In an attempt to keep this year's Thanksgiving stress to a minimum, we set out to find the best mail-order smoked turkey. The clear winner of our tasting was the Willie Bird; we had mixed opinions about the other two.

Willie Bird Smoked Turkey

staff comment "Very natural turkey flavor—juicy, tender and not too much smoke."
interesting bite Each year, the Willie Bird ranch in Sonoma County loses 500 of its free-ranging turkeys to coyotes and eagles. 877-494-5592; 800-541-2233

Nueske's Applewood Smoked Turkey

staff comment "Moist, with a nicely balanced flavor, but a bit too heavy on the salt."
interesting bite Nueske gives away three prizes a month: a ham, bacon and a Nueske Breakfast Trio. Go to for details.

Nodine's Whole Smoked Turkey

staff comment "Juicy, with mild smokiness, but tastes just like ham."
interesting bite Nodine's also sells dog treats, such as smoked beef bones and pig's ears.(800-222-2059)

Neri DeKramer