I've read that an effective dry brine takes 3 day on a thawed turkey, however, i read that you should not keep a thawed turkey for longer than 3 days?

1 Answer 1


Your question is somewhat unclear. If you are asking why there is a discrepancy: there is no reason for there not being one. Taste and safety are independent. If you are asking what you should go by, this is not a question we can answer. Choose whichever you prefer.

Raw turkey stays safe for 1-2 days in the refrigerator, no matter if it has been previously frozen or not (as long as it was kept safe while frozen). Source: StillTasty.

You can use a recipe with a 3 days refrigeration time or longer if you want to. It simply won't be safe. It may well give you a better taste than doing it for a short time.

  • Worth noting that food safety is an overly cautious field (using the anecdotal example of cheese). Milk was historically made into cheese specifically to preserve a valuable foodstuff (milk) in lieu of refrigeration. The FDA now requires that, in stores & restaurants, cheese be refrigerated... figure that one out. So; Safe by what standards?
    – renesis
    Nov 13, 2015 at 2:38
  • @renesis there is exactly one standard for food safety, that of the FDA. This is what food safety is - a promise by somebody who has the data to calculate it that no matter what, nothing will happen. Many people prefer not to care it and go by their own feeling. That's not somehow reprehensible, but they can't claim to be following a standard.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 13, 2015 at 11:19
  • I'm not recommending that anyone in a food service environment follow anything other than FDA guidelines (in the USA). Outside of the USA there are exactly more than one set of standards. Not following FDA standards to the T in your own kitchen is not an automatic sentence to GI distress (or worse.) It's this level of food paranoia that leads to the incomprehensible food waste that occurs, esp in western countries.
    – renesis
    Nov 13, 2015 at 15:41
  • Nobody says that not following the rules is a sentence to GI distress. If you believe this, you have misunderstood what food safety is. "Safe" means "there is no risk", it does not mean "the risk in safe foods is not acceptable".
    – rumtscho
    Nov 13, 2015 at 16:26
  • @renesis You're correct in some ways, but you'll notice that we tend to be extremely cautious here and follow FDA guidelines in all food safety matters. First, the SE format is designed to provide objective answers, and FDA guidelines are an objective answer to an otherwise extremely subjective matter. Second, we are not food scientists, the FDA has studied these matters in far more detail, and we cannot make responsible determinations of risk without knowing someone's medical history. To provide any less than the safest possible advice would be ethically and legally questionable.
    – logophobe
    Nov 13, 2015 at 20:34

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