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How Long Does It Take to Thaw a Turkey

Thawing a turkey is a crucial step in preparing a safe and delicious holiday meal. The time it takes to thaw a turkey depends on the method you choose. There are two primary methods for safely thawing a turkey:

Refrigerator Thawing: This is the recommended method for thawing a turkey. Allow approximately 24 hours of thawing time for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. So, a 12-pound turkey would take approximately 2-3 days to thaw in the refrigerator. Make sure to place the turkey on a tray or in a container to catch any drips.

Cold Water Thawing: If you need to thaw a turkey more quickly, you can use the cold water method. Submerge the turkey in its original packaging in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Allow 30 minutes of thawing time per pound. So, a 12-pound turkey would take about 6 hours to thaw using this method.

It's important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent bacterial growth during thawing. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature, as this can lead to foodborne illness. Plan ahead and choose the method that best suits your schedule while ensuring a safe and delicious holiday feast.

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