How Long Can You Keep A Thawed Turkey In The Refrigerator Before Cooking


By Arindam Roy

After thawing, a turkey can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You should cook or refreeze it if it’s going to be more than 2 days.

You want to keep your turkey at 40°F or below so that it does not spoil and develop harmful bacteria. If your refrigerator is 40°F (4°C) or lower, you should be safe; otherwise, cook or refreeze the turkey within 2 days after thawing.

How Can I Tell If My Turkey Is Done?

You can determine doneness with an inexpensive food thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, making sure it does not touch bone. The thermometer should read 180 F (82 C). If you don’t have a food thermometer or if you are cooking a stuffed turkey, check for doneness based on visual clues. The legs should feel springy when pressed and juices should run clear. An unstuffed turkey will take about 2 1/2 to 3 hours at 325 F (170 C). A stuffed turkey will take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

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How to Keep a Turkey Cold

Canning turkey: To can your turkey, follow these directions. Place the turkey in a large gallon-size freezer bag. Add water to cover the bottom of the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. Add more water if the bag seems too full. Remove from fridge, place in pot, cover, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the turkey to cool 5 minutes before removing it from its bag. Transfer it to a large serving platter or cutting board lined with paper towel or clean white cloths. Using a sharp knife, cut between the breast and thigh of the turkey just to make sure that there is no longer any actual bone in the turkey. Discard bones and skin and pour off excess cooking water. Next, you’ll slice open the bird and stuff it with dressing before serving.

Note: If you are boiling a whole turkey, it will need to be cooked for at least 10 hours at 195-200 F (90-95 C) in order to kill all bacteria present on the surface of the meat. The internal temperature of your turkey should also reach 180 F (82 C) which is considered safely done.

How to Cook a Frozen Turkey

If you’re planning on cooking a frozen turkey, take it out of the freezer a few days before you need to cook it. If the turkey has been in the freezer for longer than 4 months, increase your cooking time by an hour and a half. Thawing your turkey in cold water is recommended as bacteria grows rapidly at room temperature. Keep an eye on the water level so that it doesn’t get too low. Cooked frozen turkeys can be kept in a refrigerator for 3 days, or they can be put into cold water and cooked within 2 hours. They can also be cooked and then frozen, but it is risky to freeze and thaw a chicken more than once.

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How to Cook Turkey Breast

Turkey breast is an easy type of poultry to cook because it does not require any special care and it can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are two main types of turkey breast: brown or white. Brown turkey breast contains dark meat and this type of meat has more flavor, so it’s good for casseroles or sautees. The white turkey breast, on the other hand, is good for slicing or serving cold because it’s very thin and cooks quickly.

To cook a turkey breast properly, it should be cooked to the temperature of 165F on an oven temperature thermometer, which can be purchased at any sporting goods store. If you are using a skillet in your oven, maintain an oven temperature of 350F.

Place your turkey breast on a lightly greased tray in the middle rack of your oven. After approximately one hour, check for doneness with an instant-reading thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast. The meat should have reached 165 F before it can be removed from the oven and should never touch any part of the pan because this would slow down the cooking process and cause it to take longer to reach 200 F.

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To pull a turkey breast from the oven, allow it to cool slightly and then use two large spatulas to lift it onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut between the breast and thigh of the turkey just to make sure that there is no longer any actual bone in the turkey. Discard bones and skin. Transfer it to a large serving platter or cutting board lined with paper towel or clean white cloths.

Cut around each drumstick and remove them from their legs by cutting through the joint at the bottom of each thigh, separating them. Trim excess skin from drumsticks before removing them from legs and thighs; do not discard skin after removing meat from bone.

Use a sharp knife to cut through the cartilage where the wing meets the breast. Next, you’ll slice open the bird and stuff it with dressing before serving.

Note: If you are boiling a whole turkey, it will need to be cooked for at least 10 hours at 195-200 F (90-95 C) in order to kill all bacteria present on the surface of the meat. The internal temperature of your turkey should also reach 180 F (82 C) which is considered safely done.

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How to Cook Turkey Legs

There are two main types of turkey legs: brown or white. Brown turkey leg contains dark meat and this type of meat has more flavor, so it’s good for casseroles or sautees. The white turkey leg, on the other hand, is good for slicing or serving cold because it’s very thin and cooks quickly.

To cook a turkey leg properly, it should be cooked to the temperature of 165F on an oven temperature thermometer, which can be purchased at any sporting goods store. If you are using a skillet in your oven, maintain an oven temperature of 350F.

Place your turkey legs on a lightly greased tray in the middle rack of your oven. After approximately one hour, check for doneness with an instant-reading thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the drumstick. The meat should have reached 165 F before it can be removed from the oven and should never touch any part of the pan because this would slow down the cooking process and cause it to take longer to reach 200 F.

To pull a turkey leg from the oven, allow it to cool slightly and then use two large spatulas to lift it onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut between the breast and thigh of the turkey just to make sure that there is no longer any actual bone in the turkey. Discard bones and skin. Transfer it to a large serving platter or cutting board lined with paper towel or clean white cloths.

Cut around each drumstick and remove them from their legs by cutting through the joint at the bottom of each thigh, separating them. Trim excess skin from drumsticks before removing them from legs and thighs; do not discard skin after removing meat from bone.

Use a sharp knife to cut through the cartilage where the wing meets the breast. Next, you’ll slice open the bird and stuff it with dressing before serving.

Note: If you are boiling a whole turkey, it will need to be cooked for at least 10 hours at 195-200 F (90-95 C) in order to kill all bacteria present on the surface of the meat. The internal temperature of your turkey should also reach 180 F (82 C) which is considered safely done.

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How to Cook Turkey Stuffing

Turkey stuffing is an excellent way to add flavor and texture to a meal when preparing turkey. It can also be used as a side dish when making other types of poultry such as chicken or duck, and it can even be served on its own.

To cook a turkey stuffing properly, it should be cooked to the temperature of 165F on an oven temperature thermometer, which can be purchased at any sporting goods store. If you are using a skillet in your oven, maintain an oven temperature of 350F.

Place your turkey stuffiing on a lightly greased tray in the middle rack of your oven. After approximately one hour, check for doneness with an instant-reading thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the mixture. The stuffing should have reached 165 F before it can be removed from the oven and should never touch any part of the pan because this would slow down the cooking process and cause it to take longer to reach 200 F.


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