Three Ways to Safely Thaw Turkey

When it comes to Thanksgiving, a lot of people tend to underestimate the time it takes to thaw the turkey.

Larger birds can take nearly a week to thaw using safe methods.

And guess what? Thanksgiving is next week.

These three methods are recommended to ensure the safety and quality of your Thanksgiving turkey.

1. In the refrigerator

Place your turkey in its original wrapper in the refrigerator. Make sure the temperature is 40 degrees F or below. Thawing time varies depending on size but typically it takes 24 hours for every 4-5 lbs. That means an average-sized turkey will take a several days to thaw. Once thawed, your turkey can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before cooking.

2. In cold water

If you forgot to thaw the turkey, don’t panic. A faster thawing method is to submerge the frozen bird in cold water. You need to change the water every 30 minutes to be safe. While this method is faster, it still takes about 30 minutes per pound for complete thawing. Cook the turkey immediately after thawing.

3. In the microwave

Smaller turkeys can be thawed in the microwave. Check the microwave oven’s manufacturer’s guide for time and power level recommendations. Cook the turkey immediately.