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Turkey Talk: Thawing a Turkey

Thawing a turkey

A few helpful tips to keep in mind when thawing a turkey:

In the Microwave: Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the size of turkey that will fit into your oven, the minutes per pound, and the power level to use for thawing. Remove any outside wrapping and place on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may drip. Cook immediately after thawing.

For Frozen Turkeys: Forgot to thaw? It’s safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. Keep in mind that cooking will take at least 50 percent longer than with a fully thawed turkey.

About Refreezing: Decide not to cook? A turkey that has been safely thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen safely.
After thawing, poultry may be left in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking.

Turkey Thawing Chart:

TURKEY SIZE:

IN THE REFRIGERATOR:(APPROX. 24 HOURS TO EVERY 4-5 LBS).
IN COLD WATER:(APPROX. 30 MINUTES PER POUND)
4-12 lbs. 1-3 days 2-6 hours
12-16 lbs. 3-4 days 6-8 hours
16-20 lbs. 4-5 days 8-10 hours
20-24 lbs. 5-6 days 10-12 hours
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*All of this information has been taken from the USDA Food & Safety Inspection Services website.

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