Raw Turkey

There are two good ways to thaw your turkey: (1) in the refrigerator, which takes several days, depending on the size of the turkeyand (2)submerged in cold water. In both cases, leave the turkey in its original wrapper. When thawing in the refrigerator, place the turkey on a large tray or pan to catch the leaking juices. Once thawed, the turkey can safely last in the refrigerator another two days before cooking.

Thawing in cold water is quicker, but requires more of your attention. Make sure the wrapping is secure. If you think it is not water-tight, wrap over the existing wrapper with additional plastic until it is. Submerge your wrapped turkey in a big bowl (or sink) of very cold tap water. (Avoid the temptation of using warmer water: the inside will still be frozen and the outside will become breeding ground for bacteria). Change the water every 30 minutes, again using very cold tap water and submerging the turkey.

It is not safe to thaw the turkey in the garage, where the temperature can fluctuate, no matter what the weather. See Turkey 101 and Top Turkey Questions Answered for more turkey tips for the holidays.