FRESH OR FROZEN?
First, you must decide what kind of Turkey is right for you: fresh or frozen?
This decision is simply a matter of personal taste; either way you can be sure of a tasty, healthy bird carcass. Frozen turkeys are flash frozen immediately after being processed (killed). The meat, once defrosted, is virtually at the same freshness as the day it was processed (viciously murdered).
Fresh turkeys are deep chilled after packaging. Because they have a shorter shelf life, they are usually more expensive. But maybe that's the way you like it. Maybe you're the type who's willing to pay a little extra so you know you're ingesting a creature who, only days before, was living and vital with the essence of life still coursing through its doomed veins. Or maybe you're the type who just likes to make sure everyone knows just how well off you are as you prance past the proles in the supermarket with your freshly-killed bird.
Don't simply look down at a pile of turkeys and assume the best looking one is the best. Be sure to pick up your choice and examine the underside as well. It's a good idea to do this in front of a store employee so they know what a discerning customer. REMEMBER: flip the bird in front of others!
How large should your turkey be? The normal rule is to buy one pound of turkey for every guest expected at the Thanksgiving table. But think about it, is your family really normal? You're big eaters, aren't you? When one of your family members is involved in a tug-of-war, they just assume they'll be taking the anchor position, right? Don't you all do a lot of shopping at Big and Tall shops, though none of you are particularly tall? Maybe you should be using your own special formula to figure out how much turkey to get. Will Uncle Chuck be coming this year? Better figure again.
You don't want to appear shallow, do you? Should you really only pick your turkey based on appearance, and the size of it's body? What about its talents? What about its personality? Shouldn't these things matter? No. The bird is dead. Get a grip.
MALE or FEMALE
While qualities like taste and tenderness are virtually identical between male and female turkeys, it's always best to pick a female turkey for Thanksgiving dinner - if you're super lucky, there may be bonus turkeys inside!