Butterball vs Jennie-O Turkey | Who Sells the Best Turkey?

January 13, 2023

If you’re a turkey fan like me, you know Butterball turkey wins in most categories. It’s easier to handle and is a bit cheaper. Still, Butterball and Jennie-O are two popular brands offering high-quality turkey. They raise their birds differently, leading to unique tasting products.

For years, I’ve cooked these two brands for my family and countless guests. Today, I will answer the big question and highlight some important points I discovered after years of cooking Butterball and Jennie-O-Turkey. Let’s jump in.

Butterball vs Jennie-o turkey

Is Butterball or Jennie-O Turkey Better?

This depends on your personal preferences and what you are looking for in a turkey. Some people may prefer the taste and texture of Butterball turkeys, while others may prefer the taste of Jennie-O turkeys.

It is often said that Butterball turkeys are tender and flavorful due to their plump and juicy meat. They are juicier because they have been basted before being packaged and sold. Additionally, Butterball turkeys are cheaper than Jennie-O products.

Known for their high-quality meat, Jennie-O turkeys are another popular brand of domestic turkeys. Additionally, to avoiding growth hormones and antibiotics, Jennie-O whole turkeys are raised naturally. 

Jennie-O products may not have gone through the basting phase, hence may not pack as much juiciness as Butterball turkeys.

In the end, the choice is yours to make.

Butterball vs Jennie-O Turkey: What Are the Differences?

Butterball and Jennie-O are known for producing high-quality, flavorful turkey products that are popular for the holidays and other occasions.

However, there are some distinctions between Butterball and Jennie-O products. Many people describe Butterball turkeys as tender and flavorful because of their plump and juicy meat.

In general, they are larger than other breeds of turkeys and raised specifically for thanksgiving sales. In addition, Butterball turkeys are cheaper than Jennie-O’s.

Jennie-O products are another popular brand of domestic turkeys known for their high-quality meat. Jennie-O turkeys are raised using more natural methods, including a diet that is free of growth hormones and antibiotics

Overall, the main difference between Butterball and Jennie-O fresh turkey is the specific breeding and raising techniques used to produce the birds.

Both companies offer high-quality turkeys but Jennie-O products are raised using more natural methods and may be a healthier option if you’re watching your diet. 

Detailed Comparison of Butterball and Jennie-O Turkey

Attribute

Butterball Turkey

Jennie-O Turkey

Size Differences

Offers a wide variety of sizes, with larger and smaller sizes compared to Jennie-O’s

Offers a limited variety of sizes, which is not as large as Butterball’s

Price Differences

Cheaper per pound in comparison to Jennie-O’s

Costlier per pound in comparison to Butterball’s

Farming Practices

Raised with both traditional and modern farming practices

Strictly raised using natural methods

Pre-brining

Always pre-brined

Not all products are pre-brined

Butterball Vs Jennie-O Turkey – Size Difference 

In terms of size, Butterball turkeys are generally larger than Jennie-O products. 

Butterball turkeys are raised specifically to be sold as thanksgiving turkeys and typically offer larger sizes of turkey than other brands. They also offer smaller-sized turkeys, so you have a variety of options for your needs.

Jennie-O products, on the other hand, offer smaller size options. 

It’s worth noting that the size of a turkey varies depending on factors such as the breed, the age of the bird, and the specific growing and feeding practices used. As a result, there can be some variation in the size of Butterball and Jennie-O products, even within the same brand.

I generally choose Butterball large turkey if I have a bigger audience to serve. It can be tricky to cook big turkeys, so check this guide on how to prepare large turkeys for some valuable tips.

Butterball Vs Jennie-O Turkey – Price Difference 

In terms of price, Butterball turkeys tend to be less expensive than Jennie-O.

Butterball turkeys usually have a lesser price per pound in comparison to Jennie-O products. This is because Butterball offers a wide range of turkey sizes, hence there is better pricing and more options. 

Jennie-O turkey prices are usually pricier when compared pound to pound with butterball turkey. However, the exact price can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the size of the turkey and the location.

Both offer high-quality products; so deciding which to choose depends on your budget. 

Hands Holding a Raw Turkey

Butterball Vs Jennie-O Turkey – Farming Practices 

The main difference between Jennie-O and Butterball turkeys in terms of farming practices is that Jennie-O products are raised using more natural methods. It includes a diet that is free of growth hormones and antibiotics. 

Butterball turkeys are raised using a combination of traditional and modern farming practices. They are raised in large, climate-controlled barns and are provided with a balanced diet of grains and supplements to help them grow to the desired size. 

Butterball also claims to adhere strictly to the US Department of Agricultural Law and is American humane certified. So, their turkey is hormone and steroid-free.

Jennie-O turkeys are raised using more natural methods, including a diet that is free of growth hormones and antibiotics.

According to information available on their website, they adhere to American humane association guidelines to ensure proper treatment of the birds throughout their production journey. 

Jennie-O products are also given a diet free of animal by-products and one that is rich in nutrients. In addition, you can know the farm where your Jennie-O fresh turkey is raised by entering the code from the packaging on their website. This should give you a good knowledge of how the birds are being treated.

