How Long Does Smoke Turkey Last? The Big Reveal!

August 06, 2023 5 min read

How Long Does Smoke Turkey Last? The Big Reveal!

In the freezer, smoked turkeys can last up to 6 months. In fridges, smoked turkeys can last from 1 to 4 days. Smoked turkeys are fresh for 2 hours post-cooking and after that, it needs to be stored. There are several ways to store smoked turkey. If the smoked turkey is not stored properly or is outdated, it can go bad.

To know all the critical details of maximizing how long smoked turkey lasts, follow along!

Key Takeaways

  • It’s hard to preserve the turkey in a freezer for more than 6 months. After that point, it’s not advised to use that turkey for any complex dishes.
  • After taking out the turkey from the freezer, always check the color and smell to make sure it’s fine to smoke it.
  • If you plan on cooking the frozen turkey for consumption, then it’s best to eat it within 2 hours of making the dish.

How Long Does Smoked Turkey Last in the Freezer?

You can store the smoked turkey in the freezer for 6 months. Freezers are super useful whenever you’re planning to store your turkey for a long time.

Out of any storage options, the freezer stores smoked turkeys for the longest time. Don’t forget to cool the smoked turkey completely before storing it.

Source: savorythoughts

You can cool the smoked turkey by just resting it, unwrapped. Briskets can be cooled off in a similar way,resting briskets wrapped or unwrapped has both pros and cons. You can also place the smoked turkeys and briskets on a griddle to cool them off quicker.

Best Way of Storing Smoked Turkey in the Freezer

You may be planning to store your smoked turkey for the maximum time. To do that, cut the smoked turkey into small pieces by slicing the meat. Then, useplastic wrap to wrap the portions of the turkey. Wrap the turkey bits tightly.

Alternatively, you can use anairtight box to store the turkey. Also, make sure the box is made with food-grade plastic. You can also store briskets this way. Obviously, you’ll need to know thedimension of briskets and turkey slices beforehand.

The most important thing to do here is to freeze your smoked turkey within 2 hours removing it from the smoker. This way, you can prevent any growth of harmful bacteria on the smoked turkey.

How Long Does Smoked Turkey Last in the Fridge?

You can store smoked turkeys in the fridge for a maximum of 1-4 days. Compared to the freezer, smoked turkeys last shorter in the fridge.

After 4 days, the turkey may go bad. We’ve discussed the signs of a turkey going bad later in this article.

If you’re looking to freeze the turkey for a longer period, the freezer may be a better option. Although, it’s necessary to store the smoked turkey in the fridge, the right way!

Best Way of Storing Smoked Turkey in the Fridge

To store smoked turkey in the freezer, it must be stored properly. Airtight containers are by far the best methods to store smoked turkey. If you’re storing the turkey in the fridge, you can also usebutcher's paper.

Wrapping pork butts, turkeys, briskets, etc helps to retain as much flavor as when freezing it. And while cooking them, wrapping them with foil speeds up the cooking process.

Source: thespruceeats

Remember, for both the freezer and fridge, the smoked turkey will lose flavor. Freezing food steals a portion of the flavor, that’s why fresh food is always better than frozen food.

Additionally, cool your turkey off before freezing it. Storinghot food inside fridges is not recommended in every case. Cool the turkey to 40 degrees (F) and put it inside the fridge/freezer.

How Long Does Smoked Turkey Last After Cooked?

After cooking, smoked turkey stays fresh for 2 hours. After 2 hours, the smoked turkey has to be refrigerated. But the important thing is how you cook the turkey. Here’s a delicious video on how you get that perfectly charred turkey at your home-

The refrigerated turkey can be reheated and eaten for another couple of days, while it’s fresh. After 3-4 days of reheating, the smoked turkey will start to go bad.

How to Keep Smoked Turkey Fresh?

Keeping a smoked turkey fresh completely relies on the procedure of storing it. Properly storing a smoked turkey will keep it fresh for the longest time. To properly store a smoked turkey-

  • Wrap it tightly. Completely vacuum any air inside the turkey by wrapping it around tightly. You can use butcher wrap, plastic wrap, etc. If you’re looking to keep it warm, you may usealuminum wraps.

  • Put it in a container. As stated earlier in the article, airtight boxes do wonders when keeping a smoked turkey fresh. Don’t forget to label the boxes with dates. 
  • Refrigerate properly. Maintain the guidelines and remember the time frames for the freshness of smoked turkeys in freezers and fridges.

  • Reheat consistently. Whenever you’re reheating a frozen or chilled turkey, reheat the turkey till the inside temperature is 165 degrees (F). You can check the temperatures using ameat thermometer.

When Does a Smoked Turkey Go Bad?

Smoked turkeys can go bad when they are kept for too long. After a certain time, the turkey won’t be fresh and it will go bad. Improper storage can also cause the smoked turkey to go bad. 

Signs of a Bad Smoke Turkey

There are a few symptoms of a turkey that’s gone bad. These include-

Change in Smell

The smoked turkey will smell sour and rancid when it goes bad. This smell simply means that there’s an infestation of bacteria inside and on the smoked turkey. 

Change in Texture

The turkey skin and the meat will become slimy, mushy, and softer. The bacteria begin to decompose the meat when it goes bad.

Change in Color

When smoked turkeys go bad, they change color. The smoked turkey may have a green tint to it. Also, you may see molds on the turkey. If your smoked turkey has gone bad, discard it and refrain from eating it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Does smoked turkey need refrigeration?

Yes, any smoked poultry requires refrigeration within 2 hours of removing it from the smoker. Otherwise, it has a big chance of going bad. You can cut poultry into small pieces and store them, it’s totally up to you.

Is Turkey Better Smoked or Fried?

Turkey is good whether it is smoked or fried, it depends on personal preferences. Smoked turkey delivers tremendous flavors but contains limp skin. On the other hand, the skin will be crispy on a fried chicken, but the flavor will be reduced for frying the turkey.

Is Smoked Turkey Healthy?

Yes, smoked turkey is healthy. It is a good choice for those who want protein consumption, excluding high fat and carbs. Due to the low level of fat and carbs, smoked turkey is considered to be healthy.


That’s everything onhow long does smoked turkey last. Hopefully, now you can properly store your smoked turkey to maximize the freshness of the turkey!

If you want to avoid the hassle of storing the smoked turkey, cook a smaller batch. The best idea is to smoke a small turkey and eat it within 2 hours. This way, you don’t have to store the turkey and enjoy the turkey while it’s fresh.

Have a good day!

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