What Kind of Meat is Turkey? Learn About Cooking, Accompaniments & Cultural Traditions

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 3, 2022

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Turkey is a delicious meat, perfect for sandwiches, buns, toasted bread or wraps, and also excellent as a scallop or, for the sweet tooth, cut into chunks, breaded and fried. But what kind of meat is it?

Let’s look at everything you need to know about this delicious meat.

What is turkey meat

The Wonders of Turkey Breast

What is it?

Ah, the turkey breast. It’s the most sought-after cut of the bird, and for good reason. It’s lean, tender, and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you’re slicing it thin, cubing it, or even turning it into strips, it’s a versatile meat that’s sure to please.

But don’t get it confused with the turkey rump! While they may sound similar, they’re two very different things. The rump is a cured meat made from the breast muscles, and it’s usually seasoned with salt and spices. It’s also often smoked or caramelized.

What Can You Do With It?

Turkey rump is great for sandwiches, buns, toast, and wraps. But when it comes to turkey breast, slow cooking is the way to go. It’s especially delicious when cooked in the oven. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try breading and frying it for a tasty treat.

The Bottom Line

Turkey breast is a versatile meat that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you’re slow cooking it in the oven or breading and frying it, it’s sure to be a hit. And don’t forget about the turkey rump, either. It’s great for sandwiches and wraps, and it’s a great source of protein and minerals. So why not give both a try?

Turkey Wings – The Middle Cut of the Animal

Barbecue or Fry?

Turkey wings are the perfect middle cut of the animal – not as thick as the thighs, but not as thin as the chest. You can buy them whole or already cut, and either way, they’re delicious when cooked on the barbecue. But if you’re looking for a more American-style cooking method, then frying is the way to go.

Stuffed Rolls

If you’re feeling a bit fancy, why not ask your butcher to debone the wings and turn them into stuffed rolls? Fill them with ham, mortadella, or whatever else takes your fancy – they’ll be a real treat!

Tips for the Best Turkey Wings

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your turkey wings:

  • Make sure to buy wings that are fresh and of good quality
  • Ask your butcher to debone the wings for you
  • Fry or barbecue the wings for a delicious American-style meal
  • Get creative and stuff the wings with ham, mortadella, or whatever else you like
  • Enjoy the deliciousness!

Tantalizing Turkey Thighs

A Delicious Cut of Meat

Turkey thighs are a succulent cut of meat that can be spiced up with a variety of flavors. Whether you’re looking for a Mexican-style dish or something cooked on the grill, turkey thighs are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

The Fattiest Part of the Bird

Turkey thighs are the fattiest part of the bird, making them richer in skin and flavor. You can cook them in the oven or on the rotisserie for a delicious meal that won’t disappoint.

A Variety of Recipes

There are a variety of recipes that can be made with turkey thighs, so you can get creative with your cooking. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Try a Mexican-style dish with lots of spices
  • Grill the thighs with some vegetable skewers for a flavorful mix
  • Make a delicious rotisserie turkey thigh
  • Bake the thighs in the oven for a juicy, tender meal

Cooking Delicious Turkey Drumsticks

What are Turkey Drumsticks?

Turkey drumsticks are a popular cut of turkey, located on the lower part of the legs, under the thighs. The meat is delicious, but it can be a bit tougher than other parts of the turkey due to the fact that the drumsticks are used more often by the animal.

How to Cook Turkey Drumsticks

Turkey drumsticks are perfect for slow cooking, so here are some ideas for how to cook them:

  • Oven-roasted: Place the drumsticks on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Cacciatora-style: Cook the drumsticks in a pan with fresh tomatoes and vegetables. Add some herbs and spices for extra flavor.
  • Pan-fried: Heat some oil in a pan and add the drumsticks. Fry for about 10 minutes, flipping them over occasionally, until they are golden brown and cooked through.


Cooking turkey drumsticks is a great way to add some delicious flavor to your meal. Whether you choose to oven-roast, fry, or cook them cacciatora-style, you’re sure to have a tasty dish that everyone will love. So, get out your pans and get cooking!

