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tranquilsea's avatar

How long will a thawed turkey survive in a fridge?

Asked by tranquilsea (17238 points ) October 5th, 2010

Our beef order ended up showing up two weeks early and now I have a turkey dilemma. I’ve completely filled up two freezers with half a cow and our Thanksgiving turkey had to come out to make room. The turkey weighs 14 lbs and is completely frozen. I’m trying to figure out whether I’ll have to have Thanksgiving a day early or whether this bird will last until Sunday.

How long can you store a thawed bird in the fridge before it becomes a health hazard? I’m pretty sure that it will take 3 to 4 days to defrost and I am hoping that the thawed bird can stay in there for another couple of days.

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5 Answers

downtide's avatar

A 14lb turkey will probably take longer than 4 days to thaw completely if you leave it in the fridge. I had one in the fridge for nearly a week one December and it still wasn’t thawed by christmas eve. I’d guess it’ll be fine by Sunday. Might even be fully thawed by then. :)

filmfann's avatar

If it was hard frozen, and you put it directly into the fridge, you should be fine for Sunday.
But I doubt the turkey survived the freezing.

JLeslie's avatar

I think some of it depends on how close to the use by date the turkey was before being frozen. Did you buy it frozen?

tranquilsea's avatar

Yes, I bought it frozen. It is so frozen you could bowl with it. This fridge can take 4 days to defrost a roast. But I don’t want to take any chances with this bird.

I’ll cross my fingers and hope it’ll be ok.

Thanks for the responses.

JLeslie's avatar

LOL. I thnk if you bought it frozen, they probably freeze shortly after it is killed, and so it probably has a significant amount of days it can last in the fridge. I think fresh poultry sold in the supermarket is good for a week more or less, so by the time in thaws, I think you will be ok for Sunday. You could cook it Saturday and serve it Sunday if you are paranoid (I am totally paranoid about spoiled food also). It might dry out a little. The trick is to serve it room temperature the second day and you can make the gravy on Sunday so it is nice and hot and just how you like it.

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