How Long Can A Thawed Turkey Stay In The Fridge (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1-2 Days

Thawing is the process of bringing frozen food to a temperature (above 0 ° C) without residual ice, i.e. “Defrosting”. Defrosting is viewed as simply reversing the freezing process. However, defrosting is a major problem that does not occur with freezing.

Most bacteria that cause food spoilage or food poisoning are found on the surface of many foods. During freezing, the surface temperature drops rapidly and bacterial growth is severely limited and bacteria become completely dormant below 10 ° C.

During the defrosting operation, these are the same surfaces that are the first surfaces to increase the temperature and re the reproduction of bacteria is activated. In large objects with uncontrolled long thawing cycles, surface degradation can occur before the central regions are completely thawed.

How Long Can A Thawed Turkey Stay In The Fridge

How Long Can A Thawed Turkey Stay In The Fridge?

There are three ways to safely defrost a frozen turkey that is slow, medium, and fast. Review the following instructions on how to defrost a turkey and choose the method and schedule that works best, whether you are ready to cook flat or need to fix something at the last moment.

Allow about 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. A 15 lb bird will take about 3 days to thaw completely. Store turkey in its original packaging while thawing. Place the breast face down on a baking sheet to avoid dripping onto other food and the surface of the refrigerator.

A thawed turkey can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking. How long will it take: Allow about 30 minutes per pound of turkey. A 15-pound turkey will take 7½ to 8 hours to thaw completely. Store the turkey in its original packaging and place it in a larger sealed plastic bag. Squeeze out excess air and close the neck of the bag.

Place the sealed bag side-down in a sink or bucket large enough for the turkey to be completely submerged in the water. Cover with cold water. People may need to cover the turkey with a plate and place heavy jars on top to keep it completely submerged. Change the cold water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after defrosting.

People can also use a combination of the two: use the refrigerator for the first two days of defrosting, and end up in the sink early in the morning. Time and power settings vary by model. Typically, it can take an hour or more to defrost, depending on the size of the turkey. Remove the turkey from its packaging and remove the metal clips or tags.

Turkey WeightHow Long to Thaw
10 to 18 pounds2 to 3½ days
22 to 24 pounds4½ to 5 days

Why A Thawed Turkey Stay In The Fridge So Long?

Place the turkey breast face down in a microwave-safe skillet to collect drops. After defrosting the turkey, wash the inside of the microwave to avoid cross-contamination. Impressions are approximate and based on thawing a whole frozen turkey.

Defrosting in the refrigerator takes approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at about 40 degrees F (5 degrees C). Coldwater defrost takes approximately 30 minutes per pound of cold water, renewing every 30 minutes.

This is the best option. Although it takes up a lot of space in the refrigerator, it is also an ideal way to keep the turkey at a safe temperature while thawing. In fact, it is so safe that the USDA says people can re-freeze the turkey after thawing in this way.

Thaw the turkey about 24 hours for every 4 lb. so a 16 lb bird will take about 4 days. Place the turkey (in its original packaging) in a large bowl in the refrigerator to sprinkle with water droplets.

If a person does not have a large enough fountain, he can use a clean, odorless garbage bag; just make sure there are no holes in it. Because this method safely defrosts poultry, he may want to wait a day or two before cooking the turkey. Before one puts their turkey in the oven, they should learn how to marinate their turkey properly.


Ideally, people should follow your microwave’s instruction manual for the correct power level and timing. The USDA recommends thawing a turkey for 6 minutes per pound. They also recommend placing the turkey on a dish to catch any leftover turkey juices. A 12-pound turkey would take about an hour and 12 minutes to thaw.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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