I'm trying to eat healthier. I've needed to make some changes in my eating habits for a few years now with rather poor results. But having grandchildren has given me the necessary incentive to do something about the excess weight I've carried around. One of the ways we're changing is by adding whole grains and other healthier alternatives to "white flour" foods. Trading potatoes for brown rice too. The hardest change though is eating less red meat. Now I'm not about to cut out red meat altogether, but there is more chicken, fish and veggies in the diet now. This change also means more turkey. We're learning ways to spice up bland turkey dishes and it's getting to be a little more acceptable around the house. But what I do have a problem with the high cost of ground turkey. It just doesn't seem logical that ground turkey should cost as much as ground beef. I understand it's a mindset I have, maybe my prejudice against ground turkey is a little deeper ingrained than I thought. Since I'm dedicated to making some food lifestyle changes I've got to suck it up and eat the turkey. Last week I got the great idea to grind my own turkey. How hard could it be. I ground up a brisket for burgers once, it wasn't all that hard and I ended up with some of the best burgers I've ever made. So why not grind up our own turkey? How hard could that be? As it turns out it wasn't all that hard.
I’m not sure how many turkeys I’ve purchased outside the months of November and December. Holy cow those birds are a lot more expensive in the off months. A plain old Butterball turkey cost $23.76. At this point, after paying $1.68 a pound, I was beginning to wonder just how cost-effective this was going end up being. But I had the turkey so not going through with this wasn’t an option
Cutting up the turkey was not all that hard. I was able to pull the meat off the bird other than the wings. The time investment didn’t seem worth the reward so I skip the wings. I never noticed how little meat there actually is on a turkey. It was at this point in the process I really realized I wasn’t going to save all that much money
The turkey was coarse ground the first time and then again with a smaller grind. I have to admit it was some mighty nice looking ground turkey.
I ended up with 5.5 pounds of ground turkey. This meant that we paid $4.30 a pound for the ground turkey, or a savings of $3.80. It took a little over 75 minutes to grind the turkey, clean the grinder and vacuum seal the turkey into 1.25 lb packages. Was it worth it? I don’t know. Will we do it again? Probably, especially if I can get turkey cheaper than $1.69 a pound. To make it really pay off I need to buy turkey at less than $1.25 a pound.
I roasted the turkey carcass and was able to pick enough cooked turkey off the bones to make a casserole and the bones made a nice stock that will become a batch of Mrs. Grail’s turkey noodle soup. All and all I guess it was worth the effort.