post by Marianne Gravely, Food Safety education Staff, Food Safety and also Inspection Service, in initiatives Health and also Safety

While frozen, a turkey is for sure indefinitely. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will start to flourish again. There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven.

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3 means to Thaw a Turkey

Refrigerator Thawing (Recommended)

The recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw in ~ a consistent, safe temperature. This technique takes part time, so enable one day for each 4 - 5 pounds that weight. If her turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will certainly take about four days come thaw. When thawed, the turkey is safe for another two days, for this reason you deserve to start thawing it 6 days prior to thanksgiving (the Friday before Thanksgiving).

The other two approaches (cold water and also microwave) should be done immediately before girlfriend start food preparation the turkey, for this reason you’ll need to wait till Thanksgiving morning.

Cold Water Thawing

For the cold water method, leaving the turkey in its initial wrapping and also submerge that in a sink (or container) full of cold water. It is necessary that the water it is in cold so the the turkey continues to be at a safe temperature. Girlfriend should adjust the water every 30 minutes. Empty out the water and also replace it v fresh cold water. V this method, enable 30 minutes of defrosting time every pound, therefore a 16 lb turkey will take 8 hrs to thaw utilizing this technique (so you could need to start approximately 4 a.m. If you desire to eat in the afternoon!). Once the turkey has thawed, cook it immediately

Microwave Thawing

Before you commit to thawing your turkey in the microwave, inspect your owner’s hand-operated for the dimension turkey that will fit in her microwave oven, the minutes every pound and the strength level come use when thawing a turkey. Eliminate all exterior wrapping and also place the turkey ~ above a microwave-safe food to catch any juices that may leak. Usage the defrost function based on weight. As a general rule, allow 6 minutes per pound as soon as thawing a turkey in the microwave. Be certain to turn it number of times, and even flip it, during the thawing process.

If the turkey starts come actually chef instead of just defrost, permit it rest for 5 minute or so prior to you resume thawing. Partway v thawing you may wish come cover the advice of the wings and also drumsticks through a tiny piece of silver paper to shield them indigenous the microwaves and keep them native cooking. Once the turkey has thawed you should cook it immediately.

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Is it for sure to usage aluminum silver paper in the microwave? check out these security guidelines!

How no to Thaw a Turkey

In situation you room wondering, below are some thawing methods that room not recommended:

thawing a turkey ~ above the counter, in the garage or top top the back porchthawing a turkey in a brown document grocery bag or plastic rubbish bagusing the dishwasher to thaw a turkey (with or there is no water)any technique that is no the refrigerator, cold water, or the microwave

How to chef a Frozen Turkey

If her turkey is tho icy ~ above Thanksgiving morning, don’t panic! the is perfectly safe to cook a turkey indigenous the frozen state; that will just take longer to cook. A solidly frozen turkey will take at the very least 50 percent longer to chef than a s turkey. If her turkey is only partially frozen, remember the it will take a little longer to cook. Use your food thermometer, and also when her bird steps 165˚F in the innermost component of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing and also the thickest component of the breast, it is ready.