How Long Does It Take To Thaw A Turkey (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take To Thaw A Turkey (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 24 Hours

Birds are found all over the world and there isn’t a place where there are no birds. Some birds are small, large birds, some can be adopted as pets while some can thrive well only in the wild. Every bird has different features, characteristics and requires different habitats and diets. There are zoos and bird sanctuaries everywhere that save and protect birds that are on the verge of extinction.

One of the largest birds still roaming the lands in large numbers is the turkey. Among many other facts that one knows about turkeys, they’re one of the most popular dishes that is made during Thanksgiving in any country. Thanksgiving takes place during December, and turkeys are made as to the main dish, among many others like mashed potatoes, and trifles.

It takes about a day to thaw a frozen turkey, weighing around 5 pounds. It all depends on the weight of the turkey and parts.

How Long Does It Take To Thaw A Turkey

How Long Does It Take To Thaw A Turkey?

5 pounds24 hours
10 pounds48 hours
20 pounds4 days

Turkeys are one of the largest birds and can weigh very much. When one cooks a turkey, there are always leftovers. To keep the turkey from getting spoiled, people store the turkey in freezers, and even in refrigerators. They are commonly stored in freezers, and after that, one can always thaw the frozen turkey when they want to. A turkey is in the genus Meleagris, and it is native to North America.

Thaw A Turkey

There are two species of turkey, wild turkey, and ocellated turkey. The wild turkey is scientifically called Meleagris gallopavo and the ocellated turkey is Meleagris ocellata. The wild turkey is native to central and eastern North America and the ocellated turkey is found commonly in Yucatan Peninsula. They are from the order of Galliformes and the family of Phasianidae.

Other birds are also called Australian turkey, brush turkey, and water turkey. Turkeys are all dark in color, with green and iridescent bronze-colored plumage. Roast turkey is made as a customary Christmas and Thanksgiving dish that is made in many countries, especially the USA.

Why Does It Take That Long To Thaw A Turkey?

There are many ways to cook a turkey, and also to thaw a frozen turkey. The best way to cook a turkey is by roasting and baking the turkey in an oven. There are various ways to add flavors to the turkey. There are many ways to thaw a turkey. Whole turkeys and turkey breasts can be easily thawed, and they must be thawed before cooking. Thawing a turkey before cooking can lead to turkeys having bad taste and it will also not be cooked properly.

There are many ways to thaw a turkey, like a fridge thawing, sink thawing, and cold water thawing. According to various calculations done by predominant chefs all around the world, it takes about 24 hours, to thaw about 4 to 5 pounds of frozen turkey. Keeping the turkey wrapped in a baking sheet and placing it on a pan or roasting pan can really help. More time will be required if one wants to brine and air dries their turkey.

Thaw A Turkey

When thawing the turkey unplanned, they need to submerge the turkey in a pot full of cold water. Keep changing the water every half an hour. While some people think turkey can be thawed in 2 to 3 hours for every 5 pounds. Yet, the turkey will never be cooked well at this time. At time emergencies, one can roast every part of the turkey until they are 165 Fahrenheit.


Generally, people plan about one and a half pounds of turkey for every person and there is no perfect way to buy the right amount of turkey. For 10 people, a host can buy 20 pounds of turkey. The turkey must be used within four days of thawing, or else it will be spoiled. After thawing the turkey, it should be kept in the refrigerator, at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.

A turkey bought from the store can be stored in frozen condition for 4 days. The refrigerator thawing method and cold water method can be used to thaw the frozen turkey and the turkey must be frozen before the use-by date.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


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