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Old 11-13-2021, 04:13 AM   #1
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Defrosting a Turkey

Hi, I would always have a fresg Turkey for Christmas (UK). However with the potential shortage of turkeys now in the UK, I could buy a frozen one. The thing is how soon should buy one to defrost it. Say 4kg to 6kg. If there is a rule of thumb per key can someone tell me please.

I prefere to have a turkey crown/butterfly (this means prepared still with a bone. Some people call it by difrent names), so a frozen one of these would be better.


Thanks Desmond

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Old 11-13-2021, 07:05 AM   #2
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Sorry that should have said a fresh Turkey and


If there is a rule of thumb per kg can someone tell me please.
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Old 11-13-2021, 08:23 AM   #3
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Turkey Thawing Time
You can thaw turkey in a refrigerator set to 40°F or below for approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. Allow about 30 minutes per pound for cold water thawing, changing the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. A turkey thawed in cold water should be cooked immediately.
Download Table as PDF



Meat_and_Poultry_Roasting_Charts.pdf


Hope this helps.
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Old 11-13-2021, 03:04 PM   #4
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Hi thanks. I was thinking of leaving it out in room temperature. Putting it in a fridge does seem a bit poinless as it would skow the defraust down.
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Old 11-13-2021, 03:32 PM   #5
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Hi thanks. I was thinking of leaving it out in room temperature. Putting it in a fridge does seem a bit poinless as it would skow the defraust down.
Leaving it at room temperature greatly increases the chance of bacteria growth, which could cause food poisoning. It's safer to take more time and defrost it slowly
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Old 11-13-2021, 03:36 PM   #6
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OK, well, most people would not agree with me in the slightest but here is how I do it... (especially GG! LOL - gosh thought I could get this posted before hers )

I now cook the day before and reheat day of. Love it as it frees up the oven and one less thing on your list for the big day of.
The following is for birds that have been shrink wrapped and frozen. Not sure how you get your birds. So this will/might take several days?

For cook-day this is a count-down backwards... (so start at bottom and work your way up, then figure out which day you need to start)

- cook mid-morning
- out of fridge 1/2 hour to hour earlier than putting in oven (takes the chill off the meat so oven temp doesn't drop so fast. Season inside and out.
- when bird is fully defrosted remove all wrappings, place on a rack, uncovered and leave in fridge another day
- in morning place back in fridge. Check periodically to see if you can, and then do, remove innards from cavities.
- take out of freezer and leave on counter over night. (if your kitchen/house is extremely warm could you find a cooler place? Basement/garage/unheated porch)

Hope this makes at least a little sense for you...
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Old 11-13-2021, 03:42 PM   #7
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I will/must point out that it is REALLY not wise to defrost the bird entirely on the counter.

Also didn't answer part of your original question.... buy it NOW before they are all gone.

or wait at your peril for a better price? If there is a shortage, doubt there will be a better price though.
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Old 11-13-2021, 05:48 PM   #9
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You beat me to the punch.
i was going to give sites that show how to roast a frozen turkey. The only thing I might add is that half way through the roasting time, you can inject flavored broth, or insert compound butter between the breast skin, and flesh.

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Old 11-14-2021, 09:59 PM   #10
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Hi thanks. I was thinking of leaving it out in room temperature. Putting it in a fridge does seem a bit poinless as it would skow the defraust down.

Never leave it out at room temp for more than 2 hours. It’s a recipe for food poisoning, especially with a turkey
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:03 AM   #11
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This might be a problem. If cooking from frozen then you would also be cooking the giblets. How about cooking it from frozen over night on a very low heat. maybe about 100c If it is 100c at the centre then that would be cooked.


Maybe it would need to be defrosted a bit at room temperature to get the giblets out. and then slow cooked.
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Old 11-16-2021, 09:52 AM   #12
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We are going to Costco today. I did a little research online about fresh turkeys and how long they can sit in the fridge. I'm not exactly sure what they sell. But they are at least partially frozen as I remember? But I'm pretty sure the labeling says 'fresh turkey'. We have been buying it there for several years now.
I do not want to chance missing out on one due to the supposed shortage? So if the date is past Thanksgiving, I plan to buy it today.

Does anyone think its to soon for a fresh bird in the fridge until Thanksgiving day? And what about brands. Costco sells only Butterball. And last year they were 99˘ a pound.
Our local grocery store has another brand at 39˘ a pound. Does anyone think Butterball is superior?

Also, to my dismay, we will have 18 guests on Thanksgiving. 18 people in a small house is not my idea of fun and for sure much more work. But my wife......
The question: How much turkey will I need? 1 big one? 2 smaller ones?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:11 AM   #13
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We buy a fresh Butterball every year. The date on the label is well past Thanksgiving. If you remove the shrink wrapped plastic bag it's in, all bets are off. I'm going later today to see about getting one.
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:22 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
We are going to Costco today. I did a little research online about fresh turkeys and how long they can sit in the fridge. I'm not exactly sure what they sell. But they are at least partially frozen as I remember? But I'm pretty sure the labeling says 'fresh turkey'. We have been buying it there for several years now.
I do not want to chance missing out on one due to the supposed shortage? So if the date is past Thanksgiving, I plan to buy it today.

