut up and smoked the Summer turkey breast. Compared to the Empire turkey breast at Trader Joe’s this breast was amazingly better.
I don’t really care about the feathers because nobody eats the skin. That is the least healthy part of the bird.
If your other reviewers know of a better tasting kosher turkey I would like to know about it. Yours is far superior to Empire.
– November 22, 2020
We look so forward to this time of year where we always buy two of the kosher fresh turkeys. One for Thanksgiving and we make the other one for Passover in the spring. It’s so much better than Empire. Best turkey we ever had. Wish Trader Joes sold them all year round.
– November 25, 2020
Disappointment started upon opening the package. Bird looked beatup from the slaughterhouse. Poor color, and missing sections of skin: Perhaps ground off on the conveyer belt. Same experience as others with regards to quills and feathers remaining. Not just a few, the majority of the body. Finally with much frustration and disgust we bagged up the road kill and returned to store.
Thank you TJ for your excellent ease of return/exchange
– December 3, 2020
2020 is the first year that we did not buy the kosher turkey but in past years we have never had a problem and it has alwaytasted great. Hope I can get one for Xmas
– January 5, 2021
My brother has raved about TJ’s Glatt turkey for years. I purchased my first this November. I did freeze it for Christmas. Much to my dismay when I opened the bag I found a turkey that was rather mangled, and had a number of small feathers under the legs and wings, but what was worse and unlike anything I have ever experienced, there were a lot of plastic like quill sockets that were still present and covered over 1/3 of the turkey. It took me more than an hour to physically pluck out the feathers and plastic-like quill sockets that were on the sides, legs, and bottom of the turkey using tweezers. I was so grossed out. Having nothing else to serve I had to do it. I assumed that this may be normal for them until I spoke with my brother who said that this was contrary to the turkeys he has always purchased. He also said I should have taken a photo which I never thought of doing as my goal was to get the bird cleaned and in the oven. The meat was just OK. Very disappointed that Glatt could allow a turkey to pass inspection in this condition. Will not be buying another. TJ please note the inconsistency with Glatt. No one should EVER have to plucked a turkey.
– November 5, 2021
My rating is not accurate, as we don’t have a Trader Joe’s here, so I haven’t bought their turkeys. However, I do keep kosher, even here in South Dakota. A bit of education is needed here. There is a reason for all the pin feathers: non-kosher poultry is treated with hot water, which releases the pin feathers. That is not allowed in kosher poultry, as only cold water can be used. The reasons for this are complicated. However, it has a major advantage in that kosher poultry stays fresh longer, because that warm water can allow bacteria to grow. Also, in the processing: getting rid of as much blood as possible by soaking and salting for quite a long time, bacteria is again discouraged from growing. To get rid of the pinfeathers, my mother would put the bird in the sink and flame them off with a tube of newspaper, set aflame at the end. Or you could use a cooking blow torch. However, as the skin, though delicious, is the least healthy part, sometimes I use the pinfeathers to discourage myself from eating the skin.
– November 17, 2021
We went to TJ’s yesterday (11/16/21). Much to our dismay, the Glatt birds had already sold out! How long is one expected to store a “fresh” turkey in the fridge? I think that a week would be the maximum! I do not know if this problem is systemic or localized to Wellington, Florida…Shame on you Trader Joe’s or is it Traitor Joe’s…Stealing Thanksgiving from the Kosher people!
– November 25, 2021
I love Trader Joe’s and spend and average of $200-300 a week there. But this is Unbelievable! I wish I read this before we spent $50 on a smaller Turkey thinking it will be better. We open the Turkey Thanksgiving morning only to find it full of feathers!!! We spent almost 40 minutes plucking the Turkey. Then there were no gliblets and the fatty skin was all cut off and not covering part of the breast!!! Horrible! Now due to the extra time spent on plucking our guests will be here waiting longer than expected. I basically paid them to do extra work !! Extremely overpriced for what you get. I might as well have picked one from a farm and pluck it myself!
Mari and Vey
– November 26, 2021
The worst turkey we have ever cooked! Gray, not pink and I discovered why: drained of blood by the Kosher process, so the meat lacks juice and worst of all there is no juice for the gravy! Now worrying about whether the soup will have any flavor! Have never tasted such chalky meat and such a bland gravy and, like the rest of the disappointed, we spent an hour removing feathers! Never again, and we will be asking for a refund too!
– September 6, 2022
I threw away fresh Kosher thanksgiving turkey Nov 2021 because I bought 2 weeks early as store said they were running out and would stay fresh in refrigerator that long. Not True and when I also saw feathers as well. It went into the garbage. I would not eat it or serve my family a fresh turkey that was in my refrigerator for 2 weeks. Bought a Kosher turkey breast this week as I used to get non kosher brand at TJoe’s years ago that was delicious. This was meaty and moist but completely tasteless tho roasted with spices, onions, oil and butter. Threw out leftovers. Used to get delicious fresh turkeys at TJ. Never again will I but fresh turkey there.
– December 18, 2022
By far the most delicious Turkey we’ve ever had. Although I was hesitant to buy it based on the reviews, I went ahead and bought it. So happy that I did. And we’re Muslims…. Lol. Thank god for this kosher turkey which is much tastier than the hard to find halal we had last year.
– January 1, 2023
Absolutely the worse turkey I have ever prepared! Took 30 minutes with pliers to pull out feathers. Washed my hands throughly and all surfaces it touched and ended up with food poisoning. Since I cooked it before serving guest didn’t get sick but just through prepping it I took a little visit to ER. It’s a definite do not purchase!
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