how long can you freeze a turkey?- How long can you keep a frozen turkey that still tastes good when it comes out of the oven? You’ll learn how long a turkey keeps in the freezer here, so you can start planning ahead for your big feast. Purchasing a frozen turkey is one of the most convenient ways to cross the most important ingredient off your Thanksgiving shopping list. But how long can a frozen turkey be kept? Maybe you bought two turkeys for your feast, but it turns out you only need one bird after all. It’s critical to consider how long a turkey will last in the freezer for the best quality turkey. After all, no one likes to throw away food. Use the expert tips below to ensure that the star of your meal is ready to roast when it’s time.
how long can you freeze a turkey?
According to the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, a turkey can be stored in the freezer for up to two years and still be cooked. Make certain that your turkey has not been opened. If you have a fresh turkey and want to freeze it for later, do so before the “use-by” date on the package. The USDA recommends using frozen turkey within the first year of storage for the best quality. Is Thanksgiving already over? If you don’t think you’ll eat leftover turkey within four days, you can freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to six months.
When it’s time to roast your turkey, use this turkey thawing guide to make sure it’s ready on time. For the most delicious Thanksgiving feast ever, use our handy (and creative!) Thanksgiving menu guide.
How Long Is Turkey Good In the Fridge?
If you just bought some turkey at the store and it smells and feels good, you might be wondering how long it will keep in the fridge. It all depends on whether or not it’s cooked.
how long is turkey good in the fridge?
Cooking raw meat should be done within two days. Meat should be consumed within three to four days of being cooked. According to The Kitchn, raw ground meat (including turkey) should be cooked within two days to ensure maximum freshness. According to The Sun, once the turkey is cooked, it can be stored in the refrigerator for three or four days.
How to Tell If Turkey Is Good?
Assume you have some turkey in the fridge that you want to freeze in order to make it last as long as possible. Before you do anything else, you should try to determine whether the turkey is edible in the first place.
The smell and texture of the turkey are the best indicators of whether it is still edible. According to StillTasty.com, if the turkey has a sour odor and/or a slimy texture, it’s probably past its prime — regardless of the date on the package. So, if you give your turkey a sniff and something doesn’t smell right, it’s time to toss it and choose something else to cook for dinner or freeze.
How to Properly Store Turkey In the Freezer?
All meat can be stored in the freezer indefinitely, but only if it is consistently kept at 0°F. This rule applies to meat stored at a constant temperature of 0°F, and it must be uniformly frozen at that temperature to keep harmful bacteria at bay.
how to properly store turkey in the freezer
If you store your turkey in airtight packaging, it can last up to two years.
If your turkey is good when you freeze it (and you properly thaw it — more on that below), you should be able to eat it two months or two years later. Just remember to keep the temperature at 0 degrees and you’ll be fine. According to the Globe and Mail, cooked turkey (rather than raw) can be stored in the freezer for up to two or three months.
How to Properly Defrost Raw Turkey?
- According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are several safe methods for defrosting turkey (or any meat). What you do will most likely be determined by the appliances you have and the amount of time you have available. The first step is to defrost the refrigerator. Simply place the meat in the refrigerator and allow it to slowly thaw. But keep in mind that the key word here is slowly. According to the USDA, even ground turkey will take 24 hours to fully thaw. The larger the piece of meat, the longer this process will take.
- The second, more careful method is to thaw the frozen water in cold water. According to the USDA, your meat must be in a leakproof package or plastic bag that you will submerge in cold tap water for 30 minutes, changing the water every 30 minutes to allow it to thaw. This, like fridge thawing, will take time. According to the USDA, you should “allow about 30 minutes per pound.”
- The third and quickest method is to defrost the meat in the microwave. Similarly to the cold water method, the FDA recommends cooking the food immediately after it has been thawed. However, Woman’s Day Senior Food Editor Catherine Lo points out that for a whole turkey, the edges and wings will begin to cook before the turkey is fully defrosted, which, while safe, isn’t ideal.
Thawing Frozen Turkey
According to the USDA, never thaw frozen turkey on the counter or in hot water, and never leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours. The best way to thaw frozen turkey (whole or in pieces) is to place the frozen package on a plate and place it in the fridge to gradually thaw. This method can take a full day depending on the size of what you’re thawing. If raw frozen turkey is thawed in the refrigerator, the defrosted turkey can be stored for 1–2 days before cooking or freezing.
If you need to thaw your turkey quickly, there is a shortcut you can use. Place the turkey in an airtight bag — Storage Quart Bags — and immerse it in cold tap water for 30 minutes, changing the water every 30 minutes to allow it to thaw. You can also thaw frozen turkey pieces in the microwave, but you should plan to cook them immediately after thawing to prevent bacteria from growing.
Can I freeze cooked turkey?
It’s normal to have a lot of leftovers from the Christmas day feast, including turkey, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw everything away. In fact, turkey freezes extremely well.
“You can freeze cooked turkey, other cooked meat, and meals made from cooked and frozen meat,” according to the FSA. “It will be safe to eat for a long time, but the quality may deteriorate after three to six months.”
You should eat leftover cooked turkey meat within 24 hours of defrosting it. According to the NHS, “never refreeze raw meat (including poultry) or defrosted fish.”
“You can cook frozen meat and fish after they’ve been defrosted and then refreeze them.” Cooked meat and fish can be refrozen once if they have been cooled before being placed in the freezer.
“Do not refreeze if in doubt.”