Can you keep turkey outside? What to do if your bird doesn’t fit in the fridge

Getting the Christmas turkey perfect is key for many Britons preparing for the big day. However, some struggle to find a place to store such a big bird.


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However, Britons should be wary of leaving their turkey outside at this time of year.

Although it feels chilly outside, it is not cold enough to guarantee safety from food poisoning.

One internet user seemed to have a similar problem, asking for advice on whether they should store a 25lb fresh turkey in the garage.

They revealed the temperature was 6 Celsius in the day, and 0.5 at night.

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Commenters who rushed to answer advised the person not to risk it.

One said: “43F (6 Celsius) is too warm. Anything above 40F (4 Celsius) and you only have a couple hours before it’s unsafe (has the potential to make people sick, even if unlikely).

“And your garage is attached to a house that’s well over 40F, so it’ll probably be well above 43F in there.”

They went on: “You really need to keep it chilled. If you don’t have space in your fridge, you might be able to make do with an ice chest; if it’s really at most 43F, the ice will last a long time.”

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Seeing as the UK weather for cast for Christmas Eve is 12 Celsius in the day and 7 Celsius at night.

So, it’s wise to find an alternative option for your turkey.

A thawed turkey should be stored ideally at no more than 4.4 degrees C, according to My Fearless Kitchen.

You should also never leave your bird out in the sun, this will create a highly favourable situation for bacteria to multiply.


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If you’re keeping your turkey in the freezer, your freezer should be set to -17.7C.

However, your turkey can be defrosted in the garage, or at room temperature.

If defrosting it at room temperature, allow approximately two hours per kilogram.

If you are defrosting your turkey in the fridge, ideally you should allow it to thaw in the fridge allowing 10 to 12 hours per kilogram.

Once your turkey is cooked you can leave it out of the oven safety for two hours.

However, after two hours the turkey should be refrigerated or discarded.

Turkey can be kept in the fridge for three to four days.

It can also be kept in the freezer for four months.

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