Looking forward to Thanksgiving? Make sure to leave enough time for your turkey to safely thaw so that your meal goes off without a hitch.
If you plan to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, which is the safest approach, expect the process to take about 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of weight. After thawing, the turkey can remain in the refrigerator for one or two days before you cook it.
If you plan to thaw your turkey in cold water, be sure the bird is in its original packaging or a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to avoid a watery product. After submerging the turkey in cold tap water, change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed – approximately 30 minutes per pound.
Unlike a turkey thawed in the refrigerator, it’s important to immediately cook a turkey after it has thawed in cold water.
You can also use the defrost function on your microwave to thaw a turkey, but be sure it will fit properly. Remove all wrappings and place on a microwave-safe dish to catch drippings. It’s a good idea to rotate and/or flip the turkey while defrosting, planning for approximately 6 minutes per pound. A turkey defrosted by microwave needs to be cooked immediately after thawing.
Learn more about safely thawing turkey by going here.