HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


15 lb. turkey causing marital discord.

Defrosted this 15 lb. turkey, in fridge, starting last Wednesday. Figured it would be good to go on Sat. or Sun. Unforseen stuff happening, it won't be cooked until tomorrow. (almost a week) In fridge for total defrost time........... still ok to cook or defrosted too long? Won't disclose which half wants to cook, which half wants to toss. Thanks all!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Was it Frozen Solid on Wednesday?
    Is it in something, or "just" the shrinkwrap container?
    How flexible are the legs?
    Has it been out of the fridge At ALL since it went in?
    What's the temperature setting of your fridge?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Kris in Beijing

      It was frozen solid Wed. Put in fridge Wed. Frozen in original shrink wrap plus al. foil and large plastic bag. Fridge is nice and chilly, holds close to 40 usually.

      1. re: chowette22

        With two extra layers of insulation, I wouldn't be surprised if there was still a little bit of ice lingering....

      2. If it's been in the fridge continuously since Wednesday, it'll be ok for tomorrow (Tuesday). A turkey that big will take the better part of five days to thaw in the fridge, anyway.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ricepad

          Absolutely agree.
          I wouldn't be surprised if the "innerds" were still frozen.

              1. Thanks all! Looks like turkey is on the menu for tomorrow!!

                1. It will probably be better having a bit more 'age' on it. Seriously.

                  1. I agree with the others. I think it's fine, but I think the smell test should tell you for sure.

                    1. You should definitely throw it away. If you're in Seattle, I'll dispose of it for you ;) ;)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        That's a big turkey. You'll need help carrying it. Call me!

                      2. My ancient great grandmother in Winchester used to 'hang' the pheasants she was brought in her garden shed. The birds were hung by their feet unplucked unevicerated. When the birds were so rotten the maggot infested bodies fell to the floor leaving the legs dangling the birds were ready to cook.
                        So I think you ought to be safe. LOLO

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Puffin3

                          Are you being serious? Why did she do that?

                          I am no germophobe and would advise the OP to not give a second thought to her turkey's safety. But days, maggots? Curious here.

                          1. re: tcamp

                            From James Beard's Beard on Birds (1979, 1989):

                            "The battle over how long a pheasant should be hung has waged on three continents for centuries. A smattering of English epicures still vow it is not fit to eat until decomposition has set in and a fetid odor is given off."

                            1. re: GH1618

                              This thread can be used as a powerful appetite suppressant!

                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                Maggots are used for wound debridement. They smell bad, but a little bit of brine, and the meat is fine. British navy did this on board ships when their meat stores were infested.

                          2. re: Puffin3

                            Were they tender after aging this way?

                            As a kid, I remember staring at a painting of some Middle Ages hunting hall with depictions of game birds hanging from the rafters. When I asked about it, I was told by my father that they were "ripe" when they'd rotted enough to fall down.

                            But that's my only context. Never seen any hunter I know do that. And I've eaten plenty of tough pheasant. Would love to hear how it tasted.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              I was just a kid from the Alberta prairies visiting the old thing. I never atet any of the birds but they sure stunk. We always hung birds etc but never that long.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                At the age of 17, I first visited the food halls of Harrod's in London. I was quite taken aback to see game birds of all sorts hanging from the ceiling.

                            2. So OP- what did you decide? Did you cook it on it Tuesday? Are you still alive?

                              1. Yep, cooked turkey on Tues. we're both still kicking and existing in marital bliss and harmony. ha! Thanks all.

                                9 Replies
                                  1. re: chowette22

                                    I don't wish to cause you any problems, but out of curiosity, who was in favor of cooking the bird and who was saying to toss it?

                                    By the way, as long as it was frozen went it went into tge refrigerator it would probably been ok for a couple more days.

                                    1. re: chowette22

                                      Set your fridge to 37.

                                      In future, put wrapped bird in sink with warm water for about 2 hours if there is any doubt about its being defrosted.

                                      1. re: law_doc89

                                        That should be 'put bird in sink with COLD water for a couple of hours' - warm water only succeeds in raising the exterior temp enough to grow germs, while the inside would still be frozen.

                                        COLD running water is even faster.

                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                          Relative to frozen, cold water is warm :~)

                                          Cooking should take care of germs, more important is the temp of the fridge which should be 37 or lower.

                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                            Hi, gingershelley:

                                            Hmmm, how much running water does it take to thaw a 15-lb bird? I tried this once with a 4-lb chicken, and it seemed to spin my water meter about 15x the cost of the chicken. ;)


                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                              I have combined the thaw with the brining of the turkey all in one step with good results.

                                            2. re: law_doc89

                                              Ideally the water should not be more than 70F