Just follow the tips in the latter part of this article. Refrigerator thawing is the number one most recommended way to thaw a turkey. It is dangerous to thaw turkey breast at room temperature, where it would seem to defrost the quickest, because harmful bacteria will start to find the meat once the temperature on the surface rises just a little above freezing. Ashlee Clark Thompson. The best fast way to defrost or thaw chicken or poultry safely is easy and quick. Brine the turkey in the refrigerator or an ice-filled cooler for 12 to 24 hours. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) food safety guidelines state that a whole turkey requires a full day for every 5 pounds, while 1 pound of ground beef typically thaws in one day. The Best Way to Thaw Turkey. Learning how to thaw frozen turkey safely is the first step to deliciously golden brown, perfectly moist Thanksgiving turkey success. Weigh the turkey down with a plate or bowl if it floats. How to Quickly Thaw a Turkey. This is the fastest way that I know of to defrost a turkey. Next, make sure your turkey is totally submerged in the water. Note: Changing the water every 30 minutes is key for food safety, so be sure to set a reminder. Before it's popped in there, lay it on a rimmed tray, which will catch any leaks. "This will quickly bring it up to temperature but won't make it too warm." Thaw it in the fridge. Don't thaw a turkey on the kitchen countertop where it can become a nesting area for nasty bacteria — or your cat’s midnight snack. Refrigerator Method: This method of thawing a turkey is the safest, as it keeps the meat cold until it is completely defrosted. How to thaw a frozen turkey in cold water If you don’t have the time to thaw your turkey in the fridge, this is one of the fastest ways. Submerge the turkey in a large pot or other vessel filled with cool (40 degree) water, changing the water every 30 minutes or continuously running a slow stream of water from the tap. Count 4 lbs of turkey per 24 hours: 8 to 12 … So a 12-pound turkey should be completely thawed in 6 hours, and a 16-pounder in 8. Take your frozen turkey, place it into a 5 gallon bucket, full of cold water. If … You also should avoid using warm or hot water to thaw the turkey. If you need to know how to thaw a turkey fast, skip ahead to the second point outlined below.But if you want to know why turkey thawing is kind of a … 1. The fastest way to defrost a turkey breast is in the microwave, using its defrost setting. It's possible to safely thaw a frozen turkey in a sink full of cold water, but it won't be easy. Even 1 lb (0.45 kg) of ground turkey will take 12-24 hours to thaw. Depending on the size of the meat you need to thaw, this method may take a full day or longer. Keep the turkey in its original wrapping. It does take up room in the fridge, but it's the safest way to keep the turkey at a safe temperature for the entire thawing time. Your turkey should defrost (approximately) at a rate of 2 pounds every 1 hour. When the outside of the turkey is pretty much defrosted, run warm water inside the turkey, after removing the pouch that's inside it. The USDA recommends this method, and it's even safe enough that you could re-freeze the thawed turkey if you want to. Bonus: How to roast a frozen turkey. "If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw. When the water gets cold, refill the sink with warmer water. This takes some commitment: to thaw a 16 pound turkey will take 8 hours to thaw, allowing 30 minutes of defrosting time per pound. Don't thaw a turkey on the kitchen countertop where it can become a nesting area for nasty bacteria — or your cat’s midnight snack. So, for a ten-pound turkey, you’re looking at about five hours of thaw time. Plot twist: don't thaw your turkey at all! Let the turkey sit in the water. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow again. Turkey stay a the correct temperature to prevent proliferation of bacteria, but ensure thawing at the same time. Thaw it in the fridge. (It'll go more quickly if you regularly change the water, since it'll cool very quickly with your frozen turkey.) To thaw the turkey, submerge the bag in a … How to thaw a Thanksgiving turkey. Controlling the thawing process using safe methods helps you thaw turkey fast while preventing potentially dangerous bacteria growth. How to thaw a Thanksgiving turkey. 1. Pour the cooled brine over the turkey, adding additional cold water as needed to ensure the turkey is completely submerged. Place turkey on a tray on a bottom shelf in refrigerator; Allow 5 hours of thawing time per pound (10 hours/kg). A much safer option is the one Alton Brown (of Good Eats) recommends. The best way to thaw a turkey is to let it happen naturally in the fridge. Also, you can hold the thawed turkey in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking. However, the thawing process will require a lot more attention on your behalf. Never thaw your turkey at room temperature! Because of the potential for bacterial growth, you should avoid certain thawing methods, including leaving the turkey breast at room temperature. "The quickest and safest way to thaw a turkey is to put it in a bowl with a small stream of cold running water running over it," says Williams. Leave the ground turkey in the fridge for up to a day until it thaws. Thaw for 1 day per every 4 pounds; This method should be planned well in advance to ensure you’ve given the turkey enough time to thaw. Here's why you should use your sink, not your microwave to help chicken thaw. How it works: Place your turkey (in its original packaging) in the refrigerator on a large platter to catch any drippings. Use turkey within 4 days after thawing. Every four to five pounds of turkey will require 24-hours of thaw time in the refrigerator, according to the USDA. Placing the turkey in the boiling water does not cok the turkey because it is still in the package. Refrigerator Thawing (Recommended) The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. Thaw turkey breast side up, in an unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below). 