HOW TO DEFROST / THAW YOUR THANKSGIVING TURKEY IN TIME

Kitchen Tip of the Day

click below to view thawing charts

1. In the refrigerator: Thaw the turkey breast side up, in its unopened wrapper in the refrigerator.  Place turkey on a cookie rack inside a baking sheet to collect liquid as the bird defrosts. Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. Have an ice chest with plenty of ice on hand for your current contents of your refrigerator. Put your beverages in the chest in order to free up room in your refrigerator for the turkey to defrost with the components of your refrigerator. Remember to keep the turkey in the refrigerator while it thaws all of which should remain at 40 degrees until they’re cooked.

Turkey Thawing Time in the Refrigerator
Turkey Weight Thawing Time / Start thawing by 9am on day
8 to 11 lbs. 2 days / Start on Tuesday
12 to 15 lbs. 3 days / Start on Monday
16 to 19 lbs. 4 days / Start on Sunday
20 to 25 lbs. 5 days / Start on Saturday

2. In the sink: Thaw the turkey breast side down, in its unopened wrapper, in enough cold water to cover it completely. Change the water frequently to keep the turkey chilled. Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per pound for a whole turkey.

Turkey Thawing Time in Cold Water
Turkey Weight Thawing Time
8 to 12 lbs. 4 to 6 hours
12 to 16 lbs. 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 lbs. 8 to 10 hours
20 to 25 lbs. 10 to 12 hours

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