How to Thaw a Turkey

The countdown to Thanksgving has begun and you're staring at the bird in your freezer, wondering "How do I defrost this thing?" Domestic CEO to the rescue! 

Amanda Thomas
2-minute read

With Thanksgiving Day quickly approaching, it’s time to start thawing your bird! If this is your first time, or if you just forget each year like I do, here are instructions on how to properly and safely thaw a turkey.

(And if you are reading this less than 3 days before Thanksgiving, skip down to “How to Thaw a Turkey in Water.” It’s too late for the fridge method for you…)

How to Thaw a Turkey in the Fridge

Thawing a turkey in the fridge is fairly simple. Put the wrapped turkey in a pan with sides in case any juices leak out. Then, place it in the refrigerator. Average thaw times are 1 day for every 4 lbs. This means that a 12 lb. turkey will need to sit in the fridge for 3 full days, a 16 lb. turkey will need for 4 full days, and so on. 

How to Thaw a Turkey in Water

If you forgot to put your turkey in the fridge, it’s not too late to get it thawed in time for the holiday. You can still thaw your turkey in water. Just put the wrapped turkey in a sink, breast side down, then cover it completely with cold water. DO NOT put warm or hot water over the turkey, unless you want your Thanksgiving meal with a side of bacteria. Change the water often to keep it cool until the turkey is completely thawed. Allow 30 minutes per pound of turkey, so a 10 lb. turkey needs about 5 hours of cold water thawing, a 16 lb. turkey needs about 8 hours, and so on.

Now that your turkey is thawed, make sure you have a good recipe for a rub or brine. Check out some of these options I found on Food.com and pick the one that makes your mouth water!

See also: Healthy Thanksgiving Eating Tips

Happy Thanksgiving!!