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

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Minnesota department of consumer Fact sheet Revised August, 2011

Download a print version of this document: Turkey: safe Thawing and Cooking (PDF)

take care of Food for sure

always wash your hands before and also after taking care of food. store the kitchen, dishes and utensils clean. always serve food ~ above clean plates. perform not use the exact same platter and also utensils for raw and also cooked meat/poultry.

Fresh Turkey

purchase the turkey just 1 or 2 days before you arrangement to chef it. keep it stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it. Location it on a tray or pan to catch any juices that might leak. carry out not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys. If not handled properly, harmful bacteria that might be in the stuffing deserve to multiply rapidly.

Frozen Turkey

store frozen until you’re prepared to thaw it. Turkeys can be preserved in the freezer indefinitely. However, cook turkeys in ~ 1 year because that the best quality.

Thawing her Turkey

There space three methods to thaw her turkey safely: Thawing in the Microwave Oven: check your owner’s manual for the minutes per pound and also the power level to usage for thawing. eliminate all external wrapping. ar on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that could leak. cook your turkey automatically after thawing in the microwave. perform not refreeze. Thawing in the Refrigerator: save the turkey in its original wrapper. place it ~ above a tray come catch any type of juices that might leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator because that 1 come 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has actually been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.
Thawing in the refrigerator Time come thaw (allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds)
4 come 12 pounds 1 come 3 days
12 come 16 pounds 3 come 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 come 5 days
20 come 24 pounds 5 come 6 days

Thawing in Cold Water: Wrap her turkey securely, making sure water is not able come leak v the wrapping. Submerge the sheathe turkey in cold insanity water. adjust the water every 30 minutes. cook the turkey instantly after the is thawed. do not refreeze.
Thawing in cold water Time to thaw (allow 30 minutes every pound)
4 come 12 pounds 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 come 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours
REMINDER : remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.

Roasting your Turkey

collection your stove temperature no lower than 325 °F. location the turkey top top a rack in a shallow roasting pan. For an ext even cooking, the is recommended the you cook your stuffing external the bird in a casserole dish. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The center should reach at least 165°F. If you choose to stuff your turkey, fill the cavity just before cooking. To fill the caries loosely. Usage a food thermometer to inspect the internal temperature the the stuffing. The facility should with at the very least 165°F. To check the doneness of a totality turkey, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the within thigh without touching the bone. A totality turkey should be cooked come 165°F. To check the doneness the a turkey breast, insert a food thermometer in the thickest component of the breast. A turkey breast need to be cooked come 165°F. If your turkey has actually a pop-up temperature indicator, the is recommended the you additionally check the internal temperature of the turkey and also the stuffing. permit the turkey stand for 20 minute after cooking. It will certainly carve more easily. eliminate all stuffing indigenous the turkey cavities.

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

Timetables because that Turkey Roasting (325°F range temperature):

These times room estimates. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing (165°F).

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

save on computer Leftover Turkey

throw away turkey, stuffing, and also gravy left the end at room temperature longer than 2 hrs (1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F). division leftovers into small portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for much faster cooling. use refrigerated turkey and stuffing in ~ 3 to 4 days. Use gravy within 1 to 2 days. If freezing, usage leftovers within 2 to 6 month for ideal quality.

See more: What Is The Middle Layer Of The Eye Called, Anatomy Of The Eye

Reheating Leftovers

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