The 10 Best Mail Order Turkeys in 2021

Find the right kind of bird for your holiday menu

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Mail Order Thanksgiving Turkey

The Spruce Eats / Chloe Jeong

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: D’Artagnan

"This company offers organic free-range, bone-in-breast, fresh or frozen turkeys, ranging from 8 to 24 pounds."

Best Fresh: Williams Sonoma

"Options include smoked, roasted, and herb-roasted whole turkeys, stuffed turkey breast, and more, so you'll find whatever you need."

Best Turkey and Ham Sampling: Harry and David

"The pre-sliced ham and turkey sampler lets you enjoy the best smoked meats of the season."

Best Free-Range: Fossil Farms

"This company prides itself in its free-range turkeys that are never given antibiotics, steroids, or hormones."

Best Roast: Rastelli's

"At 104 ounces, it’s enough meat to feed a small crowd, and the preparation couldn’t be simpler."

Best Pre-Cooked: Burgers’ Smokehouse

"This fully-cooked hickory-smoked turkey makes holiday cooking easy."

Best Turducken: Gourmet Butcher Block

"Weighing in at 16 to 18 pounds, this monster bird can serve 20 to 25 people."

Best Smoked Whole Bird: Nueske’s

"Choose a whole or sliced smoked turkey with or without a honey glaze, or select a combo of ham and turkey breast for more variety."

Best for Large Families: Elmwood Stock Farm

"Whether you're dishing up one extra-large bird or prefer to cook a few smaller ones instead, Elwood Stock Farm has what you need."

Best Cajun Style: Cajun Grocer

"Cajun Grocer's turduckens feature flavorful fillings such as seafood jambalaya, cornbread stuffing, or Creole pork sausage."

Sure, you can go to the grocery store and buy a basic frozen turkey, but it's no secret there are many more choices available online. You can find everything from heritage birds that are not at all like the ones you see at the grocery store, to cooked birds that you simply have to heat, slice, and serve. Whether you’re craving something different or simply looking for a free-range and organic bird, you can order online and make the dinner exactly what you want. Even better, many of these sellers offer great turkeys available all year long.

Here are the best mail order turkeys to help you enjoy a delicious feast.

Best Overall: D’Artagnan

Thanksgiving turkey
D'Artagnan 
What We Like
  • Natural, farm-raised heritage birds

  • Wild and organic available

  • Smoked breasts available

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

D'Artagnan has earned a reputation as one of the best places to buy mail-order turkeys and other gourmet meats. D'Artagnan's turkeys are 100-percent natural, farm-raised heritage birds. All turkeys come from free-range farms and never given any antibiotics or hormones. The company offers organic birds, bone-in-turkey breast, and even wild turkey, ranging in size from 8 to 24 pounds. 

Best Fresh: Williams Sonoma

williams sonoma turkey
 Courtesy of Williams Sonoma
What We Like
  • One-stop-shop for food and accessories

  • Turkeys are chilled, but not fully frozen

  • Sides and complete dinners also available

What We Don't Like
  • Ship only; can’t pick up at stores

Williams Sonoma may not be the name you think of when it comes to turkeys, but the store has the connections to get a fresh turkey shipped right to your door. The turkeys are raised on a natural diet at the Willie Bird Ranch in California, where they’re allowed to roam free. Order fresh or select a pre-cooked option including smoked, roasted and herb-roasted whole turkeys, stuffed turkey breast, and more. They’re shipped directly from the ranch and arrive chilled, so there’s no need for thawing.

Best Ham and Turkey Sampler: Harry and David

ham turkey sampler
Courtesy of Harry and David 
What We Like
  • Shop for Christmas gifts, too

  • Lots of sides to choose from

  • Great for gifting

What We Don't Like
  • Turkey not available year-round

Known for fruit baskets and nut selections, Harry and David is also one of the best places to order turkeys and hams online. The pre-sliced ham and turkey sampler lets you enjoy the best smoked meats of the season. You can also buy a complete meal, so you won’t even have to worry about side dishes. The fun doesn’t stop there—you can pick up some relish, buy a platter to serve the food on, or pick up an extra dessert or two.