Does anyone think its to soon for a fresh bird in the fridge until Thanksgiving day? And what about brands. Costco sells only Butterball. And last year they were 99˘ a pound.
Our local grocery store has another brand at 39˘ a pound. Does anyone think Butterball is superior?

Also, to my dismay, we will have 18 guests on Thanksgiving. 18 people in a small house is not my idea of fun and for sure much more work. But my wife......
The question: How much turkey will I need? 1 big one? 2 smaller ones?
Thanks in advance.
I would get two smaller ones, around 12-14 lb. each. That way, you have more parts like wings and drumsticks and they will take less time to cook. You might want to try spatchcocking them.
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Old 11-16-2021, 12:24 PM   #15
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I would get two smaller ones, around 12-14 lb. each. That way, you have more parts like wings and drumsticks and they will take less time to cook. You might want to try spatchcocking them.
Thanks GG. My only issue is will both fit my rack and roasting pan. I also roast breast side down for half way through. A smaller bird would be much easier to turn. I don't have silicone gloves. But I did order a Thermapen Classic and it should be here in plenty time. Yay!
But that makes a lot of sense as I like the wings. There are always legs left over from one big one. Decisions decisions!
I don't mind the cooking time. Spatchcocking sounds like a pretty good idea. But again that would require more oven room.
I will buy the turkey or turkeys today at Costco. I have plenty time to decide what to do.
I'm considering Ciabatta bread for my dressing. But it is a bit chewy. I guess I could dry it out either in a low oven or just leave it out to dry.
Stuffing for me is always hit and miss and it never comes out the same. Its always good though.

One more thing. It has been mentioned about cooking the day before. I always make my dressing the day before and cook it on Thanksgiving day. But how do you reheat a turkey the next day without drying it out? I do like crispy skin, but I rarely get it as when I tent the turkey when its done it softens the skin.
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Old 11-16-2021, 12:32 PM   #16
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RB, I've been reading turkey cooking ideas elsewhere and I would consider combining a couple of them: spatchcock the turkey, so you don't have to turn it over, and roast it on top of a bed of chopped onions. The onions will soften, caramelize and prevent burning turkey drippings during roasting. And you can do this on a sheet pan, so you only need one roasting pan.

My husband and father-in-law want to give me a break this year, so we're going out for dinner on Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:00 AM   #17
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We buy a fresh Butterball every year. The date on the label is well past Thanksgiving. If you remove the shrink wrapped plastic bag it's in, all bets are off. I'm going later today to see about getting one.
Thanks Andy. I forgot to thank you for your post. Costco has Butterball for 99˘ a lb. Just like last year. We got there about 1:30 and they were out of them.
So I have to find one today somewhere. Costco is 25 miles from us, but its an easy drive.
We have appts today for our covid boosters and flu shots at the local grocery store. So I will check there. Hopefully I can get one.

Quote:
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RB, I've been reading turkey cooking ideas elsewhere and I would consider combining a couple of them: spatchcock the turkey, so you don't have to turn it over, and roast it on top of a bed of chopped onions. The onions will soften, caramelize and prevent burning turkey drippings during roasting. And you can do this on a sheet pan, so you only need one roasting pan.

My husband and father-in-law want to give me a break this year, so we're going out for dinner on Thanksgiving.
That sounds good. I am not sure if my poultry shears can handle those back ribs? I guess I can use my 10 inch chefs knife.
I bought a Kirkland Carvers Choice ham that can supplement the turkey. So I will be able to buy a smaller turkey. But I think I will need at least a 20 pounder of more? In the past I have been getting the biggest one I can find.

Your husband and father-in-law are giving you a special gift. I have been wanting to go out instead of all this cooking for a long time.
But I am only responsible for the turkey, dressing and gravy. The others are each bringing sides and deserts.
But all these guests are my issue.
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:19 AM   #18
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RB, if you do as GG suggested and get 2 smaller turkey, I don't think you will have a problem cutting them with your kitchen scissors. You might be surprised at how soft the bones are.

Spatchcocked turkey on onions - sounds delish!

Cooking ahead of time. My sister got me on to that trick - especially for large gatherings. She wrapped the different meats separately, eg. legs/thighs in one package and breast meat in another. (She always did huge gatherings so BIG turkeys) She just wrapped well in foil and reheated them in the foil packs.

I would line my pan with foil, put a cookie rack on the bottom with a bit of broth, put the sliced meats on top but not touching the broth. When reheated the next day - moist! I opened the foil a bit so as not to steam things.

Gravy reheats well as does stuffing.

As for crispy skin? - truth to tell, I just don't remember. It has been awhile now, since I've done a big Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey.
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:29 AM   #19
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Spatchcocking a big turkey is best done with a cleaver. I don't see myself being able to separate the backbone in a big turkey with kitchen shears.
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Old 11-17-2021, 11:27 AM   #20
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This might be a problem. If cooking from frozen then you would also be cooking the giblets. How about cooking it from frozen over night on a very low heat. maybe about 100c If it is 100c at the centre then that would be cooked.


Maybe it would need to be defrosted a bit at room temperature to get the giblets out. and then slow cooked.
If you read the instructions I linked, they tell you how far into the cooking time to remove the innards.
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