How Long Can Smoked Turkey Sit Out?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that cooked turkey be left out at room temperature for no more than two hours before it is refrigerated or frozen. This time limit ensures that the turkey stays safe to eat. After two hours, bacteria can start to grow on the turkey, which could cause food poisoning if the turkey is consumed.

How to Heat & Serve – Smoked & Fully Cooked Turkey

If you’re like most people, the holidays are a time when family and friends gather together to enjoy good food and each other’s company. And while turkey is often the star of the show, it can also be a source of food poisoning if not handled properly. So, how long can smoked turkey sit out before it becomes unsafe to eat?

The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. It depends on a number of factors, including the temperature of the room, whether the turkey is fully cooked, and how long it has been sitting out. Here’s what you need to know:

• Room temperature matters. Bacteria that can cause food poisoning multiply quickly at warm temperatures (between 40°F and 140°F). So, if your smoked turkey has been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours, it’s best to throw it away.

• Fully cooked turkey is safer than raw or partially cooked turkey. If your smoked turkey is fully cooked (meaning it reached an internal temperature of 165°F), it will be safer to leave out at room temperature for up to four hours. However, if the smoked turkey is only partially cooked or raw, bacteria can still grow even at refrigerator temperatures (40°F or below).

In this case, it’s best to either keep the smoked turkey refrigerated until you’re ready to eat it or cook it immediately. • Don’t forget about leftovers! Even if your smoked turkey was stored properly in the fridge after cooking, bacteria can still grow on leftover meat that has been sitting out at room temp for more than two hours.

So be sure to finish up those leftovers within that timeframe—or sooner!

How Long Should Turkey Sit Out before Cooking

Turkey is a large bird and needs time to defrost properly before cooking. For food safety reasons, it is best not to leave the turkey out at room temperature for more than two hours. If the turkey is still frozen after two hours, it can be placed in the refrigerator to thaw for an additional day or two.

When cooking a frozen turkey, it will take about 50% longer to cook than if it were thawed.

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How Long Can Smoked Turkey Sit Out?


Does a Smoked Turkey Need to Be Refrigerated?

Whether or not you need to refrigerate a smoked turkey depends on how it was processed. If the turkey was hot smoked, then it does not need to be refrigerated. This is because hot smoking cooks the meat all the way through and kills any bacteria that may be present.

However, if the turkey was cold smoked, then it does need to be refrigerated. Cold smoking only cooks the surface of the meat and does not kill bacteria, so it must be kept chilled in order to prevent food poisoning.

How Long Can a Turkey Sit After Smoking?

It is safe to say that you can keep a smoked turkey stored for up to two weeks. This is provided that you keep it refrigerated at all times. When it comes to served smoked turkey, it can last in the fridge for up to four days.

If you want to extend its shelf life, then consider freezing it.

How Long Can a Smoked Turkey Rest before Serving?

When it comes to smoked turkey, the general rule of thumb is that it can rest for up to two hours before serving. However, this will largely depend on how big the turkey is and how long it was smoked for. If you’re smoking a large turkey that was smoked for a longer period of time, then it’s best to give it a longer rest so that the juices have time to redistribute evenly throughout the meat.

But if you’re smoking a smaller turkey or one that wasn’t smoked for as long, then two hours should be plenty of time for it to rest.

How Do You Keep a Smoked Turkey Warm for 4 Hours?

A smoked turkey is a delicious way to cook a holiday bird, and it’s easy to do. However, keeping the turkey warm for four hours after it’s been smoked can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you keep your smoked turkey warm and juicy.

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First, make sure the turkey is cooked through before you try to keep it warm. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the breast and thigh meat; both should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If the turkey isn’t fully cooked, it will continue cooking as you try to keep it warm and may become dry or overcooked.

Once the turkey is fully cooked, remove it from the smoker and place it on a platter or cutting board. Cover loosely with foil or a lid and set in a warm oven (200-250 degrees Fahrenheit) until ready to serve. Alternatively, you can wrap the whole smoked turkey tightly in foil or place in an insulated cooler with towels around it to help keep in the heat.

If you need to hold the smoked turkey for longer than an hour or two, consider slicing it before placing it in the oven or cooler. This will help retain heat better than leaving the bird whole. And when you’re ready to serve, simply reheat sliced pieces of meat in gravy or another sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.


If you’re planning to smoke a turkey for your holiday meal, you may be wondering how long it can sit out before it needs to be refrigerated. The answer depends on a few factors, including the temperature of the room and whether the turkey is sliced or whole. Whole smoked turkeys can be kept at room temperature for up to two hours.

If the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the turkey should only be kept out for one hour. Sliced smoked turkey can be kept at room temperature for up to four hours. It’s important to keep track of how long the smoked turkey has been sitting out, as there is a risk of food poisoning if it is not properly refrigerated.

If you’re not sure how long the turkey has been sitting out, it’s better to err on the side of caution and assume that it needs to be refrigerated.

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