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.