A thawed bird is fine in the fridge for up to four days before cooking so don't be afraid to start thawing turkey too early. Do not thaw a frozen turkey at room temperature.
In the fridge allow 5 hours per pound or 10 hours per kilogram. Thus a 15 pound or 7.5 kilogram turkey needs 75 hours, or over 3 days to thaw. To make the math easier and be sure your bird is fully thawed allow 1 day of refrigerator thawing for every 4 pounds or 2 kilograms of turkey.
The faster way of thawing a frozen turkey is to use cold water. Fill your sink or a large bucket with cold water and try to keep the turkey fully submerged. Change water every half hour so it doesn‘t get to warm and allow bacteria to grow. Allow about 1hour per pound. Do not leave your turkey in water overnight, the water will get too warm and bacteria can grow.
Do not thaw a whole turkey in the microwave. First of all I’m not even sure a large turkey would fit, but more importantly your turkey won't thaw evenly. The outside parts like the wings and breast will start to cook while the center is still icy and the microwave will dry out the meat and make it tough.
Need a great recipe to use with that freshly thawed turkey?
More turkey resources.
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