Yes, you can freeze ground turkey to increase its shelf-life. Freezing ground turkey properly extends the expiry by preserving its texture and freshness. Keeping ground turkey in the freezer can also yield better taste over time compared to fridge storage for the same duration.
Freezing ground turkey in its original packaging might not provide optimal air protection and can lead to freezer burn. Freezing it in smaller serving sizes or vacuum-sealed bags can better preserve its texture and freshness. Individually freezing ground turkey is the best method for freshness and longevity as it minimizes air exposure and prevents freezer burn.
How To Freeze Ground Turkey Safely
- Whether you have brand new or leftover ground turkey, choose your storage method. We typically recommend airtight plastic/glass containers or sturdy freezer bags for long-term storage freshness.
- Transfer it to where you plan to keep it.
- Be sure to leave about 1-2 inches of headspace to allow for expansion. Don’t leave too much room though because best practice is to limit air exposure as much as possible when freezing food.
- Label your containers or freezer bags as ‘Frozen ground turkey’ with today’s date.
- Place the bags flat in the freezer so they freeze quickly. If you’re using containers instead, place them in the freezer upright. Once completely frozen, both the bags and containers can be stacked and/or positioned upright.
When you’re ready to prepare the ground turkey you just froze, do not thaw it at room temperature. Read our guide on how to thaw ground turkey safely. Not only will it help you avoid foodborne illnesses, applying the proper defrosting techniques keeps its texture & quality intact.
How Long Can You Freeze Ground Turkey?
You can freeze ground turkey for up to 1-2 months as long as it’s frozen correctly. Freezing ground turkey extends longevity & allows you to store it for an increased time but all frozen food expires eventually.
Freeze smaller ground turkey portions within 2-3 days of buying for optimal freshness. Store leftover ground turkey in an airtight container after it’s initially opened.
Removing & defrosting frozen ground turkey within 3-6 months of freezer storage helps to prevent freezer burn, off-flavoring, and food poisoning. Anything longer than that puts the food at risk of:
|Dehydration and oxidation due to air exposure
|Use well-sealed containers or bags
|Loss of Freshness
|Flavor and texture degradation over time
|Consume within recommended time frame
|Potential bacterial growth if improperly stored or thawed
|Follow safe defrosting practices