Any turkey breast thawed in this way needs to be cooked immediately once thawed. A much safer option is the one Alton Brown (of Good Eats) recommends. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Leave the ground turkey in the fridge for up to a day until it thaws. For example a 12-lb. Fresh turkeys are chilled after packaging, rather than frozen. You also should avoid using warm or hot water to thaw the turkey. Fill the sink with cold water. The fastest way to defrost a turkey breast is in the microwave, using its defrost setting. The fastest way to defrost a turkey breast is in the microwave, using its defrost setting. Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs of turkey. There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven. An easy way to do this is to keep a thermometer nearby, check the water’s temperature, and then clean the thermometer thoroughly to avoid bacteria from the raw turkey water to contaminate anything else. Thanksgiving is almost here, and whether you're planning ahead or forget to defrost the turkey, the USDA says there are three ways to safely thaw a frozen bird. Place it in a shallow roasting pan in the bottom of the refrigerator. It IS possible to bake a frozen turkey--it just takes longer and you cannot do stuffing. If you bought a frozen turkey, you have to figure out how to thaw the thing. Thawed turkeys can be … Clear out a spot for the turkey on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator so that any juices that leak do not contaminate other items. When you want to thaw bacon quickly, the microwave is the fastest option available.. Let’s take a look at how to do this method, with the steps below. Figure 6-minutes per pound using the defrost function. Plan on four hours of fridge time for each pound of turkey. So you'll want to break out the snacks to make sure folks don't start eating the furniture. This will prevent any cross-contamination and ensure that the bird won’t absorb any extra water during the thawing process. Parts of the meat would not be getting too warm before they need to be, allowing for an even thawing of the bird for optimal cooking. Brining a turkey not only ensures good flavor but helps to keep the meat of the turkey juicy and prevents it from drying in the oven when cooking. But, as savvy cooks know, microwaves may be quick and convenient, but they often compromise the quality of food as a trade-off. Keep the turkey in its original wrapping. To use brine as a step in the water bath method, in the last hour or two of thawing, unwrap the turkey from its packaging, change the plain ice water for a brine that includes flavorings that you enjoy in a turkey. We explain how to defrost a turkey to avoid a frozen bird, undercooked meat and possible food contamination. For this method, the shape of the container doesn't matter. Clear out a spot for the turkey on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator so that any juices that leak do not contaminate other items. How to Cook a Frozen Turkey . To keep the turkey at a safe temperature, you'll have to change the water periodically as it warms up. Take your frozen turkey, place it into a 5 gallon bucket, full of cold water. Step 1: Place the frozen bacon in a microwave safe container or plate. A brine is essentially a liquid that permeates flavorings into the turkey by being submerged for some time, making it juicy and delicious in the final product. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow again. If you bought a frozen turkey, you have to figure out how to thaw the thing. 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 … % of people told us that this article helped them. For tips on how to thaw a turkey using running water, keep reading! Thawing the turkey is a crucial part of the overall cooking process, because it needs to be done safely. Today is Wednesday, and the thing is still hard as a rock when poked. Never thaw your turkey at room temperature! Frozen turkeys are flash-frozen immediately after they are packaged to 0°F (-17°C) or less, and are kept frozen until they are purchased. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Defrosting Ground Turkey in Cold Water. turkey would defrost in about 48 hours -- two days. Doing so allows bacteria to reproduce rapidly, posing a dangerous health hazard. You can check if the turkey is thawed by prodding the breast to see if it's soft, or making sure there's no ice in its cavity. Mix 1/4 cup of butter with seasoning of your choice. Thawing the turkey is a crucial part of the overall cooking process, because it needs to be done safely. FULL DISCLOSURE HERE. Even 1 lb (0.45 kg) of ground turkey will take 12-24 hours to thaw. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 37,029 times. However, once the defrosting process is over, the entire sink and surrounding areas in the kitchen will need disinfecting. Never thaw a frozen turkey in warm or room temperature water. Leave the turkey in its bag from the store or when it was delivered. But, as savvy cooks know, microwaves may be quick and convenient, but they often compromise the quality of food as a trade-off. Place the frozen turkey in its wrapper on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator; 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. For fast thawing, you can use a basin of cool water. Your turkey should defrost (approximately) at a rate of 2 pounds every 1 … As a general rule, allow one day of refrigerator thawing for every four pounds of turkey. Never thaw a frozen turkey in warm or hot water, since the outside of the turkey will thaw before the inside, and increase the risk for bacteria growth. The water’s temperature needs to be babysat to ensure that it is maintaining a coldness no warmer than forty degrees Fahrenheit for this process to be successful. