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Can You Refreeze Turkey?

Can You Refreeze Turkey?

When we thaw food, it’s cooking it for some type of meal. One food that is a typical food people will often thaw is meat.

Sometimes, however, you may take out the raw meat from the freezer but decide you don’t want to cook it. This requires you to put it back into the freezer. The same can be said for after it has been cooked.

You need to be aware refreezing meat comes with some caveats, so you need to take considerations before putting it back.

One meat people do this with is turkey, and in this article, we will find out if you really can refreeze turkey and how to do so safely.

Is It Possible to Refreeze Turkey?

We will tell you it is entirely possible to refreeze turkey. This applies to not only raw turkey that has been thawed first but also cooked turkey that has been thawed as well.

Below we’ll go into the details surrounding refreezing cooked turkey as well as refreezing raw turkey.

Refreezing Cooked Turkey

When you are refreezing cooked turkey, you need to ensure that you have followed a few safety procedures. First thing is first, never refreeze turkey that has been left out on the counter.

If it has been out of the fridge for more than two hours, then it needs to be cooked or thrown away. Any longer than two hours, and you certainly need to chuck it.

The reason for this is that bacteria grow at room temperature. It flourishes in this kind of environment.

Cooked turkey can last about three days in the fridge after it’s been taken out of the freezer, so make sure you use it within that period.

Three days is more than enough time to figure out what you want to do with the turkey.

If more than three days have passed and you haven’t decided, then it’s best to just throw it away.

Refreezing Raw Turkey

Refreezing raw turkey follows similar rules that you have to follow when refreezing cooked turkey. You need to make sure that the turkey has not been kept outside on the counter at room temperature for more than two hours.

Bacteria love to grow at room temperature, so the longer it stays out, the more that grows on it.

The best way to ensure your raw turkey is safe to refreeze is by keeping it in the fridge during the thawing process.

It can last about three days in the fridge, so you have time to decide what to do with it.

You’ll find that the biggest difference between the two refreezing and thawing processes is that raw turkey has less of a chance of losing its moisture.

Cooked turkey can lose it because it’s already been cooked.

How to Safely Thaw Turkey

There are about three different ways to thaw the turkey, and some ways are better than others. These methods include:

  • The best way to thaw the raw and cooked turkey, by far, is by using the fridge. What you do is put it in the fridge and then leave it there to defrost. This process can take a few days, depending on how big the turkey is. Best to start it early in the day so it’ll be ready by dinner or lunch even!
  • Another great method of thawing turkey is the cold water technique. Take the turkey (whether it’s in its original packaging or bag) and put it in a bowl of cold water. You have to change the water every 30 minutes until it’s completely defrosted. One thing to keep in mind is that if you thaw raw turkey like this, you must cook it afterward before refreezing it. This is because of pesky bacteria.
  • Finally, the last way to defrost a turkey is by putting it in the microwave. You just press the defrost button and leave it in until it’s done. It’s best not to use this method unless you have no other option.

So, the first two methods are the best and safest ways to thaw your turkey. The microwave method is just too risky.

You can use it if necessary, but do consider it before going down this path.

How to Safely Freeze Turkey

There are steps to follow to ensure that you are safely freezing your turkey. They include:

  • After making sure that the meat has been properly handled, you can start getting it prepared to be put in the freezer. Make sure that you wrap the turkey in freezer paper and then a freezer bag. Once it’s in the bag, get all the air out of it, or you’ll have to deal with some nasty freezer burn. This isn’t the worst thing to deal with, but it does require you to cut off the parts that have been affected.
  • Always put the date you freeze and/or refreeze on the packaging. The reason for this is that you will know when it was put in the freezer and not risk eating it after it has gone bad or something.

These are the top two steps to follow if you want to ensure that your turkey is going to be properly frozen in the fridge.

This way, you can avoid that pesky freezer burn! Trust us when we say you don’t want to taste freezer burn.

Final Thoughts

And there you go, all your turkey lovers out there! In the article, we showed you it’s possible to refreeze turkey that has been cooked and then thawed as well as raw turkey that went through a similar process.

There were some rules we mentioned as well, but they are merely there to ensure you don’t get sick.

Once you get used to following these rules, you’ll find that they will become second nature to you.

By not worrying about food safety, you’ll be able to focus on how tasty the food is. Hey, that’s one of the best parts about food!