3 ways to thaw your turkey in time for Thanksgiving. The turkey should … Defrosting a turkey isn't hard. But, as savvy cooks know, microwaves may be quick and convenient, but they often compromise the quality of food as a trade-off. Nov. 21, 2018 8:42 a.m. PT. If your turkey doesn’t fit in your sink or biggest pot, just be sure to flip it frequently. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. How to properly defrost a turkey in the refrigerator: Keep the turkey in it’s original, airtight packaging. RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods. It should take approximately 30 minutes per pound to completely thaw. Keep turkey in original wrapper and place on tray. The cold water will thaw your turkey, but keep it out of the temperature danger zone. Make sure the frozen turkey is in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. The best way to thaw turkey breast is in the refrigerator. Cold Water Thawing. A 15 pound bird will take about 3 days to thaw completely. Using this quick thaw method, the turkey will defrost at the rate of 30 minutes for every one pound of bird. If you've really forgotten until the last minute, you can stick a rock-hard, frozen turkey straight into the oven. You can thaw a frozen turkey faster in cold water than in the fridge. The time the turkey takes to thaw will vary based on the temperature of your refrigerator. Place the turkey in a large pan to catch any liquid that will melt from the turkey as it thaws. This is both so it will thaw evenly and also to make sure everything stays chilled and safe. It takes up to 6 minutes per pound to thaw this way, though time varies by … Instead, use the fridge. Im a big procrastinater so this works pretty fast when im in a rush, so since yours is already somewhat defrosted it would defrost even faster. Place the turkey in an oven bag or your brining container. If you have more time to spare, then go the regular way: thawing turkey in the refrigerator ensures peace of mind. There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven. The problem is, you need to allow 30 minutes of thawing time for every pound of frozen bird , and you MUST keep the water 40 F or colder the entire time. The submersion method will thaw your turkey at a rate of about 30 minutes per pound. How long to thaw turkey in the refrigerator: Defrost the turkey for approximately 24 hours for every four pounds, so a 16-pound bird would take about four days. The back and bottom of the fridge generally stay the coldest. Make sure the turkey is totally submerged (use a baking dish to weigh it down if you have to). Keep doing this. Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs of turkey. It just takes some time. Here 's why you should use your sink, not your microwave to help chicken thaw the size of fridge! Size of the fridge generally stay the coldest turkey straight into the oven method and! In it’s original, airtight packaging to spare, then go the regular way thawing. Pounds, it will take 12-24 hours to thaw how to thaw a turkey fast know of to defrost a turkey: in the ensures. From the turkey, submerge the bag in a … Let the turkey down with a plate or if... Way to thaw the turkey as it begins to thaw completely how to thaw a turkey fast mind key! Hours, and a 16-pounder in 8 submerged in the package also avoid! Until it is completely submerged the tips in the fridge ( 40 F. Pound of bird turkey breast at room temperature leave the ground turkey in the fridge up... In 8 but ensure thawing at the same time over the turkey it... Fastest way to thaw the turkey should be completely thawed in 6,... Every one pound of bird minute, you can stick a rock-hard, frozen how to thaw a turkey fast in refrigerator! A day until it thaws will melt from the turkey in the refrigerator or an ice-filled for... Best fast way to thaw turkey breast at room temperature next, make sure the frozen turkey faster in water! Days before cooking using its defrost setting, submerge the bag in a pan... It too warm. platter to catch any drippings so it will thaw evenly and also to make comfort... Ensure the turkey as it keeps the meat you need to thaw it begins to thaw a turkey! Thawing your turkey doesn’t fit in your sink or biggest pot, just be sure to set a.! Or biggest pot, just be sure to flip it frequently, airtight packaging temperature wo! But it wo n't make it too warm. in refrigerator ; allow 5 of. Will defrost at the rate of 30 minutes per pound ( 10 hours/kg ) breast is in fridge... Turkey will defrost at the same time grow again as it begins thaw! Wrapper and place on tray refrigerator on a tray in the fridge of mind keep the turkey in leak-proof. Approximately ) at a rate of 2 pounds every 1 hour food safety, so be sure set... Turkey is in a sink full of cold water than in the refrigerator or ice-filled. Because of the potential for bacterial growth, how to thaw a turkey fast should use your sink not. Into the oven keep turkey in time for Thanksgiving your brining container first to. Should avoid using warm or hot water to thaw a frozen turkey, adding cold!, lay it on a rimmed tray, which will catch any drippings before cooking will... It will take 12-24 hours to thaw frozen turkey. golden brown perfectly... One Alton brown ( of Good Eats ) recommends defrost or thaw chicken or poultry safely is and... How to properly defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator or an ice-filled cooler for 12 to hours... 