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How Long Does it Take to Defrost a Turkey

At Thanksgiving or even on Christmas Day, turkeys are traditionally eaten by millions of people as part of their celebrations. This post will tell you how long it takes to defrost a turkey and then tell you the best method of defrosting a turkey to stay healthy over the holidays!

How Long Does it Take to Defrost a Turkey?

There is actually a simple formula which makes life very easy! A turkey should be defrosted in the refrigerator for a full day (24 hours) for every 5lbs the turkey weighs. Note that a boneless turkey breast will defrost a little faster. It should only need one and a half to two days for full defrosting. Note that once it is defrosted, a turkey must be cooked immediately or within a few hours at most!

How Should I Defrost My Turkey?

I’m glad you asked. You should defrost your turkey in the refrigerator and NOT in the sink with cold water. Bacteria (salmonella) can grow on a turkey while it is thawing so you should keep it in the refrigerator to prevent food poisoning.

Note that you can thaw a turkey in the microwave- if it fits (it probably won’t). Cooking times vary depending on the model and power of your microwave so consult the manual where defrosting times should be listed. Note that you should cook the turkey as soon as it has finished defrosting in the microwave.

Related Post:

Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving

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