Food safety and security tips because that handling, thawing, roasting, storing, and also reheating turkey.

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Minnesota department of customer Fact sheet Revised August, 2011

Download a publish version that this document: Turkey: safe Thawing and also Cooking (PDF)

handle Food for sure

constantly wash her hands before and also after taking care of food. keep the kitchen, dishes and also utensils clean. constantly serve food on clean plates. do not usage the exact same platter and also utensils because that raw and also cooked meat/poultry.

Fresh Turkey

buy the turkey just 1 or 2 days before you arrangement to chef it. save it save on computer in the refrigerator till you’re all set to cook it. Location it on a tray or pan come catch any juices that may leak. carry out not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys. If not tackled properly, harmful bacteria that might be in the stuffing have the right to multiply rapidly.

Frozen Turkey

keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it. Turkeys have the right to be kept in the freezer indefinitely. However, chef turkeys in ~ 1 year for the best quality.

Thawing your Turkey

There room three methods to thaw your turkey safely: Thawing in the Microwave Oven: examine your owner’s manual for the minutes every pound and the power level to usage for thawing. remove all external wrapping. ar on a microwave-safe dish to catch any kind of juices that could leak. chef your turkey instantly after thawing in the microwave. perform not refreeze. Thawing in the Refrigerator: keep the turkey in its original wrapper. ar it ~ above a tray to catch any juices that may leak. A s turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 come 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been effectively thawed in the refrigerator might be refrozen.
Thawing in the refrigerator Time come thaw (allow 24 hrs for every 4 to 5 pounds)
4 come 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 come 16 pounds 3 come 4 days
16 come 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 come 24 pounds 5 to 6 days

Thawing in Cold Water: Wrap your turkey securely, making certain water is no able come leak v the wrapping. Submerge the covering turkey in cold madness water. readjust the water every 30 minutes. chef the turkey instantly after the is thawed. carry out not refreeze.
Thawing in cold water Time come thaw (allow 30 minutes per pound)
4 to 12 pounds 2 come 6 hours
12 come 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 come 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 come 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours
REMINDER : eliminate the giblets native the turkey cavities after thawing. Chef separately.

Roasting her Turkey

set your oven temperature no lower than 325 °F. location the turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. For more even cooking, it is recommended that you cook your stuffing external the bird in a casserole dish. Use a food thermometer to inspect the interior temperature that the stuffing. The facility should with at least 165°F. If you pick to stuff her turkey, fill the cavity just prior to cooking. Fill the cavities loosely. Use a food thermometer to examine the interior temperature the the stuffing. The facility should with at least 165°F. To inspect the doneness the a totality turkey, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the inner thigh without poignant the bone. A totality turkey should be cooked to 165°F. To examine the doneness the a turkey breast, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. A turkey breast need to be cooked come 165°F. If her turkey has a pop-up temperature indicator, it is recommended that you additionally check the interior temperature the the turkey and the stuffing. allow the turkey stand for 20 minute after cooking. It will certainly carve much more easily. eliminate all stuffing native the turkey cavities.

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

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

These times space estimates. Constantly use a food thermometer to check the inner temperature of her turkey and also stuffing (165°F).

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

save on computer Leftover Turkey

litter away turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature much longer than 2 hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F). divide leftovers into tiny portions. Refrigerate or freeze in extended shallow containers for much faster cooling. usage refrigerated turkey and also stuffing within 3 to 4 days. Usage gravy within 1 to 2 days. If freezing, usage leftovers in ~ 2 come 6 month for finest quality.

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Reheating Leftovers

Reheat turkey, stuffing, and also gravy come 165°F.