The Best Mail Order Turkeys of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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Best Mail Order Turkeys

The Spruce Eats / Chloe Jeong

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, no matter what time of the year it is. 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.

We ordered turkeys online and sent them to the homes of our experienced testers and editors so they could evaluate the taste and presentation. Each turkey (or turducken) was rated on the delivery process, freshness, taste, and ease of preparation. We collected additional insights on how long preparation and thawing take so you can decide exactly when to order your bird. Whether you're looking for a turkey for a large family gathering, looking for something to save you time in the kitchen, or you want to experiment with something a little different, our list of mail order turkeys has an option for you.

Best Overall

D’Artagnan Turkeys

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What We Like
  • 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, and after our Associate Editorial Director, Mary Kate Hoban, prepared one of the Green Circle birds for her family's Thanksgiving dinner, we knew the brand was deserving of our best overall spot. D'Artagnan's turkeys are all farm-raised. In fact, each farmer D'Artagnan works with signs an agreement saying they will never use antibiotics or added hormones. The company offers organic birds, heritage turkeys, bone-in-turkey breast, and even wild turkey, ranging in size from 8 to 24 pounds. 

"I sampled a Green Circle turkey from D'Artagnan for my family's Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone agreed it was one of the best turkeys we've ever had. Plus, ordering it ahead of time and receiving it frozen in enough time to thaw in the refrigerator before the big day was so convenient," Hoban says.

The Green Circle label means the turkeys are certified by Humane Farm Animal Care. These turkeys are fed a diet of vegetables (surplus from markets) and whole grains. The turkey that was sent as a sample arrived on the specified day, packaged frozen in a box with insulated foam. The flavor of the cooked bird impressed everyone, and the whole process was incredibly easy.

Other editors have also ordered from D'Artagnan at other points throughout the year. "You really can't go wrong when you order from D'Artagnan," says Julia Warren, VP of Commerce. "Any of the meats you can choose from are high quality and the shipping process is pretty seamless. I've ordered a few things and have yet to be disappointed." 

In addition to Green Circle Turkeys, D'Artagnan offers full Organic and Heritage turkeys, as well as Organic Bone-In, Truffle, Natural Bone-In, Smoked, and Green Circle turkey breasts.

Price at time of publish: $105 for a frozen 14-16-pound Green Circle Turkey, $130.99 for a frozen 18-20-pound Green Circle Turkey, or $140.99 for a 20-22-pound frozen Green Circle Turkey

Size: 11-18 pounds | Serves: 11-18 people | Shipping: Delivery available for a specific date chosen at checkout

D'Artagnan turkey

The Spruce Eats / Mary Kate Hoban

Best Free-Range

Fossil Farms Turkey Whole Bird

Fossil Farms Turkey Whole Bird

Fossil Farms

What We Like
  • Large range of turkey sizes

  • Very flavorful turkey

  • Well packed for shipping

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

  • No cooking instructions

Fossil Farms sells turkeys raised in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where they are free to roam and fed 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 the family. Other options from the company include game birds like quail, ostrich, and goose.

We tested a 9-pound bird that came well-packed and still mostly frozen, despite a one-day delay in shipping. There were no cooking instructions included, so we were on our own for time and temperature, but this wasn’t a problem since turkey recipes abound online, and meat thermometers in the breast and thigh worked well to alert when the bird was done. Compared to grocery store birds, we found this one much more flavorful. Of course, the turkey stock made from the bones and bits was incredibly flavorful as well.

"This is not a standard grocery store turkey, that's for sure. The flavor was much deeper—more turkey-like. The stock I made from the bones and bits was outstanding," says our tester Donna Currie.

Price at time of publish: $90-$270

Size: 8-10, 10-12, 12-14, 14-16, 16-18, 18-20, 20-22, 22-24, 24-26, or 26-28 pounds | Serves: 6-30 people | Shipping: Next Day Air is available, but no Saturday, Sunday or Monday deliveries

Fossil Farms turkey

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Best Turducken

Gourmet Butcher Block The All-Madden Turducken

Gourmet Butcher Block The All-Madden Turducken

Gold Belly

What We Like
  • Well seasoned

  • Easy preparation

  • 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.

We were impressed with the quick and smooth delivery process as well as the ease of preparation. Turduckens take a minimum of 18 hours to defrost at room temperature and up to five days in the fridge, so plan accordingly. One thing to note is that it arrives without directions, but there are ample instructions on the Goldbelly website for storage, defrosting, and roasting. We roasted the turducken according to those instructions, and the meat came out perfect. We recommend adding about 2 cups of water to the roasting pan in the last hour—combined with the pan drippings this creates a gorgeous, flavorful sauce and makes for easier cleanup. 

