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    Costco Turkey – Everything You Need To Know For 2023

    46 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving day, according to the University of Illinois Extension. That number may be astounding, but it’s not the only time this giant bird will grace our tables. 

    Millions of people enjoy turkey, and the warehouse plays a significant role in getting them on the table. Many Americans get their turkeys, appetizers, sides, and pumpkin pie at Costco.

    What types of turkeys do they sell? How much do Costco turkeys cost? We answer those questions and more.  

    Here’s a complete guide to Costco turkey.

    Complete Guide To Costco Turkey

    What Brand Of Turkey Does Costco Sell?

    Costco sells three turkey brands during Thanksgiving: Kirkland Signature Smoked Turkey, Kirkland Signature Turkey Breast, Plainville Farms fresh organic hen turkey, and Butterball whole tom turkey. 

    The options differ by size, cost, and whether they are cooked. 

    BrandSizeCostFresh (NOT FROZEN)Precooked?
    Kirkland Signature Smoked TurkeyApprox. 13-16 lbs.$4.99 lb.YESYES
    Kirkland Signature Turkey BreastUsually 4lbs. or less $4.79 lb.YESYES
    Plainville Farms Young Organic Hen Turkey16lbs. And under$3.49 lb.YESNO
    Butterball Tom TurkeyTypically over 18lbs..99 lb.YESNO
    Empire Kosher Young Turkey14-16 lbs.$3.39 lb.NONO

    The difference between a hen and a tom is that a tom is a male turkey typically larger, while a hen is a female turkey. Size is the main difference between the two; they taste the same and are equally tender. 

    As for other versions of turkey, Costco sells Hillshire Farms deli turkey. The store does not carry any frozen turkeys in 2022. 

    Butterball Tom Turkey 

    Butterball Turkey sold at Costco

    Costco sells Butterball Tom Turkeys for 99 cents a pound. This price is 30 cents cheaper per pound than the local grocery store. 

    Tom turkeys are male turkeys that are typically larger than hens. Most butterball turkeys at Costco are 18 pounds or more.  If you were to buy a 16-pound Butterball turkey at Costco, you would save $4.80. 

    These are non-organic birds. They are gluten-free, raised without hormones, and fully brined in a solution of up to 4% water, salt, and spices to enhance tenderness and juiciness. They are NOT cooked.

    Costco Smoked Turkey

    Kirkland Smoked Turkey

    Another Costco option for your Thanksgiving dinner is the Kirkland Signature Smoked Turkey. This bird was slow-cooked for four to six hours to impart a smoked flavor. The average smoked turkey is 13 pounds. 

    Even though it’s fully cooked, you likely want to reheat it before dinner. To cook the Kirkland Signature Smoked Turkey, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the turkey in a baking pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Cook for 12 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. 

    Plainville Farms Organic Young Turkey

    This image contains Plainville farms young turkeys one option of Costco turkey

    Besides the standard turkey options, Costco carries the Plainville Farms Organic Young Turkey. 

    These birds are fed vegetarian grains on family farms that never give antibiotics or growth hormones. 

    These turkeys are fresh, never frozen. Since they are young, they are smaller than the Butterball ones. Most are less than 13 pounds. 

    Costco Turkey Breast

    Kirkland Signature Turkey Breast

    While not a whole turkey, another option is Kirkland Signature Turkey Breast. You can find these smaller turkeys in the deli section. Each one is four pounds or less. 

    The turkey breast is processed, containing a water and salt solution to maintain freshness. It’s fully cooked but needs reheating. We have a complete review along with recipes,

    Does Costco Have Fresh Turkey Breast?

    Technically, Costco does NOT sell fresh turkey breast, but they have some options that may work for you. 

    By definition, a turkey is “fresh” if it’s never frozen below 26 degrees. Plainville Farms and Butterball turkeys are fresh, and Costco sells both, but they are whole birds, not breasts. 

    The only turkey breast Costco sells is the Kirkland Signature Turkey Breast. While it meets the standard of not being frozen, it’s processed turkey containing salt and other preservatives.

    Which Costco Turkey Is Best?

    All the options are excellent at Costco, but that’s no help. Here’s how to decide which Costco turkey is right for you.

    If you want to change the main dish of Thanksgiving and are short on time, try the Costco Smoked Turkey.

    Butterball turkeys are a great option if you have a large family and are on a budget. If eating organic is important to you, check out the Plainville Farms version. 

    Check out the Kirkland Signature Turkey Breast if you don’t feel like cooking or have a small group to feed. 

    After you decide which Costco turkey is right for you, a quick call to your local store will determine availability. If you don’t have time to shop in-store, check out online shopping at Costco but prices are much higher and include fees. While you are at the store pickup your Thanksgiving sides, desserts, dips, and appetizers, too!

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    4 thoughts on “Costco Turkey – Everything You Need To Know For 2023”

      1. Hi Kathy,

        We aren’t affiliated with Costco in any way, besides being big fans! As for GMOs in the turkeys, Plainville Farms indicates that their Organic Line which is the type sold in warehouse, does NOT contain GMOs

        I wasn’t able to determine if there were GMOs in the other options so that one is your best bet.

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