Turkey is the dish we must have at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Turkey is not only the most popular family food but a wholesome meal that we all expect to have in any occasion or celebration. However, cooking a turkey is not an easy task. Mixing all the ingredients, making sure the inside is cooked well, and getting the right flavor is a tough task.
Hence we prefer store-bought frozen turkeys that easily mix with all ingredients and put it into the oven. Many of us like to keep frozen turkey stored for the next occasion, but for how long can you keep a frozen turkey? To know the answer check our article!
How Long Can You Keep a Frozen Turkey in Your Fridge?
You will see many health experts suggest that you can keep your turkey frozen for maximum 2 years straight. If you want to keep your turkey frozen for more than a year then you better make sure it stays unopened.
If you are buying a frozen turkey from a grocery store check the date on the package too.
USDA recommends people to store turkey in their fridge for a year, not more than that. There is no harm if you do so, but the quality of the meat and its taste might deteriorate. If you plan to keep turkey frozen you have to make sure your refrigerator stays on all the time. It should not get thawed during a power failure or have holes in its packaging.
How You Can Have a Perfectly Kept Frozen Turkey for Years?
According to the US Department of Agriculture, any food that has been kept well packaged at 0°F will stay fine and edible for an indefinite time.
How Can You Tell If the Turkey Has Gone Bad?
The smell, color, and texture of the turkey should tell you if it has gone bad or is still edible. If your frozen turkey has gone bad is should get discolored, have a bad smell coming out of it, and get slimy.
How to Thaw Your Frozen Turkey?
If you want your turkey to stay fresh and taste well, you need to thaw it in the refrigerator. However, you can also thaw it in cold water too, make sure not to thaw your long-frozen turkey in hot water. If your turkey weighs 4-6 pounds, it will take 1 day to thaw it in the refrigerator.
If it weighs 20 pounds or more, it will take 5-6 days to thaw it in your fridge. Take it out from your deep freeze compartment and place it in the 4 degree fridge compartment.
How Long Before Thawed before Your Frozen Turkey Gets Inedible?
After you take your turkey out of the fridge, make sure to keep it in an airtight container or wrap it with heavy-duty aluminum foil before you thaw it.
Check the normal compartment temperature. It should not be too high. Keep it at 4 degrees Celsius.
After it has completely thawed take it out, put it in a drainer and remove the water that has accumulated in it. Do not keep the turkey out for long, prepare it quickly, marinate it with all the ingredients, and put it inside the oven at 140 °F.
If you want you can pre-heat the turkey at 40 °F garnish it before you put it back into the oven to roast. Do not keep your thawed turkey outside for more than 2 hours. As bacteria infects thawed meat more than fresh ones.
Can You Eat a Frozen Turkey After 4 Years?
Both store-bought turkey and frozen turkey can stay fresh if properly refrigerated. Your refrigerator’s temperature, and other factors also determine the condition of the turkey. Most frozen turkeys from the store are flash-frozen after they are packaged in their warehouse. They are packaged in a way so that they can last for years. So you can have store packaged frozen turkey even after 4 years.
This turkey will taste as fresh and good as a newly prepared turkey when cooked. However, this does not apply to the turkey that you have packed on your own and kept in the refrigerator. We cannot make the turkey airtight to create a vacuum. So a regular frozen turkey will not last for 4 years in your fridge.
Read more: How to Cook Frozen Corn on the Cob
Excited to see how well your frozen turkey tastes when roasted? Now that you know for how long you can keep a frozen turkey stored, you can plan ahead. No more rushing into the market to buy turkey in the last hours. Store your turkey and enjoy a healthy meal anytime.