3 Wrong Ways to Thaw a Turkey (Plus, How to Do It Safely)

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Overhead position of nan earthy turkey successful a ample metallic pot.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Brett Regot

In life, we are occasionally presented pinch immoderate reliable choices. Choices that person a clear correct and a clear incorrect — but those options tin commencement to get a small fuzzy if you look astatine them for excessively long. Yes, nether definite circumstances, pinch a definite magnitude of accent and a definite magnitude of not-very-logical thinking, that incorrect prime tin commencement to look very (very) right.

For instance, your turkey is stiff solid. And you’d really for illustration to get it un-frozen successful clip to make that highly awesome look you tore retired of nan mag connected your friend’s java table. What do you do? Can you time off a turkey retired to thaw overnight, perhaps? The short reply is no. Here are nan incorrect ways to thaw your vertebrate and nan safest measurement to thaw a turkey.

3 Wrong Ways to Thaw a Turkey

1. Do not thaw your turkey connected nan counter.

I cognize what you’re thinking: It’s a large turkey. It’s stiff solid. It will beryllium wholly good chillaxing connected nan antagonistic overnight. Didn’t Grandma do that? It’s fine. But no, it’s not fine. Not moreover tucked successful pinch your favourite broad and a basking h2o bottle.

While you mightiness sometimes get distant pinch doing this for your pork chops aliases a fewer chickenhearted breasts that you’re cooking for meal (although, don’t show nan USDA), ample meats for illustration turkeys and roasts return overmuch longer to thaw. Once nan extracurricular of nan turkey thaws to supra 40°F, it enters nan “danger zone,” and immoderate germs coming successful nan nutrient will commencement to multiply rapidly. Some bacteria, specified arsenic Staphylococcus aureus, nutrient a toxin that tin make you ill. Although astir of nan germs will beryllium killed during cooking, nan “staph” toxin is heat-resistant and will past nan power of nan oven.

2. Do not springiness your turkey a basking bath.

Okay, truthful if thawing connected nan antagonistic is out, what astir dunking nan turkey successful basking h2o to velocity things up? Sorry, amigo — while a basking bath does so soothe galore woes, it’s not nan champion solution for your stiff turkey situation.

Warm aliases basking h2o will push nan turkey into nan somesthesia threat area moreover faster than leaving it connected nan counter. Bacteria besides multiply much quickly astatine warmer temperatures (and create much toxins), truthful you person an moreover smaller model of clip to activity with. And pinch thing arsenic ample arsenic a turkey, that model conscionable isn’t large enough.

3. Do not dainty your turkey to a rustle dry.

If you’re reasoning a basking rustle dryer will make each your problems spell away, I’m gonna extremity you correct there. What useful successful nan movies will not springiness you aliases your family a happy ending this vacation season.

It each comes backmost to that “danger zone.” Even pinch thing arsenic basking arsenic a rustle dryer — and moreover if you are capable to thaw nan wrong and nan extracurricular astatine nan aforesaid clip — it’s very difficult to get that turkey thawed wrong a safe period. Plus, you’ll astir apt rustle a fuse successful nan process.

The Best Way to Safely Thaw a Turkey

Thawing your turkey is 1 clip erstwhile you conscionable don’t want to messiness astir aliases return shortcuts. Food poisoning during nan holidays is thing nary 1 wants to experience. Choose 1 of these options instead.

It takes a fewer days successful nan fridge to thaw a turkey — astir 24 hours for each 5 pounds of turkey — truthful scheme up for this one. On nan upside, nan is nan safest measurement to thaw your turkey. Once thawed, you tin support nan turkey successful nan fridge for different 2 days earlier cooking it.

If you request your turkey thawed a small much quickly, you tin submerge it successful water, but location are 2 large caveats: nan h2o must beryllium cold, and you request to alteration nan h2o each 30 minutes. This ensures that nan turkey stays beneath nan threat area during thawing. Estimate astir 30 minutes for each lb of turkey.

No Time to Thaw nan Turkey?

If you don’t person clip for either of those thawing methods, past you person 1 past resort: navigator your turkey frozen. Yes, you tin really roast a wholly stiff turkey successful your oven (just don’t deep-fry aliases grill it), and this makes a darn bully turkey successful clip for Thanksgiving meal — crispy tegument and all. It’s besides a overmuch safer action than leaving it connected nan antagonistic aliases immoderate different shortcuts you mightiness beryllium tempted to try.