Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Have you purchased your turkey yet? If you are buying a frozen turkey, keep in mind that you will need to begin thawing it several days before Thanksgiving.
Buying a frozen turkey is convenient, especially if you have room in your freezer to keep it until you are ready to use it. Keep in mind that it will definitely take a few days to thaw. We are personally using the refrigerator defrosting method which generally it takes about one day per five pounds of turkey to defrost. This is the safest way to defrost a turkey.
So what do you do if your turkey isn’t totally defrosted by Thanksgiving? You still have options. Of course, you could buy a fresh turkey and not have to worry about defrosting it. But that can be expensive and impractical. There are options to defrost turkeys quickly.
The best way to defrost a turkey quickly is to keep it covered in cool water. It takes about 30 minutes per pound to defrost a turkey in cold water. Change the water about every 30 minutes or so. Also, your turkey must be cooked immediately. Why, you ask? Thawing your turkey in cold water does not allow you to control the temperature in which your turkey is kept. This might allow bacteria to grow if not cooked immediately.
One other option for defrosting a turkey quickly is putting it in the microwave. Your turkey will have instructions on the packaging for defrosting this method. This is a last ditch method for defrosting your turkey for a few reasons. First, turkeys are often bigger than the microwave so they may not fit anyway. If they do fit, microwaves do not cook evenly and some parts will begin to cook while others are still rock solid. However, if you do use this method, you must cook your turkey immediately.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TURKEY OUT ON THE COUNTER TO DEFROST. That is the perfect way to get your guests sick.
This year frozen turkey prices are at an all time low. Fry’s in Mesa is selling Jenny-O turkeys for 29¢ a pound with a $25 purchase. While Bashas, Albertsons and Safeway are selling theirs for a few cents more, they almost always match turkey prices at this time of year, so make sure to ask at the store where you shop. Pick your turkey up soon so it will be ready to cook on Thanksgiving.
Do you want to brine your turkey? See our brining article. Not sure how to cook your turkey, see our turkey cooking methods article.
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