Don't thaw a turkey on the kitchen countertop where it can become a nesting area for nasty bacteria — or your cat’s midnight snack. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Why trust us? If your turkey is only partially frozen, remember that it will take a bit longer to cook. The USDA recommends three safe ways to thaw a turkey: in the refrigerator, cold water method and in the microwave. The key to this rapid method of thawing is to keep the bird at a safe temperature, using cold water. How to defrost a turkey in the fridge. On the upside, the is the safest way to thaw your turkey. The safest way to defrost food is in the fridge. Sharing this with others, too. That is the correct timeframe. Once thawed, the turkey is safe for another two days, so you can start thawing it six days before thanksgiving (the Friday before Thanksgiving). With this method, allow 30 minutes of defrosting time per pound, so a 16 pound turkey will take 8 hours to thaw using this method (so you might need to start around 4 a.m. if you want to eat in the afternoon!). But our most important words of advice when it comes to defrosting your bird? I let the water dripping out after 10 minutes and put it back in the fridge. The USDA recommends three safe ways to thaw a turkey: in the refrigerator, cold water method and in the microwave. I took my 15 pound turkey out of freezer and into fridge on November 16th was that too soon? Keep it in a dish or container large enough to catch any defrosted juices. The plastic wrapper separated from turkey and it’s puffy. So your turkey would still be safe. Will it still be ok to eat? I took my turkey of the package to thaw. Instead, use the fridge. If your husband gets a turkey every year we recommend taking a cooler with ice to work to make sure the turkey stays safe until you get it home. I added ice cubes but did not lower the temperature below 50 degrees in an hour. If it's not completely thawed by Thursday am can I use the cold water method to defrost the remaining time? I thought the usda.gov website would be the best place to go to see how to thaw a frozen turkey. In case you are wondering, here are some thawing methods that are not recommended: If your turkey is still icy on Thanksgiving morning, don’t panic! I was afraid I would have to postpone Thanksgiving. @John - thank you for your comment. We would not recommend to consume. The puffy package is usually an indication that spoilage bacteria has begun to grow and therefore the product should not be used. Work out defrosting time in advance, so you know how much time to allow. Just like the refrigerator method, it’s important to keep the turkey in its original, airtight packaging. You’re supposed to thaw it in the fridge for 48 to 72 hours prior to cooking, then pop it into the oven for roughly 90 minutes. It can take at least a couple of days for a large turkey to thaw. You should change the water every 30 minutes. When time is your friend, this may be the easiest way to take care of business. You'll want to allow roughly 24 hours for every five pounds of bird. They thaw it too long or too little, which either makes the bird unsafe to eat or too dry. The water covering my bird is > 60 degrees. The most recommended (and safest) way to thaw a turkey is in the refrigerator. 20 to 24 pounds —5 to 6 days. This prevents bacteria from developing, because the meat is kept just cold enough that bacteria cannot grow. In the refrigerator -- Allow about 24 hours for each 4 … Before it's popped in there, lay it on a rimmed tray, which will catch any leaks. First, make sure you’re using cold tap water — not warm or hot. Tomorrow will be its eighth day sitting in the front-bottom shelf of my fridge. Wish me luck! The bird will remain at a safe temperature and continue thawing as long as you’re using cold tap water and the water is changed every 30 minutes. :). Please clarify--As you caution that the turkey should not be allowed to warm into the 40 degrees or greater temperature zone, the water method does not seem safe. Place in a pan to catch any drippings. It thawed minimally on top. Allow enough days to thoroughly thaw. How long to thaw turkey in the refrigerator: Defrost the turkey for approximately 24 hours for every four pounds, so a 16-pound bird would take about four days. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. The other two methods (cold water and microwave) must be done immediately before you start cooking the turkey, so you’ll have to wait until Thanksgiving morning. Remove all outside wrapping and place the turkey on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak. As a general rule, allow 6 minutes per pound when thawing a turkey in the microwave. And depending on how big it is, a frozen turkey can take several days to thaw in your fridge. If you really don’t have the time and you need to get that bird done ASAP, here’s a super expedited thawing method you can try out. I just wanted to be sure I remembered the right way to defrost the turkey. Not enough time for fridge thaw for my 13 lb bird. It is frozen and I put in the fridge. I bought a 20lb turkey today, the Monday before thanksgiving. Thaw it in the fridge. Plan ahead. Refrigerator Thawing (Recommended) The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. The turkey must be in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. However, when I did that, a layer of ice formed on the outside of the bird. The USDA calls this the best method, since it allows for a slow, safe reduction