Don’t Be Chicken, Try Our List of the Best Deli Turkey Brands

I tend to stay away from deli meats because they are typically soaking wet (why are they always so wet?) and have a peculiar odor. They’re great on a sandwich, but they often leave much to be desired when eaten alone. Is the popular opinion that turkey is boring and flavorless just a myth? Or are people just eating the wrong turkey?

I, along with my Sporked coworkers, tried many different brands to find you the best deli turkey out there. We were looking for deli turkey slices with a mild flavor, relatively no odor, and a texture that resembled actual meat instead of processed meat product. Bonus points went to any brand with packaging that made the meat easy to access. Here are the best deli turkey brands we tried. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m covered in packaged meat juice.

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Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

Best of the Best

Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

You don’t get a vehicle that looks like a hot dog by being bad at making processed meat products, so it’s no surprise that Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Oven Roasted Turkey is the best sliced, packaged lunch meat on the market. Speaking of packaging, this turkey is extremely efficiently stored. The slices glide out of the plastic container with little to no tearing. This was the only brand we tried that was able to achieve successful removal of the turkey from its package. The meat is flavorful enough to stand up to the other ingredients on a sandwich but mild enough to not pull all the focus. It’s the star of the show in the most tasteful way. Sometimes its greatness is forgotten, but it is certainly never doubted. This turkey is the Famke Janssen of deli meats.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Castle Wood Reserve Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

Best Splurge

Castle Wood Reserve Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

Please don’t let the fact that the packaging looks like a mushroom container turn you off of this absolutely delicious turkey. Castle Wood Reserve Oven Roasted Turkey Breast felt as close as we could find to turkey cut straight off the bone. It is a more upscale version of regular deli meat and begs to be panini’d on sourdough with brie and Dijon and cranberry chutney. Its elevated vibe and meaty texture would also make it a great addition to a charcuterie board. This is not your mother’s deli turkey (or maybe it is if your mom is super into fancy packaged meats). It would’ve tied with Oscar Mayer, but it got knocked down half a spork because of its high price tag.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Vons

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Great Value Fat Free Turkey Breast

Best Budget

Great Value Fat Free Turkey Breast

This Great Value Fat Free Turkey Breast is nostalgia in a package. It has a perfectly processed taste and texture that reminds you of childhood. This is what you found in your lunchbox in elementary school. I want a few pieces of this turkey, a slice of American cheese, and some yellow mustard on Wonder Bread. After eating it, I want to play four square and argue with my friends about which one of the Spice Girls I look like (spoiler alert: the answer is none of them).

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Applegate Naturals Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

Best Natural

Applegate Naturals Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

“Natural” is in the name, so it makes sense that this turkey appeared to be the most natural of the bunch. While companies in the food industry constantly greenwash their products, it seems like Applegate is really trying to put their money where their mouth is. The packaging boldly states that their meat contains no nitrates and no antibiotics. For anyone with food allergies, it’s also gluten-free and casein-free. They also claim to raise their animals humanely. In terms of what you receive as a customer, these slices look like real pieces of turkey and have a nice meaty aroma and flavor.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Boar’s Head Hand Trimmed Roasted Turkey Breast

Best Thick Cut

Boar’s Head Hand Trimmed Roasted Turkey Breast

Boar’s Head Hand Trimmed Roasted Turkey Breast actually feels hand-trimmed. The slices are thick enough that they don’t have that papery, cut by a machine texture and appearance. They have all the joy of meat from a carving station at a wedding without having to pretend you care about your weird second cousin and his new bride. This turkey is simple: not too salty, enjoyably chewy, and delightfully meaty. This is a no-frills, solid choice for a club sandwich or cobb salad.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Kroger

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • there is listed the price but not the weight of the product, or even price per ounce. Boars Head is a pricey product that is generally 2-3 times the price of everything else of the same weight. is it worth the cost is what I am asking if you are poor?

    Reply
    • I agree. They didn’t include all the Boar’s Head sliced meat from the deli.

      Reply
      • We only review packaged products so nothing shaved at the deli counter counts!

  • So much yes about the Great Value!!! I have some in the fridge and I literally ate that exact sandwich tonight with a juice box!! It was a trip back to my childhood!

    Reply