The best and worst ways to safely thaw a Thanksgiving turkey

If your turkey is still frozen, you don't have a ton of time to get that bird thawed, but it can be done

November 21, 2018
Thawed turkey

© Alexander Raths |


I'm posting this on the morning of the day before Thanksgiving. If you're planning on cooking a turkey and it's not thawed yet, you have to GET IT IN GEAR!!!!!! But thawing a big frozen bird is tricky business. Ideally, you have a few days to get this done, but now you don't, so you have to get resourceful. I found a good guide to how to get this done: These Are The Worst Possible Ways to Thaw a Turkey -- lots of ways not to do it, and a couple of ways that should work.

According to this seemingly well-researched article, you don't want to thaw your turkey in hot water, in a microwave, on your porch, or with a hairdryer. Don't even think about it. At this point, you have two options, depending on the size of your bird: The refrigerator method (preferred,) or the cold-water method (not preferred, but still doable.)

If time is running out and you're not having a huge gathering, you could always save the frozen turkey for, say, Christmas, and just buy a few breasts and legs and call it good. But that might not be quite as dramatic when you bring it to the table.

Good luck, and whatever you do, don't serve romaine lettuce.