Uh oh...

It appears that you're using a severely outdated version of Safari on Windows. Many features won't work correctly, and functionality can't be guaranteed. Please try viewing this website in Edge, Mozilla, Chrome, or another modern browser. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!

Read More about this safari issue.
Statewide Food 0

Thanksgiving Turkey in Arkansas 2023


Growing up, my parents always ordered a turkey that came to our porch the week of Thanksgiving. It was from a farm in a town near where they grew up. While the turkey was smoked in the ground and injected with Cajun spices, it came frozen and ready to serve. That turkey would feed our family for multiple meals over the days following Thanksgiving.

While we are a state known for wild hogs, the traditional food for the Thanksgiving feast is turkey, fried, baked, smoked and injected with butter and Cajun flavors. Wild turkeys are regular inhabitants around the state. But centuries-old meat markets and the 27.5 million turkeys that make their way through processing plants in Arkansas make it very easy to get a locally sourced bird for the holidays.

How Does Turkey Impact Arkansas?

While Springdale, Arkansas, is the “Poultry Capitol of Arkansas,” it’s not just because of chicken. With Cargill Productions and Butterball nearby, Arkansas ranks third in turkey production nationally. Arkansas industrial turkey operations are in Ozark, Huntsville, Jonesboro, Alix, Yellville, Springdale, Rogers, Clinton and Forrest City.

Arkansas sees a significant economic impact from the turkey production industry, with a value of just over $443 million. Jobs in several locations total more than 17,500, producing 12 percent of the U.S. turkey production.

However, many local farmers raise turkeys to sell at local markets and to supply the demand of grocery stores and food markets around the region.

Where Can I Buy a Thanksgiving Turkey in Arkansas?

Bless a family by shipping a meal from this favorite Arkansas company to a destination. Or, let this 95-year-old meat company handle the big bird. And any wise friend would tell you not to forget to add bacon to your order to spruce up leftovers and for breakfast the next day!

Burge’s has provided smoked meats to Arkansas for over 60 years. Their reputation crosses four generations, with grown-ups cherishing childhood memories at the meat counter with a grandparent. A little dairyette turned Arkansas Food Hall of Fame member, Burge’s signature hickory smoke flavor is a classic!

Stubby’s has been around since the 1950s. Their signature sauce is a fixture in many Arkansas homes and magazines, food books, and the Travel Channel have recognized their distinct taste. They bring their well-known smoke flavor to the Thanksgiving table through whole birds, tenderloins, ham and prime rib.

A farmer’s cooperative of natural, non-GMO pasteurized birds grown on Arkansas soil. Order your turkey directly from the farmers to your holiday dinner table.

  • Wrights BBQ | Johnson, Rogers, Bentonville, Little Rock

A growing Arkansas company built by Arkansas Razorback tailgate lovers. But their casual, approachable business model helped them grow from a game day catering truck to four locations, ever-expanding from giving hearts and the best flavors they carry to the big bird during the holiday season.

All orders must be made as pre-orders and picked up the week of Thanksgiving, but the rosemary and lemon turkey breast with a bacon glaze will set apart your dinner from any other meal. Check out the sides, desserts and add-ons available to complete the meal.

Three women are chasing one dream, a diner that serves breakfast and lunch east of downtown Little Rock. It took some time, but the concept grew in their hearts and these three “Rosies” make magic happen over a hearty breakfast and hot lunch plate. To serve their community, they make Thanksgiving dinner easy for their patrons. Call in the whole meal, sides or just the desserts.

Northeast Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

River Valley Arkansas

Central Arkansas

South Arkansas

Statewide Food Providers

The National Turkey Federation is an excellent resource for Turkey recipes and proper turkey preparation. Check out all their tips for cooking to the right temperature, spatchcocking, frying and carving.

So, as you gather around the table with family and friends next, we encourage you to think about the men and women who helped bring your meal to the table. Arkansas farmers made not only your meal but countless meals across the country possible.” – Arkansas Grown

If you want other items to round out your Thanksgiving feast, many locations listed above offer meals with sides and desserts as you get your plan together. Or, you can check out some of these recipes from the  “What’s Cookin’ at First Security Vol. 2” cookbook. You can purchase the cookbooks for $20 at any First Security Bank location.

Meet the

Learn more about .

A little about .

Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in Northwest Arkansas with her chicken man and break-dancing son. Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, small business trainer, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now, she is using those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop, which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom! Keisha loves to feed birds, read the stack on her nightstand, do dollar store crafts, cook recipes from her Pinterest boards, and chase everyday adventures on her Arkansas bucket list.

Read more stories by Keisha Pittman McKinney


Visit Keisha Pittman McKinney’s Website

Like this story? Read more from Keisha Pittman McKinney


Join the Conversation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Submit a photo

We select one featured photo per week, but we show many more in our gallery. Be sure to fill out all the fields in order to have yours selected.

  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, Max. file size: 5 MB.

Regions Topics

What are you looking for?

Explore Arkansas

Central Arkansas

Little Rock, Conway, Searcy, Benton, Heber Springs

Northwest Arkansas

Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale, Fort Smith

South Arkansas

Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Arkadelphia

Explore by Topic