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 the this document: Turkey: for sure Thawing and also Cooking (PDF)

handle Food for sure

constantly wash your hands before and after managing food. keep the kitchen, dishes and utensils clean. constantly serve food top top clean plates. carry out not use the same platter and utensils for raw and also cooked meat/poultry.

Fresh Turkey

buy the turkey just 1 or 2 days before you setup to chef it. store it save on computer in the refrigerator till you’re all set to cook it. Ar it ~ above a tray or pan come catch any juices that might leak. execute not buy new 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 until you’re all set to thaw it. Turkeys can be kept in the freezer indefinitely. However, cook turkeys in ~ 1 year for the finest quality.

Thawing her Turkey

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

Thawing in Cold Water: Wrap your turkey securely, making sure water is no able to leak with the wrapping. Submerge the covering turkey in cold tap water. readjust the water every 30 minutes. cook the turkey instantly after it is thawed. execute not refreeze.
Thawing in cold water Time come thaw (allow 30 minutes per pound)
4 to 12 pounds 2 to 6 hrs
12 come 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours
REMINDER : eliminate the giblets from the turkey caries after thawing. Chef separately.

Roasting your Turkey

collection your cooktop temperature no lower than 325 °F. location the turkey ~ above a rack in a shallow roasting pan. For an ext even cooking, it is recommended that you chef your stuffing external the bird in a casserole dish. Usage a food thermometer to examine the interior temperature that the stuffing. The center should with at least 165°F. If you pick to stuff her turkey, to fill the cavity just prior to cooking. Fill the cavities loosely. Usage a food thermometer to check the interior temperature that the stuffing. The facility should reach at least 165°F. To inspect the doneness the a totality turkey, insert a food thermometer in the thickest component of the inside thigh without poignant the bone. A whole turkey must be cooked to 165°F. To inspect the doneness that a turkey breast, insert a food thermometer in the thickest component of the breast. A turkey breast must be cooked to 165°F. If her turkey has actually a pop-up temperature indicator, it is recommended the you also check the internal temperature that the turkey and also the stuffing. permit the turkey was standing for 20 minute after cooking. It will carve much more easily. remove all stuffing indigenous the turkey cavities.

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

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

These times space estimates. Always use a food thermometer to examine the internal temperature of her turkey and stuffing (165°F).

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

storing Leftover Turkey

litter away turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hrs (1 hour in temperatures over 90 °F). division leftovers into little portions. Refrigerate or frozen in spanned shallow containers for faster cooling. usage refrigerated turkey and stuffing in ~ 3 come 4 days. Usage gravy within 1 to 2 days. If freezing, usage leftovers within 2 come 6 months for best quality.

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Reheating Leftovers

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