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Dec 14, 2010 10:06 AM

How long does it take to defrost a turkey?

I always buy fresh turkeys but the woman who does my nails--who happens to be from Vietnam--decided she wants to cook an 'American turkey' & wants me to tell her how. This is going to be a challenge for me to keep it simple and understandable...she has never even roasted a chicken. I am assuming that she is going to get a frozen turkey & I will tell her to get the smallest one she can find. So if she gets a 12 lb or so turkey--how long will it need to defrost in the fridge? I am giving her a meat thermometer for Xmas so hopefully that will help.

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  1. General rule of thumb is a day for every 5 pounds in the refrigerator so a 12 pound bird is about 2 days, but I would go 3 days.

    Also, the most important thing to tell her is to remove the giblet bags from the turkey and to check both ends, especially the neck cavity. The giblet bag in the neck messes up many people.

    1. I would take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge two days before cooking it. If it is still frozen the night (or morning if there is enough time) before then I would put it in the kitchen sink filled with cold water (change the water if you can, about every hour or so). I haven't done the overnight in the sink things before, but my mom always did. I usually do the two days in the fridge and then in the morning I put it in the sink in cold water until I am ready to stuff it.