The History of Turkey as a Holiday Meal

A Brief History

Turkey has been a popular holiday meal for centuries! It was first eaten by indigenous peoples from Mexico, Central America, and the southern tier of the United States way back in antiquity. Then, in the 15th century, Spanish conquistadores took Aztec turkeys back to Europe. By the 16th century, turkey was even being eaten in England.

Thanksgiving and Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two holidays that are most associated with turkey. In the U.S. and Canada, turkey is usually the main course of Thanksgiving dinner feasts. And in much of the rest of the world, turkey is often served as a stuffed turkey at Christmas dinner feasts.

Before the 20th century, pork ribs were the most common food for the North American holidays, as the animals were usually slaughtered in November. Turkeys were so abundant in the wild that they were eaten throughout the year, so the food was considered commonplace. But, pork ribs were rarely available outside of the Thanksgiving–New Year season.

Around the World

Turkey is a popular dish around the world, too! In Mexico, turkey with mole is considered the national dish. In Taiwan, turkey rice is a national dish.

So, no matter where you are in the world, you can enjoy a delicious turkey meal this holiday season!

The Deliciousness of Turkey: A Guide to Cooking the Perfect Bird

What You Need to Know

Turkey is a delicious, versatile meat that can be cooked in a variety of ways. It’s high in protein, low in fat, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Whether you’re roasting it in the oven, deep-frying it, or brining it, here’s what you need to know to cook the perfect turkey.


Roasting is the classic way to cook a turkey. It usually takes several hours in an oven, and you can prepare the rest of the meal while it’s cooking. To ensure the dark meat is cooked without drying out the breast, you can brine the turkey first.

Deep Frying

Deep frying a turkey is becoming increasingly popular, but it’s important to handle the hot oil safely. It usually takes 30-45 minutes to cook a turkey this way.


Turkey is a great source of nutrition. Here’s what you can expect from a 100-gram serving:

  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 1%
  • Vitamins: Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic acid (B5), Vitamin B6, Folate (B9), Vitamin C
  • Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc
  • Water: 74g

So, if you’re looking for a delicious, nutritious meal, look no further than the turkey. With a few simple steps, you can have the perfect bird on your plate in no time.

What to Serve with Your Holiday Turkey

Thanksgiving in the US

Ah, Thanksgiving. That time of year when you gather around the table with your family, give thanks, and then stuff your face with a delicious turkey. But what should you serve with that turkey? Here are some traditional accompaniments to get you started:

  • Stuffed or with dressing (on the side)
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Corn on the cob
  • Green beans
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pie (pumpkin, apple, or pecan)

Christmas in the UK

If you’re celebrating Christmas in the UK, you’ll want to make sure you have the right sides to go with your turkey. Here are some traditional accompaniments:

  • Winter vegetables, such as roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips
  • Cranberry sauce (in the north) or bread sauce (in the south)
  • Pigs in blankets (small sausages wrapped in bacon)


No matter where you are, stuffing is a must-have for your holiday turkey. You can stuff the turkey itself, or make a separate side dish. Popular stuffing flavors include oatmeal, chestnut, sage and onion, cornbread, and sausage. Yum!


Turkey Vs Chicken Meat

Turkey and chicken meat may look similar, but there are some key differences between the two. For starters, turkey breast contains fewer calories and less fat than chicken breast, but it has more protein. In terms of vitamins and minerals, turkey is the clear winner. It’s richer in magnesium, copper, vitamin B12, and folate, while chicken has more vitamin A and vitamin E, but less sodium. So, if you’re looking for a leaner, healthier option, turkey is the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with a bit more flavor, chicken is the better choice.

Turkey Vs Duck Meat

Turkey and duck meat may look similar, but they’re actually quite different. Duck meat is much fattier and has a stronger taste than turkey, plus it’s darker in color. Turkey meat is leaner and has a milder flavor. Plus, the cuts of meat are almost identical to chicken. So if you’re looking for something a bit more flavorful than chicken, duck meat is definitely the way to go.

When it comes to nutrition, turkey breast is higher in Vitamin B6, while duck meat is richer in Iron, Copper, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin A RAE. Duck meat also has a higher daily need coverage for Saturated Fat. So if you’re looking for something with more vitamins and minerals, duck meat is the way to go.


So there you have it – everything you need to know about turkey. It’s a great meat to eat and perfect for any occasion. Just remember to buy the right kind!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.