Turkey Still Frozen? Tips for Fast Thawing

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, Mealtime

Today is Monday, and Thanksgiving is Thursday -- and your turkey is still frozen. It's not the end of the world, but if you're planning to cook that bird, you need to get a move on and get it thawed.

How NOT to thaw your turkey: leave it on the counter over night, leave it on the porch, leave it in the trunk of your car. Because I know you're thinking of doing ALL of those things.

Instead, do this: take your turkey out of the freezer, RIGHT NOW, and put it in the sink, breast down; cover it in COLD water, enough to submerge the breast (and yes, your turkey will float! show the the kids, they'll think that's cool). Leave the wrapping on, please. Let the turkey thaw in the sink for 30 minutes for every pound, changing the water every half hour. So a twelve pound turkey needs to be in the cold water bath in your sink for six hours.

Don't want to give up your sink for that long? Okay then -- get out your cooler, that big one that you take tailgating with you every fall. Clean it out and fill it with COLD water; put the turkey in the water, breast down, and close the cooler up. Leave it alone for as long as needed (30 minutes for every pound) but don't change the water. So our 12 pound turkey needs to be in the cooler for six hours.

At the end of the cold water bath, take your turkey out, put it on a shallow tray, to catch any incidental juices, and put it in the refrigerator; by Thursday morning, it will be completely defrosted and ready to cook.

Need more help with the turkey? Call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at 1-800-BUTTERBALL, or visit Butterball.com for tips and tricks for thawing and cooking your turkey.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.