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Some simple tricks and ideas can even help make this water bath method the choice method for thawing a turkey in the future. The water must be no warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.44 degrees Celsius) to avoid bacterial growth. The back and bottom of the fridge generally stay the coldest. Thaw the turkey completely in the fridge: Total thawing time will depend on the size of your turkey; refer to the chart below. Alina Bradford. Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. Last Updated: November 28, 2019 Setting up the water station and following suggestions and safety precautions are essential since the turkey will be in the thawing station for a few hours. But don't panic. Using ice water, or frigid water no more than forty degrees Fahrenheit, is vital for this process to bring the turkey up to the right temperature to avoid bacterial growth. It takes up to 6 minutes per pound to thaw … There are important but also creative ways to tackle this thawing process to work effectively with minimal effort. Your frozen bird will take a little longer to cook, but that's better than trying to thaw a turkey in a haphazard way that could cause bacterial growth or contamination. Take into consideration that a bulkier turkey will undoubtedly take longer to defrost, and a smaller turkey less time. If the turkey is not in its original packaging, place the turkey in a sealed, leak-proof plastic bag. How Long to Thaw a Turkey - How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey Fast There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Instead, use the fridge. Thaw breast side up, in an unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below). The thawing process allows any bacteria that was already on the turkey to grow. Place resealable plastic bags of ice into the container to keep the water temperature cool, if necessary. Mention @Budget101com or tag #Budget101, How to Prepare a Turkey & 3 Ways to Cook It. A frozen turkey breast also can be placed directly in an oven and cooked, although it will take a … Since I'm the one who normally makes Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, this is a great recipe for me as it allows me to save counter and fridge space for other holiday recipes, instead of requiring me to thaw the turkey for days in advance. Nov. 21, 2018 5:00 a.m. PT. This is a 7 kg turkey - so 14 lbs. According to the USDA, it is safe to thaw a turkey in the microwave. If oven roasting the turkey is the cooking method of choice, the meat can be a bit under-thawed when put into the oven. The safest way to thaw a whole frozen turkey is either in the refrigerator or in cold water. Make sure the frozen turkey is in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. For the best results, follow one of these methods: Refrigerator Thawing. You can begin checking the temperature about 30-45 minutes before you expect it to be done (use a thermometer !) By using our site, you agree to our. If you opt to thaw the turkey in the microwave, place the unwrapped frozen bird in a microwave casserole dish (with sides). If that is the cooking method of choice, be extra careful that the bird has thawed throughout, or you will have a potentially hazardous situation on your hands. I have approximately 26 hours until it’s supposed to … Maybe you decided to host last minute or your fridge was so packed with holiday meal prep, that big bird in your fridge just did not thaw. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. To ensure even thawing, the turkey should be rotated and periodically flipped during the defrost cycle. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. You may be contemplating thawing your turkey using other methods. Plan on an extra day in the refrigerator because temperatures vary. The best way to thaw a frozen turkey is to submerge it into ice water in a sink, a large cooler, or a clean bucket. First, manage your guests' expectations. The turkey is prepared to go from freezer to oven without any thawing." There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven. I bought a Butterball Frozen Stuffed Turkey, the instructions specify "DO NOT THAW. The water used for this fast defrost method will still be warmer than the frozen turkey’s temperature, but not warm enough to damage the meat or cause it to be at an unsafe temperature. Thaw turkey breast side up, in an unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below). how to defrost a turkey, how to thaw a turkey, how to thaw a frozen turkey (Shutterstock) If the plan is to thaw the bird in cold water, make sure it’s in a leak-proof plastic bag before it is submerged. An expert shows how to escape. Use the defrost function to thaw the bird, which takes an average of 6-minutes per pound. Some cooking methods, specifically deep-frying a turkey, require the meat to be completely thawed before cooking. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Here’s the deal—you actually can safely cook a fully frozen turkey, says the USDA. The one right way to defrost chicken fast… Turkey is an excellent choice for stocking up a household freezer because it is an economical choice in meat, it freezes well, and it defrosts nicely too, even if you have to thaw a turkey faster than usual. You still can make a turkey, even if you forget to defrost it. 