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Preparing & Serving

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TO USE WITHIN TWO WEEKS – Leave the wrapper on and store in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can keep the Smoked Turkey in the refrigerator for as long as two weeks.


TO USE NOW AND LATER – A unique feature of a Bates fully-cooked Smoked Turkey is the ability to refreeze. Slice the Smoked Turkey and wrap in air tight meal size packages to refreeze.


HOW TO SLICE – With any Smoked Turkey it’s gourmet-wise (not stingy) to slice it wafer thin. That lets your lucky palate savor every delicious smoked morsel. A good sharp knife will do the trick.


Occasionally a turkey might have a slight pink cast when sliced…This is a natural characteristic of a Smoked Turkey.


Smoked Turkeys are a READY-TO-EAT delicacy, good either cold or heated. If you prefer to serve your Smoked Turkey heated, place in a moderate 300•F oven for approximately 5 minutes per pound.


The Bates Smoked Turkey has been cured in a mixture of spices, sugar, and honey for a period of time (top secret). The Bates Smoked Turkey is then fully cooked and smoked to perfection with green hickory wood. This whole smoking process takes four days.


It is a pleasure for Bates Turkey Farm to grow and make available to our customers, the traditional American Bird, at its finest. Grown in the South by Southerners to create a truly gourmet delight for the most discriminating taste.

All our smoked products are fully cooked and Ready-To-Eat delicacy. They may be served either cold are heated. To serve heated, place in a moderate 300F oven for approximately 5 minutes per pound.

Our Hickory Smoked Turkeys products are best served at room temperature




We recommend refrigerator thawing. However, if you are short on time and need a quicker method for thawing, submerge the turkey in cold water. Thawing turkey at room temperature allows bacterial growth and is not recommended.

Refrigerator Thawing:

  • Thaw breast side up in its unopened wrapper on a tray in the refrigerator

  • Allow at least one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey

Cold Water Thawing:

  • Thaw breast side down in its unopened wrapper in cold water to cover

  • Change the water every 30 minutes to keep surface cold

  • Estimate minimum thawing time to be 30 minutes per pound for whole turkey

Are you left with no time to thaw your turkey? No thawing is needed for all natural Bates Fresh Whole Turkeys. Bates makes whole turkey preparation easier with these exclusive features:

  • Neck and giblets in plastic bags allow easy removal

  • Unique leg tuck eliminates trussing

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Roast to

Whether you're a novice cook or a seasoned pro, this will help you roast a tender, juicy, picture-perfect turkey every time. It's easy with the Bates Free Range Turkey Open Pan Roasting Method.

  • Place thawed or fresh turkey, breast up on a flat rack in a shallow pan, 2 to 2-1/2 inches deep.

  • Brush or rub skin with oil to prevent the skin from drying and to enhance the golden color.

  • Insert oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh muscle, but not touching the bone. When thigh is up to temperature and if turkey is stuffed, move thermometer to center of stuffing for stuffing temperature.

  • Place in a preheated 325°F oven.

  • When the turkey is about two-thirds done, loosely cover the breast and top of drumsticks with a piece of lightweight foil to prevent overcooking the breast.

  • Use this roasting schedule as a guideline; start checking for doneness 1/2 hour before recommended end times:

Net Weight (in pounds)

Unstuffed (in hours)

Stuffed (in hours)

10 to 18             3 to 3-1/2

18 to 22             3-3/4 to 4-1/2

                           3-1/2 to 4

                           4-1/2 to 5

22 to 24            4 to 4-1/2

                           5 to 5-1/2

24 to 30            4-1/2 to 5

                           5-1/2 to 6-1/4

If unstuffed, the turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches the following temperature:

  • 180°F deep in the thigh; also, juices should be clear, not reddish pink when thigh muscle is pierced deeply.

If the turkey is stuffed, move the thermometer to the center of stuffing to read temperature. If both the thigh and the stuffing have reached temperatures listed below then the turkey is done.

  • 180°F deep in the thigh; also, juices should be clear, not reddish pink when thigh muscle is pierced deeply.

  • 160°F in the center of the stuffing.

Before removing stuffing and carving, let turkey stand 15 minutes to allow juices to set and stuffing temperature to rise to 165°F.



Turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches the following temperatures:

  • 180°F deep in the thigh; also, juices should be clear, not reddish pink when thigh muscle is pierced deeply.

  • 160°F in the center of the stuffing, if turkey is stuffed. When the stuffed turkey is done, remove turkey from oven and let turkey with stuffing stand 15 minutes. This stand time allows the stuffing temperature to reach 165°F for an added measure of safety.

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