We appreciated the fact that you do not have to deal with any bones, aside from the wings (which you can save to make turkey stock). Then, you simply cut in half lengthwise and carve to reveal all three types of meat and stuffing.

"If you find the typical Thanksgiving roast turkey bland, this is a great alternative. The Cajun seasoning is tasty with subtle peppery-ness but not overpowering. And the turkey breast came out moist without my having to do anything to it," says our tester Adriana Velez.

Price at time of publish: $200

Size: 16-18 pounds | Serves: 20-25 people | Shipping: 2-day shipping available in 19 states, scheduled delivery available

Best Mail Order Turkey

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Best Ham and Turkey Sampler

Harry & David Sliced Ham and Turkey Sampler

Harry & David Sliced Ham and Turkey Sampler

Harry & David

What We Like
  • Preparation is easy

  • Nice smoky flavor

  • Great for gifting

What We Don't Like
  • Turkey tasted slightly salty

Known for fruit baskets and nut selections, Harry and David is also one of the best places to order turkey and ham online. The pre-sliced ham and turkey sampler lets you enjoy the best smoked meats all year long. After testing, we give both the ham and the turkey high marks for flavor and freshness. It arrives pre-sliced so all you have to do is take it out of the refrigerator and heat it on the big day.

If you're someone who gets more excited about sides than the turkey, this sampler could be the perfect addition to your table. You can spend all your time on cranberry, dressing, and casseroles and still have a delicious choice of meat to round out your meal. It's also ideal for next-day sandwiches and would make a great gift for someone any time of the year.

"I really enjoyed the smoky flavor of both the ham and the turkey, and the convenience cannot be beaten," Hoban, who also taste-tested this turkey and ham combo, says. "If you want to save hours on prep time, this should be your go-to. I'd recommend this to anyone who doesn't want their entire day to be about cooking a turkey. It's the perfect low-maintenance addition to a table full of delicious sides."

If you're looking around the rest of the site, 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.

Price at time of publish: $75

Size: 4 pounds | Serves: 5-6 people | Shipping: Express two-day shipping is included

Best Pre-Cooked

Burgers' Smokehouse Hickory Smoked Whole Turkey

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What We Like
  • Fast and easy to prepare

  • Great hickory smoked flavor

  • Several sizes of turkeys

What We Don't Like
  • Risk of overcooking

  • No drippings for gravy

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

Our 10-pound bird shipped quickly and arrived frozen and packaged in a styrofoam box with dry ice—no signature required at delivery. The instructions included were brief, as the preparation of this turkey is super simple. After thawing for a couple of days in the fridge, it took less than two hours to heat. Just remove the plastic seal, wrap the turkey in aluminum foil, and pop it into the oven; no other prep is required. You can also use a roaster with a cover or a baking bag.

The finished product was delicious and flavorful, especially considering the ease and speed of preparation. However, Taysha Murtaugh, the Editorial Director and our tester, notes that "because it is pre-cooked, there is a risk of overdoing the meat, and I did experience a few bites that were a bit too tough." In the end, "This turkey was savory and perfectly smoked—wonderful when served with mashed potatoes and stuffing or on a sandwich," she says.

Price at time of publish: $159.00

Size: 16-20 pounds | Serves: 15-20 people | Flavor: Hickory | Shipping: Ships via UPS for delivery on Wednesdays-Fridays

Burgers Smokehouse Turkey

The Spruce Eats / Taysha Murtaugh

Best Smoked

Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Whole Turkey

Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Whole Turkey


What We Like
  • Great alternative to traditional turkey

  • Amazing smoke flavor

  • No cooking required

What We Don't Like
  • No fresh birds

  • Skin is chewy rather than crisp

If you’re looking for a smoked turkey, why not get it from a company that specializes in smoked foods, such as 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.

The applewood smoked turkey we tested didn’t require any cooking, which made it incredibly easy to prepare—just thaw and serve. It can be heated if desired, but cool or room temperature smoked turkey is delicious, and it's easy to warm serving sizes rather than the whole bird. The dark meat on the bird was very similar to ham, so it’s great for the family members who aren’t fans of turkey. The white meat was a bit more subtle, but still full of smoke flavor and made great sandwiches. The stock this made had the cured and smoked flavor, making it perfect for bean or pea soup.

