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How to Safely Thaw a Turkey

Raw turkey prepared for cooking, surrounded by oil and seasonings

The safest way to thaw your turkey is in the refrigerator, allowing 24 hours for every 5 pounds. When that’s not possible, don’t worry. You can quick-thaw your turkey in a day.

  1. Place unopened turkey in a stock pot, large bowl or sink. Cover the turkey completely with COLD water.
  2. Replace cold water every 30 minutes to keep turkey chilled and to prevent bacteria from forming
  3. Estimate 30 minutes per lb. For example, a 12-lb. turkey will take 6 hours to thaw.

Outside the refrigerator, never leave your turkey thawing in water overnight.

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