CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — If you are making a Thanksgiving feast for the holiday, you don’t want to wait to defrost that turkey. According to experts, you want 24 hours to defrost for every four to five pounds of turkey meat.
Make sure not to thaw your turkey on the kitchen counter, where it could be contaminated with bacteria. If you thaw it in the fridge, make sure it’s wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and/or it’s on a tray to prevent dripping.
Larry Katz, owner of Arnold’s Meats in Western Massachusetts, stressed the importance of defrosting a turkey ahead of Thanksgiving day. “If you buy a frozen turkey, if it’s 18 pounds or down, let it thaw out for about three days,” Katz said. “Don’t forget to take the gizzards out of the turkey. And just season it, stuff it, and cook it away.”
You can also thaw the turkey out in cold water. Make sure the turkey is in a plastic bag that will not leak and that it is submerged in the water. Don’t forget to change the water often to avoid bacteria contamination. And once that turkey is thawed completely out, cook it right away.