Here’s the calculation: plan on 24 hours of fridge thawing for every 5 pounds of frozen turkey (for example: budget 4 full days of thawing in the fridge for a 20-pound turkey). Keep the turkey wrapped, and occasionally check to see if the baking sheet or roasting pan needs to be drained.Sep 7, 2021
The short answer is, not really. Of course, you can eat a turkey that has been thawed on a counter, and generations of us have grown up eating turkeys that sat out all night, but it’s not what modern food scientists recommend.
When thawing a turkey in the refrigerator, allow 24 hours of defrosting time for every 4 to 5 pounds of bird, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. So, if the turkey weighs 4 to 12 pounds, plan for it to defrost in the fridge for one to three days.
You should never thaw a frozen turkey on the counter at room temperature or in hot water. Under either of those methods, the outer layer of the turkey can sit between the bacteria-breeding temperatures of 40°F and 140 °F for far too long to be safe.
Never thaw at room temperature. To thaw your turkey in the refrigerator: … Leave turkey in your refrigerator until fully thawed. It may be kept in the fridge up to 4 days after thawing before cooking, but the sooner you cook it, the better for freshness—and so you can reclaim some space in your fridge.
To thaw a 15-pound bird, you’ll need about a day of thawing in the fridge for every four to five pounds. In other words, plan on at least three to four days for defrosting. If the turkey is closer to 16 pounds, give the bird at least four days to be safe.
According to the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, you can keep a turkey stored in the freezer up to two years and it’s still safe to cook. … For the best quality, the USDA recommends using the frozen turkey within the first year of storage.
Here’s the calculation: plan on 24 hours of fridge thawing for every 5 pounds of frozen turkey (for example: budget 4 full days of thawing in the fridge for a 20-pound turkey). Keep the turkey wrapped, and occasionally check to see if the baking sheet or roasting pan needs to be drained.
According to the USDA, when thawing your turkey in the refrigerator, you’ll need to allow 24 hours for every four to five pounds. Don’t bother with the math–here’s a table: 4 to 12 pounds: 1-3 days. 12 to 16 pounds: 3-4 days.
Thaw It in the Refrigerator
Thawing in the refrigerator is the ONLY recommended way to defrost a frozen turkey. For it to work, however, you’ll need plenty of time: 24 hours of defrosting time for every 4 to 5 pounds of bird. A large turkey, say, 15 to 20 pounds, will need to spend 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
By submerging it in ice water, even a 24-pound bird can be defrosted in just 12 hours (Thermoworks says to count on about 8 hours for a 15-pounder).
Thawing Frozen Turkey Breast in the Refrigerator
A 6 or 7-pound turkey breast will take about 1 1/2 days (36 hours) to thaw completely.
If There’s No Time to Thaw
If you’re up against the clock and have no time left for even the “quick” cold-water thaw, then just cook the turkey as it is. It’s perfectly safe to cook a frozen or partially frozen turkey — you just need to allow some extra cooking time.
Roast the turkey uncovered at a temperature ranging from 325°F to 350°F. Higher temperatures may cause the meat to dry out, but this is preferable to temperatures that are too low which may not allow the interior of the turkey to cook to a safe temperature.
The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. … If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw. Once thawed, the turkey is safe for another two days, so you can start thawing it six days before thanksgiving (the Friday before Thanksgiving).
|Turkey Weight||How Long to Thaw In the Fridge||How Long to Thaw In Cold Water|
|10 to 18 pounds||2 to 3½ days||5 to 9 hours|
|18 to 22 pounds||3½ to 4½ days||9 to 11 hours|
|22 to 24 pounds||4½ to 5 days||11 to 12 hours|
|24 to 29 pounds||5 to 6 days||12 to 15 hours|
It should still be set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Butterball, but it cuts down on the required cooking time. For an unstuffed turkey, Butterball recommended: 6-10 pounds: 1½ -2 hours. 10-18 pounds: 2-2½ hours.
Once you’ve carefully dried off the skin, the next step you can take to guarantee perfectly crispy turkey skin is to rub it with a fat, like butter or oil. Oil will yield a crispier skin than butter because butter is at least 20 percent water, while oil contains no water.
Good news: turkey meat is definitely freeze-able. You’ll need to remove the meat from the bones first. Slicing the meat will also help it to defrost evenly. You can eat the turkey with gravy as usual, but leftover turkey is quite versatile: it makes a great filling for casseroles, tacos and sandwiches.
There are absolutely no quality differences between fresh and frozen turkeys. … Once thawed, the meat of a frozen turkey is virtually as fresh as the day it was packaged. Fresh turkeys are chilled after packaging, rather than frozen.
The rule of thumb for cooking a turkey is 13 minutes per pound. So our 16-pound turkey was estimated to cook in about 3 1/2 hours. However, some factors like brining the bird, cooking with an empty (un-stuffed) cavity, and leaving the legs un-trussed will contribute to much faster cooking.
According to the Department of Agriculture website, a 4- to 12-pound turkey will take one to three days to defrost completely; a 12- to 16-pound turkey will take three to four days; a 16- to 20-pound turkey four to five days and a 20- to 24-pound turkey five to six days.
According to the USDA, for an unstuffed turkey, you should allow 2 3/4 to 3 hours for an 8- to 12-pound turkey; 3 to 3 3/4 hours for a 12- to 14-pounder; 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours for a 14- to 18-pounder; 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours for an 18- to 20-pounder and 4 1/2 to 5 hours for an 20- to 24-pounder.
DO NOT THAW a commercially pre-stuffed frozen turkey before cooking. If this product has been placed in the refrigerator, and it has completely thawed, discard both the turkey and the stuffing. … If there are ice crystals in the turkey and the stuffing is still frozen, it is safe to cook.
A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.
Thaw in Refrigerator (not at room temperature).
Place unopened roast on a tray in refrigerator for 1½ to 2 days, or until thawed. To thaw faster, place unopened roast in cold tap water for 3 to 5 hours. Change water every 30 minutes to keep turkey cold.
Don’t wait until the last minute to thaw your frozen turkey for Thanksgiving Day! It will take a period of several days depending on the size of the bird. Do not thaw your turkey on the counter at room temperature! As the bird thaws, any bacteria that was present before the bird was frozen will begin to grow.
Can You Cook a Partially Thawed Turkey? Yes, if you started the thawing process but the inside portions of the turkey remains icy and solid, you can still roast the turkey. You’ll just need to reduce the total cook time from frozen, depending on how thawed the turkey is when it goes into the oven.
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