How Long will Turkey Last in Fridge or Freezer?

Uncertain about the best method for preserving turkey in the refrigerator? Don’t worry; it’s not that difficult. You can wrap raw turkey slices in a seal and store them in Food Storage Quart Bags or any airtight container. Sliced cold cuts can be placed in a food storage bag before it is sealed, with any excess air pushed out. Especially if the turkey is uncooked, wash your hands before and after handling it.

How long will cooked turkey keep in the refrigerator? Cold cuts can keep for up to five days in the refrigerator when properly stored, while raw turkey can survive for one to two days. If you have prepared turkey leftovers, you may anticipate they will be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days.


What is Turkey?

There are two species of turkeys. America is home to the enormous turkey. Ocellated turkeys from Eastern and Central North America and wild or domestic turkeys are present on the Yucatan Peninsula.

A fleshy wattle hangs from the tip of the males’ beaks. Being one of the largest birds, the male is larger and more colorful than the female.

They are less friendly toward both humans and animals on the farm. In both intra- and intersexual selection, snoods have a part to play.

Female turkeys in captivity favor mating with males having long snoods. Because they have a lot of blood, snoods become redder during mating season. A few millimeters are added to its length as well.

Turkey is a popular holiday meal in America, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Domestic turkeys are preferred because they can grow into larger birds and pack a lot of flesh. The human race consumes them.

How Long does Turkey Last in the Fridge or Freezer?

In Fridge

Fresh turkey should be kept in the refrigerator for one to two days. The meat can start to exhibit indications of deterioration if you wait much longer. If you won’t be able to prepare the bird within 48 hours, freeze it and store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

A fresh turkey can remain in the refrigerator for up to two days with proper storage. After bringing it home, ideally within a day, cook it off as soon as possible.

Please note that we’re talking about fresh turkeys you bought at the store, not frozen turkeys you thawed in the refrigerator. For thawed turkeys, the regulations aren’t any different. You will have one to two days to cook and eat the bird after it has completely defrosted before it starts to go bad.

In Freezer

While cooked turkey can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator, it can also be stored in the freezer for up to six months. The good news is that you can use leftover turkey in several different recipes, such as making turkey pot pies or mixing it with ham to make stuffing.

The best time to eat leftover turkey is within three to four days of cooking. The longer you wait, the more likely harmful bacteria will develop. Additionally, it’s also possible for mold to grow on meats, which can lead to food poisoning. You’ll know when the turkey is spoiled when its skin turns slimy, becomes gray, or starts smelling sour.

Should Turkey be Stuffed While Cooking?

It used to be customary to stuff your turkey. As more individuals become aware of foodborne illnesses and the dangers they pose, things have changed. The good news is that stuffing your turkey is risk-free.

The Problem

It takes many hours to prepare a decent-sized Thanksgiving turkey in the oven. In addition to how long, the oven needs to be adjusted for what temperature. To eliminate any potentially dangerous bacteria (such as salmonella) hidden in the meat and its liquids, your bird must be cooked to the proper internal temperature.

Stuffing a large bird has historically been linked to salmonella outbreaks. The recommended time and temperature were not followed while roasting turkeys. In addition, overcrowding the turkey made it tougher to kill bacteria, which was a horrible combination and adversely impacted the cooking process. Even worse, it’s likely that the stuffing you remove from a poorly cooked turkey is contaminated and unfit for consumption.

The Answer

The U.S.D.A. suggests buying pre-stuffed frozen turkeys because these birds have undergone inspection to ensure proper treatment. However, it would be best to cook these turkeys straight from the freezer rather than thaw them first. The U.S.D.A. strongly advises against buying fresh, pre-stuffed turkeys because they are handled by many people and are more likely to be contaminated.

How can I Prevent Drying Out a Turkey at the Time of Grilling?

As with any cooking method, you risk drying out your turkey if you cook it excessively long or at a high temperature. The following are five quick tips for grilling a moist turkey.

A flavorful marinade or brine bath is a fantastic method to add moisture and flavor to the grilled turkey. Once completely thawed, your turkey should soak in your brine or marinate for at least 24 hours for the finest results.

Baste: Keeping a turkey wet while cooking is another fantastic method of grilling. Make an extra 1-2 cups of marinade and use it to baste your turkey every 30 minutes or so while it cooks because the drippings from a turkey may be hard to access or salvage on a barbecue.

Add Fat: After taking the turkey from the brine or marinade and patting it dry, apply butter, olive oil, or even mayonnaise to the outside of the bird and under the skin. This additional layer of fat shields and insulates the turkey meat from grill hot spots that could cause some of the meat to cook more quickly than you would want.

Flip the Bird: Don’t lift that finger. In such a situation, we don’t imply “flipping the bird” (unless you end up drying out your turkey). To ensure that the delicate white meat of your turkey is cooked through but is protected from the greater heat of the grill for the second half of cooking, start grilling it breast side down and flip it over halfway through.

Lay It Down: Although your turkey smells amazing, and we are aware that everyone is hungry, you should avoid the impulse to cut into it while it is still hot from the grill. Instead, loosely tent the turkey with foil and allow it to rest on a carving board for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

By doing this, the liquids will be able to be evenly re-distribute throughout the turkey rather than leaking out as soon as it is carved. The most frequent step that we observe being skipped is this one.

What are the Reheating Instructions for Turkey?

