How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

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Thawing out a frozen turkey is easy to do, and can be done two different ways. Learn how to thaw your frozen turkey safely.

There are two different methods for thawing out a turkey.

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How to Thaw a Turkey in the Refrigerator

  1. Place your frozen turkey in a pan, breast side up, in the unopened wrapper. The turkey must be kept at 40°F or below.
  2. Allow at least one day of thawing for every 4 lbs of weight for your turkey. (Example: 20 lb turkey = 5 Days to thaw)
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How to Thaw a Turkey in Cold Water

Sometimes you find yourself in a pinch and need to thaw your turkey out a little faster. This method thaws the turkey faster, but is a little more hands-on.

  1. Place your unopened turkey (in the original wrapper) breast side down in enough cold water to cover it completely.
  2. Change the water out water every 30 minutes. If for some reason your turkey can’t be completely covered with water, you will have to turn the turkey over every 30 minutes when you change the water.
  3. This method of thawing will take about 30 minutes for every pound. (Example: 20 lb turkey = 10 hours)

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