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The Best Ways To Thaw Your Turkey Before Cooking It

This is the 17th post in our series titled “Twenty Two Thanksgiving Turkey Tips”.  Each day between now and Thanksgiving we’ll have a new tip for you.  Today’s tip includes The Best Ways To Thaw Your Turkey Before Cooking It:

Thawing your bird is essential for any deep fried turkey because if the turkey is still frozen or even partially frozen, you could end up with a severe fireball on your hands.  But there’s no need to worry, there are many thawing methods you can use to ensure that your turkey is completely thawed and safe to cook.  For instance, a traditional brine can help to thaw your turkey just through the process of brining itself.  If you choose to inject, rub or even have a plain turkey there are still plenty of methods to thaw your bird.  Whatever you choose to do there are plenty of ways to thaw your turkey depending on the amount of time you have, recipes you choose and patience you have as far as wait time goes.

In the Fridge

If you have a lot of time to spare and an ample amount of room in your fridge, then you may want to choose to thaw your turkey in the fridge.  The general rule for this method is that for every 5 pounds of turkey, you must allow 24 hours for the bird to thaw.

  • 8 to 12 pounds: 1 to 2 days
  • 12 to 16 pounds: 2 to 3 days
  • 16 to 20 pounds: 3 to 4 days
  • 20 to 24 pounds: 4 to 5 days

In Cold Water

This is the method you would use if you’re choosing to brine your turkey.  For a cold water thaw it is much quicker than a refrigerator thaw due to the fact that for this method you only need to thaw your turkey 30 minutes for every pound.

  • 8 to 12 pounds: 4 to 6 hours
  • 12 to 16 pounds: 6 to 8 hours
  • 16 to 20 pounds: 8 to 10 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds: 10 to 12 hours



In the Microwave

Now this one could be a little trickier.  We would not necessarily recommend using this method unless you are in a severe time crunch and needed to thaw your turkey in a hurry.  Nonetheless if you have a very small turkey or a massive microwave, then you could potentially use this method and see how it works.

–For more tips and ideas on how to prepare your tastiest turkey ever, make sure you download (from a copy of our book, titled: Turkey Fryers & Deep Fried Turkey: How To Deep Fry A Turkey- Complete Step By Step Instructions To Cooking Your Tastiest Turkey Ever!  As a special bonus for all book buyers, we’re including a complete step-by-step series of videos showing anyone exactly how to deep fry a turkey.  Get this book today!

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