How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

Safely thawing your frozen turkey is one of the most important steps in your meal prep. Watch Christopher demonstrate our two recommended thawing methods:

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Regardless of which turkey thawing method you choose, never thaw a turkey at room temperature. If you’re running low on time, try a Fresh Whole Turkey—they’re just as delicious and require little prep.

Thawing

Refrigerator Thawing

  1. Thaw turkey breast side up, in an unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below).
  2. Allow at least one day of thawing for every 4 lbs of turkey.
  3. Keep turkey in original wrapper and place on tray.
  4. Use turkey within four days after thawing.

 

Cold Water Thawing

  1. Thaw turkey breast side down, in an unopened wrapper, with enough cold water to cover your turkey completely.
  2. Change water every 30 minutes and if turkey cannot be completely covered, rotate every 30 minutes to keep the turkey chilled.
  3. You can expect 30 minutes of thawing per pound of turkey.

Turkey Tips

Did You Know?

A thawed turkey may be kept in the refrigerator (40 degrees F or below) up to 4 days before cooking.

Frozen Whole Turkeys and Frozen Whole Turkey Breasts need to be thawed before cooking.

Thaw Fully Cooked Baked and Smoked Turkeys via the refrigerator method.

Refrigerator thawing is preferred and the least labor-intensive but requires more time.

Cold water thawing takes less time but requires more attention.

Suggested Products

We believe people should feel good about what they eat. That's why all Butterball® products are made with quality turkey for everyone and for any occasion.

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