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How to Thaw a Turkey – The Fast Way

How to thaw a turkey fast? We all know thawing out the turkey ahead of time is the best route to take. But if you don’t have that much time to spare in your Thanksgiving prep, thawing a turkey in cold water stays the fastest and safest option.

how to thaw a trukey fast

Immerse your packaged turkey in ice-cold water and change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold. Allow about 30 minutes of thawing time per pound (0.4kg) of turkey. Don’t try “hacks” like using warm water: It will increase temperature on the surface of the bird and encourage bacteria proliferation, thus increasing the risk of food poisoning.

Here’s a cheat list to know which thawing time is right for your turkey:

  • 8 to 12 pounds (3 to 5 kilograms): 4 to 6 hours
  • 12 to 16 pounds (5 to 7 kilograms): 6 to 8 hours
  • 16 to 20 pounds (7 to 9 kilograms): 8 to 10 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds (9 to 10 kilograms): 10 to 12 hours

If you have more time to spare, then go the regular way: thawing turkey in the refrigerator ensures peace of mind. Turkey stay a the correct temperature to prevent proliferation of bacteria, but ensure thawing at the same time. Count 4 lbs of turkey per 24 hours:

  • 8 to 12 lbs (3 to 5 kg): 1 to 2 days
  • 12 to 16 lbs (5 to 7 kg): 2 to 3 days
  • 16 to 20 lbs (7 to 9 kg): 3 to 4 days
  • 20 to 24 lbs (9 to 10 kg): 4 to 5 days
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