How to Thaw a Turkey

Want to know the best ways of how to thaw a turkey? Read the following article for some tricks of the same.
Tastessence Staff
Standing in the line at the grocery store, a perfectly fat turkey in your basket. The music blaring in your ears and all you can think about is the scrumptious turkey dinner you'll be making this Thanksgiving. The smell as it will waft through the air and tempt and tease everyone there. The fried potatoes on the side, the pies and the cakes too. But the turkey is what you're really, really looking forward to.

The turkey is all frozen in the fridge and now it's time to cook it. But not before you thaw and defrost it. How will you be doing that? Placing it in boiling water or hosing it down? In the following sections, we will give you techniques of doing exactly that.

Refrigerate it

This is a highly recommended method of thawing your turkey meat. All you have to do is remove it from your freezer and place it in the lower rungs of the refrigerator. The difference of temperatures in the two levels will assure that the turkey thaws slowly but surely. Make sure that the packaging is in place. The advantage of this method is that it does not spoil the turkey in any way and does not let the bacteria affect it. Other than that, once the turkey has thawed, it can be cooked in a day and need not be used right away. Keep a simple rule in mind―you must allow one full day for thawing every 5 pounds of turkey meat. The only disadvantage that this method has is that it takes up space in the refrigerator and may require up to 5 days in advance of thawing time if the turkey is close to 24 pounds.

Advantages
  • Keeps the turkey fresh without spoiling it.
  • Can be cooked even after a day after thawing.
  • Is hassle free because once you place the turkey in, you don't have to check up on it all the time.
Disadvantages
  • Takes a long time to thaw.
  • Takes up a lot of space in the refrigerator.
Place it in Cold Water

The other method of thawing a turkey is to place it in a container of cold water till the turkey has completely submerged in. Make sure that the turkey is completely packed and that no water is allowed into the sealed pack. If this happens, it might spoil the turkey. Place the pack in and then change the water every 30 minutes so that the temperature of the water is always maintained at cold. For every pound of turkey, allow a thawing time of 30 minutes. During the thawing process, since the turkey remains out and can go bad, you need to cook it the minute it thaws. This is a faster method of defrosting a turkey.

Advantages
  • Takes up less time to thaw.
  • Saves space in the fridge.
Disadvantages
  • Can be cumbersome to keep changing the water.
  • Needs to be cooked the minute it has thawed.
Use a Microwave

This method works best when the turkey is small. Depending on the individual settings of your microwave, you'll be able to decide the amount of time it'll take for the turkey to thaw. It should take about one to one and a half hours. Once the thawing is complete, you'll need to cook it right then.

Advantages
  • Fastest method for thawing.
  • Saves on space and time.
Disadvantages
  • Only works for small turkeys.
  • Turkey needs to be cooked the minute it has thawed.
  • They do not heat evenly.
The best method of thawing a turkey has been tagged as the refrigerator method, because it ensures that the turkey does not spoil. So there. Use the method that is most convenient for you depending on the time that you have and go make that perfect Thanksgiving dinner.