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

You are watching: How long is a frozen turkey good in the freezer

Minnesota room of customer Fact paper Revised August, 2011

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

handle Food for sure

always wash her hands before and after dealing with food. keep the kitchen, dishes and also utensils clean. constantly serve food ~ above clean plates. execute not usage the same platter and utensils because that raw and cooked meat/poultry.

Fresh Turkey

purchase the turkey just 1 or 2 days prior to you plan to cook it. save it stored in the refrigerator until you’re all set to cook it. Place it on a tray or pan come catch any juices that might leak. do not buy new pre-stuffed turkeys. If not tackled properly, harmful bacteria that might be in the stuffing deserve to multiply rapidly.

Frozen Turkey

store frozen until you’re all set to thaw it. Turkeys deserve to be maintained in the freezer indefinitely. However, cook turkeys within 1 year for the ideal quality.

Thawing your Turkey

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

Thawing in Cold Water: Wrap her turkey securely, making certain water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. readjust the water every 30 minutes. chef the turkey automatically after it is thawed. carry out not refreeze.
Thawing in cold water Time to thaw (allow 30 minutes per pound)
4 to 12 pounds 2 come 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 : remove the giblets indigenous the turkey caries after thawing. Chef separately.

Roasting your Turkey

set your stove temperature no reduced than 325 °F. location the turkey ~ above a rack in a shallow roasting pan. For much more even cooking, that is recommended the you chef your stuffing external the bird in a casserole dish. Use a food thermometer to examine the inner temperature of the stuffing. The center should with at least 165°F. If you choose to stuff her turkey, to fill the cavity just before cooking. Fill the cavities loosely. Usage a food thermometer to inspect the inner temperature that the stuffing. The center should reach at least 165°F. To inspect the doneness of a totality turkey, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the inner thigh without emotional the bone. A whole turkey need to be cooked come 165°F. To check the doneness the a turkey breast, insert a food thermometer in the thickest component of the breast. A turkey breast should be cooked come 165°F. If her turkey has actually a pop-up temperature indicator, that is recommended that you also check the interior temperature of the turkey and also the stuffing. permit the turkey stand for 20 minutes after cooking. It will carve much more easily. eliminate all stuffing indigenous the turkey cavities.

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

Timetables because that Turkey Roasting (325°F oven temperature):

These times room estimates. Constantly use a food thermometer to inspect the inner temperature of her turkey and also stuffing (165°F).

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

save Leftover Turkey

throw away turkey, stuffing, and gravy left the end at room temperature much longer than 2 hours (1 hour in temperatures over 90 °F). division leftovers into small portions. Refrigerate or frozen in covered shallow containers for faster cooling. use refrigerated turkey and stuffing within 3 to 4 days. Usage gravy in ~ 1 to 2 days. If freezing, use leftovers in ~ 2 to 6 month for best quality.

See more: The Legend Of Spyro The Eternal Night Ps2, The Legend Of Spyro: The Eternal Night Review

Reheating Leftovers

Reheat turkey, stuffing, and gravy come 165°F.