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How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey


By Prev Info - January 18, 2023

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

The methods described here meet USDA safe food handling guidelines. Countertop thawing can ruin a holiday. The outside of the bird becomes a germ factory while the core of the bird is still frozen. Even if you have a 24 pound bird, you can have it ready to cook in just 12 hours using the water bath method.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

1 - If you're a planner, refrigerator thawing is perfect for you. Place the turkey, with its wrap intact, on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours for each 4 pounds of turkey, or 6 days for the 24 pounder it takes to feed everyone at Thanksgiving.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

2 - For those of us who are lucky to remember that Thanksgiving is 6 days away, much less able to start thawing the turkey that early, there is another plan. Place the turkey, with its wrapper intact, in a sink of cold water. Allow 30 minutes for each pound of turkey.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

3 - Change the water every couple of hours to keep things moving along.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

4 - Don't panic. It is working. Quit looking at the microwave. You don't need it. Breathe.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

5 - After the recommended time, cut the package open and remove the turkey.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

6 - Rinse the turkey inside and out with running water.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

7 - The neck and giblets will be packed inside the turkey. Be sure to remove them before cooking. This one had factory-made gravy frozen in it, too. That went in the trash. The giblets went into a stock pot to make stock for real gravy.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

8 - After rinsing, pat the turkey dry and it is ready to season and cook.

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