Before you can turn a rock-hard frozen turkey into the star player at your Thanksgiving feast, you"re walking to need to thaw that large bird.

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There room three means you deserve to safely thaw frozen turkey: slow, medium, and fast. Take it a look in ~ the guidelines below for exactly how to thaw a turkey and also choose the an approach and timeline that works ideal for you, whether you're a plan-ahead cook or need a last-minute solution.

How long it takes: Allow roughly 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. A 15-pound bird will take about 3 days come thaw completely.

Keep the turkey in its initial wrapping while it's thawing.Place breast-side-up in a baking pan to keep any drips indigenous contaminating other foods and also refrigerator surfaces.You can hold the thawed turkey in the refrigerator for approximately 2 days prior to cooking.

How lengthy it takes: allow approximately 30 minutes because that every pound of turkey. A 15-pound bird will certainly take around 7½ come 8 hrs to thaw completely.

Keep the turkey in its initial wrapping, and place that in a larger, leak-proof plastic bag. Squeeze out extra air and seal the bag.Place the sealed bag breast-side down in a sink or bucket large enough so the turkey will be totally submerged. Fill through cold water. You might need come cover the turkey v a plate and place some hefty cans on optimal of the to keep it entirely submerged. Adjust the cold water every 30 minutes.Cook the turkey automatically after thawing.

It is also feasible to use a combination of the 2 methods: use the refrigerator for the an initial two days of thawing, and also finish in the sink early Thanksgiving morning.

How long it takes: review the user hand-operated for your cooktop to get instructions because that thawing a frozen turkey. Times and also power setups will be differ from version to model. In general, it could take an hour or an ext on the defrost setting, depending on the dimension of the turkey.

Take the turkey out of that wrapping, and also remove steel clips or tags.Place the turkey breast-side increase in a microwave-safe pan come catch any drips.After the turkey is thawed, to wash the inside of her microwave to protect against cross contamination.Cook the turkey instantly after thawing.


Thaw time in the refrigerator requires about 24 hrs for every 5 pounds in a refrigerator collection at about 40 levels F (5 levels C).Thaw time in cold water requires around 30 minutes per pound in cold water, refreshed every 30 minutes.

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We cannot over-emphasize food safety when it involves thawing turkey. It's vital to save the entirety turkey in ~ a for sure temperature transparent the thawing process to protect against bacterial development that have the right to lead come foodborne illness. That's why friend never thaw a frozen turkey at room temperature on your kitchen counter, or in hot water.