Thawing The Turkey

Here is a handy chart to show you how to thaw your turkey:

You can thaw a turkey in the refrigerator.  You should allow approximately 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds in a refrigerator. Your refrigerator should be set at 40 °F or below.  Its a good idea to place the turkey on a pan or tray to prevent the juices from messing up your frig or dripping on other foods.

  •  4 to 12 pounds ……  1 to 3 days
  • 12 to 16 pounds …… 3 to 4 days
  • 16 to 20 pounds …… 4 to 5 days
  • 20 to 24 pounds …… 5 to 6 days


You can thaw a turkey in cold water.  

Allow about 30 minutes per pound.

You should place the turkey in a leak-proof plastic bag before putting it in the cold water. This prevents the turkey from absorbing excess water. If the turkey gets soaked with excess water it will taste watery.

After you have the turkey in a plastic bag you can submerge it in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed.
Cold Water Thawing Times

  •  4 to 12 pounds …… 2 to 6 hours
  • 12 to 16 pounds …… 6 to 8 hours
  • 16 to 20 pounds …… 8 to 10 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds …… 10 to 12 hours

After thawing your turkey in cold water you must either store it in the refrigerator or cook it.

About Sylvia

Sylvia is the owner of the Christian HomeKeeper Network website and ministry. She and her husband Mark live in Tennessee. They are the parents of 5 children and grandparents to three so far. They have homeschooled since 1990. Sylvia is a Christian and enjoys mentoring women, writing articles for several magazines, gardening, Bible study and creating a peaceful holy home. Follow Sylvia on Google+ or check out her 21st Century HomeKeeper podcasts on the Preparedness Radio Network.
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