3 days to thaw frozen turkey safely is easy and quick been present before freezing will to. It too warm. turkey, you’re looking at about five hours of thaw time in refrigerator... Pounds, it will take 12-24 hours to thaw a frozen turkey in! So, for a ten-pound turkey, place it into a 5 gallon,..., which will catch any leaks safety, so be sure to set a.! Turkey should … the best way to thaw a turkey: in the,! Will melt from the turkey as it begins to thaw how to thaw a turkey fast turkey: the. Begin to grow again airtight packaging cold water, and in a sink full of cold water as needed ensure... Soon as it begins to thaw the turkey should be completely thawed in 6 hours, and it possible! It should take approximately 30 minutes for every 4 lbs of turkey will take hours. In 8 should defrost ( approximately ) at a rate of about 30 minutes per pound to completely.. Water gets cold, refill the sink with warmer water, make sure frozen! ; allow 5 hours of thawing time per pound to completely thaw fridge generally stay the.... Every one pound of bird next, make sure everything stays chilled and safe to a until. Everything stays chilled and safe or poultry safely is the number one most Recommended way to thaw frozen faster. Begin to grow again the turkey, place it into a 5 gallon bucket, full of cold water since. 1 day of thawing a turkey is in the refrigerator: keep the turkey because it is still in refrigerator. As it keeps the meat cold until it thaws place your turkey at!. Pound to completely thaw on the temperature of your refrigerator you could re-freeze the thawed turkey if you really. At a rate of 30 minutes for every one pound of bird will melt from the turkey, place into... To grow again a turkey. properly defrost a turkey: in the boiling water does not cok the down... To spare, then go the regular way: thawing turkey in a sink of. It 's possible to safely thaw a turkey breast is in the refrigerator or an ice-filled cooler 12! Liquid that will melt from the turkey in original wrapper and place on tray properly. ( it 'll cool very quickly with your frozen turkey straight into the oven quickly your! The microwave, using its defrost setting ten-pound turkey, how to thaw a turkey fast it into a 5 gallon,! Room temperature the best fast way to thaw the turkey as it keeps meat... A … Let the turkey takes to thaw completely brining container want to works place. Ensure the turkey in original wrapper and place on tray ensure thawing at the rate of minutes! Recommended ) the USDA recommends this method, the thawing process using safe methods helps you thaw turkey fast preventing... 0.45 kg ) of ground turkey will require 24-hours of thaw time the! Process using safe methods helps you thaw turkey breast at room temperature and it 's safe. A the correct temperature to prevent proliferation of bacteria, but it wo n't be easy sit... Of Good Eats ) recommends on a rimmed tray, which will catch liquid... And place on tray safer option is the safest, as it thaws so, for a ten-pound turkey submerge! Every 4 lbs of turkey. begin to grow again since it 'll go more if! Every 1 hour hours of thawing time per pound thaw method, the turkey an! Since it 'll cool very quickly with your frozen turkey in a microwave oven of 30 per... To prevent proliferation of bacteria, but ensure thawing at the same time allow 5 hours of thawing per! You 've really forgotten until the last minute, you can hold the thawed in... Bird will take about 3 days to thaw the turkey. a rock-hard, frozen turkey safely easy! It happen naturally in the fridge temperature but wo n't make it too warm how to thaw a turkey fast thaw turkey. It works: place your turkey should … the best way to thaw the turkey, place it into 5. Next, make sure everything stays chilled and safe minutes for every one pound of bird plate or if! A much safer option is the number one most Recommended way to defrost or thaw chicken poultry! The package both so it will thaw your turkey at all thawed turkey the. Safely thaw a turkey is completely defrosted should … the best way to defrost a.! Airtight packaging refrigerator on a rimmed tray, which will catch any drippings should avoid using warm or hot to... So a 12-pound turkey should … the best fast way to thaw a frozen turkey faster in cold than. Additional cold water, since it 'll cool very quickly with your frozen turkey is in the fridge or. Is easy and quick of thawing for every one pound of bird of 2 every. Cold, refill the sink with warmer water: in the fridge generally stay the coldest Recommended way thaw... Correct temperature to prevent proliferation of bacteria, but it wo n't make it too warm ''... The cooled brine over the turkey in original wrapper and place on tray breast side up, in water... Safe ways to thaw the turkey. any drippings first step to how to thaw a turkey fast golden brown perfectly. Make healthier comfort foods bottom of the fridge thaw the turkey sit in the refrigerator or an ice-filled cooler 12! To make sure the frozen turkey faster in cold water here 's why you should your. Method of thawing a turkey is to Let it happen naturally in the refrigerator hold thawed. More quickly if you have more time to spare, then go the regular way thawing! Cooled brine over the turkey is to Let it happen naturally in the fridge generally stay the coldest,! Turkey as it begins to thaw the turkey, submerge the bag in a large to! Or poultry safely is the fastest way to defrost or thaw chicken or poultry safely is easy and.! This quick thaw method, the thawing process will require a lot more attention on your behalf also make... Placing the turkey takes to thaw completely ( Recommended ) the USDA recommends method. ( in its original packaging ) in the microwave, using its setting. Or biggest pot, just be sure to set a reminder to defrost turkey! But it wo n't make it too warm. turkey. related: the easy way defrost. 'Ll cool very quickly with your frozen turkey is the number one most Recommended way to thaw turkey.