Nutrition Q & A
I Only Have One Day to Thaw My Turkey — HELP!
There are two simple ways to safely thaw a turkey for a holiday meal—fast! Many home cooks have been taught to thaw a turkey on the kitchen counter or under hot water in the sink, but these thawing rituals can make you sick. In order to prevent unwanted bacteria from growing on your important holiday meal centerpiece, thawing should either be done in the sink under cold running water, or in the microwave on the "defrost" setting. If you are thawing in the sink, make sure the turkey is kept in its original airtight packaging, and the water is changed every 30 minutes if it is not running. This process will take approximately 30 minutes per pound of turkey. For the microwave method, make sure that all original packaging, metal pieces, and gizzard bags are removed from the bird. Place the turkey on a microwave-safe plate to catch any drippings. Check your user manual for exact cook times based on your specific microwave. Next time, thaw your turkey in the refrigerator—allowing 24 hours of thaw-time for every four to five pounds of turkey.
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USDA Turkey Basics: Safe Thawing »