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Video:How to Thaw Frozen Turkey

with Cathy Straub

A frozen turkey needs to thaw fully before it is ready to roast. Check out how to properly thaw a frozen turkey so your bird is ready for the oven on Thanksgiving Day.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Thaw Frozen Turkey

Hi! I'm Cathy Straub for About.com, and I'm here to show you two ways to thaw your frozen turkey.

Two Ways to Thaw a Frozen Turkey:

The first way to thaw your frozen turkey is to do it in the refrigerator. For this you'll need a pan and enough space in the refrigerator to hold your turkey for several days. The second way to thaw your frozen turkey is in your kitchen sink. You will need a secure stopper for your sink, and a timer.

Thaw Turkey in the Refrigerator

If you're planning ahead, the easiest way to defrost your turkey is in the refrigerator over a few days. This method takes about one day for every four pounds of weight of your turkey. Place your turkey in its original packaging, into a pan before you place it into the refrigerator. The purpose of the pan is to catch any drips that may leak from the packaging during the thawing process that could contaminate other food products in your refrigerator.

When you are ready to prepare your turkey for roasting, take it out of the refrigerator and check the inside cavity to be sure that the complete defrosting has occurred. If any ice crystals do remain, rinse the turkey with cold water. After the thawing process is completed, be sure to wash your pan with soap and hot water before using for any other food products.

Defrost the Turkey in a Sink

If you don't have a few days and it's getting pretty close to the time you're gonna need to serve the turkey, you can defrost it in a sink of cold water. Make sure you have a tight stopper in your sink so that no water drains out during the thawing process. Don't forget to be sure that the bag your turkey is in is leak proof as you do not want any water to leak into the turkey while your thawing it.

Place the turkey in the sink, and fill the sink with enough cold water to cover the turkey. Being sure that your using cold water, not warm, as warm will allow bacteria to grow quickly. The amount of time it will take to thaw your turkey in the sink again depends on the weight or your turkey. You need to allow about thirty minutes per pound. And one of the things you will need to be sure to do is change your water out every thirty minutes. Setting a timer is a good reminder.

When you're ready to prepare the turkey, be sure that you check inside to make sure the thawing is complete. Again if any ice crystals remain in the inside cavity rinse it with cold water. Your turkey should now be thawed and ready to roast. Thank you for watching and for more tips please visit food.about.com!

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