What to Do If Your Turkey Is Still Frozen

What should I do if my turkey is still frozen?

Plan ahead to thaw your holiday turkey, and avoid thawing on the counter. Don’t wait until the last minute to thaw your frozen turkey for Thanksgiving Day! It will take a period of several days depending on the size of the bird. Do not thaw your turkey on the counter at room temperature!

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What if I thawed my turkey at room temperature?

At room temperature, the turkey will thaw on the outside and rise well above the “danger zone” of 40°F, FoodSafety.gov explains. Bacteria in the turkey can multiply quickly when it’s at room temperature for more than two hours. You may serve up salmonella poisoning along with your famous candied yams. Not so yum!

Should you unwrap a turkey to thaw?

When the turkey has partially defrosted, you can unwrap it and remove the giblet bag from the cavity. … According to the USDA, a 4- to 12-pound turkey will take two to six hours to defrost; a 12- to 16-pound turkey six to eight hours; a 16- to 20-pound turkey eight to 10 hours and a 20- to 24-pound turkey 10 to 12 hours.

Thawing Frozen Turkey Breast in the Refrigerator

The exact same principles apply when thawing a frozen turkey breast vs. a whole turkey. A 6 or 7-pound turkey breast will take about 1 1/2 days (36 hours) to thaw completely. Again, make sure your the temperature of the fridge is between 37°F and 40°F.

What do I do if my turkey isnt completely thawed?

If There’s No Time to Thaw

If you’re up against the clock and have no time left for even the “quick” cold-water thaw, then just cook the turkey as it is. It’s perfectly safe to cook a frozen or partially frozen turkey — you just need to allow some extra cooking time.

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Is a 2 year old frozen turkey still good?

According to the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, you can keep a turkey stored in the freezer up to two years and it’s still safe to cook. … For the best quality, the USDA recommends using the frozen turkey within the first year of storage.

How long can I keep frozen ground turkey in the freezer?

Frozen ground turkey is safe for up to 1 year in a freezer but may decrease quality and taste over time. For the freshest taste, it’s best to use within 4 months. Pro-Tip: You can keep ground turkey in its original packaging.

Thawing Frozen Turkey Breast in Cold Water

Again, the water must remain at 40 degrees or colder the whole time and it needs 30 minutes of thaw time per pound of turkey breast. Make sure to change the water about every half hour in order to maintain the water temperature, and not allow warmer water to become a breeding ground for salmonella. If you have a 6-pound turkey breast, that will probably take about 3 hours to thaw, with up to 6 water changes.

Fresh vs. Frozen Turkey

Whether you choose a fresh or frozen turkey depends on what will work for you, as there are advantages to both. Buying frozen means you can safely purchase the turkey ahead of time—months, if you so desire—but it also means you have to start preparing a few days before cooking so it thaws completely. Fresh, on the other hand, is ready to be cooked but will last only two or three days in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that fresh turkeys may be more difficult to find.

How Long Does It Take to Cook a Turkey In the Oven?

The amount of time needed to cook a whole turkey is dependent on the weight of the bird and whether it will be stuffed or not. Using a 325 F oven, calculate 15 to 20 minutes per pound, adding 30 minutes to the total time if the turkey is stuffed. But more important than the time is the turkey’s internal temperature; it needs to reach 165 F to be safe to eat. Using an internal meat thermometer and placing it in the thickest part of the thigh (making sure it doesn’t touch bone) is the ideal way to determine when the turkey has finished cooking. If the turkey is stuffed, use a thermometer to check the temperature of the stuffing, which should also be at 165 F.

How and When to Make Turkey Gravy

After roasting the turkey should rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. This is a perfect time to make gravy (or a gluten-free version). Move the turkey to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. This way you can use all those tasty pan drippings for gravy making. Read these posts for more:

Can you defrost a turkey in hot water

Answered By: Patrick Peterson Date: created: Mar 06 2021

Can I thaw my turkey in hot water? Don’t you dare. Just like with thawing at room temperature, a hot water bath will thaw the outside of the turkey above the “danger zone” while leaving the inside frozen.

Asked By: Gordon Flores Date: created: Mar 14 2021

How do you Unthaw a turkey fast

Answered By: Daniel Hayes Date: created: Mar 10 2022

The fastest way to thaw a turkey By submerging it in ice water, even a 24-pound bird can be defrosted in just 12 hours (Thermoworks says to count on about 8 hours for a 15-pounder).

Asked By: Wallace Butler Date: created: Sep 28 2021

How to Thaw a Turkey Quickly

If you’ve missed the fridge thawing window, try our favorite quick-thaw method: submerge the turkey (breast-side down with its wrapping still on) in a sink or a cooler full of cold water, changing out the water every half hour. Allow 30 minutes to thaw for each pound of turkey. FYI, a 16-pound turkey will take eight hours. (If math isn’t your thing, then simply plug the weight of your turkey into Butterball’s turkey defrost time calculator.)

Once you’ve allowed your turkey to thaw, perform two tests on the bird to confirm that it’s completely defrosted: reach your hand into the bird’s cavity to make sure there aren’t any ice crystals, and poke the thicker parts of the turkey with a fork. If you get icicles doing either one of these, then your turkey needs more time to warm up.

Related:

How to Make Sure Your Turkey’s Done If You Don’t Have a Thermometer

What if the turkey starts to actually cook instead of just defrost?

foil in the microwave in small amountshere

Thawing a smaller turkey (less than 20 lbs.)? Follow the methods below for tips! — USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service (@USDAFoodSafety) November 18, 2020

This story was originally published in November 2020. Report a correction or typo

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