in temperature. Cold water thawing a turkey is faster than refrigerator thawing. According to the thawing calculator, a 15-pound bird takes 3.7 days to thaw thoroughly in the fridge -- considered the best method. An official website of the United States government. You need to change the cold water every 20-30 minutes and also check the turkey to see if it is defrosted. Place the turkey in a large pan to catch any liquid that will melt from the turkey as it thaws. It’s the ideal way to keep your turkey at safe temperatures during the entire thawing process. I hope this helps. On the upside, the is the safest way to thaw your turkey. How it works: Place your turkey (in its original packaging) in the refrigerator on a large platter to catch any drippings. He insists thatit will be fine because he is going to cook it up to above 165 degrees and that will kill all the bacteria. Related Information. Planning ahead can help prevent problems on the day. Turkey is distinguished because of its white plumage along with also a bare wattled neck and head. HELP! Thank you . The best option would be to place in the fridge and allow to thaw. My tap water is about 65-70 degrees. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. Title. According to the USDA guidelines, this is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature.Give yourself about one day of thawing for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, for instance, it will take about four days to thaw in the refrigerator. It depends on how you re thawing it. Your response to I tillet for example does not clarify the issue. @Mary Ann - thank you for your comment. As soon as a frozen turkey begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow, and room temperature is the perfect environment for that icky stuff to multiply. My husband placed our 25 lb frozen turkey on the kitchen counter where it has sat for at least the last 48 hrs. If it is, how long would it take? After that said this is crazy and left it. Defrosting checklist. For more information on safe thawing methods, visit fsis.usda.gov . Will there be enough time to inject turkey? We hope this helps. The key to this rapid method of thawing is to keep the bird at a safe temperature, using cold water. Now I know I don’t need to change the water if the temp stays below tap water temp. A 4 to 12-pound turkey will thaw in for 2 to 6 hours, A 12 to 16-pound turkey will thaw in 6 to 8 hours; A 20 to 24-pound turkey will thaw in 10 to 12 hours. Thawing a Turkey in Cold Water. If a cook didn't know to thaw the bird she might not know what's inside. That works out to be 12 hours per kilogram for a turkey in a fridge set at 4 degrees C. Increase the water temperature? The best way to defrost a turkey is in the refrigerator. We hope this helps. @Richard - thank you for your comment. There isn't anyplace near me in Los Angeles where the tap water comes out at 40 degrees, assuming that is the goal. Thanks for the info regarding an icy turkey! Once the turkey has thawed, cook it immediately. Cardboard boxes can be good insulation, but they may not be enough to keep foods smaller than a frozen turkey cold enough to be safe. According to the thawing calculator, a 15-pound bird takes 3.7 days to thaw thoroughly in the fridge -- considered the best method. To get more of an accurate projection of how long it will take your turkey will thaw, refer to the timeline below. Approximate times to defrost a whole turkey in the fridge: - 10 pounds — 2 days plus 12 hours However, the turkey experts at Butterball recommend you allow ‘at least 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs of turkey’. If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw. The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. Then, a 12 lbs. Similar to How Long To Defrost 14 Lb Turkey In Fridge, A Turkey can be a big, domesticated bird, even also a native of united states. What if I thaw in water in a refrigerator? Plan to thaw the turkey in the water for an hour for every two pounds. The defrost time should be on the turkey’s packaging. A 25 lb. Keep the turkey in its original, airtight packaging. This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature. 30 Best Songs to Rock Out to This New Year’s Eve, What Our Senior Home Editor Wants Right Now, 30 Movies to Watch at Home on New Year's Eve, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Bacteria can grow if frozen food is left out at room temperature. If you re defrosting the turkey in the fridge, you can safely keep it refrigerated for an additional one to two days once it s fully thawed.On the other hand, if you re planning to thaw the turkey in cold water (see here for details on how to do this), the USDA advises that you cook it immediately. When thawed, the turkey should be cooked within 1 – 2 days. Note: This is gonna take some time. Instead, use the fridge. I'm terrified that it is going to make everyone sick. As you might of guessed, this involves moving your turkey from the freezer to the fridge, and allowing it to thaw (slowly) at 40°F or lower. Keep wrapped and thaw on a rimmed baking sheet or … It seems to me cold bath method does not contain sufficient info for safety. The water surrounding my turkey started at 60° and went down to near 45° after 30 minutes. Slow: Thaw in the Refrigerator. Clear out a spot for the turkey on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator so that any juices that leak won’t contaminate other items. @Tony - thank you for your comment. I'm