Food security tips for handling, thawing, roasting, storing, and also reheating turkey.

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Minnesota department of consumer Fact sheet Revised August, 2011

Download a publish version that this document: Turkey: for sure Thawing and Cooking (PDF)

handle Food safely

always wash her hands before and also after taking care of food. store the kitchen, dishes and utensils clean. always serve food top top clean plates. carry out not usage the exact same platter and also utensils because that raw and cooked meat/poultry.

Fresh Turkey

to buy the turkey only 1 or 2 days prior to you plan to chef it. save it save on computer in the refrigerator till you’re ready to cook it. Location it top top a tray or pan come catch any juices that may leak. do not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys. If not taken on properly, harmful bacteria that might be in the stuffing have the right to multiply rapidly.

Frozen Turkey

keep frozen till you’re ready to thaw it. Turkeys have the right to be retained in the freezer indefinitely. However, cook turkeys within 1 year for the ideal quality.

Thawing her Turkey

There space three means to thaw your turkey safely: Thawing in the Microwave Oven: check your owner’s manual for the minutes per pound and also the power level to use for thawing. eliminate all external wrapping. location on a microwave-safe dish to catch any type of juices that can leak. cook your turkey automatically after thawing in the microwave. carry out not refreeze. Thawing in the Refrigerator: store the turkey in its original wrapper. ar it ~ above a tray come catch any juices that may leak. A s turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 come 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has actually been correctly thawed in the refrigerator might be refrozen.
Thawing in the refrigerator Time come thaw (allow 24 hours for every 4 come 5 pounds)
4 come 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 come 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days

Thawing in Cold Water: Wrap your turkey securely, making certain water is not able come leak v the wrapping. Submerge the sheathe turkey in cold madness water. change the water every 30 minutes. chef the turkey automatically after the is thawed. execute not refreeze.
Thawing in cold water Time to thaw (allow 30 minutes per pound)
4 come 12 pounds 2 come 6 hrs
12 come 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 come 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds 10 come 12 hours
REMINDER : remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.

Roasting her Turkey

set your range temperature no reduced than 325 °F. location the turkey ~ above a rack in a shallow roasting pan. For an ext even cooking, that is recommended that you chef your stuffing exterior the bird in a casserole dish. Use a food thermometer to inspect the inner temperature the the stuffing. The center should with at the very least 165°F. If you choose to stuff your turkey, to fill the cavity just before cooking. To fill the cavities loosely. Use a food thermometer to examine the internal temperature of the stuffing. The center should with at the very least 165°F. To check the doneness of a totality turkey, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the inside thigh without poignant the bone. A totality turkey must be cooked come 165°F. To inspect the doneness the a turkey breast, insert a food thermometer in the thickest component of the breast. A turkey breast should be cooked to 165°F. If your turkey has a pop-up temperature indicator, that is recommended the you also check the interior temperature the the turkey and the stuffing. allow the turkey was standing for 20 minutes after cooking. It will carve an ext easily. eliminate all stuffing from the turkey cavities.

REMEMBER : Always to wash (with soap and also water) hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and also its juices.

Timetables for Turkey Roasting (325°F range temperature):

These times are estimates. Constantly use a food thermometer to examine the internal temperature of your turkey and also stuffing (165°F).

Unstuffed Turkey Time to chef
4 come 8 pounds (breast) 1½ come 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ come 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ come 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ come 5 hours
Stuffed Turkey Time to chef
4 come 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 come 12 pounds 3 come 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 come 4¼ hours
18 come 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 come 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours

save on computer Leftover Turkey

throw away turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F). divide leftovers into tiny portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling. use refrigerated turkey and stuffing within 3 come 4 days. Usage gravy within 1 come 2 days. If freezing, use leftovers within 2 to 6 month for finest quality.

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Reheating Leftovers

Reheat turkey, stuffing, and also gravy to 165°F.