Best Free-Range: Fossil Farms

Thanksgiving turkey
 Fossil Farms
What We Like
  • Large range of turkey sizes

  • Wide range of meats to choose from

  • Large selection of sausages

What We Don't Like
  • Prepared foods are local delivery only

Fossil Farms sells turkeys that are humanely raised in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where they are free to roam and they’re fed with a vegetarian diet that includes a variety of grains. These Nicholas breed turkeys are never given antibiotics, steroids, or hormones. Turkeys are available in a wide variety of sizes, from 8 pounds up to 28 pounds, so you can find the size you need to feed just about any size of family. For more adventurous diners, you can supplement dinner with game birds, ostrich, or perhaps a goose.

Best Roast: Rastelli’s

Rastelli's Turkey Roast
Courtesy of Rastelli's 
What We Like
  • Roast turkey breast is simple to prepare

  • Many oven-ready options

  • Curated boxes and bundles

What We Don't Like
  • Limited side dish selections

If you’re looking for a turkey dinner that’s as easy as it is fresh and delicious, Rastelli’s has you covered with its pre-seasoned, all-white meat turkey breast roast. At 104 ounces, it’s enough meat to feed a small crowd, and the preparation couldn’t be more simple. Shipped frozen, the turkey will need to thaw in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Then, keep it in the bag, place it in a roasting pan, and pop it into the oven for around 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This family-run business raises its turkey on American Humane Association-certified family farms in North Carolina. You can rest assured the meat is antibiotic, steroid, and hormone-free.

Best Pre-Cooked: Burgers’ Smokehouse

Thanksgiving turkey
Smokehouse
What We Like
  • Hickory smoked

  • Sides and desserts available

  • Several sizes of turkeys

What We Don't Like
  • No fresh turkey

Whether you want a whole turkey, a half-turkey, or a turkey breast, Burger’s Smokehouse has you covered—and this fully-cooked hickory-smoked turkey makes the holidays easy. Serve it hot or cold, and pair it with the brand's side dishes and desserts for a complete meal.

Best Turducken: Gourmet Butcher Block

all-madden turducken
Image by Gourmet Butcher Block.
What We Like
  • Authentic turducken

  • Bread pudding kit for dessert

  • Fast shipping

What We Don't Like
  • Free shipping only in selected states

This turducken came to fame thanks to former NFL coach and sportscaster John Madden. Dubbed the official food of the 1997 "All-Madden Team," this hefty dish features two layers of sausage stuffing and one layer of cornbread dressing jam-packed inside a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. That may sound like a lot—because it is. Weighing in at 16 to 18 pounds, this monster bird can serve 20 to 25 people.

Turduckens take a minimum of 18 hours to defrost at room temperature and up to five days in the fridge, so plan accordingly. Once thawed, baked, cooled, and unthreaded, push a fork into the end of each leg, twist slightly, and remove tendons. Cut in half lengthwise and carve to reveal all three types of meat and stuffing.

Best Smoked Whole Bird: Nueske’s

Nueske's Smoked Turkey
Courtesy of Nueske's Smoked Turkey
What We Like
  • Expert smokers

  • Large variety of sausages

  • Desserts also available

What We Don't Like
  • No fresh birds

If you’re looking for a smoked turkey, why not get it from a company that specializes in smoked foods, like Nueske’s? You can choose a whole applewood smoked turkey, a smoked turkey breast with or without a honey glaze, or a combo of ham and smoked turkey breast for even more variety. Tired of turkey? You can also find applewood smoked chicken breasts or duck.

Best for Large Families: Elmwood Stock Farm

Thanksgiving turey
Elmwood Stock Farm
What We Like
  • Large variety of sizes

  • Samplers and bundle

  • Stock/broth items available

What We Don't Like
  • No sides or desserts

When you’re feeding a large family, Elmwood Stock Farm has enough turkey to go around. You can choose heritage or big-breasted turkeys in a variety of weights, so you serve one large 20-pounder, or choose two or three smaller turkeys, depending on your cooking setup. With this many choices, you’ll have exactly what you need, no many how many folks you’re feeding.