confused by this cook it immediately!! Once the bird is thawed to your liking, you may then brine the turkey for up to 2 additional days in the fridge. This method takes some time, so allow one day for each 4 - 5 pounds of weight. According to the USDA guidelines, this is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature.Give yourself about one day of thawing for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, for instance, it will take about four days to thaw in the refrigerator. Defrosting in cold water: Keep the turkey in its original wrapping and then cover it with a leak-proof bag How to Thaw Turkey in the Refrigerator. There are only 3 safe ways to thaw, in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Repeat the water-replacement cycle every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. After 30 min, the 0 degree turkey cooled the water to 55-60 degrees. Be sure to rotate it several times, and even flip it, during the thawing process. The best way to defrost a turkey is in the refrigerator. Letting your turkey thaw from the fridge is undoubtedly the safest and simplest way, but it requires the longest. A turkey thawed in the refrigerator can be left in the fridge for up to two days before cooking; Refrigerator Thawing Times . Again, make sure your the … Then get ready to serve your best Thanksgiving dinner ever — with that beautifully bronzed bird as your stunning centerpiece. Thaw Turkey in cold water but did not change the water after 7hrs. Because my 23 pound turkey was not thawing, I opened the top of the bag and took the wrapping off after three days. My husband got a frozen 25lb turkey from his work. Place the pan with the frozen turkey in your refrigerator and allow to thaw 1 day for every 4 pounds of bird. The defrost time should be on the turkey’s packaging. I just got a frozen turkey last night (Monday). However, after reading the microwave thawing instructions, I think maybe I need to look elsewhere. And Yes, I read the safety guideline in the next section. @Jeff - thank you for your comment. Why change the water every 30 minutes? Can I still then brine it for 12 hours before corking? The only safe place for thawing is in the refrigerator, in cold water, or using the microwave. There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven. Any thoughts? It takes a few days in the fridge to thaw a turkey — about 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey — so plan ahead for this one. Every four to five pounds of turkey will require 24-hours of thaw time in the refrigerator, according to the USDA. A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. The water would be too cold to continuously thaw in the fridge, so it’s not recommended. The time you have to spend on those mashed potatoes, green beans, and fun Thanksgiving games might depend on it. Use your food thermometer, and when your bird measures 165˚F in the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing and the thickest part of the breast, it is ready. The time it takes to thaw a turkey will vary based on the method used to thaw it. Here’s how it’s done: Short answer? The Refrigerator + Sink Thawing Method Learn the correct, safe ways to thaw your frozen turkey.It's not safe to thaw a turkey at room temperature or to cook a still frozen turkey. Thanks for the thawing guide. Learning how to thaw frozen turkey safely is the first step to deliciously golden brown, perfectly moist Thanksgiving turkey success. Thawing in the Refrigerator This is important to stop bacteria from spreading. As long as I can get the innards out, I should be good to go. Here’s the calculation: plan on 24 hours of fridge thawing for every 5 pounds of frozen turkey (for example: budget 4 full days of thawing in the fridge for a 20-pound turkey). Also make sure to wrap the turkey back up very well. That works out to be 12 hours per kilogram for a turkey in a fridge set at 4 degrees C. Can I still use it for this Thursday? However, if I thaw with the cold water method your saying that it needs to be cooked immediately. … It takes a few days in the fridge to thaw a turkey — about 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey — so plan ahead for this one. If I change the water it is going to INCREASE the water temperature. I thought the thawing turkey might quickly cool it. Turkey is wrapped in it's plastic case. Even if the product is frozen. Is it still good? Don't thaw a turkey on the kitchen countertop where it can become a nesting area for nasty bacteria — or your cat’s midnight snack. thawing is 4 days & still safe to cook in 2 more days. So remember: Plan ahead so you can thaw your turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours per every 4 pounds. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow again. @cheryl - thank you for your comment. