Turkey talk - still okay to cook?

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legend_018

Head Chef
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ok bought a big turkey at thanksgiving time frozen - came home and immediately put it in the freezor. Put it in refrigerator yesterday. It is still ok to cook a turkey that has been in freezor since thanksgiving right? IF SO: how long will it take to defrost? I'm guessing a long time. I'll be looking around for pointers on cooking it to. Only cooked a turkey once in my life. I'm sure it's similar to chicken though. Usually have thanksgiving over other peoples houses.
 

GB

Chief Eating Officer
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Jul 14, 2004
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Yes it will be fine to eat a turkey frozen that long assuming it was wrapped well and there is no freezer burn present. How long it will take to defrost in the fridge will depend on its size, but plan on a couple of days at the least. The other defrosting option is to submerge it in cold water (below 40F) and change the water when it starts to warm up above 40. That is the quickest safest way to defrost, but it can be hard finding a container large enough to hold a turkey and all the water to do that.
 

Selkie

Executive Chef
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Aug 20, 2009
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...The other defrosting option is to submerge it in cold water (below 40F) and change the water when it starts to warm up above 40. That is the quickest safest way to defrost, but it can be hard finding a container large enough to hold a turkey and all the water to do that.

I find that a chest cooler works great for that.
 

jabbur

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
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Newport News, VA
One tip is to be sure the turkey is not just sitting on the shelf in your fridge. Have something under it to catch any of the juices that may leak during the thaw.
 

BreezyCooking

Washing Up
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Another vote for it being perfectly safe & good to cook. How long it will take to defrost will depend on how cold your fridge is. I keep mine uber cold, so even a chicken or duck can take 3-4 days to defrost completely in mine. A large turkey would probably take 6-7 days easily.

However, (& I'm not advocating this for anyone else, so please don't jump on me food safety police :)) I always jump-start thawing whole frozen poultry out on my counter overnight & then pop it into the fridge the following morning. It's still ice-cold & half-frozen, but it cuts my thawing time in half.

Again, this is just what I do & I'm well aware that it's not a universally accepted practice from a food safety viewpoint.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
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If your frozen turkey is still in its vacuum packed heavy plastic covering, it would be perfectly good to cook and eat after a year if kept in a cold freezer. Freezer burn cannot occur if there is no air space inside the package (and the package is air tight).

For cooking suggestions, your best bet is to go to the Thanksgiving posts. You'll find a number of good recipes for your bird.
 

Claire

Master Chef
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
7,967
Location
Galena, IL
Thaw time depends a lot on the size of the turkey, too. I usually buy a 20 pounder and in the fridge it can take 4 days or more! I used to leave it on the counter to thaw, but now use the cold bath, which is actually faster and I'm told safer.
 

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