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In the refrigerator : Turkeys can be thawed using one of three methods, but the safest, most foolproof, and most recommended is to thaw them in the refrigerator. In addition to being the safest method, this will also result in the best finished product.
|Refrigerator Turkey Thawing Time (40 degrees F)|
|Turkey Weight||Days to Allow for Thawing Turkey|
|8 to 12 pounds||2 to 2.5 days|
|12 to 16 pounds||2.5 to 4 days|
|16 to 20 pounds||4 to 5 days|
|20 to 24 pounds||5 to 6 days|
The Cold Water Method: If planning fell short, and you need to thaw the turkey more quickly, use the cold water method.
|COLD Water Turkey Thawing Time|
|Turkey Weight||Hours to Allow for Thawing Turkey|
|8 to 12 pounds||4 to 6 hours|
|12 to 16 pounds||6 to 8 hours|
|16 to 20 pounds||8 to 10 hours|
|20 to 24 pounds||10 to 12 hours|
The Microwave Method: Even though thawing can be safely done in the microwave, it is the least desired method for producing a good-quality finished product, and the turkey must be roasted immediately after thawing.