To thaw a frozen turkey at home isn’t quite as simple as one might think. There are many steps involved in the entire process and it’s important that you follow them all to ensure success. To begin the process, make sure your frozen turkey is completely thawed through the use of an instant-reading probe thermometer. The probe thermometer should be set at the right temperature to gauge the internal temperature of the turkey at various points throughout the day.
For maximum results, the temperature should be between 32 F and 35 F. Once this has been done, place the turkey in a single layer in a large plastic Ziploc bag. This will allow the bag to fully thaw overnight. You’ll know that it’s frozen when it’s thick and frozen or when it can be pulled from the freezer and is extremely cold.
Soaking Turkey Overnight in Water
If your instant turkey thaw recipe calls for a turkey to be cooked an hour or more in the microwave, be sure to soak the bird overnight in water to help loosen any dried-out skin. Cook the turkey using the recipe’s instructions but make sure it’s done through the pan by flipping and cooking uncovered on each side. When it’s done, thanksgiving turkey thawing instructions for the microwave apply to the bird.
Thawing Turkey Ahead of Proper Time
In case you plan ahead, it’s best to thaw the turkey several days in advance to give the slices enough time to reach the desired temperature. If you’re not planning on roasting, but plan on frying, it’s also important to thaw it. In this case, ten to twelve hours ahead of time is best.
Bringing Turkey to Room Temperature Before Cooking
For the meat to be properly cooked, it must be brought to room temperature before beginning. For this reason, the morning after cooking, cover the turkey and refrigerate it. This will prevent the cavity from filling up with cold water that could cause the internal meats to become mushy or greasy. For the first few times, you cook a turkey this way, you can follow the instructions for cooking in a slow cooker, add the liquid such as oil or water, covered, set on low for 6 hours. For the next several times, just turn the cooker off and remove the bird from the fridge. This will prolong the cooking process and the outcome will be better tasting and healthier.
Some people find that they need to thaw a frozen turkey more than once. In this case, it’s ok to put the bird back in the fridge for a bit longer each time. After the bird has been defrosted, it’s good to continue cooking it through the coldest part of the day. That way, the turkey will reach the optimum temperature for cooking in less time. This is especially helpful if you are going to be roasting the turkey. By roasting, the juices inside the meat will be released, giving a better result when cutting into the turkey.
Enjoy Your Turkey!
If you’re going to be using your oven during the holidays, you can defrost it for up to 4 days. During the night, leave the crockpot on low. When morning comes, check to see that the bird is still at the correct temperature. At this point, you can begin enjoying your roasted turkey and all of its delicious juices.