Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am to noon
Closed Sundays and holidays

Please follow & like us!
Follow by Email
RSS Feed
Subscribe by email
Get new posts by email:

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey Tips’

Turkey Tips. By Our Thankful November Student Pharmacist, Melissa Carlone.

Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings family and friends together to give thanks. There is one thing that everyone is thankful for on Thanksgiving day… Turkey! Here are a few tips on how to safely prepare your turkey and store your leftovers.

Safe Thawing:

Once you arrive home with your frozen turkey, immediately store it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. Frozen turkey is preserved indefinitely, but is best used within 12 months. When it comes time to thaw it, use one of the three safe methods recommended by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Refrigerator Thawing:

This is the best way to thaw your turkey. This requires planning ahead. Allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 lbs. Place the turkey on a pan on the lowest shelf to prevent juices from contaminating other foods. After thawing, it is good for 1 to 2 days before cooking.

  • 4 to 12 pounds………Thaw for 1 to 3 days.
  • 12 to 16 pounds…… Thaw for 3 to 4 days.
  • 16 to 20 pounds…….Thaw for 4 to 5 days.
  • 20 to 24 pounds…….Thaw for 5 to 6 days.

Cold Water Thawing:

Allow 30 minutes for every pound. Keep the turkey in original packaging to prevent contamination with bacteria and absorption of water. Change the water every 30 minutes to aid in thawing. Cook immediately after thawing.

  • 4 to 12 pounds……..Thaw 2 to 6 hours.
  • 12 to 16 pounds……Thaw 6 to 8 hours.
  • 16 to 20 pounds……Thaw 8 to 10 hours.
  • 20 to 24 pounds……Thaw 10 to 12 hours.

*View the Turkey Thawing Chart.

Microwave Thawing:

Refer to the instructions provided by your microwave’s manufacturer. This is the least preferred method, since some parts of the turkey may actually be cooked during the thawing process. Cook immediately after thawing.

Safe Cooking:

Use a food thermometer to ensure that the turkey reaches at least 165°F to prevent foodborne illness. Check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

Once the food is cooked or reheated, it should be held hot, at or above 140°F.

For more information on safely preparing your Thanksgiving meal, visit: Safe Cooking.

Storage and Leftovers:

Refrigeration (40°F or below):

Cooked turkey, other cooked dishes, and gravy are good for up to 4 days.

Freezer (0°F or below):

Plain turkey meat is good for 4 months.

If the turkey is covered with broth or gravy, it is good for 6 months.

Other cooked dishes are best if used within 6 months.

*Foods are good indefinitely in the freezer, but these guidelines are recommended to preserve quality.

If food is not going to be used within 4 days, freeze it! Once it is in the refrigerator, you can reheat the leftovers to 165 °F, but return any unused portion to the refrigerator within two hours. Bacteria rapidly multiply between 40-140°F, which is why it is important to avoid thawing frozen food on the counter and leaving leftovers out longer than 2 hours.

Hopefully, you find these turkey tips helpful when it comes to preparing your Thanksgiving meal and deciding when to freeze or abandon your leftovers. Now go out and be thankful for the many blessings in your life and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information, visit: