Buying frozen turkeys might be the norm, yet many consumers like to look for out fresh poultry whenever possible. The problem is, you’ll have to chef it off easily to ensure that it stays fresh. Exactly how long have the right to you keep a new turkey in the refrigerator prior to cooking it? Our overview will offer you the answer.

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How Long deserve to You save a fresh Turkey In The Refrigerator?

Fresh turkey have to keep in the refrigerator because that 1 come 2 days. If girlfriend wait any longer, the meat might start to show signs of spoilage. Keep the bird in the coldest section of the fridge, and also freeze that if you aren’t walk to be able to cook it turn off within 48 hours.

Sell-By vs. Use-By

Don’t depend on any “sell-by” dates you could see on the turkey’s packaging. This are placed in location as guidelines for the sellers. They’re not intended come be offered as recommendations for the consumer.

That said, if you watch a “use-by” or a “best by” date on the package, feel free to use it as a storage guideline. The turkey have to keep in the refrigerator until this day as lengthy as the parcel is unopened and also the refrigerator temperature is collection below 40 degrees. If you won’t have the ability to cook the turkey within that time frame, freeze it instead.

How long Will a new Turkey Keep as soon as Refrigerated?


With ideal storage, a new turkey have the right to last in the fridge for up to 2 days. We would recommend food preparation it turn off as shortly as feasible after bringing that home, preferably in ~ a day.

Note that we’re referring to turkeys that you’ve purchased fresh from the store, not previously frozen turkeys that you’ve thawed in the fridge. However, the rules aren’t all that different for thawed turkeys. once the bird has completely defrosted, you’ll have 1 to 2 days to prepare and enjoy it before it starts come deteriorate.

What Will occur If ns Wait Longer?

Storing fresh turkey for longer than 2 job will boost the risk of spoilage. The pathogens responsible for spoiled meat room different from the persons that cause food poisoning, yet you’ll still desire to protect against them at all costs.

When the turkey start to go bad, that may screen various warning signs, like a slimy texture or a foul, egg-like odor. You won’t necessarily obtain sick from eating the spoiled meat, yet it won’t be almost everywhere near together delicious as you’d hoped.

A healthy and balanced adult could suffer native a mild uncomfortable stomach after spend spoiled turkey. Children, the elderly, and also the immunocompromised space prone to much more serious illness. Therefore, if you’re offer the turkey together the centerpiece of a multi-generational celebration, there’s more risk involved.

Why Stores have the right to Store Turkey Longer

You could be wondering how supermarkets and butcher shops can ever before turn a benefit on turkey sales if the birds are going come spoil in together a short duration of time. In truth, the price is a an easy one: superior refrigeration techniques.

Commercial coolers are consistently inspected because that quality and also receive continual maintenance together a result. It’s also easier for employees to tell precisely how cold the problems are. With residence refrigerators, the temperature rises contempt every time you open up the door, which deserve to be problematic once storing new poultry.

You can assist to mitigate this problem by keeping the frozen fridge door closed as much as possible. If you have a second refrigerator that’s big enough to store the turkey, think about using the one instead. In any type of case, placed the bird in the back of the refrigerator on a lower shelf, making use of a pan v sides high sufficient to catch any juices that can drip off.

How lengthy Will The Turkey Last when It’s Cooked?


Cooked poultry, consisting of turkey, have to keep for 3 come 4 days in the fridge. Make certain to keep it in a strict sealed container, and store it in the coldest portion of the fridge. This will aid it last longer, though you have to still consume or freeze any kind of leftovers in ~ 4 days.

Note the these guidelines apply to any leftovers indigenous turkey the you’ve prepared yourself. Deli turkey, top top the various other hand, deserve to keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. That’s since the meat has been treated with additives that provide it a longer shelf life.

Tips on freezing Turkey

While it might seem counterproductive come buy a fresh turkey just to stick the in the freezer, you might have no choice if you don’t intended to cook it ideal away. Here’s exactly how to store a fresh turkey in the freezer for usage at a later date.

First, set aside 5 or 6 great of high-quality plastic wrap. Wash your hands prior to handling any type of raw poultry product.

Cover the turkey in the plastic wrap, taking treatment not to leave any type of of the skin bare. That’s why you’re using numerous layers—to ensure the the entire surface of the bird is wrapped together tightly as possible. Otherwise, there could be freezer-burned job on the skin, which will impact the texture once you’re all set to chef the turkey.

Store the bird in the deepest, coldest component of the freezer. For finest results, thaw and cook it off within 1 year. The will store indefinitely, but past the one-year mark, the high quality may begin to deteriorate. It’s additionally a good idea to perform regular checks come ensure that your freezer temperature is in ~ 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

One caveat: Butterball cases that their turkey will certainly still it is in of exceptional quality also after security 2 year in the freezer. If girlfriend can find the Butterball brand and also it fits within your budget, think about stocking increase on one or much more of their products. Just make certain you have sufficient room in your freezer prior to you make the purchase.

How To frozen Cooked Turkey

Freezing leftover cook turkey needs a similar collection of guidelines. Very first and foremost, make sure to refrigerate any type of leftovers within 2 hours. Freeze the cook turkey meat utilizing heavy-duty zip-top freezer bags, squeezing the bags to remove as much air together possible. brand each bag through the contents and the date, and thaw within 6 months.

The Bottom Line

Plan top top cooking and enjoying your frozen turkey no much more than 2 days after buying it.

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This way that if you want to usage a fresh turkey following Thanksgiving, you should arrange to pick up the bird no earlier than Tuesday.