Tag Archives: Turkey Thawing

Thaw that Turkey

There are many opinions on how to best thaw your turkey. The general rule of thumb is 24 hours for every 5 lbs.

Most birds this year are smaller than in years past. But, if your bird is 16 lbs or more – you should start on Monday or before.


How to thaw a turkey – https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/11/18/how-safely-thaw-turkey

Here is a chart to make it easier –

21+ lbs – Start on Friday or Saturday

16 – 20 lbs – You can start as early as Friday but do not wait until Tuesday. Saturday is the optimum day.

15-19 lbs – You can start on Saturday. Sunday is a good target day.

10-14 lbs – You can start on Monday. Tuesday morning will work too.

Birds under 10 lbs should still have time to thaw. As long as you start before Wednesday morning, you should be fine.

There are thawing methods shown in the chart. Thawing in the refrigerator is the recommended method.

If a quick thaw is needed –  placing the turkey in cold water or the microwave (on defrost) are options.


The following are not recommended:

  1. Leaving the turkey outside in a garage, porch or deck.
  2. Placing it on a counter (including in a brown bag).
  3. Putting it in a dishwasher or washing maching.
  4. Anything other than refrigerator, cold water or microwave are not recommended.









The biggest thing to remember is that if your bird is more than 12 lbs – you must

  • Thaw the turkey if it’s 12+ lbs in refrigerator.
  • Clean silver and flatware
  • Prepare and bake cheesecake crust; cool and wrap with plastic wrap**. Store at room temperature.