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When should I thaw my turkey?  |  KTAB

(NEXSTAR) – Depending on the size of your Thanksgiving turkey, you may be running out of time to thaw it in the refrigerator, which is the safest method, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

For this method of thawing, the USDA recommends allowing about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of bird. So a 16-pound turkey will need about four days of refrigeration. Once thawed, the turkey should be cooked within two days.

Proper thawing is essential for food safety, but if it is already too late to put your bird in the refrigerator, two other methods are available: in cold water or in the microwave. Both of these methods require cooking the bird immediately after thawing.

To thaw in water, leave the turkey in its original packaging and place it in a sink or container filled with cold water. The USDA has stated that the water must be cold to keep the turkey at a safe temperature. The water should also be changed every 30 minutes.

Allow 30 minutes of thawing in cold water for each pound of bird, so a 16-pound turkey will need about 8 hours to thaw. The turkey should be cooked immediately after thawing.

To help you determine how long to thaw your bird, see “How Long to Thaw?” From Butterball. calculator available for refrigerator and water thawing methods.

Although microwave thawing is a USDA approved method, you should consult your microwave’s owner’s manual to determine if your bird will be suitable.

The owner’s manual should also detail the number of minutes per pound and the power level required to properly thaw your turkey. As a general rule of thumb, allow 6 minutes per pound and be sure to rotate it a few times during the defrosting process.

If you forget to thaw your turkey or it’s still frozen on Thanksgiving morning, you can cook it frozen. It will just take a little longer. The USDA recommends using a food thermometer to make sure the bird reaches 165 degrees in the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing, and the thickest part of the breast. .


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