Monday, November 25, 2013

How to Thaw a Turkey... and How Long Does It Take to Thaw Him Safely?

Every year I hit the search engines to find out how to thaw a turkey. Inevitably, it's less than a week away from Thanksgiving before I wonder when to set my bird out on the counter... oh but wait! That's bad. Never set poultry out on the counter to thaw...

So I need it to thaw fast!

Once I find the answer, I have to do a separate search to find out how long it will take. That's always different because my turkey is always a different size. One year, it was small 8 lb bird. Another year we bout a 20 lb (ish) bird to share with other families and stash in the freezer for sandwiches. This year, we bought a home grown turkey and dressed him ourselves to put in the freezer. Homegrown turkeys can get clear up to 40 lbs or more! That's one BIG bird.

Then they make me do math. "Multiply your turkey's weight by this number or that number, blah, blah, blah...." I hate math.

So I made a handy little chart for myself. It combines the recommendations which seemingly all experts agree on from the US government to recipe gurus and frozen turkey suppliers. And it gives basic instructions at a glance - which makes this visual learner very happy. :)

So if YOU want to know how long it takes to thaw a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, 
search no more! Just use the chart below.

The top 2 methods are for my memory's sake. I use the "Combined Method" listed at the bottom.

Here's a brief example: my turkey this year is 26 lbs. I got it in the fridge 3 days ago, but I want to brine it tomorrow, so it needs to be thawed today.
  1. Find 26 lbs on the last chart with your finger.
  2. Move across to "3 days" in the fridge and...
  3. Tada! I need to spend 5.5 hours thawing my turkey using the sink method. That means, every 30 minutes for 5 and a half hours, I'm refilling my sink (with my turkey in it) with cold water. 

 Happy Thanksgiving week!  


The Tiff-girl said...

Awesome chart! Very helpful

Jannie said...

Thanks Tiff girl! Happy Thanksgiving :)

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