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Everything to know about thawing a frozen turkey

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Thanksgiving is just one day away, which means your turkey should be thawing by now.

The amount of time you’ll need for it to fully thaw depends on the size of the turkey. The safest method is to thaw it in the refrigerator, according to Local Syracuse. If you have a bigger bird, you may be running out of time to do that.

Turkeys need to be kept at a safe temperature while thawing in order to avoid the growth of bacteria. If you have a big bird, you should have started to thaw it on Friday of last week. Every 4 to 5 pounds of frozen turkey requires about 24 hours to thaw. This means a 16 pound turkey would need about four days to completely thaw. Once thawed it must be cooked within two days.

If you waited too long to take the turkey out to thaw, there are other safe methods to use. You can thaw your turkey in the microwave or using cold water. If you choose this method you must cook the turkey as soon as it’s thawed.

If you choose to thaw it using the fridge, thaw with the breast side up inside its wrapper on a tray in your fridge. Give at least one day for every 4 pounds and use it within four days of starting the thaw. While food thawed in the fridge can be refrozen without cooking, it may lose some quality.

If you choose the cold water method it will thaw faster but it requires your attention. The water needs to stay cold to keep the turkey at a safe temperature. Thaw with the breast side down inside of the wrapper and make sure the turkey is entirely covered. Change the water every 30 minutes. If you can’t completely cover your turkey then rotate it every half hour to keep it cold. You’ll need about 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of turkey.

If you want to use your microwave, be sure it’s safe to fit your turkey inside of it. Your manual should be able to tell you if it will fit as well as how many minutes per pound you’ll need. In addition the manual should give you the power level needed to thaw it safely. The general rule of thumb is six minutes per pound, but you need to be sure to rotate it frequently.

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