Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is the most stressful day of the year for any home cook. Between gathering together with family, preparing all the dishes and cleaning up afterwards, there’s no room for error. So when we say that turkey is one of the most important parts of this meal, you can rest assured that we mean it. Turkey can be tricky to cook (and occasionally undercooks), but once you get it right, your holiday feast will be complete! And if you’re wondering how long cooked turkey lasts after cooking…
Turkey is only good for three to five days.
If you are going to eat your turkey within three to five days, it’s best not to freeze it. If you do freeze the meat, it will last up to two months in the freezer.
If your turkey is frozen, it can last up to two months.
If you’re planning to cook a frozen turkey, keep in mind that it can last up to two months. Once the turkey is completely thawed, store it in the fridge and use within three days.
You should not refreeze any part of a thawed turkey after its initial freezing process; this means that if you have some leftover cooked meat after dinner or if there’s still some left over on Thanksgiving day itself (which may be unlikely), don’t try to freeze again! If you don’t want all your cooked meat at once, then go ahead and freeze what isn’t being consumed immediately so that nothing goes to waste later down the road when those cravings hit again.
You can store cooked and uncooked turkey in the fridge in the same container.
You can store cooked and uncooked turkey in the same container. The length of time you can store it for depends on the type of container you’re using, but it should be kept in an airtight container in your fridge at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooked turkey should be cooled within two hours of preparation.
Once you’ve cooked your turkey, it’s important to cool it quickly. Cooling helps prevent bacteria growth and keeps food safe to eat.
- The best way to cool a turkey is in the fridge. If you don’t have room in your refrigerator, let your cooked bird cool on a rack or cutting board at room temperature for two hours before transferring it into an airtight container or plastic bag and refrigerating until cold (about 30 minutes). Be sure not to put hot food directly on ice cubes or frozen water–they will melt too fast, causing bacterial growth!
- There are several ways that you can tell if your cooked bird has been safely cooled:
- The skin will feel firm when touched; if it feels soft or mushy instead then this could mean that there is still some heat inside which needs further cooling before eating again later tonight when dinner time rolls around again.”
When you’re ready to eat the cooked turkey, reheat it until it’s steaming hot all the way through (165 degrees Fahrenheit).
To reheat, don’t microwave the cooked turkey. You can also leave it on the counter to cool down, but that’s not ideal either because it will take longer than necessary for you to eat. Instead, put your cooked turkey in a baking dish with about 1/4 cup water. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes per pound of meat–or until heated through (165 degrees Fahrenheit).
If you want more tips on how long cooked turkey is good for in the fridge and freezer, check out our guide here!
Cooked turkey lasts longer than raw turkey
You can store cooked turkey for up to two months in the refrigerator. If you want to make sure that your Thanksgiving leftovers last as long as possible, it’s important not to let them sit out on the counter at room temperature for too long. After two hours, cooked turkey should be cooled down in an ice bath (or even better, in a refrigerator).
Frozen cooked bird should be stored at 0 degrees F or lower and used within three months of freezing; frozen raw turkey lasts only three months before needing to be discarded. Cooked birds can be kept together with uncooked ones without issue–just make sure both are properly refrigerated!
Cooked turkey can be stored in the fridge for up to five days, but it’s important that you don’t let it sit too long. If you’re not going to eat your cooked turkey within five days, you should freeze it so that it lasts longer. Make sure that when reheating your meat, it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating again!