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Defrosting Turkeys

If you are taking home a turkey this week from Chiracahua Pasture Raised Meats we can’t offer you advice on how to clear out space in your fridge or freezer to accommodate the large birds, but we wish you luck! And should you brine your turkey, dry brine? Spatchcock or deep fry? We can’t give you definitive answers to those questions either, however we do have some guidelines on how to safely thaw your turkey!

When you get your turkey home you’ll want to store it in the freezer, then figure out how far in advance to start thawing it using this formula:

For refrigerator thawing, allow approximately 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at 40 °F or below. Place the turkey in a container to prevent the juices from dripping on other foods. It would take 4 days to thaw a 16- pound turkey in the refrigerator. A turkey thawed this way can remain in the refrigerator for an additional couple days or so before cooking.

If you can’t find that much space in the refrigerator or you totally spaced that fact that your needed to defrost the bird for several days you can use the cold water thawing formula: Allow about 30 minutes per pound. First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product. Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes or so until the turkey is thawed. It would take 8 hours to thaw a 16-pound turkey. If you defrost this way you will need to ensure that you cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.