Butterball Vs Jennie-O Turkey – Pre-brining 

All Butterball turkeys are brined before they are packaged. However, not all Jennie-O turkeys come brined.

Whether you want fresh or frozen turkey, you will always get your Butterball turkey basted in a brine solution to improve its shelf life.

This is not so with Jennie-O products, but you will see the brining information on a Jennie-O turkey pack. So, you can either choose a pre-brined Jennie-O turkey or one that isn’t. It depends on your preferences.

I love my turkey pre-brined. I’ve noticed that my turkey taste better when I brine it. However, it can be a hassle going through the process. So, Butterball saves me the extra step when I cook turkey.

If you want, you can also re-brine your pre-brined turkey, although you will need to use a lesser salt concentration.

Butterball Vs Jennie-O Turkey Pros and Cons

These reputable brands are renowned for producing high-quality meat and being widely available in supermarkets and stores nationwide. Below, we’ll outline the several pros and cons of both companies.

Butterball Turkey Pros

Butterball turkeys offer high-quality, flavorful meat that is easy to prepare and widely available. They are a popular choice for Thanksgiving and other occasions and are known for their big size and wonderful taste. 

  1. Large size: Butterball turkeys are generally larger than other breeds of turkeys, which makes them a good choice for large gatherings or if you want leftovers.
  2. Preparation: Butterball turkeys are generally easy to prepare, as they are typically pre-brined to enhance their flavor and moisture content. So, you don’t need that extra step of brining your turkey before cooking.
  3. Delicious taste: Butterball turkeys are known for their delicious taste. I enjoy using the turkey broth to prepare tasty food including soup.

Butterball Turkey Cons

The cons of choosing a Butterball turkey are its size, limited options, and lack of pre-brining. These factors may be more or less important to you, depending on your needs and preferences.

  1. Size: While the large size of Butterball turkeys can be a plus point for some people, it can be the opposite for others. If you are only cooking for a small group, a larger turkey may be more than you need.
  2. Pre-brining: I know the brining can make Butterball turkeys easier to prepare and result in a more flavorful and juicy turkey when cooked. However, some customers may want unbrined turkey or something without too much salt.
Thanksgiving Turkey with Spices and Fruits

Jennie-O Turkey Pros

The pros of choosing a Jennie-O turkey are its high-quality meat, natural farming methods, low fat and calorie content, wide availability, and trusted brand.

  1. Natural methods: The turkey products are raised using more natural methods, including a diet that is free of growth hormones and antibiotics. This may be appealing if you are looking for a more natural or healthier option.
  2. Low in fat and calories: Jennie-O ground turkey is generally lower in fat and calories compared to other brands of turkey. This makes them a healthier option if you are mindful of your health.
  3. Buying options: Jennie-O offers customers different turkey cuts and products such as the Jennie-O ground turkey. Moreover, frozen turkey and fresh turkey are also available.

Jennie-O Turkey Cons

The cons of choosing a Jennie-O turkey are its cost, and size. These factors may be more or less important to you, depending on your needs and preferences.

  1. Cost: Jennie-O products may be more expensive than some other brands of turkey, which can make them a less budget-friendly option for some people.
  2. Size: Jennie-O products offer limited size options, which tend to be smaller in size compared to some other brands of turkey. This may not be suitable for larger groups.

Are Butterball Turkeys Better Than Others?

For me, Butterball has perhaps the best branded turkey products on the market. However, this depends on your personal preferences and what you are looking for in a turkey.

The main difference between Butterball whole turkeys and regular whole turkeys from local butcheris the branding and breeding or raising techniques used to produce the meats. 

Butterball turkeys are a brand of domestic whole turkeys and turkey pieces known for their plump and juicy meat.

They are raised specifically to be sold as fresh or frozen thanksgiving turkeys and are typically larger than other breeds. 

Moreover, Butterball turkeys are known for their high-quality meat, which is often described as being moist and flavorful.

It’s worth noting that there are many different breeds of domestic whole turkeys available, and they can vary in size, flavor, and texture.

Butterball turkeys are typically larger and costlier than other breeds of turkeys and are known for their high-quality flavor. However, regular turkeys can also be flavorful, depending on how you cook them.

Overall, it’s difficult to answer whether Butterball turkeys are better than other types of turkey, as it depends on personal preference.

Butterball turkeys are known for their high-quality meat and are a popular choice among customers, but there are many other options available as well.

Butterball Turkey vs Regular Turkey 

Regular turkeys refer to any type of domestic turkey that is not a Butterball turkey. There are several breeds of domestic whole birds, and they can vary in size, and flavor.

Some common breeds of domestic turkeys include the Broad Breasted White, the Bourbon Red, and the Narragansett.

Roasted Turkey with Herbs and Garlic on the Side

Conclusion 

Overall, it’s difficult to say definitively which brand of turkey is better. It really depends on personal preference. Butterball products are cheaper, bigger, and easier to prepare. I think Jennie-O’s products are healthier and great for those concerned about animal rights.

Both Butterball and Jennie-O offer high-quality turkeys that are popular for thanksgiving and other occasions. It’s a matter of choosing the brand that best meets your needs and preferences.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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