Just like home-smoked birds, the skin on this was chewy rather than crisp, so we ended up peeling it off rather than serving. It wasn’t a total loss, though, since the skin was a fine addition to the stock pot.

"This was one of the best turkeys I've had, but it's certainly not traditional. The dark meat was very much like ham, so it's great for people who've had it with traditional birds," Donna Currie, our product tester, says.

Price at time of publish: $80 for a 7-pound turkey, $90 for a 9-pound turkey, or $100 for an 11-pound turkey

Size: 7-11 pounds | Serves: 6-12 people | Flavor: Applewood | Shipping: Standard to overnight shipping available

Neukes turkey

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Best Fresh

Williams Sonoma Turkey

Williams Sonoma Turkey

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
  • Can't be picked 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. Order fresh or select a pre-cooked option including smoked, roasted, and herb-roasted whole turkeys, stuffed turkey breast, and more. They are shipped directly from the farms they were raised on and arrive chilled, so there’s no need for thawing. Just thaw, brine if necessary (this Brine Kit from Williams Sonoma makes this easy—and it's on sale right now!), and put into the oven

Price at time of publish: $119

Size: 13-18 pounds | Serves: 11-20 people | Shipping: Standard shipping

Best Turkey Alternative

D'Artagnan Capon

D'Artagnan Capon


What We Like
  • Great swap for anyone who isn't a fan of turkey

  • Tender, juicy meat

  • Not seasoned

What We Don't Like
  • Longer cooking time

Whether you are looking to change it up or you have guests who aren't fans of regular turkey, D'Artagnan offers some tasty alternatives. We spoke to D'Artagnan's founder Ariane Daguin and she recommends capon as her number one turkey alternative. "It’s actually the favorite holiday bird for most of Europe!" she explains. "Capon is easy to make, just like roasting a chicken, but it’s bigger—at about 8 pounds—and so tender and juicy."

Price at time of publish: $135

Size: 8 pounds | Serves: 6-9 people | Shipping: Delivery available for a specific date chosen at checkout

Best for a Full Meal

Purdue Premium Holiday Turkey

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What We Like
  • Feeds over 15 people

  • Sides and other foods available for purchase

  • Affordability

What We Don't Like
  • Long delivery time

Feeding a crowd can take a lot of work, but this up to 20-pound turkey from Purdue is delivered right to your door and then only requires thawing and cooking. It can feed over 15 people, and costs less than many other mail-order turkeys on the market. Plus, Purdue offers things like classic sides and other foods you can get delivered at the same time, including Crème Fraiche Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Almondine, Twice Baked Stuffed Potatoes, as well as Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes, Mini Cheesecakes, and more.

It comes without any spices or seasonings, allowing you to roast or cook it in whatever you'd like. With this turkey it is necessary to note the delivery times—Purdue usually ships in 1-3 business days.

Price at time of publish: $80 for a 10-16-pound turkey and $100 for a 16-20-pound turkey

Size: 10-16 and 16-20 pounds | Serves: 10-16 people | Shipping: All orders ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Those placed before 9 a.m. EST are processed the same business day, and orders placed after are processed the following business day.

Final Verdict

Check out D'Artagnan for a gourmet selection of old-breed turkeys sustainably raised on free-range farms. Or, if you're in need of a full meal, browse the selection of sides and desserts to go with a premium turkey via Purdue.

How We Tested

We spent months researching the best options for mail-order turkeys of all sizes and flavors. We then ordered several turkeys to the homes of our experienced product testers and editors so that they could prepare them and provide feedback. They rated each turkey (or sampler or turducken) on the delivery process, freshness, taste, and ease of preparation. We used our research and the testing data to determine placement on this list.

What to Look for in Mail Order Turkeys


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. 


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


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.

Thanksgiving Turkey

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie


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.

Thanksgiving Turkey

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

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 six 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. When the local butcher comes up short, Donna Currie knows where to find what she needs online. She’s ordered from half of the companies on this list on her own, and she personally prepared and tested three of the turkey options on this list for The Spruce Eats.

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.

Amanda McDonald is an editor at The Spruce Eats and has over seven years of experience researching, writing, and editing about all things food — from what new products are at the grocery store to chef-approved hacks that keep tricky leftovers fresh for days. She updated this story to include the most up-to-date information.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The Livestock Conservancy. Definition of a heritage turkey.

  2. United States Department of Agriculture. Turkey from farm to table. Updated March 26, 2021.

  3. Certified Humane. "Free range" and "pasture raised" officially defined by HFAC for Certified Humane label. January 16, 2014.

  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Organic 101: what the usda organic label means. March 13, 2019.

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