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Nov 17, 2011 04:17 PM

Thawing frozen turkey in refrigerator

I plan to buy my turkey (small, since it's just mrbuffer and myself) on Sunday morning when I do my regular food shopping. I'll get a frozen one.

If I put the turkey in the refrigerator in a pan it should be pretty thawed by Thanksgiving, right? Turkey won't go into the oven until noon on Thursday since dinner is planned for 530 to coincide with halftime of the second football game.


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  1. I wouldn't count on it being thawed. Depends on your fridge temp. To play it safe, you might soak it right away in a double-sink for a couple of hours with the sink full of cold water and then with a trickle of water (draining into the adjacent sink) for convection. (Still sealed in packaging.) That would give the bird a head start. Also, it cannot hurt to open the bird a day ahead and just let it air dry in fridge for a day. That will allow you to empty the cavity.

    The thing is, the thighs and inside are most likely to remain frozen, and if they're not thoroughly thawed when you roast, you're going to have to cook the bejabbers out of the breast meat while waiting for the thighs to be done.

    1. Following ookbook. directions. I always found the bird's interior
      very frosty. So I always give it an extra day. As long as it is in the
      fridge, nothing bad will happen.

      1. Allow one day of thawing for every four to five pounds of Turkey. But it will go a lot slower if your fridge is at 33F (as mine is) than if it's at 40F (as most people's are).

        1. Always seemed to me that no matter how many days ahead I started the thawing, when I reached into the cavity, still gots bits of ice. So, I now only buy fresh birds. I've never really tasted all that much difference, as the ads say, but I'll pay extra for the convenience and not having it take up fridge space for days and days (I pick it up on Wednesday).

          1 Reply
          1. re: pine time

            I, too, only buy fresh, never frozen birds and pay a premium for that. However, the bird is as hard as a rock when I pick it up because the laws about "frozen" are pretty wacky in California. I have learned to pick it up on Sunday, prepare (it may have to sit in a sink of water for a while to be pliable) it to put into the brine on Monday afternoon, out of the brine on Tuesday afternoon, and about 48 hours bare naked on the refrigerator shelf before cooking on Thursday afternoon. This is for a 20 plus pound bird.

          2. No it won't. I would start thawing sooner. Normally, I give it at least 6 days. The published guides are meaningless, and you will have frozen thighs and interior most likely by TG, with the risk of overcooking the dark meat. I'd consider roasting it as parts to get more control over the process.....