Safely Defrost Your Thanksgiving Turkey
What is the best way to defrost a frozen turkey? How long will it take to defrost? The most important thing about cooking for your loved ones is food safety! Depending on the size of your turkey, it could take days to properly thaw your turkey in the refrigerator so make sure you prepare ahead of time.
DO NOT THAW YOUR TURKEY ON THE COUNTER
Use these guidelines for thawing your turkey to help keep your family and friends safe from food poisoning.
When thawing your turkey in the refrigerator, allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. Thaw your turkey in a large pan on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. Protect food in the refrigerator from having any contact with the turkey.
When thawing your turkey in cold water, allow approximately 30 minutes per pound of turkey. Leave the plastic covering on the turkey. An insulated cooler is a great container to thaw your turkey in. Thaw the turkey, breast side down, making sure the turkey is always completely covered with water. Change the water every 30 minutes.
TURKEY SIZE IN THE REFRIGERATOR IN COLD WATER
4 TO 12 POUNDS 1 TO 3 DAYS 2 TO 6 HOURS
12 TO 16 POUNDS 3 TO 4 DAYS 6 TO 8 HOURS
16 TO 20 POUNDS 4 TO 5 DAYS 8 TO 10 HOURS
20 TO 24 POUNDS 5 TO 6 DAYS 10 TO 12 HOURS