Defrosting a turkey

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

otuatail

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 3, 2015
Messages
191
Location
York
Hi. How long would you take to defrost a turkey. I am assuming left on the table as it could not be done slowly in a fridge. Too big. Looking at 3.5kg
 

HeyItsSara

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
277
Location
NYC
I'm told people put their frozen turkey in their fridge on Sunday in anticipation of Thursday's big cooking adventure. It takes several days to defrost.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
28,793
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
For that size turkey, a minimum of three days in the refrigerator. Even if it thaws before the three days are up, it is still refrigerated and safe to eat.
https://www.butterball.com/calculators-conversions will help, perhaps.
That calculator says that an eight pound turkey (8 lbs is approximately 3.6 kg) will take 2 days and 0 hours in the fridge or 4 hour using the cold water thawing method.
 

GinnyPNW

Head Chef
Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Messages
1,933
Location
Somewhere in the PNW
You really need to defrost in the fridge...or think of some other way to keep the bird cold. Room temp, it will spoil too quickly.

You could look for a "fresh" (not frozen) turkey. They are sooooo much better anyway!

And, if you wish to brine the turkey, you'll need to do that a couple of days in advance of the cooking day...and that needs to be done in a pot in the fridge.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
28,793
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
You really need to defrost in the fridge...or think of some other way to keep the bird cold. Room temp, it will spoil too quickly.

You could look for a "fresh" (not frozen) turkey. They are sooooo much better anyway!

And, if you wish to brine the turkey, you'll need to do that a couple of days in advance of the cooking day...and that needs to be done in a pot in the fridge.
Yup, at room temperature the outside will be thawed and starting to spoil while the inside is still frozen. Depending on where the person lives and their weather at the time they want to thaw the bird, a garage or shed might be cool enough. It certainly won't be here on the Island of Montreal for Canadian Thanksgiving this year, which is on Monday of next week. I personally prefer defrosting frozen meat of any kind in cold running water.
 

otuatail

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 3, 2015
Messages
191
Location
York
Okay. I am not an American and as such do not have enormous drive in fridge. Also there could be a shortage of turkeys here in the UK with the bird flu coming around. I just wanted to hedge my bets. I will have to make space in the fridge somehow.
 
Last edited:

Badjak

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
139
Check the weight again. 3.5 kilos is less than 8 pounds. I have had chickens bigger than that.
That will be the biggest size we find here (Zambia) as well and only around christmas. Biggest chicken I've seen for sale is below 2 kg.
But not everything that's bigger is better ;)

Anyway. Turkey, UK
If you are looking for christmas, maybe your garage will be cold enough?
Otherwise, fridge, or defrost under cold running water. I've always managed to find space in the fridge (luckily).
Alternatively, try find turkey legs and turkey breast. They are smaller, so obviously easier to defrost
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,541
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
LOL - One year I had a chicken that was 13 lbs and my smallest turkey was 15 lbs. Most of my turkeys ran 18 to 22 lbs. One lady wanted a 24 lb but just couldn't do it for her. Hard to judge on the hoof.

Depending on the weather, if I had a particularly large bird, I would take it out of the freezer in the evening, leave it out over night, Refrgerate the next morning and until it was defrosted all the way thru. Usually about 2 days.
 
Top Bottom