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So you thaw your turkey

We are approaching Thanksgiving, which means that a frozen turkey is probably trapped in your freezer or you are frozen in a grocery store waiting for you. In any case, it's time to think about how to thaw the bird in time for the big day.


It's pretty easy to thaw a turkey; You only need time. According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are three different ways you can safely thaw a turkey. Make sure you know the weight of your turkey, which determines how long thawing will take.

Use Your Refrigerator

This method is the most time-consuming option: The USDA states that you need to plan 24 hours for 4 to 5 pounds each in a fridge set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which means you do I would have to reserve a few days for a big bird. However, this method requires the least effort. All you have to do is place your turkey in a container to catch drops and hang in the fridge.

Read more: How and why (or not) to salt a turkey

I thawed this turkey in cold water.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Thawing the turkey in cold water

Get ready to do some work by using this method to defrost your turkey. Put the turkey in a leak-proof bag and place in cold tap water. The USDA recommends changing the water every 30 minutes. I've found that it's easiest to thaw your turkey in a large cooler with a drink cone. In this way, you can easily drain the water into the sink, and you can simply remove the lid and fill with fresh water. It takes about 30 minutes per pound to completely thaw the turkey.

It takes some work to get from the frozen turkey to a tasty entree.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Little time? Contact Your Microwave

The USDA states that you can thaw your turkey in the microwave as long as you follow the product instructions and cook it immediately after thawing. I would be tired of relying on a microwave to thaw such a big piece of meat, but you could try it if you're desperate.

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