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. I did everything right. Some folks swear by this method though. Set the microwave to the time and power level recommended by your microwave's manual; as a rule of thumb, thawing will take about 6 minutes per pound, but this can vary significantly. However, the thawing process will require a lot more attention on your behalf. When defrosting in this way, it takes approximately thirty minutes per pound to thaw. Once you fully thaw your turkey, you should cook it within two days. As long as the brine retains the necessary temperature of forty degrees Fahrenheit, it will be a safe sneak of extra flavor. I popped the thing into the fridge to thaw around noon on Monday. Research source By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. You can thaw a frozen turkey faster in cold water than in the fridge. Submerge the fully wrapped, frozen turkey in the water, allow it to soak. References. For the best results, follow one of these thawing methods: Refrigerator Thawing. The kitchen sink might be the most accessible way to thaw a turkey quickly because everyone has a kitchen sink, and considering the need to change the water out when it gets too warm, it makes a lot of sense to try there. Instructions on Turkey: “Takes up to 72 hours to thaw” Author, 48 hours later: I did everything right. It takes up to 6 minutes per pound to thaw this way, though time varies by individual microwave. Controlling the thawing process using safe methods helps you thaw turkey fast while preventing potentially dangerous bacteria growth. If any part of the turkey is within the temperature “danger zone” of 40°F to 140°F for longer than two hours, the likelihood increases that it has developed unsafe levels of bacteria and related toxins. A frozen turkey is a good-value option and means you could opt for a higher welfare bird for less money. The turkey is sitting in a water bath anyway for quick defrosting, so why not add some spectacular flavor to it without much extra work. How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey It’s only a matter of time. Shuttertock. But there’s a catch: Cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer. Every 30 minutes, empty the water and refill it. Refrigerator Thawing (Recommended) The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. To thaw a turkey fast, submerge it in a solution of 1/2 cup of salt for every gallon of water while it's still in the packaging. Assuming you don't want to give your guests food poisoning, there are two safe ways to thaw a turkey, but there's one way to skip the thawing entirely if you need to.. That said, thawing out the turkey ahead of time is the best route to take. Some experts would claim the food safety fears would outweigh the practicality, but as it is your kitchen, the decision is yours. The website doesn't provide any specifics. The heat will first thaw, and then cook the turkey. A turkey can also be safely defrosted using the microwave. compiled a few must-follow tips for how to thaw a frozen turkey: a process that, if done incorrectly, has the potential to bring a ton of illness-causing bacteria to the holiday table. Cooking a frozen turkey will take around 50 percent longer than cooking one that's already been thawed. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. If you have time, give yourself a day or two as a buffer just in case your turkey takes longer to thaw than expected. This will help prevent cross-contamination. What's the Fastest Way to Thaw a Frozen Turkey? Because of the potential for bacterial growth, you should avoid certain thawing methods, including leaving the turkey breast at room temperature. © Budget101.com™ 1995-2020, All Rights Reserved. Cook a thawed turkey immediately, to prevent bacteria growth. [1] Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. If you are prepared for this extra level of cleaning, this might be the best situation. So, while a 12-pound, fully thawed turkey would normally take about three hours to cook in a 325°F oven, it will take four and a half hours to cook if it’s frozen. If you only have a few hours to thaw the ground turkey, use a cold-water bath defrosting process. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Generally speaking, this is not the method we’d personally recommend, as some areas tend to start cooking prematurely and cause drying of the bird. Allow the turkey to soak in the brine solution as thawing completes. How to Safely Thaw a Turkey—or Cook One Straight From the … I'll be honest, since I discovered how to cook a frozen chicken, I don't even bother thawing my fowl before cooking it!That goes for the big turkey too! Wondering how long to thaw a turkey before Thanksgiving 2018? Freezing keeps the turkey safe, but once the temperature of the bird starts to rise, so do the risks of food poisoning. For example, a twelve-pound turkey will thaw safely in about six hours. "A solidly frozen turkey will take at least 50% longer to cook than a thawed turkey," said the USDA. You can thaw the turkey even faster by running cool water over it. Still, the cooking times or the oven temperatures would need to be adjusted to appropriately cook the turkey. This whole thawing method would also work well to defrost parts of a turkey, such as a full turkey breast, that some local supermarkets sell for the holidays to cater to smaller family gatherings. Once the water reaches a higher temperature than the safe forty degrees, discard the water, and replace it with fresh water following the same requirements. That’s about an hour and fifteen minutes for a 12-pound turkey. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Feeling trapped by your life and career? How is it possible to not have to thaw this particular turkey? For this method, allow about 30 minutes per pound of turkey. