Thawing Your Frozen Turkey... when to take it out of the freezer.
Most Thanksgiving dinners are not complete without the turkey as the centerpiece of the meal. Cooking the proper turkey could start days before Thursday morning if you purchased a frozen bird. A completely thawed turkey assures the best chances of a fully cooked meal. It also saves you from the added frustration of trying to defrost it when you probably have a list of 10 different things to do. So how do you know when to take the turkey out of the freezer or buy it at the supermarket on the day you want to start unthawing it? The chart below shows the time you need to put the turkey in the refrigerator if you want it defrosted by Wednesday, November 23 in the morning, afternoon, or Thanksgiving morning.
How to Thaw Your Turkey in the Refrigerator:
- Place the turkey on a tray in the refrigerator to catch any juices from the bird when it starts to thaw.
- Keep your turkey in the original wrapping.
- Check to see if your refrigerator is set below 40°. (I use the following thermometer that I purchased after drinking a not so cold cup of orange juice one day. I found out that the refrigerator was over 50°).
- Once the turkey is thawed it can remain in the refrigerator up to 2 days before cooking.
What Day Should I Take My Turkey Out of the Freezer?
What to do if your turkey is still frozen?
If your turkey is still frozen the USDA recommends increasing the cook time by 50% to insure a fully cooked bird.