How to Defrost a Turkey Safely

If you ever forget to defrost your turkey for Thanksgiving in time, there is no need to worry too much because there a couple of ways in which you can effectively defrost a turkey fairly quickly. The things you will need apart from the turkey would already be available at home, which means you would not have to make a visit to the local supply store.

Things Required:

– Frozen turkey
– Large container
– Thermometer
– Leakproof plastic bag
– Cold tape water


  • 1

    Defrost a Turkey in the Refrigerator

    Without taking the turkey wrapping off, place the frozen turkey in a large container. As the turkey thaws, juices will seep from it. Make sure that the container you use should be able to hold those juices.

    Place the large container containing the frozen turkey on your refrigerator’s bottom shelf.

    The ideal temperature for defrosting turkey is 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 C) or below. At this temperature, the defrosting turkey would remain safe and fresh. Adjust your refrigerator’s temperature if you have to. If your refrigerator does not have a built-in thermometer, check the it’s temperature with an external thermometer. Make adjustments if required.

    The time required for defrosting would depend on the turkey’s weight. Each pound of turkey meat will take about 4 to 5 hours for defrosting. You will have to allow 1 to 3 days for a 4 to 12 pounds turkey to defrost.

  • 2

    Defrost a Turkey in Cold Water

    Remove the plastic wrapper in which the turkey you want to defrost is wrapped. Place the unwrapped turkey in a large, leakproof plastic bag. The plastic bag will prevent juices from leaking out as well as keep the water out so that the turkey does not swell.

    Fill a container with cold tap water and submerge the turkey in it.

    You will need to drain out old water and refill the sink with fresh, cold water every 30 minutes.

    Each pound of turkey would take about 30 minutes to defrost. This means that a turkey weighing 4 to 12 pounds would require about 2 to 6 hours for defrosting.

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