During Thanksgiving and Christmas, turkey is the main food item on the table. Most people will cook a large turkey and will usually end up with leftovers. To prevent them from going bad, you’ll need to store them, so you eat them later. Would freezing cooked turkey be one of the storage options?
Can you freeze cooked turkey? Yes, you can freeze cooked turkey. Due to their large size, it’s a good idea to slice them before freezing. Doing so will allow more room in the freezer and easier to defrost. Properly stored, cooked turkey will last around 4 months in the freezer.
Does Cooked Turkey Freeze Well?
Cooked turkey freeze extremely well. This is the choice of storage if you have a lot of leftovers.
You can store cooked turkey in the fridge, but there’s a good chance it may begin to dry out. If you don’t plan on eating the turkey within a couple of days, the freezer is the best storage method.
When freezing cooked turkey, ensure that it is well wrapped to prevent air from causing it to dry out. As long as the turkey is wrapped tightly and place in a freezer bag, it will freeze well.
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How To Freeze Cooked Turkey
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After a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you may have a lot of leftovers.
Fortunately, you can freeze cooked turkey. The process is straightforward and doesn’t require a lot of time.
Below are the steps to freezing cooked turkey:
Step 1: Allow Turkey to Cool
After the turkey is cooked, allow it to cool to room temperature. It’s not a good idea to try to freeze turkey while it’s still hot or warm. Doing so will cause condensation in the storage container. The moisture from the condensation will damage the turkey during freezing.
Allow the turkey to cool down by leaving them on the countertop for a couple of hours.
However, avoid keeping the cooked turkey at room temperature for too long. Doing so will allow harmful bacteria to start growing on it.
Once it’s cooled, immediately prepare the turkey for the freezer.
Step 2: Slicing
It’s a good idea to slice or cut the turkey before freezing it. This will help save space in the freezer. Also, it will save you time when defrosting it.
Step 3: Wrapping
Place the turkey slices on aluminum foil or cling film. You can place up to 3 slices on each foil.
Then wrap the turkey slices and ensure there are no tears on the wrap. The last thing you want to happen is a turkey that’s dried.
Step 4: Bag Up
Once all the turkey is wrapped, place them into the freezer bag. You can put more than one slice in each bag.
After all the turkey is in the bag, press on it to remove any excess air before sealing it.
Step 5: Label and Freeze
Write the content and the date of freezing on the freezer bag. Then place it into the freezer for storage.
How To Freeze Cooked Turkey Mince
After dinner, if you find yourself with some leftover turkey mince, you can freeze them. You can freeze turkey mince with gravy, sauce, or plain.
This is a good way to keep them for a couple of months until you’re ready to eat them.
The process of freezing cooked turkey mince is similar to freezing cooked turkey. The only thing you don’t need to do is slice the turkey mince or wrap them in foil.
Simply portion them out and place them into the freezer bag. Squeeze out excess air from the bag and seal it tight. Place them into the freezer, and it will last for about 3 months.
How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Turkey?
Cooked turkey can be frozen for up to 4 months.
After dinner, most people will place the turkey into the fridge before transferring them to the freezer. If you do that, the turkey will become dry.
Therefore, if you know you’ll be storing the turkey in the freezer, it’s best to skip the refrigerator.
How Do You Defrost Cooked Turkey?
When it comes to thawing the cooked turkey, the best method is to use the fridge. This will allow the turkey to thaw with minimal changes to the texture and taste.
Remove the cooked turkey from the freezer and place it onto a plate. Keep them in their initial packaging and place them into the fridge.
Allow the turkey to thaw in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours before using it.
Can You Refreeze Cooked Turkey?
You can refreeze cooked turkey, only if it’s been defrosted in the fridge.
Avoid freezing it more than that, though. Doing so will alter the moisture content of the meat.
After it’s frozen and thawed for the second time, you will find that your cooked turkey will be dry.
To ensure you won’t have to refreeze your turkey, I recommend freezing them in slices. That way, you will only need to remove what you need without having to worry about refreezing any leftovers.
Other Questions about Cooked Turkey
Can you freeze cooked turkey with gravy?
Yes, you can freeze cooked turkey with gravy on them. This is a great way to keep the turkey moist during freezing. Pour a small amount of gravy onto the turkey before wrapping them in aluminum foil.
A passionate cook and stay-at-home mom. Since I spend most of the time in the kitchen, keeping the pantry clean and organized is a top priority. Besides being a clean freak, I enjoy gardening, hiking and other activities under the sun.