a Thawed Turkey on a table

How Long Can A Thawed Turkey Stay In The Fridge

Mostly during “great thaw,” turkeys must always be kept at a safe temperature. A turkey can be frozen for an infinite period. Any bacteria that may have been there before freezing can begin to develop immediately as soon as it begins to thaw As soon as you are done with your grocery just deep freeze the turkey at your home.

There is some advice related to freezing your turkey. The frozen meat shouldn’t be left anywhere in the basement, trunk, back porch, or somewhere in a place where the temperature can’t be checked.

How long can you keep a frozen turkey and still have it taste decent when it comes out of the oven? You can find out how long a turkey lasts in the freezer in this article so you can start preparing ahead for your big meal.
One of the greatest ways to cross the most crucial component off your grocery list is to purchase a frozen turkey. However, how long can a frozen turkey be stored?

Perhaps you purchased two turkeys for your feast, only to discover that you only need one. It’s crucial to think about how long a turkey will last in the freezer if you want the greatest quality. It’s important to determine how long a turkey will last in the freezer for the highest quality turkey. After all, no one wants food to go to waste.

How Long Can You Keep Turkey Frozen?

A turkey may be preserved in the freezer for up to two years and still be cooked, according to the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. Check to see whether your turkey hasn’t been opened. If you want to store a fresh turkey for later, put it in the freezer before the “use-by” date on the box.

The USDA suggests that frozen turkeys be consumed within the first year of storage for the best quality. Meat may be thawed in three different ways: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven.

A. Refrigerate your turkey to thaw it out.

 turkey meat in the fridge

The safest and easiest approach is to let your turkey defrost in the refrigerator. But it takes the longest time. It’s as simple as putting the turkey in a pan to collect any drips and putting it in the fridge for a few days.

It’s completely hands-off. For every five pounds of turkey, allow roughly 24 hours. According to the USDA, every four to five pounds of turkey need 24 hours in the refrigerator to defrost. It will take around four days to defrost a 16-pound turkey. Your meat has been completely safe and sound for about two days since it has been thawed. It is advisable to start the process of thawing a week before Thanksgiving.

You may start bringing your turkey while it’s still partially frozen. This could be done either in a brine solution or with a dry brine. Also, a thawed turkey may be kept in the fridge for up to two days. So you have some leeway if you want to start thawing your turkey ahead of time.

B. Thawing a Turkey in a Hurry

The cold water technique is best suited when you are completely short on time. This approach will speed up your thawing process. The process is done by simply soaking the frozen turkey in cold water keeping in mind that it is still in its container. It is said to replace the water every half hour. After that, you should cook the turkey for a half-hour per pound.

You should use this quick-thawing process with a combination of the refrigerator method. Just in case your turkey is still partially frozen on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning. When the water changes, check the turkey to see how far it has thawed.

The breast meat should feel soft and springy, the legs should move freely in their sockets, and the interior should be free of ice crystals there should be about half an hour for the defrosting process per pound for this technique. If we follow this approach, it will take about 8- hours for a 16-pound turkey bird to thaw.

Turkeys that have been thawed in cold water should be cooked right away.

C. Thawing using the microwave

It is advisable just for safety to ensure that you read the complete user manual for the size of your bird that will fit in the microwave oven. A few things need to be checked before starting the process. The first is the minutes per pound used for thawing. The second one is important, which is the demonstration of the power that is being used in the process.

It is a sensible approach to remove the outer wrapping of the turkey and place it on the safe plate of the microwave oven. This should be done to collect any juice that may escape.
Allow six minutes per pound as a general guideline. You should use the weight-based thaws function using the microwave oven. During the thawing process, spin it many times and even flip it.

What if the turkey begins to cook rather than merely defrost?

Allow for a five-minute pause period before continuing to defrost.
Cover the tips of the wings and drumsticks with a tiny piece of chicken foil halfway through thawing to protect them from microwaves and prevent them from frying. You should cook the turkey as soon as it has thawed.
If you’re afraid of using aluminum foil in the microwave, it’s safe to do so in tiny amounts.

What if your Thanksgiving turkey is still frozen on the morning of the holiday?

Cooking a frozen turkey is safe. The only drawback is that it will take more time. The bird is ready once the innermost section of the thigh, part of the wing, and thickest region of the breast reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last but not least, a turkey should never be thawed on the counter or in hot water. The USDA warns against eating any meat or poultry that has been thawed using those two techniques since the outer layer of the food has been exposed to bacteria-breeding temperatures of 40° F to 140° F for much too long to be safe.

You can also read about the safety guidelines for the pumpkin in a fridge.


Surely, as discussed above the most crucial stage in meal preparation is safely thawing your frozen turkey. No one wants to ruin their day so it’s important to let the thawing process take its time.

So whatever process you choose just follow the specific instructions to enjoy your meal and holiday. Lastly, never defrost a turkey at room temperature. If you are truly short on time go grab a newly fresh turkey which will be just as tasty and requires no preparations.

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