Remember how, not so lengthy ago, you to be lounging in the sunshine in shorts and also shades and also now it"s fall? prior to you recognize it, Turkey Day will certainly be here, and the day requires a whole lot the prep. The star that the dinner table, the turkey, take away the many amount the planning. Making sure the bird is thawed correctly is the an essential to having actually a an excellent feast. If you chose a frozen turkey, you"re already thinking about how—and for just how long—you"re going come thaw it. Since you have absolutely no time come waste, us did all the research and also math because that you to ensure you can thaw the quickly and also safely.




You are watching: Days to defrost turkey in refrigerator

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The refrigerator Method

Any seasoned vacation host deserve to tell you the there space two standard techniques for thawing her bird. First is the frozen refrigerator method. Together you could have guessed, this requires moving your turkey indigenous the freezer come the fridge, and permitting it to thaw (slowly) in ~ 40°F or lower. The USDA recommends the for every 4 pounds the turkey, you allot 24 hrs for defrosting. This process is generally thought about to be the safest alternative to avoid any bacterial development, i beg your pardon can take place when meat continues to be at room temperature for as well long. Here"s the official breakdown:

4 lbs: 1 day come defrost8 lbs: 2 days to defrost12 lbs: 3 days to defrost16 lbs: 4 days come defrost

Pro tip: Make certain the bird is in a large pan or on a cookie sheet so those melting turkey juices don"t get all over your fridge. When thawed, her turkey can stay in the refrigerator for one or two days prior to it"s cooked.


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The Cold Water Method

If, however, your fridge is jam-packed with sides, cranberry sauce Jell-O shots, and pies, you might want to shot cold water thawing. This method, though it is much faster, calls for a bit much more work 보다 letting her bird sit in the refrigerator for days.

First, you require to dual check come make sure there are no holes or cuts in the plastic plunder of your turkey. Next, fill a big bucket (or her sink) through cold tap water. Finally, submerge that sucker, still completely wrapped, in the water and also let that sit, transforming the water every 30 minutes. According to the USDA, friend should permit 30 minutes of soak time for every lb of turkey. The main breakdown:

4 lbs: 1 hrs to defrost8 lbs: 4 hours to defrost12 lbs: 6 hours to defrost16 lbs: 8 hrs to defrost

A turkey defrosted by the cold water method should it is in cooked immediately after it is thawed. But the sooner the better, right? We"re currently hungry.


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