Turkey has become a meat that most of us associate with special occasions, the occasion varying as to which country we find ourselves in. It has therefore become practise to buy the turkey frozen in advance to ensure that we are able to enjoy our chosen meal on the special day and dont miss out during the increased demand period. It is absolutely vital, however, when making our carefully laid plans for the big day, we include the taking the turkey out of the freezer as top of the list and the thing required to be done furthest in advance, other than actually purchasing it in the first instance.
How long a turkey takes to defrost will depend very much upon where and at what temperature we intend defrosting it. The ideal place to do same is in the refrigerator but this will obviously require the longest period of time. To defrost a turkey by this method will require four to five hours per pound.
It is also imperative that we place the turkey at the very bottom of the refrigerator. This avoids any drips from it as it defrosts falling upon and subsequently contaminating any other food stored there. Place it on a tray with upturned edges or something similar to catch the thawing liquids and be sure to empty this tray fairly regularly.
The second place we can thaw a turkey is in an unheated room or outhouse. To defrost a turkey in this way we are looking at allowing a minimum of two up to three hours per pound. We have to ensure in this instance also that we have the bird covered to avoid such as insects or any other form of bacteria descending upon it and contaminating it.
If defrosting our turkey at normal room temperature, we have to allow about an hour and a half to two hours per pound and remember again to cover it. We should also ensure that it is located well away from where any pets or young children are likely to attempt to get at it and knock it over.
Many pre-packaged frozen turkeys will of course come with defrosting times and instructions on their packaging.
By following these guidelines above, however, and allowing the higher end of the scale for defrosting times, we should ensure that our turkey is ready to be stuffed and cooked on the occasion of the big day. Remember, it is imperative that the turkey be completely thawed prior to cooking and that if we forget to begin this process in time, it is better to postpone our celebrations than to contaminate everyone with food poisoning.