How Long to Defrost a Turkey in the Fridge

Turkey is a bird which a lot of people like to cook in different styles, with varying recipes. It is often baked as a whole and is a favourite during the Thanksgiving holidays. Making it is an art but it is also important that it is kept in a hygienic manner before it is cooked or baked, and that is where a deep freezer comes in.

Since it is a large bird, it takes a fair amount of time to be defrosted. It is best that this is done in the fridge to ensure that the bacteria does not affect its quality and it is perfectly healthy when you prepare it. The process is quite simple and all it takes is the right amount of time to be done.


  • 1

    Why the Fridge?

    The defrosting of turkey takes a fair amount of time. Leaving it in room temperature can invite all the bacteria in the world to the raw food and can make it harmful for health. It can also be defrosted in cold water but in that case, the level of effort required will be greatly increased. Since bacteria production starts at 40 degree Fahrenheit, it is important that the water is changed as soon as it starts warming even slightly. Also it has to be ensured that the turkey is placed in an air tight plastic bag during the process so that the water does not come in contact with the turkey.

  • 2

    Keep it in the Wrapping

    The turkey is generally purchased from grocery stores and it comes in a plastic wrapping. Keep it in this wrapping while you intend to defrost it in your fridge. The purpose is quite simple - even though the turkey is frozen, it may have some germs on it. Similarly, it may take some germs from its environment during the process.

    Place it inside the fridge on a tray and in the bottom shelf.

  • 3

    Time Needed

    Once you have placed the turkey in the fridge, a general rule of thumb is that for each pound of weight, it should take around five hours. A normal sized turkey will take around two to three days to fully defrost. Larger ones will take longer. When you are planning on cooking or roasting the turkey, make sure that you take it out of the freezer in advance to avoid delays.

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