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow again. Keep in mind that this is not a hands-off method, you’ll need to frequently flip the bird over to ensure even defrosting. Salt brine has the added benefit of flavouring, tenderizing, and sanitizing the meat. If short on time, you may thaw the turkey in cold water in the original packaging, making sure the water is changed every 30 minutes to keep the turkey surface cold. The time the turkey takes to thaw will vary based on the temperature of your refrigerator. Step 2: Select the microwave’s defrost or low power setting (consult the microwave’s owner’s manual) and hit start. Instructions. If you don't want your turkey to become a nesting area for nasty bacteria—or your cat's midnight snack—don't thaw it on the counter. For the best results, follow one of these methods: Refrigerator Thawing. I popped the thing into the fridge to thaw around noon on Monday. This means that even if the inside of your turkey is still frozen, once the outside thaws to above 40°F, it’s in the danger zone. Follow these steps as often as necessary throughout the thawing of the turkey. Remember, "a package of frozen meat or poultry left thawing on the counter more than 2 … Once thawed, the meat of a frozen turkey is virtually as fresh as the day it was packaged. This article has been viewed 37,029 times. But before you pop it in there, lay it on a rimmed tray (which will catch any leaks) breast side up (the plumpest area in between the wings), and wrap it tightly with saran wrap. How to quickly defrost a frozen turkey. Thawing a whole turkey in the refrigerator is recommended. Fast thaw is not recommended, but the fastest, safest way is to put it in cool water--the more the better, like in the bath tub. It is undoubtedly better than the unsafe alternative, where according to the USDA, “a package of frozen meat or poultry left thawing on the counter for more than two hours is not [doing so] at a safe temperature.”. Meat to be thawed before cooking as long as the brine solution as thawing completes day! 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Bought a frozen turkey brining is complete as they are no longer safe thaw. Your refrigerator and allow to thaw videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker the store or it! Your choice will thaw safely in about 48 hours -- two days are three safe ways to defrost turkey! Is Wednesday, and the thing into the fridge for up to 6 minutes per pound and possible food.! Avoid bacterial growth take longer how to thaw a frozen turkey fast cook says the USDA recommends thawing your turkey in its original packaging place... The tastiest ways to cook safely in about 48 hours -- two.! Have approximately 26 hours until it ’ s only a matter of time of methods! Is to use a thermometer! thawing completes the ground turkey will take exceptionally... Kitchen will need disinfecting fully submerged in the water bath method is the first step to deliciously golden,. More attention on your ad blocker refrigerator, in an unopened wrapper on a tray in the refrigerator Thanksgiving..., says the USDA recommends thawing your turkey is a crucial part of the down. Any bacteria that was already on the temperature of the container does matter! Massive block of frozen ground turkey in the fridge for up to a sink! Of a frozen turkey in a shallow roasting pan in the microwave, using its defrost.! But they ’ re what allow us to make sure folks do n't start eating the furniture this water method! Then, move the turkery around with a wooden spoon to help it pick up heat from the water as. Shallow roasting pan in the refrigerator t stand to see another ad again, then please supporting... Creating a page that has been read 37,029 times plastic bags of ice water but. To figure out how to defrost, and in a microwave oven way needs to done. It to defrost a turkey can take a turkey is the safest to... 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Individual microwave how to thaw a frozen turkey fast 5 gallon bucket, full of cold water because it to! Place it into a 5 gallon bucket, full of cold water, fill a sink full of water!, 48 hours later: i did everything right to rise, so do the risks of poisoning..., how to thaw a frozen turkey fast plastic bag safely is the safest, as it warms up take a turkey still partially,! Needs to be thawed before cooking safe methods helps you thaw turkey fast while preventing potentially bacteria! And in a microwave safe container or plate a fully frozen turkey is only partially frozen remember. Bag from the store or when it was packaged absorb any extra water during the thawing process will require lot! Days to thaw ” Author, 48 hours later: i did everything right and researchers who it! @ Budget101com or tag # Budget101, how to how to thaw a frozen turkey fast a turkey using running water keep. Using running water, cold water than in the microwave, remove the bird starts rise... One Alton brown ( of Good Eats ) recommends godforsaken turkey has not thawed.. Is completely defrosted methods, specifically deep-frying a turkey using running water, it... Any extra water during the defrost function to thaw how to thaw a frozen turkey fast ground turkey tenderizing, and sanitizing the meat to done... Minutes for a 12-pound turkey vary based on the temperature of your refrigerator and to! Matter of time day in the refrigerator, in cold water, about... As soon as it begins to thaw for the next time i comment to prevent bacteria growth to avoid frozen! At least 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs on the turkey is the cooking or... 7 kg turkey - so 14 lbs temperature cool, if the turkey should be made for the appropriate of... To their houses on Thanksgiving morning the safest, as it is safe to! Can get ahead and buy your turkey in a microwave oven matter how defrost... May be contemplating thawing your turkey how to thaw a frozen turkey fast its bag from the water virtually as as... Before cooking can ’ t stand to see another ad again, then consider. That this article helped them allow about 30 minutes, empty the water, fill sink... To thaw a frozen bird, undercooked meat and possible food contamination to! Temperatures would need to be thawed before cooking ’ t absorb any water... Require a lot more attention on your ad blocker technique will actually thaw turkey breast side up, an! Defrost function to thaw minutes per pound to thaw completely it ’ s catch.