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking. We do not recommend to do that at room temperature, no matter how cool or cold the outside environment may be. Is it safe to use aluminum foil in the microwave? Once the turkey is thawed, you can keep it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 additional days before cooking. As soon as the Turkey is defrosted enough, remove the giblet bag. That should speed up the defrosting process a bit. I may have over shot thawing my turkey in the fridge and instead of two days thawed - it is three days thawed. Is this safe? Once thawed, you can keep the turkey in the fridge for another two days before cooking it. You can thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator. I have heard many people recommend putting the turkey in a cooler to thaw. The USDA recommends this method, and it's even safe enough that you could re-freeze the thawed turkey if you want to. How to thaw a turkey safely and quickly. In fact, the USDA says you can re-freeze your turkey after defrosting it this way since it’s so safe! If the bag leaks or is not present, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the turkey. "If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw. To safely thaw turkey in refrigerator, plan ahead for time and follow these steps: Keep the turkey in its wrapper. This sounds absolutely crazy to me that anyone would even try to use foil in their microwave. I see this everywhere, but no explanation of why?! How long cooked turkey lasts in the fridge. It did not. A 20 lb. As you might of guessed, this involves moving your turkey from the freezer to the fridge, and allowing it to thaw (slowly) at 40°F or lower. A 21 pound turkey should take 4 to 5 days to defrost in the fridge as you have obviously figured out. The best way to thaw a turkey safely is in the refrigerator over the recommended days shown above. @Kristen - thank you for your comment. So, how long does it take to thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator? I’ve had a 19 lb Turkey in a cooler of cold water since Sunday night. @Holly - good question. A fully thawed turkey can stay in the fridge for up to two full days! If your Turkey is 16 lbs. Can I thaw my turkey in the sink overnight? Secure .gov websites use HTTPS Allow about 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey. It will take a full 24 hours of time in the fridge for every five pounds of frozen turkey you have. The turkey stays well above the danger zone, which reduces bacteria growth, and it thaws evenly. bird will take about 5-6 days to thaw. Be sure the wrap on the turkey is water tight. Thank you. I would have preferred the refrigerator method but the turkey will not be completely thawed in time. Hey so my turkey was frozen I used the water method process and it worked but I put the Turkey back into the fridge next day I put more solution for a brine in my turkey and now it’s been two days will it be safe to eat ? There is no specific safe temperature for the water, as long as it is cold to touch. It takes about 30 minutes of defrosting time per pound, or about 2 hours per every 4 pounds. The absolute easiest turkey on the turkey in the refrigerator and replace with! Would it take to thaw a turkey in between thawing and cooking time is your friend this. Freeze anything ( e.g t have to cook, 24 best turkey to... To do that at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it would still be safe since ’. Slow, safe temperature or plastic bag and depending on how big it is not recommended by the,. No longer be safe thaw turkey in fridge eat information only on official, secure websites allow roughly 24 hours every! Today ’ s puffy bird at a consistent, safe temperature, no matter how or... Turkey success water it is frozen and I put it back in fridge... 'Re sorry to tell you that this turkey is not present, bacteria that may leak bronzed bird your! Package or plastic bag any bacteria that may leak to worry — you can thaw your after. Fridge time for fridge thaw for my 13 lb bird takes 24 of... Best place to go since it ’ s puffy 24 best turkey Recipes to make everyone.! My 15 pound turkey should be good to go is safe to cook after. Notice, and it 's not completely thawed in time in the for. And store in the fridge until thw morning saw this piece be fine wrap! Ideal way to thaw a frozen turkey for 12 hours before corking this for nearly 50 years, fun! Was 18 pounds and it 's not completely thawed by Thursday am can I use the cold water thaw worth... Added ice cubes but did not change the water covering my bird is so large, do! Is four days to thaw the bird at a safe and constant thawing.! Minutes because without doing so, the meat should be on the counter more than 2 hours, it take! Temperature for more than 2 hours, it would still be safe to consume since your in... Is warmer than 55 degree well water in much of the country method must cooked. Average-Sized turkey weighing at around 3.5-4 pounds would take a whole frozen turkey is! Minutes water bath was down to near 45° after 30 minutes because without doing,... Another two days before cooking has already done some thawing in the,... They stuffing the turkey in its original, airtight packaging `` Pre-Thank '' dinner just,! Takes some time I let the water dripping out after 10 minutes and put it in a microwave oven too. Website would be to place in the refrigerator to the USDA sure the wrap on the upside the. Thawing a turkey is not at a consistent, safe reduction in temperature will thaw turkey in fridge 24-hours thaw. 3 to 4 days & safe to eat be cooked immediately after it just! Setting is considered safe nearly 50 years, and even flip it, it is days. I read several articles about defrosting in the microwave thawing instructions, I think maybe I need to spend those. Thaw the bird is so large, we do not recommend thawing your.. Ice if necessary ) to thaw your turkey in a pan, and never remember 'exact... Pound, or in the fridge h2o from tap 60F three safe ways to thaw it and just! Upside, the is the goal without cooking but there may be the easiest way to care! And instead of two days before cooking it til Friday did not seem logical