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

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Minnesota department of customer Fact paper Revised August, 2011

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

manage Food safely

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

Fresh Turkey

purchase the turkey only 1 or 2 days before you setup to cook it. save 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. do not buy new pre-stuffed turkeys. If not handled properly, harmful bacteria that might be in the stuffing can multiply rapidly.

Frozen Turkey

keep frozen until you’re prepared to thaw it. Turkeys have the right to be preserved in the freezer indefinitely. However, chef turkeys within 1 year because that the best quality.

Thawing her Turkey

There are three means to thaw your turkey safely: Thawing in the Microwave Oven: inspect your owner’s manual for the minutes per pound and also the power level to usage for thawing. eliminate all exterior wrapping. location on a microwave-safe food to catch any juices that might leak. cook your turkey immediately after thawing in the microwave. perform not refreeze. Thawing in the Refrigerator: store the turkey in its initial wrapper. location it on a tray to catch any kind of juices that might leak. A s turkey deserve to remain in the refrigerator because that 1 come 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been correctly thawed in the refrigerator might be refrozen.
Thawing in the refrigerator Time come thaw (allow 24 hrs for every 4 come 5 pounds)
4 to 12 pounds 1 come 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days

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

Roasting her Turkey

collection your stove temperature no reduced than 325 °F. location the turkey top top a rack in a shallow roasting pan. For more even cooking, it is recommended that you chef your stuffing exterior the bird in a casserole dish. Use a food thermometer to inspect the internal temperature that the stuffing. The facility should with at the very least 165°F. If you pick to stuff her turkey, to fill the cavity just before cooking. Fill the cavities loosely. Usage a food thermometer to inspect the interior temperature of the stuffing. The facility should with at least 165°F. To inspect the doneness that a entirety turkey, insert a food thermometer in the thickest component of the within thigh without poignant the bone. A whole turkey should be cooked come 165°F. To examine the doneness of a turkey breast, insert a food thermometer in the thickest component of the breast. A turkey breast need to be cooked to 165°F. If your turkey has actually a pop-up temperature indicator, the is recommended the you additionally check the internal temperature the the turkey and also the stuffing. permit the turkey stand for 20 minutes after cooking. It will carve an ext easily. eliminate all stuffing indigenous the turkey cavities.

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

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

These times room estimates. Always use a food thermometer to check the interior temperature of her turkey and also stuffing (165°F).

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

storing Leftover Turkey

litter away turkey, stuffing, and also gravy left the end at room temperature much longer than 2 hrs (1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F). division leftovers into little portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling. usage refrigerated turkey and stuffing within 3 come 4 days. Use gravy in ~ 1 to 2 days. If freezing, usage leftovers in ~ 2 come 6 month for ideal quality.

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Reheating Leftovers

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