Can I bake my turkey the day before

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Can I bake my turkey the day before?” We will also discuss how you can bake your turkey the day before just like a pro and how to store it for the big day while retaining its freshness and taste.

Can I bake my turkey the day before?

Yes, you can bake your turkey the day before, store it in the fridge overnight then reheat it the next day to get that moist, juicy, and tasty bird that is full of flavor and has delectable aromas.

Baking your turkey ahead one or two days in advance will not only ensure you are on the safe side on your big day but also save you a lot of pressure and time. 

This wonderful easy method is a real saver when you are expecting guests and it is your first time baking turkey but yet not very confident about your skills, so keep reading because we have much to share.

How can I bake my turkey the day before?

If you want to bake your turkey the day before to spare yourself the stress and time of spending your whole day in the kitchen, all you have to do is to follow these steps:

  • Based on your preference take the fresh or a frozen turkey out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature at least one hour before baking
  • Defrost the frozen turkey and follow the instructions and cooking time mentioned on the wrapper
  • Avoid washing your raw turkey or else you will be spreading the bacteria all over the place and contaminating your kitchen, do not worry all pathogenic bacteria will be destroyed by heat during baking.
  • Preheat your oven to the temperature stipulated in the instructions, if not click here to know more about the meat roasting times.
  • Rub the turkey breasts with a little oil or butter to enhance their flavor and protect the skin from burning.
  • Put inside the turkey cavity half a lemon, onion wedges, or fresh herbs.
  • Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and bake it as instructed on the wrapper 
  • Bake until the interior temperature of the thigh reaches 170 F. 

However, if you don’t have a thermometer you can check the doneness of your baked turkey by simply using a sharp knife to stab the thigh meat and check if the juices are clear without any blood. 

  • Remove the foil before 30 minutes of the baking time so that the turkey’s breast turns golden brown 
  • Sprinkle your baked turkey with some salt, and pepper. You can also season the turkey with herbs and spices 
  • Bon appetit

Note that you should not stuff the turkey ahead because this will cause the turkey meat to need more time to cook and will cool faster leading to a health hazard. 

How to store the turkey you baked one day ahead?

 Now that your turkey is baked, the most important point at this level is how you store it for the big day and at the same time retain or preserve its texture and juicy tender delicious taste where it does not dry out.

  • Pour from the roasting pan drippings and stuck bits into a clean container to save it for the big day. 
  • Remove your roasted turkey from the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes Add liquid to your baked turkey so that it stays moist whether it is drippings from the roasting pan or chicken broth then cover it loosely with foil 
  • Let the roasted turkey aside to cool down before storing it in the fridge overnight
  • Based on your preference you can store your whole baked turkey in the fridge (if you have a large refrigerator or more than one) or cut the breasts and legs out of it after it has cooled down by at least an hour. 

Note that it is important  to allow your turkey to be soaked enough time in the juices to ensure the turkey meat has absorbed enough of the delicious juices

  • Wrap the cold pieces in cling film or arrange them in an air-tight container that will easily fit in the fridge.

For more detailed guidance, please click the link here


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “Can I bake my turkey the day before?” We have also discussed how you can bake your turkey the day before just like a pro and how to store it for the big day while retaining its freshness and taste.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.