Ground turkey meat is considered a freezer-friendly food item. Buying it in a larger quantity is not only cost-effective but also saves time. But, cooking such a large portion of food can leave you to inquire whether you can freeze ground turkey?
You can freeze ground turkey for up to 3-4 months in a freezer. It is best to freeze it within 2 days after the initial purchase. Ensure to keep the original packaging and wrap it in aluminum foil to retain texture. For extra protection, put it in a freezer-specific plastic bag.
Thus, by taking a few preventive measures, you can increase the shelf life of the meat. These steps will also help in conserving its nutritional value.
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Can You Freeze Ground Turkey After Cooking?
Being low-fat meat, ground turkey serves as a great substitute for beef. You can freeze Ground Turkey by preserving it in sturdy packaging and through proper handling.
It is best to freeze raw Ground Turkey due to its moisture retention, while cooked food might lose its quality. However, defrosted ground turkey in the refrigerator can be refrozen if left unused. So, if you defrost it by some other means, ensure cooking it first and then freeze it.
If freezing time is not managed accordingly, there is a high chance of bacteria accumulating. As a result, all your cooking efforts and cost-effectiveness will go down the drain.
Also, freezing the meat can further guard all the healthy nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals present inside it. So, whenever you want to prepare it for a meal, first thaw Ground Turkey, and it is then ready to be cooked.
How To Freeze Ground Turkey?
By freezing ground turkey, you can lock its tenderness and freshness. A perfect way to serve it as the main dish on several occasions. So, the following steps prove to be helpful in this regard:
- First of all, do not remove the original packaging of the meat to avoid its direct contact with the air. In case of open or removed packaging, it might start to smell very soon.
- Secondly, wrap the ground meat tightly and securely in aluminum foil. Freezing it directly as bought from the store might lead to freezer-burns. It will also protect the meat from absorbing the flavor of other food items in the freezer.
- Now, place it in an airtight Ziploc bag to keep it away from the air. With the help of a straw draw all the excess air out of the bag before sealing it.
- As a reminder, mention the date on the Ziploc bag to keep it stored for about three to four months.
How Long Can You Freeze Ground Turkey?
Like any other meat, ground turkey is prone to oxidation due to its direct contact with air. The maximum freezing time scale for it lasts about three to four months. After the fourth month, color and texture start to change progressively.
It is ideal to freeze ground turkey after two days of purchasing it from the store. If you extend the time by more than two days, the ground meat will start to change its color and taste. It can also result in any health-related issue.
You can also freeze ground turkey as a whole for up to about one year. In this case, the temperature must be kept at 0 degrees F (-17.8 degree C). Although, it is not possible to keep this temperature constant at home and the taste and quality also deteriorate drastically.
Keeping the ground turkey in a vacuum bag by sucking all the air out, can also make it last for about twelve months. But for optimal freshness, it is better to consume the meat within 3-4 months.
The frozen ground turkey can last longer by covering it in aluminum foil or a vacuum-sealed bag. You can also freeze it in the original packaging.
The freezing span is usually about three to four months but can be extended up to nine months. Over time, the color and taste can change.
To get the most amount of flavor, it is best to consume it within the first two to three weeks.
If the ground meat is kept for more than two hours at room temperature, it can initiate bacterial infestation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you refreeze the defrosted ground turkey?
The defrosted turkey can be refrozen within three days after the initial thawing. If you leave it for more than three days then it may rot and smell and is no more suitable to eat.
How to tell if the ground turkey is bad?
The most immediate sign of a bad turkey will be a foul sour smell and dull color. If any of these signs appear, you should discard the meat at once.