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Frequently Asked


  • The Turkey
  • General
  • Deli
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What size turkey should I purchase for the holiday?

The average adult eats between 1 and 1½ pounds of meat. Kids? Well, treat them like adults, too. If they don’t eat a full 1-1½ pounds, that’s more leftovers for you. Win-win.


How do I thaw my turkey?

If you need to cook your turkey in the next couple of days, we recommend softening the bird in your refrigerator. Below are the USDA’s recommended refrigerator thawing times:

Refrigerator Thawing Times
4 to 12 pounds – 1 to 2 days
12 to 16 pounds – 2 to 3 days
16 to 20 pounds – 3 to 4 days

If you need to cook your turkey in less than one day, we recommend softening your bird in a cold water bath. Allow about 30 minutes per pound.

Submerge the turkey (in the original bag) in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Below are the USDA’s recommended cold water thawing times:

Cold Water Thawing Times
4 to 12 pounds – 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds – 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds – 8 to 10 hours

*Please note thawing the turkey more slowly is preferred.*

Do you include the giblets and neck for gravy?

We pack all of our Diestel turkeys with the giblets and the neck so you can make a FANTASTIC gravy. Be sure to reach inside the turkey (We’re talkin’ FULL pat-down here – neck and giblet packs are in different locations!) to locate the neck & giblet pack before you rinse and roast your bird.

Forgot & roasted the bird with the giblet pack? Yes, it’s safe to consume the giblets (packed in food-grade paper) and neck after cooking inside the bird.

How long can a fresh turkey be kept in the refrigerator before cooking?

Geez, comin’ at us with the TOUGH questions now. This one is complicated, because there are multiple factors to consider.

  • If you purchased your turkey directly from Diestel via this website:
    • The turkey was shipped deep chilled to arrive fresh (not frozen!) in a biodegradable liner. Enjoy raw, whole turkeys 3-5 days after delivery or freeze upon delivery to use within the year.
      • If you bought your turkey early and have more than 5 days before preparing, we recommend holding the turkey in your freezer.
  • If you purchased your turkey from a retail store: 
    • Most retailers receive deep chilled turkeys from us prior to the holiday, and may hold them fresh or frozen, depending on demand. We recommend asking your retailer how they handled the turkey and getting a recommendation from them on how soon to cook & enjoy.
  • If you have additional questions, call us! 888-4-GOBBLE


Are the animals thoughtfully raised and harvested?

Yes! Flavor needs space to develop. Our animals are raised with room to roam, whether indoors or outdoors. They’re raised on a proprietary, all-vegetarian diet that encourages slow, natural growth, and they’re never given hormones, antibiotics or growth stimulants. The only thing we inject them with is our passion for thoughtful, compassionate agriculture. Ultimately, we believe that doing things right results in a happier, healthier animal—and a heftier, more flavorful product.

If you’d like to talk more about our commitment to animal welfare, give us a call at (209) 532-4950. We love to talk about this stuff.

Why is your Pasture Raised Turkey no longer available?

Our Pasture Raised program was very popular, which led us to evolve to a regenerative program. Like the Pasture Raised birds, our Regeneratively Raised birds are raised on our home ranch in Sonora, CA.

Regenerative agriculture is a hopeful solution to fight climate change through carbon sequestration. By improving the health of our soil, our soil can then hold more water, dramatically reduce erosion, and hold more carbon underground, out of our atmosphere. To learn more about our Regeneratively Raised Whole Turkey, click here.

What’s the difference between your white-feathered turkeys and brown-feathered turkeys?

If by “book” you mean “turkey” and “cover” you mean “feathers,” then yes, you can judge a book by its cover. Our brown-feathered birds are part of our American Heirloom collection, a rare collection of turkeys just like the ones our great-grandma grew. We raise them just like our Diestel and Diestel Organic turkeys, but they have a richer, more complex flavor unlike any turkey you’ve ever tasted.

American Heirloom Turkey: Marks of Authenticity?

Due to natural pigmentation of bronze feathers, you may notice some discoloration to the skin & perhaps some dark pinfeathers that stand out. Be assured that this is natural with bronze turkeys and part of the heirloom tradition.

Does Diestel work with other farmers?

We’re committed to advancing the art of independent and regenerative agriculture for everyone. For us, that means working with small and independent farmers like us who are fighting to sustain a method of farming and a way of life that’s existed for generations. Together, we’re creating an economic model that helps independent, values-driven farms and farmers to succeed and endure. If there’s one thing we hope to make our legacy, that’d be it.

What type of turkeys do you offer?

Most producers use one standard breed of bird that’s been genetically engineered and fed to grow fast and cheap.

Diestel Family Ranch raises a wide variety of birds, each of which is raised slowly, naturally, and with intention to bring out that breed’s unique, crave-worthy characteristics. To see the full Diestel Family of Turkeys, visit our breeds page.

How long has Diestel Family Ranch been in business? Who owns it? Where is it located?

Now in its fourth generation, the Diestel Family Ranch has been a real family farm run by a real family of farmers since 1949. Our ranch is located in beautiful Sonora, California, about 125 miles East of San Francisco as the crow flies. (Sure, it’s 125 miles as the turkey flies, too, but it’d take way longer.)

How do your deli meats stack up?

No matter how you slice ‘em—yes, that pun is intended—Diestel Family Ranch deli meats have a luscious texture and exquisite taste that make a sandwich so much more than a sandwich. Every one of our products is:

  • Free from gluten, casein, phosphates, and MSG
  • Free from nitrates, nitrites, artificial ingredients and preservatives
  • Free from antibiotics or growth stimulants
  • Raised on 100% vegetarian diets
  • Made from whole muscle meat without fillers
  • Raised thoughtfully on independent family farms and ranches

How are your deli meats flavored?

We use real spices and seasonings with names you can pronounce, and you won’t find MSG or artificial ingredients on our labels. The mouthwatering taste? That’s the taste of turkey done right. Our smoked turkey? It’s made using real hardwoods, in a smoker. Our honey roasted? Yep, we slather it in honey (local whenever possible!) before roasting.

The gist is, we keep it simple and use the best ingredients we can find.

Are your deli meats low in sodium?

No matter what you’re craving, Diestel Family Ranch has a bird for you. We offer a variety of low sodium and no added salt products. Our natural and organic oven roasted turkey breast, for example, has just 280mg of sodium per serving.

Are your deli meats gluten free?

None of our deli meat products contain gluten-full ingredients, but we can’t speak for what happens behind your local deli counter. If you’re sensitive to gluten, be sure to ask your deli about any potential contact.

Do you ship directly? Can I order online?

Not all of our products can be shipped, but most of them can be delivered right to your door. Visit our products to see which products we can currently ship. If you’ve got a hunger that can’t wait for delivery, use our product locator to find the turkey you’re craving at a store near you.

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