The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature. This method takes some time, so allow one day for each 4 – 5 pounds of weight. If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw.Feb 21, 2017
You shouldn’t. turkey, which, if left out, will take hours to thaw completely. … If you thaw raw meat at room temperature for two hours or more, it will be subject to rapid bacteria growth.
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.
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.
Here’s the main rule of thumb for thawing your turkey: Allow at least 24 hours of thawing for every 5 pounds of turkey. So for a 12-pound turkey that would imply at least three days of thawing, ideally with a bonus day thrown in.
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.
The fastest way to thaw a turkey
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).
“The skin or surface of spoiled turkey meat is usually slimy, and the meat itself smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. These characteristics are due to microbial spoilage.” Spoilage might be expected if a turkey has been left in the refrigerator for a week or longer or left to thaw in the garage for a few hours.
Do thaw it in a cooler or refrigerator. This is the safest and easiest way. Just get a cooler large enough to hold your turkey, make sure it’s clean and put it in. That’s all.
The simplest way to figure out turkey roasting times is to calculate 13 minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey (that’s about 3 hours for a 12- to 14-lb. turkey), or 15 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey.
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.
According to the experts, you should thaw a turkey in a refrigerator set to 40°F or below for about 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds. If your bird weighs more than 20 pounds, you should start thawing in the fridge on Friday, Nov. 20.
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.
Thawing in the Refrigerator:
Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray to catch any juices that may leak. 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.
When the turkey has partially defrosted, you can unwrap it and remove the giblet bag from the cavity. … According to the USDA, a 4- to 12-pound turkey will take two to six hours to defrost; a 12- to 16-pound turkey six to eight hours; a 16- to 20-pound turkey eight to 10 hours and a 20- to 24-pound turkey 10 to 12 hours.
If you’ve got a few hours to spare
Here’s the plan: Submerge your bird breast-side down in cold water (a large pot or the sink should do the trick) and change the water every 30 minutes. Make sure the turkey is totally submerged (use a baking dish to weigh it down if you have to).
Changing of the water is done to prevent possible bacteria growth. Once the turkey is defrosted in water, it must be cooked immediately.
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.
Food safety experts say raw turkeys shouldn’t be rinsed, since that can spread harmful bacteria. Cooking should kill any germs. But bacteria can still spread in other ways, so washing and sanitizing hands and surfaces is still important.
Wash Hands and Surfaces; not the Turkey
According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces.
Fresh turkey should keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If you wait any longer, the meat might begin to show signs of spoilage. Store the bird in the coldest section of the fridge, and freeze it if you aren’t going to be able to cook it off within 48 hours.
Butterball turkeys are of the highest quality product and will be sure to impress your guests. … We pre-brine directly in the breast meat ensuring you can take the turkey from the packaging to your pan without a lot of additional preparation before cooking and enjoy the most tender and juicy turkey possible.
The best way to be sure a turkey — or any meat — is cooked safely and done is to use a meat thermometer. If the temperature of the turkey, as measured in the thigh, has reached 180°F. and is done to family preference, all the meat — including any that remains pink — is safe to eat.
Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 4-5 days for a 20-pound turkey to fully defrost. 2. For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before roasting and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. … A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed.
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.
To achieve that balance, the ideal is to let the bird spend time both covered and uncovered: We recommend covering your bird for most of the cooking time to prevent it from drying out, then removing the cover for the last 30 minutes or so to allow the skin to crisp.
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.
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.
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