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Old 11-14-2007, 08:12 PM   #1
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Thawing a frozen turkey

Seems to me somewhere I saw a guideline for how long it takes to thaw a turkey in the fridge. I've cooked a 20+ lb turkey just about every year of my adult life, and still find that it isn't thawed on Weds and have to run it under cold water to get the innards out. Any ideas? I cannot find the source I saw last year (after I cooked the turkey, naturally) for a time/lb chart.

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Old 11-14-2007, 08:13 PM   #2
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If you always find it is still frozen then what I would do is add an extra day of thaw time in the fridge.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:20 PM   #3
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Per my local newspaper, "Rule of thumb: every 5 pounds of turkey will need 24 hours in the refrigerator to thaw".
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jet View Post
Per my local newspaper, "Rule of thumb: every 5 pounds of turkey will need 24 hours in the refrigerator to thaw".

That never worked for me either.

I always start a couple of days earlier. There is no reason to get the timing so close. A completely thawed turkey will certainly keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

If I buy a frozen turkey, I bring it home the Saturday before Thanksgiving and thaw it in the fridge. The 'rule of thumb' would say a 15 pound bird is ready Tuesday. That's only two days in the fridge thawed.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:36 AM   #5
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I just read today that it is 18 hours per kilo of bird. Never bought a turkey though so I don't know how accurate that is.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:35 PM   #6
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I don't put mine in the fridge--no room.

Instead, I stick it in a big cooler, which goes outside unless it is really cold out. The cold bird keeps the cooler at a safe temp for a couple of days. I monitor it as it thaws and may have to add ice if it thaws too much before I am ready for it. If I want to hurry things along, then I run water into the cooler.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:04 PM   #7
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I haven't bought a frozen turkey for the last 10 years or so, but when I did buy them I thawed them using the sacreligious "flirting with death" method: on the counter or in the cold oven (to keep curious cats & dogs at bay) for the first 24 hours, then into the fridge. Bird would be thawed thru in 2-3 days depending on size.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:41 PM   #8
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I have used the flirting with death method, too, with a small concession to good health--put the bird in the sink, and cover it with towels. That acts kind of like a cooler, using the coldness of the bird to keep the outer layers cool as it defrosts.

Does that make any sense? I think as long as the outside of the bird is good and cold to the touch, leaving it out on the counter or in the sink is fine.

I wouldn't leave a frozen turkey on the counter if the kitchen was 90 degrees.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:54 PM   #9
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I think as long as the outside of the bird is good and cold to the touch, leaving it out on the counter or in the sink is fine.
Cold to the touch is too subjective. If is is below 40 degrees F then it is fine. If it is above it is not.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:13 PM   #10
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From the American Dietetic Association:

Thaw turkey in the refrigerator (never on the counter) or in the microwave using the defrost setting or under cold water

For safe thawing in the refrigerator, allow about one day for every four to five pounds of turkey to thaw in the refrigerator

When thawing turkey in the microwave, follow owner's manual. Cook immediately after thawing because some areas may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving

Turkey may also be thawed in cold water in its original airtight packaging or in a leak-proof bag. Submerge the bird or cut-up parts in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Estimate minimum thawing time to be 30 minutes per pound for whole turkey

Do not re-freeze thawed turkey
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