Buying frozen turkeys can be the norm, however many consumers choose to look for out fresh poultry at any time possible. The trouble is, you’ll have actually to cook it off conveniently to ensure the it stays fresh. Exactly just how long deserve to you save a fresh turkey in the refrigerator before cooking it? Our overview will provide you the answer.

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How Long deserve to You keep a new Turkey In The Refrigerator?

Fresh turkey need to keep in the refrigerator because that 1 to 2 days. If friend wait any longer, the meat might begin to display signs of spoilage. Save the bird in the coldest ar of the fridge, and freeze the if you aren’t walking to have the ability to cook it off within 48 hours.

Sell-By vs. Use-By

Don’t rely on any type of “sell-by” dates you could see top top the turkey’s packaging. This are put in location as guidelines because that the sellers. They’re no intended come be offered as recommendations for the consumer.

That said, if you check out a “use-by” or a “best by” date on the package, feel free to usage it together a storage guideline. The turkey have to keep in the refrigerator until this date as lengthy as the package 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, frozen it instead.

How lengthy Will a fresh Turkey Keep when Refrigerated?


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

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

What Will take place If ns Wait Longer?

Storing new turkey for longer than 2 days will rise the risk of spoilage. The pathogens responsible for spoiled meat are different native the people that reason food poisoning, however you’ll still want to protect against them at all costs.

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

A healthy and balanced adult might suffer native a mild upset stomach after consuming spoiled turkey. Children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised are prone to an ext serious illness. Therefore, if you’re serving the turkey as the centerpiece the a multi-generational celebration, there’s more risk involved.

Why Stores can Store Turkey Longer

You could be wondering exactly how supermarkets and also butcher shops can ever turn a profit on turkey sales if the birds space going to spoil in such a short duration of time. In truth, the price is a an easy one: exceptional refrigeration techniques.

Commercial coolers are on regular basis inspected for quality and receive consistent maintenance as a result. It’s likewise easier for workers to tell precisely how cold the conditions are. With home refrigerators, the temperature rises contempt every time you open the door, which deserve to be problematic when storing fresh poultry.

You can aid to reduce this trouble by keeping the frozen fridge door closeup of the door as much as possible. If you have actually a 2nd refrigerator that’s big enough to store the turkey, take into consideration using that one instead. In any type of case, put the bird in the earlier of the refrigerator on a reduced shelf, using a pan v sides high sufficient to catch any type of juices that can drip off.

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


Cooked poultry, including turkey, must keep because that 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Make certain to save it in a strictly sealed container, and also store that in the coldest section of the fridge. This will aid it last longer, despite you need to still consume or freeze any kind of leftovers within 4 days.

Note the these guidelines apply to any leftovers indigenous turkey that you’ve all set yourself. Deli turkey, on the other hand, have the right to keep in the refrigerator for approximately 5 days. That’s because the meat has been treated v additives that give it a longer shelf life.

Tips on freeze Turkey

While it can seem counterproductive to buy a fresh turkey just to stick the in the freezer, you might have no choice if girlfriend don’t intend to chef it best away. Here’s exactly how to keep a new turkey in the freezer for use at a later date.

First, set aside 5 or 6 class of high-quality plastic wrap. Wash her hands prior to handling any kind of raw poultry product.

Cover the turkey in the plastic wrap, taking treatment not come leave any of the skin bare. That’s why you’re using several layers—to ensure that the entire surface of the bird is wrapped together tightly together possible. Otherwise, there could be freezer-burned patches on the skin, i m sorry will impact the texture once you’re prepared to cook the turkey.

Store the bird in the deepest, coldest component of the freezer. For finest results, thaw and also cook it off within 1 year. It will keep indefinitely, however past the one-year mark, the top quality may begin to deteriorate. It’s also a great idea to perform continuous checks come ensure the your freezer temperature is at 0 levels Fahrenheit.

One caveat: Butterball insurance claims that their turkey will still it is in of remarkable quality also after safety 2 year in the freezer. If friend can uncover the Butterball brand and it fits within her budget, consider stocking up on one or an ext of their products. Just make sure you have enough room in her freezer before you do the purchase.

How To frozen Cooked Turkey

Freezing leftover cooking turkey requires a similar collection of guidelines. Very first and foremost, make certain to refrigerate any kind of leftovers in ~ 2 hours. Freeze the cooked turkey meat making use of heavy-duty zip-top freezer bags, squeezing the bags to remove as much air together possible. label each bag with the contents and the date, and also 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 method that if you desire to use a new turkey following Thanksgiving, you must arrange to choose up the bird no previously than Tuesday.