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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Defrost Turkey Overnight

Defrosting a turkey overnight can be achieved provided you follow these explicit directions and defrost with cold water.  There are two methods that you can use to defrost a turkey in cold water. Of course I learned   these methods of quick defrosting the hard way and this is why I can share what I learned with all of you.

Can't roast a frozen turkey

Picture this, Thanksgiving many years ago I wanted to prepare dinner for my in-laws.  I recall the situation as if it was yesterday, I had to work and prepare the house for my in-laws and I was stressed out. Needless to say at 5:00 pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I realized that the turkey was frozen.  Normally I defrost the turkey in my refrigerator for 24 hours for every 4-5 lbs and that generally takes me 4 to 5 days, but somehow I missed that step and my turkey was frozen solid.

At that point I felt helpless and I sat down and cried.  My husband heard me sobbing and came into the kitchen, when he arrived I had mascara down to my chin and the frozen turkey was on the counter.  He asked me what I was crying about and all I could do was point to the bird.    He shook his head and replied no problem.  So if you forgot to take your turkey out to defrost…and it is frozen solid on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving then remember these word…No Problem. 

Note:  There are two ways to defrost your turkey quickly; running cold water and the cold water submerge.

Running Cold Water

Remove all food from the counter tops.  Clean your kitchen sink with antibacterial cleaner, then set a cooling rack inside the sink.  The cooling rack or another grated rack will work; you will use this to prop up the turkey so it is not sitting flat in the sink, and the rack will allow the water to drain.  Set the turkey in the air-tight wrapper on top of the rack in the sink.

Turn the cold water on and let the water spill over the turkey in a steady stream.  Leave the cold water run over the turkey over night.  The cold water will defrost the turkey; this is a safe method with no bacteria growth. In the morning the turkey will be defrosted.

Note:  Allow the water to run down the drain do not allow the turkey to sit in standing water unless you intend on doing a cold water submerge.

Cold Water Thawing

In order to defrost your turkey quickly you would need to sanitize your sink with antibacterial or bleach.  Next check the wrapper to make sure that it is air tight.  You do not water to absorb into the turkey and also an air tight wrapper will prevent contamination from airborne bacteria. Fill your sink with cold tap water and then submerge the turkey into the cold water.

Keep the turkey in the water for 30 minutes and then drain the water and refill the sink with cold water again.  Repeat the step for submerging turkey in the sink of cold water.  Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed.  

Note: When the turkey is thawed you must cook it immediately.  For a 16 pound turkey it took 8 hours to thaw and we drained and changed the cold water 16 times.
For more information of defrosting turkey read USDA Food Safety