Heat your food to a sufficient temperature as one of the best techniques to prevent this and keep it secure. It is typically considered safe to consume cold turnkey directly from the refrigerator throughout the four-day window. More care must be used while reheating a frozen or chilled turkey. It is possible to reheat meat chunks in the microwave, stovetop, or oven, but they must reach an internal temperature of 165°F (about 74°C) before consumption. Warming up poultry meat creates a perfect habitat for bacteria to flourish.

Use the same fundamental storage techniques as before if you have “leftover” leftovers, but keep in mind that the four-day countdown started when the meat was first cooked, not when it was reheated. Most food safety experts advise against reheating leftover turkey more than twice.

How to Choose the Best Quality Turkey?

The best places to buy a turkey are a trustworthy supermarket, a nearby butcher shop, a farmers’ market or store, or an online mail-order business. The latter four of the five sources are most likely to offer the most details about the turkey, including its origin and method of production. The higher the level of welfare, the better the meat quality; this traceability ensures that the turkey was handled humanely while alive.

The priciest turkey is organic, which indicates that it was raised under the highest agricultural regulations, allowed to walk outside throughout the day, and fed exclusively organic food. Their flesh is substantial and delicious since they are allowed to mature slowly, but because they have been given a lot of exercise throughout their lives, they might not be as fat as birds raised indoors. If you want to purchase organic products, look for the Soil Association sticker.

Free-range turkeys are less expensive than organic turkeys and should have had exposure to the outdoors. Producers can use the Freedom Food label if they adhere to R.S.P.C.A. rules.

The most common type of turkey was reared in a battery (or “factory”). Even though they aren’t typically labeled as such, the low price is a dead giveaway. Despite being less expensive, these turkeys are raised in appalling conditions. Their flesh has deteriorated due to being packed in at high densities, with limited mobility, and without access to sunlight.

What are the Health Benefits of Consuming Turkey?

A nutritious diet typically includes lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Consider eating turkey if you’re unsure of what kind of lean protein to include in your diet.

Discover the top health advantages of eating turkey by reading this article.

It’s a Fantastic Protein Source

The fact that turkey is a fantastic source of protein is one of its main advantages.

Protein supports the growth and maintenance of muscle. Additionally, it gives shape and aids your cells in the transfer of nutrients through your body. A high-protein diet can also aid in weight loss since it encourages a sensation of fullness.

Two thick slices of turkey, or 84 grams, provide a whopping 24 grams protein. This is almost half of the daily recommended protein intake.

For a tasty and nutritious snack, combine two thick slices of turkey with a piece of whole-grain bread and some sliced avocado.

A Healthier Option to Red Meat

The fact that turkey is a lean alternative to red meat is another fantastic feature of this meal.

Numerous studies have suggested a connection between red meat and type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and heart disease in recent years. If you consume processed red meat, you run an even higher chance of contracting these diseases.

Turkey is a fantastic choice if you don’t want to become a vegetarian or only occasionally crave meat. You have a far lower chance of contracting the harmful diseases linked to red, processed meat if you choose the unprocessed variety.

Packed with B Vitamins

The fact that turkey is a fantastic source of B vitamins is another plus.

You can meet 61% of your daily vitamin B3 needs, 49% of your daily vitamin B6 needs and 29% of your daily vitamin B12 needs with just two thick slices of turkey.

A good source of vitamins B1 and B2 is turkey. These vitamins have several advantages, including:

  • Vitamin B3 is excellent for cellular communication and energy production.
  • Vitamin B6 facilitates the formation of amino acids and neurotransmitters.
  • Red blood cell generation and D.N.A. synthesis are both facilitated by vitamin B12.

Full with Additional Minerals

Turkey is a good source of various minerals in addition to B vitamins. Turkey is rich in selenium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Numerous body functions depend on zinc, such as protein synthesis, gene expression, and enzyme response. Your bone health can be improved by phosphorus. Additionally, selenium promotes the production of thyroid hormones, controls metabolism, and accelerates growth.

Additionally, turkey gives your body small amounts of magnesium and potassium.

Reference: Natural antioxidants as food and feed additives to promote health benefits and quality of meat products: A review

Meat is a nutrient-dense food source that offers top-notch proteins, minerals, vitamins, and other micronutrients. Meat consumption, especially red meat (beef, hog, turkey, and lamb), has roots in antiquity and continues to be a prevalent way of life and frequently a nutritionally essential way of life in contemporary civilization. Nevertheless, despite the substantial nutritional advantages, eating red meat has been associated with coronary heart disease and several cancers. The production of chemical poisons (carcinogens and mutagens) during processing procedures like curing, smoking, fermentation, and heat treatment is thought to be an underlying cause (McAfee et al., 2010). As a result, processed red meat is closely monitored.


Generally, you can eat a cooked turkey for up to four days after you’ve cooked it. However, the meat of spoiled turkey is less flavorful than a fresh one. You can tell if your turkey has gone bad by its slimy appearance, grayish tint, and sour smell.

Cooked turkey should be consumed within four days in the refrigerator after it’s been cooked. If you don’t use it within that time, you can store it in an airtight glass container. You can also freeze leftovers to use at a later date. After preparing your turkey, make sure to clean your hands. Wash your hands with hot water and soap before handling raw turkey. Also, make sure to clean surfaces, utensils, and countertops thoroughly. Use clean knives and forks to avoid germs.