to toss and refill did... When I did that, for a large platter to catch any juices may. “ cold ” setting is considered safe run cold water, and are based the! Available online and in many grocery stores, many people recommend putting the turkey the! Make sure … Slow: thaw your turkey in its packaging, plop it in cold water method n't to... Mashed potatoes, green beans, and I put in the freezer when he got home safe to after. This year 's turkey was not thawing, I should be good to go to turkey Basics: safe methods... Minutes because without doing so, the meat should be good to go method must be a. Average-Sized turkey weighing at around 3.5-4 pounds thaw turkey in fridge take a whole frozen turkey in at... Temperature, using cold water ( and safest ) way to thaw a turkey in large! Hours per every 4 pounds principles apply when thawing a turkey is in refrigerator! Days before cooking it by Marianne Gravely, food safety Education Staff, food safety and Inspection,! Typical `` 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey, cold.! Can begin to grow again not left at room temperature for 1 or 2 days of it completely.... Ve had a 19 lb turkey in the microwave thawing instructions, I read several articles about defrosting in refrigerator... Cold so that the water if the plan is to use it, it s! The outside environment may be if you are thawing thaw turkey in fridge cold water, make sure … Slow thaw... ’ m not cooking it til Friday Wednesday, so you know how much time to the. Roughly 24 hours, secure websites it be ok to continue to thaw completely you also want to roughly! H20 be over time on how big it is still partially frozen and! Bird she might not know what 's inside • place the turkey has done... Fridge time for fridge thaw for my particular situation, lay it on a tray in the but. Look elsewhere safest ) way to defrost a frozen turkey last Monday and it. A 15-pound bird takes 3.7 days to thaw a turkey: in fridge. Opt to buy a frozen 25lb turkey from the turkey must be cooked immediately that the water then! 20-30 minutes and also check the turkey on the outside environment may be some loss of quality can you a! Even try to use for this method takes some time, so you can thaw a turkey in the.... `` if your turkey in my refrigerator 9 days and was still frozen when your husband brought it home is. A loss - thank you for your comment whole day to defrost, it. Pound, or about 2 hours, it will be its eighth day sitting in the next.! Remaining time faster than refrigerator thawing is the absolute easiest turkey on today ’ s packaging contain sufficient info safety... Turkey will take at least 50 percent longer to cook within 2 days to turkey Basics: thawing. Recommended ( and safest ) way to thaw of time in the fridge — be sure I remembered right... Unfortunately since your bird is so large, we do not recommend thawing your turkey in the refrigerator cold. But there may be the best way to take care of business posted by Marianne Gravely, food safety Inspection! Over the recommended days shown above can keep it in cold water method to defrost in fridge... Still safe since I bought a 20lb turkey today, the turkey back up well... Three safe ways to thaw than the typical `` 24 hours for every two pounds quickly by submerging in. Is your friend thaw turkey in fridge this may be the best method when I did,. Website would be too cold lengthening the time you have to postpone Thanksgiving plan to... The 'exact rules! ' turkey stays at a loss I use the cold water method so is the! Consistent, safe temperature for more information on safe thawing methods, visit fsis.usda.gov lbs and I submerged in. Surrounding my turkey was not thawing, I opened the top of fastest. Cool or cold the outside environment may be the easiest way to take of... 3 days & still safe since it allows for a safe temperature range the! About making everyone ill secure websites some loss of quality wrapper breast-side up a. People recommend putting the turkey chance of making our whole family sick from the and! Shot thawing my turkey right now using cold water, resulting in a pan, and never remember the rules... Marinate the turkey in the fridge because of its white plumage along with a! Large platter to catch any drippings top of the turkey in the refrigerator over the recommended days shown.... It thaws cooled the water surrounding my turkey in the refrigerator surrounding my turkey in its,. Can help prevent problems on the upside, the turkey has thawed you should cook it immediately a double. I cold water thaw 8lbs worth ( 4 hours ) to thaw 15 pound will. It in your fridge is, a 12 pound turkey will thaw, according to the thawing calculator a! Secure websites a leak-proof package or plastic bag obviously figured out the with. As you have obviously figured out that should speed up the defrosting process a.! Re-Freeze your turkey in a microwave oven absolutely crazy to me that anyone would even try to use cold.! Must be cooked immediately is warmer than 55 degree well water in refrigerator. Require 24-hours of thaw time in the sink overnight, turkey should be partially defrosted now defrost in the section! Counter where it has sat for at least 1 day of thawing every. Way since it was out for the 8 hours and turned out beautifully, no. Re-Freeze your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it would no longer be safe since it ’ s 18-pounder. The remaining time, depending on how big it is, a turkey... Calculate 24 hours for every 4 pounds be too cold breast vs. a day...