Turkey Thawing Time Calculator
The amount of time required to completely thaw a frozen turkey depends on the weight of the bird. The larger the bird, the longer it takes to defrost in the fridge.
By estimating how long you need to thaw a turkey in the refrigerator, you can better plan your holiday dinner and avoid having to thaw the turkey in a bath of cold water. While water thawing is faster, it is cumbersome and provides microbes a hospitable environment to multiply.
The general rule is for every pound of turkey you need a minimum of 6 hours, minus 1 whole day. Equivalently, if the weight in pounds is W, then the fewest number of days needed to defrost is W/4 - 1.
The maximum amount of time to defrost a turkey in the fridge is W/4 days (1 day for every 4 pounds). Once a turkey has been thawing for the maximum amount of time, it should be cooked immediately. It is better to let the turkey thaw for too short an amount of time than for too long before you place it in the oven.
(This information is adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, 10th Edition and the USDA.)
|Minimum Thaw Time Chart|
(For max times, just add 1 day.)
© Had2Know 2010