Best Cajun Style: Cajun Grocer

Turducken
 Cajun Grocer
What We Like
  • Authentic turducken

  • Many Cajun items

  • Pantry items available

What We Don't Like
  • No fresh turkeys

For anyone looking to bring some unique spices to dinner, Cajun Grocer offers turduckens featuring flavorful fillings such as seafood jambalaya, cornbread stuffing, or Creole pork sausage. Serving couldn’t be easier—you can simply slice straight through to see the layers, with no bones in the way.

For a smaller gathering, you can get a smaller turducken roll, where the outer layer is just a turkey breast instead of the whole bird. For an even smaller option, there are stuffed, partially deboned chickens, or you can choose a Cajun stuffed pork tenderloin for something completely different.

Final Verdict

Check out D'Artagnan for a gourmet selection of old-breed turkeys sustainably raised on free-range farms. Or, for a super-fresh option, Williams Sonoma's turkeys are shipped directly from the ranch and arrive chilled, meaning there’s no need for thawing.

What to Look for in Mail Order Turkeys

Size

How many people are you feeding? Some companies offer a variety of turkey sizes, while others only have one, so you’ll need to calculate how much meat is necessary before you order. The general rule of thumb is you need 1 pound of turkey per guest if you don’t want any leftovers; plan for 1.5 pounds per guest if you want to have meat to spare. 

Precooked

When it comes to mail-order turkeys, you typically have two options: a precooked bird that just needs to be reheated, or a frozen, uncooked turkey that you have to prepare yourself. The best option for you ultimately depends on how much work you want to do.

Flavor

Many companies offer pre-cooked turkeys that are seasoned in various ways. Some are hickory-smoked, some are apple-smoked, and some are even fried! Consider what else you’re serving to find the perfect turkey flavor to round out the meal.

FAQs

How much turkey should you order per person? 

The general rule when buying a whole turkey is 1 pound of turkey per person. That seems like a lot of meat for a single diner to eat, but a whole turkey has a lot of inedible bones to consider. Of course, if you’re looking forward to lots of leftovers and a big pot of soup, or if you like to give leftovers to guests, it’s fine to buy a larger bird and enjoy turkey sandwiches for days.

What is a heritage turkey? 

A heritage turkey may be from one of many breeds of turkey that are closer to their wild ancestors—but they’re still domesticated. A heritage breed turkey is likely to have a much smaller breast and may have a stronger flavor than the big-breasted birds that are found in the supermarket.

What is the difference between free-range and organic turkeys? 

Free-range turkeys have access to the outdoors. This doesn’t mean, however, that they spend a lot of time outside—they simply have to have access for this label to be applied, and they can get most or all of their food supplied by the farmer. Pasture-raised turkeys sound like they’d be similar to free-range, but they have more freedom and are raised on food they get outdoors, and are not supplemented with grain. Organic turkeys may be free-range, but they don’t have to be. Organic turkeys are raised on an organic diet, which may be supplied entirely by the farmer. They can also graze on organic pasture. In addition to organic food, these turkeys are never given antibiotics.

How long does it take to thaw a frozen turkey?

It takes one day for every 4 pounds of frozen turkey to thaw in the refrigerator. The outside of the turkey may feel thawed in less time, but the thicker areas and joints take longer. Turkeys should never be thawed on the counter at room temperature. If the turkey needs to be thawed quickly, it can be placed in a sink full of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. If the turkey is too large to stay submerged, it should be turned every 30 minutes. It will take a minimum of 30 minutes for each pound of turkey, so this still isn’t quick—a 12-pound turkey will take about 6 hours.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Donna Currie is a cookbook author, as well as a writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats, specializing in all the latest kitchen gadgets. She's tested over 90 products for the brand and has written many roundups, including the Best Places to Order Meat Online. When the local butcher comes up short, Donna Currie knows where to find what she needs online. She’s personally ordered from half of the companies on this list, and the rest are in her future plans.

This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a home cook, registered dietitian nutritionist, and freelance writer for The Spruce Eats, where she specializes in small kitchen appliance reviews.

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