PSA: Time to Thaw Your Turkey!

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

It’s Thursday, the week before Thanksgiving. Do you know where your turkey is? If the answer is, in the freezer, guess what? It’s time to take it out.

It’s Thaw the Turkey Day!

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Essentials on Thawing (and Cooking) a Frozen Turkey

How Long Do You Need to Thaw Your Turkey?

Here’s the main rule of thumb for thawing your turkey:

  • Allow at LEAST 1 day of thawing for every 4 pounds of turkey.

So for a 12-pound turkey that would imply at least three days of thawing, ideally with a bonus day thrown in.

Here’s the thing, though. I simply don’t find that that’s enough. Ever. Even after days and days of thawing, I often wake up on Thanksgiving morning to an icy bird, with rock hard giblets stuck inside the cavity like boulders on an ice field.

I believe it’s best to give it some extra time. It’s fine if your turkey thaws out completely a couple days before Thanksgiving. And of course if you want to brine or dry-brine for a day or two before cooking, it’s easier to have a thawed bird even earlier.

So! If your turkey is between 12 and 15 pounds, I highly recommend taking it out of the freezer this evening or tomorrow at latest.

Because you know what no one ever said, at any time, about their Thanksgiving turkey? Man, I took it out of the freezer too early. Nope, doesn’t happen. Never heard it.

Basic Thawing Tips

The right way to thaw your turkey is to take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator (don’t thaw at room temperature).

Leave the turkey in the bag or wrappings, too, and place it in a large pan or sheet to catch any dripping.

Pretty simple, pretty basic — just do it! Get that turkey thawing, because there’s nothing worse on Thanksgiving morning than a half-frozen turkey!

Is your turkey thawing away just yet?