12 Best Mail-Order Turkeys to Buy for Thanksgiving 2023
Bag organic, humanely raised, kosher and budget-friendly birds online while they're still in stock.
Updated Nov. 6, 2023 7:11 a.m. PT
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David WatskySenior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's logged more than a decade writing about all things edible, including meal kits and meal delivery subscriptions, cooking, kitchen gear and commerce. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the eats business from slicing and dicing as a sous-chef in Rhode Island to leading complex marketing campaigns for major food brands in Manhattan. These days, he's likely somewhere trying the latest this or tasting the latest that - and reporting back, of course. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
ExpertiseKitchen tech, cookware, small appliances, food innovation, meal delivery and meal kits.
If you're looking to shorten your holiday hosting to-do list, buying your turkey online for Thanksgiving means you won't have to lug that big honkin' bird home from the supermarket. Also, online butchers have some of the best selection, including organic, kosher, free-range and humanely raised birds, all available for speedy delivery well ahead of the big fall feast. You can even order precooked Thanksgiving turkeys or a turducken that's already stuffed (with a duck and a chicken) and ready to be cooked.
And if there's a particular type of turkey you're after or a specific size you need for a large or small group, your best bet is to order your turkey online today and freeze it for the big day. To help, we've rounded up the best places to buy a mail-order turkey online to make sure you're stocked and ready for your Nov. 23 celebration.
Buying a turkey online may not be the most obvious way to secure the all-important Thanksgiving entree, but many of our favorite online markets and meat purveyors sell top-quality birds -- including organic, kosher and precooked -- at competitive prices. Plus, if you buy your turkey online, you won't have to lug that big brute home from the store. You'll even find delicious turduckens (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) if you want to get a little funky this November.
Below we've outlined the best places to buy your turkey online in 2023 and a few helpful hints for locking down the perfect bird for Thanksgiving ahead of time.
Can you buy a turkey now and have it shipped later?
Yes, in some cases. Reserving and buying your turkey online from a purveyor such as D'Artagnan or Williams Sonoma means you'll likely get the exact type and size of bird you want without having to arm wrestle with your neighbors. While most of the online turkey vendors we listed here allow preordering, not all vendors do, so double-check before you order.
It's also worth noting that the global and US supply chains are wonky and unpredictable right now. Because of that, you may want to have your turkey delivered on the early side, even if the vendor promises to have it on your doorstep before Nov. 24. We make no promises about online turkey logistics, even if the sellers do.
Can you freeze a turkey ahead of Thanksgiving?
Yes, absolutely. You can freeze a turkey safely for up to a year. The big issue is typically freezer space, but if you're gunning for a smaller bird, it might not be a problem. Just make sure you start to take it out a full day before the big day, because that sucker is going to take at least 24 hours to safely thaw, depending on the size.
This online market and butcher has organic and heritage turkeys available for preorder now. It's one of the best places online to buy turkeys in varying sizes, too. You can find eight to 10-pound birds for $76 and the sizes go up from there. There are also Narragansett Heritage birds starting at $176 or Green Circle's hormone-free turkeys in a slew of weights starting at $100.
Note: We've tested D'Artagnan's premium selection of meats and were impressed enough to have it land on our list of best meat delivery in 2023.
ButcherBox is one of the best popular meat delivery services we've tried. Typically, you have to sign up to get in on the goods, but not this year: Thanksgiving turkeys ($79) are available for a one-time purchase through ButcherBox with no membership required.
If you do sign up for a ButcherBox membership between now, you'll get a free turkey in your first box in time for the holiday. Subscriptions start at $169 and include 9 to 14 pounds of beef, chicken and seafood and can be paused or canceled at any time.
Walmart is a good bet for finding the cheapest anything, and that rings true for budget-friendly birds. You can have a 16- to 24-pound Shady Brook young turkey delivered same day for less than $20. Feel free to spend the rest of your Thanksgiving budget on wine.
This 15-pound turkey from Blackwing Farm is available for $115 over at Crowd Cow -- one of the many great online butchers that have emerged lately. This bird is big enough to serve 10 to 12 people and is raised free of hormones and antibiotics.
Crowd Cow has one of the widest selections of meats of the online services we've tested, so if you'd like to tack some rib roasts or steaks onto a turkey order, this is the best place to order.
If you really want to get your Thanksgiving gathering some social media attention, go for the turducken. That's a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Many of them have stuffing, too, so we're talking a lot of food all ready to roast. Goldbelly has large turduckens to feed as many as 25 people.
The upscale retailer might be best known for cookware and tableware, but it's actually got a wide selection of turkeys available for purchase online including both prebrined and precooked birds. Snag a 6- to 10-pound Diestel turkey brined in lemon and herb for $130, for instance.
Williams Sonoma also has Willie Bird free-range prebrined turkeys that come in sizes all the way up to 22 pounds or just snag an organic boneless breast if your group is partial to white meat.
These turkeys are famous and well-awarded in the UK and they've recently flown across the pond. KellyBronze birds are raised on a diet "more strict than organic," and don't just live in open pastures but in literal woods like wild birds. They are actually bred to be wild and then aged twice as long as standard turkeys (more cost for them but more flavor for you) and hand-plucked before being shipped to you -- raw, not frozen. These fancy birds cook faster than most turkeys so be wary of the instructions when your KB arrives.
Maybe turkey isn't your thing on Thanksgiving. If so, that's totally OK. For those who claim chicken as their poultry of preference, I'd suggest Cooks Venture. These certified humanely raised heirloom chickens were bred to be healthy, not just big, and raised with sustainable farming practices. You can have these great eatin' birds sent to your front door for $26 each when you buy six.
These pasture-raised turkeys are brought up on a 500-acre regenerative ranch in the Sierra Foothills of California. As good as the birds have it, the strict farming standards and practices are dually important since they net minimal negative impact on the environment, unlike factory farms.
The regen turkeys start at $76 and can be ordered online now or you can opt for a brined and spatchcocked bird for $90.
Listen, if you've committed to hosting Thanksgiving but the idea of cooking an entire turkey is keeping you up at night or you simply just don't want to deal with all of that, I'm here to tell you that you've got options. Buying a precooked turkey online does have a higher likelihood of it drying out, but the exception is smoked turkey. It's a more complicated cooking process.
A tried and true barbecue outfit like Southside Market will have it down, and smoked turkeys keep their moisture much better than oven-roasted. Southside will deliver these precooked 12- to 14-pound turkeys anywhere in the country. All you do is warm it in the oven on the big day for 60-90 minutes at 350 degrees F and you're good to go.
Note: We personally tested this precooked turkey, which was full of flavor and not at all dry.
Note about delivery and testing: Please check with the individual vendor to ensure timely delivery dates before placing an order. Also, note that while we have tested numerous products from every vendor on this list, we haven't personally tested this year's Thanksgiving turkeys, and our "best" determinations are based on their specialties or menu differentiations as outlined. But these are the suggestions we'd make to our family and friends, based on our research and prior experience with each service overall.