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Pasture-Raised Turkeys Taste Better

Free to roam and raised on pasture, the turkeys from Gunthorp Farms are the juiciest, best-tasting birds you’ll ever try.

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Unfortunately we are out of stock of our Holiday Turkeys for the rest of the year.

Three Key Steps to the Perfect Turkey

Buy Pasture-Raised - Free to roam the farm, gobble up bugs, and live a stress-free life - turkeys that grow up naturally on pasture are more flavorful and juicy. The turkeys from Gunthorp Farms are sure to impress your guests. Pasture-raised = Delicious.

Plan Ahead - Our turkeys are flash-frozen which preserves the quality at its peak and are then delivered right to your front door. Make sure to give yourself 3-5 days to fully thaw your turkey. Brine, fry, or roast -- whatever method you choose, this will be your best-tasting bird yet.

Carve the Turkey - Ensure your turkey is as juicy as possible by letting it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving, as this will allow the juices to distribute evenly throughout the bird. A sharp knife, a kitchen towel and a little hutzpah are all you need to carve it and serve it in style.

Check out our recipes and techniques for the perfect turkey»

The Story of Gunthorp Farms

The Gunthorp family in La Grange, Indiana has been in the business of farming since before the Great Depression, raising their animals on pasture the entire time, even as industrial production boomed around them and threatened to put pasture-based farmers out of business.

The pressure came to a head in 1998, when Greg Gunthorp was selling his pigs -- he only raised pigs back then -- into the "commodity market" for just five cents a pound. Five cents was the going rate for pigs, whether you raised them in overcrowded, closed barns or on pasture; and incredibly, that 5-cent rate was less than Greg's grandfather earned per pound in the 1920s.

Greg and the rest of the family faced a bleak choice: quit farming or make a dramatic change.

So they did the latter.

The Gunthorps realized they could stay in business and keep their farm pasture-based with three steps. One, have every member of the family chip in. Two, diversify to raise poultry too. Three, offer their meat directly to top restaurants in Chicago, including Charlie Trotters (and now to Crowd Cow customers).

Every year, Greg and Lei Gunthorp raise broad-breasted white turkeys on pasture at their family farm in northern Indiana. The flock (or, more accurately, the "rafter") is raised entirely without the use of hormones or antibiotics, roaming free on Certified Organic pasture to forage for grasses and bugs. The birds also enjoy a supplementary, "free choice" non-GMO turkey feed that the Gunthorps source from local farmers.

By asking local farmers to grow non-GMO corn and soybeans for their turkeys, with a guarantee that they'll buy it year after year, the Gunthorps have created local demand for non-GMO crops in an area where GMO grains dominate the farming landscape.

Keep reading below for what makes Gunthorp turkeys more delicious than anything you've ever bought from the grocery store.

Pasture-Raised Just Tastes Better

The Gunthorp family is always looking for ways to make their farming practices more conscientious, which translates to even tastier turkeys.

Most of the poultry you find at the grocery store goes through a giant processing plant that uses large amounts of chlorine and other chemicals to make sure the bird is bacteria-free. By contrast, the Gunthorps built a small proessing plant on their farm so they could clean the birds naturally, with water alone -- no chlorine. It's more time-consuming, but their dedication to chemical-free flavor makes the extra time worthwhile.

The lack of hormones and antibiotics makes a huge difference for health and taste. Instead of tasting bland, the Gunthorps' turkeys have grown naturally all spring, summer, and fall on a diet of bugs, grass, and scratch, which means they have much more flavor than what you might be used to. (Although your grandfather might tell you Gunthorp Farms turkeys taste like birds used to taste!)

In the words of Kara Babinec (Greg's Daughter), Gunthorp turkeys "are really juicy and flavorful. They don't rely on seasoning for flavor, and don't dry out when you cook it. You'll never look at a supermarket turkey the same way!"

She's right. We're excited to support the Gunthorps and for your holidays to be much more delicious, healthy, and antibiotic-free than usual.

True Pasture-Raised Turkey FAQ

Q: What type of turkey is this?
A: The breed is known as broad-breasted white turkey. Raised on Certified Organic pastures.

Q: What makes this turkey special?
A: The turkeys at Gunthorp Farms have unfettered access to forage in organic pastures. Many farms claim to be free-range while actually restricting access to pastures.

Q: Does my turkey come with giblets and neck?
A: Yes indeed! Gunthorp turkeys always include giblets (heart, liver, neck) inside the cavity.

Q: What if I don't know where I'll be for the holidays?
A: No worries, you'll still have time to change the address and person receiving the turkey after you place your order but before your order ships. We'll pack it with plenty of dry ice and, as always, no signature will be required.

Q: How Much Turkey Do You Need?
A: The rule of thumb is about 1.5 pounds of turkey per person, to provide plenty for the dinner itself and leftovers.

For the turkeys we have available, here are some conservative guidelines:

Medium: serves 8 people
Large: serves 10 people
X-Large: serves 12 people
We love leftovers, but if you don't you can dial this down a bit. For parties larger than 14 you'll probably want more than one of these turkeys.

Defrosting a Turkey

Your turkey will arrive frozen, with enough time to fully thaw before the holidays. Here's how to defrost your turkey worry-free.

  • Leave the turkey in its original, unopened plastic.
  • Put the turkey, breast side up, in a tray or pan to catch any drippings.
  • Place the frozen turkey in the fridge. Make sure the fridge is set to 40°F or lower.
  • Allow around 6-7 hours per pound for thawing.

Here are approximate times to defrost in the fridge for the turkeys, according to the USDA:

  • Medium (12-15 pounds): 3-4 days
  • Large (15-16 pounds): 4-5 days
  • X-Large (18+ pounds) : 5-6 days

We have found it helpful to check on your turkey at least 24-36 hours ahead of time to ensure it defrosts at the right pace. If the turkey is still solid on the outside, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for up to 6 hours before cooking. While it rests, you should check it hourly to confirm that your turkey is cool to the touch but not frozen.

Once thawed, your turkey can stay in the fridge for another 1-2 days before cooking.

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