How to Thaw Turkey Safely:

great timely post


In the refrigerator : Turkeys can be thawed using one of three methods, but the safest, most foolproof, and most recommended is to thaw them in the refrigerator. In addition to being the safest method, this will also result in the best finished product.

  • Plan ahead and allow about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of bird weight.
  • Place the turkey, in the original wrapper, on a shallow-rimmed baking sheet or platter in the refrigerator.
  • Refer to the following chart for estimated thawing times.
Refrigerator Turkey Thawing Time (40 degrees F)
Turkey WeightDays to Allow for Thawing Turkey
8 to 12 pounds2 to 2.5 days
12 to 16 pounds2.5 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds5 to 6 days

The Cold Water Method: If planning fell short, and you need to thaw the turkey more quickly…

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