How To Thaw A Turkey

How To Thaw A Turkey

Yes, this is an ENTIRE piece on how to thaw a turkey because it’s THE most important part of planning your Thanksgiving menu (if you purchased a frozen turkey that is). Food safety is important so please take a few minutes to review these thawing directions.

1.    Make sure to thaw your frozen turkey in the wrapper it came in, UNOPENED.

2.    Place it, breast-side up, on a try in the refrigerator.

3.    Once thawed, your turkey will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You should err on the side of thawing a day or two before you’re ready to cook it. This helps prevent any “last minute” thawing issues.

4.    If you plan on brining your turkey add an additional thawing day.

5.    If you do procrastinate, you can thaw your turkey in cold water. Place the still-wrapped turkey in a container large enough to allow it to be covered with water. Fill the container with cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. This method will thaw a turkey at the rate of about 1 pound every 30 minutes. An 18 pound turkey will take 9 hours to thaw with this method which is why it’s best to plan ahead.

6.    NEVER EVER thaw a turkey out on the counter or in warm water. You are creating the perfect environment for bacteria and could end up with a family trip to the emergency room instead of a family weekend of fun!

7.    Here is a chart that you can use to determine thawing times.

Turkey Size

Thawing time

(In the Refrigerator)

8-12 lb.

2-3 days

12-14 lb.

3-3½ days

14-18 lb.

3½-4½ days

18-20 lb.

4½-5 days

"Work With What You Got!"

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen


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