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Nov 21, 2012 05:14 PM

night before Thanksgiving and the turkey is still frozen!!!!

I swear this isn't my fault. I bought it on Saturday and my husband's job was to put it in one of the mini-fridges in his basement bar to thaw. He left the store plastic bag around the plastic-covered turkey and I guess maybe those fridges are turned way down because it was still totally frozen 4 days later.

My husband hangs out there each night after I go to bed so I consider this all his fault for not checking on the bird. It has been sitting out on the counter for the past 2 hours and we seem to be making some progress.

Any ideas for how to thaw the rest of it out? I'll be going to bed soon. Leave it out overnight? Leave it in the fridge? Put it in a warm bath tomorrow? I NEVER thought I'd be in the situation as I thought I had a turkey thawing for 4 days at this point!

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  1. Cold water bath at this point will be the fastest. Leave it wrapped and either submerge it in a sink with a small amount of running water over it, or just submerge in a cold water bath and change the water every 20-30 minutes.

    1. Unfortunately I just noticed the going to bed soon. Leaving it out overnight and thawing under hot water are not really ideal defrosting techniques. The safest 'fast' way is the cold water method, but if you will be sleeping soon it likely won't have time to work. You can do that in the morning and hope for the best, or leave it out for a few hours and wake up and put it in the fridge or something. I would probably ignore the warnings and leave it out at least partially overnight depending on how frozen it still is.

      1. Your post made me laugh out loud Njchicaa. This happened to me the very first year I was hosting Christmas (for our full included). My turkey was in the "beer fridge" in the basement so hello, this wasn't my fault either!! I didn't know about Chowhound at the time so I Googled "help turkey frozen" and found the "Butterball Hotline" (incidentally, it's still around, I just Googled it again and they call it the Turkey Talk Line).

        Anyway, even though my rock-solid beast wasn't a Butterball and with nothing to lose, I dialed the toll-free number and the most empathetic women I've ever spoken with talked me down off the ledge and saved Christmas. Part food expert, part therapist, I was just blown away how helpful that woman was.

        TeRReT gave you the same advice I rec'd that Christmas Eve. What they forgot to mention was that it's your husband that has to change the water through the night!! I'd recommend that he sleep in another room so the sound of the timer doesn't wake you. You'll need all your strength for tomorrow!! ; - )

        Happy Thanksgiving & Good Luck to you!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          *Your* post made me laugh out loud :). I was in the same boat when I first started out years ago.
          I'll never forget the water baths every 30 minutes for what seemed like hours and sticking my hands in the cavity each time, seeing how far it'd come, only to pull them out each time with partial frostbite.
          The same year, because I'd had absolutely no sleep tending to the stupid thing, I'd forgotten to take out the plastic pouch that houses the gizzard and neck....roasted it along with the 28# stuffed bird.

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Breadcrumbs...Your post just put the biggest smile on my face:) Thank you I needed that!

          2. If you're still awake, I'd spatchcock it (split it down then center without making it 2 separate halves) in the am and then cook.