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Thawing Your Turkey

If you are space limited in your frig to thaw out the turkey ahead of time, use a cooler. Make sure the cooler is sterilized, fill with cold water, and pop (plop) the frozen turkey into the water. Store in your cool garage or another cooler location, and it will be out of the way, and ready to go on Turkey day!


Sometimes, I've done this and there is still ice on the inside of the turkey. This also works well when brining a turkey ahead of time.

Source: I think I thought this up myself. You never know. ;o)

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November 17, 20080 found this helpful

I tried this last Thanksgiving for the first time & it worked out perfectly. It is a great space saving idea! Great minds think alike! Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 17, 20080 found this helpful

Please go to this US government website regarding safe turkey thawing:

http://www.fsis  hawing/index.asp

Here is a portion of the article on that website:

Cold Water Thawing

Allow about 30 minutes per pound.

First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product.

Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.

Cold Water Thawing Times

* 4 to 12 pounds - 2 to 6 hours

* 12 to 16 pounds - 6 to 8 hours

* 16 to 20 pounds - 8 to 10 hours

* 20 to 24 pounds - 10 to 12 hours

A turkey thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately. After cooking, meat from the turkey can be refrozen.


Another thing to remember is: if you live in a medium to warm climate, this cooler method without refrigeration, is unsafe. Perhaps, some condiments like ketchup, mustard, relish, oil dressings, etc. could be stored in the cold water cooler method and make room for the turkey in the fridge.

Thank you though, very much, KLJohn for your article.

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November 18, 20080 found this helpful

I have been doing this as well for at least 5 years but without the water. Never had any problems. I also brine my turkey as well -- delicious. Have a great Thanksgiving.

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November 18, 20080 found this helpful

I will say, as a clarification, that I live in W. Colorado, where the nights are mostly below freezing, therefore my garage stays pretty cold this time of year. That's the reason it's safe here. If you live in warmer climates, using a cooler is not the best way. KLJohn

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Anonymous Flag
November 18, 20120 found this helpful

So... if I have an 18 pound turkey and today is Sunday, when should I put in cooler to be ready to stuff Thursday morning, Thanksgiving?

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