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How can I tell if my turkey is defrosted completely?

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This is my first year using a frozen turkey... poor planning on my part, didn't order one in advance and got stuck. So I have it in the fridge defrosting as I type, and by all estimates it should be defrosted by Thursday morning. But what's the best way to tell that it is completely defrosted? I'm just afraid that even though it will "feel" defrosted, it may be frozen in areas that I won't be able to discern.

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  1. I usually stick an instant read thermometer down into the thigh (the same way I would check for doneness). If it is at refrigerator temperature, it is thawed.

    1 Reply
    1. I highly recommend the thermometer method, but you can tell if you put your hand completely in the cavity and it has no ice balls and is flexible. If the legs jiggle easily too then the test is complete. Stiffness or a hard inner surface mean that the meat is still frozen. Ice in the cavity is a horror that can only be fixed in a hurry by soaking the bird in water for a fast defrost.