Holiday Feature


Chapter 2. Storing an Uncooked Turkey


Rule #4: Store turkeys at 40 degrees F. or below. Store turkeys in the coldest part of your refrigerator, in the back on a lower shelf.

Q: How long can a whole turkey be kept frozen?

A: A whole frozen turkey in its original packaging may be stored at 0 degrees F. for up to one year before the quality begins to deteriorate. Properly thawed frozen turkeys can be refrigerated in their original packaging from 1 to 5 days before cooking.

Q: How long can a fresh turkey be kept refrigerated?

A: A locally raised fresh turkey will last only 1-2 days refrigerated at 40 degrees F. or below. Commercially raised fresh turkeys in their unopened packaging may last longer and should be marked with a "Use By" date, which is your best indicator (but in our experience that date stretches the quality and freshness a day too long); they may usually be kept as long as 3-4 days under refrigeration.

FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook

Preface: Safety Tips Before Cooking

Chapter 1. Buying a Turkey

Chapter 2. Storing an Uncooked Turkey

Chapter 3. Thawing a Frozen Turkey

Chapter 4. Stuffing (or Not Stuffing) a Turkey

Chapter 5. Preparing the Turkey for Roasting

Chapter 6. Roasting the Turkey

Chapter 7. How to Tell When It's Done

Chapter 8. Making the Gravy

Chapter 9. Carving the Bird

Chapter 10. Storing Leftovers & Food Safety After Cooking


FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook
Using a Meat Thermometer


This page modified November 2006