How to Tell If a Frozen Turkey is Thawed Completely

Cooking a turkey that hasn't completely thawed leaves you at a risk for food poisoning. Find out how long you need to completely thaw your turkey to enjoy a healthy, bacteria-free turkey dinner.


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You Will Need

  • Turkey's weight
  • Thawing location


  1. Step 1

    Remove the packaging

    Remove the turkey from the packaging, put it on a large dish, remove the giblets and neck, and cover it.

  2. Step 2

    Thaw in the refrigerator

    Put the turkey in your refrigerator where it won't touch other foods. In a refrigerator at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, allow 10 to 12 hours per 2 pounds of turkey.

  3. Put the turkey on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to avoid liquid dripping onto other food items.

  4. Step 3

    Thaw the turkey in a garage

    Thaw the turkey in a garage or other cool room if you don't have room in the fridge. In an area that is less than 64 degrees, allow three to four hours per 2 pounds of turkey.

  5. Step 4

    Thaw at room temperature

    Allow an hour for each pound of turkey if you thaw your turkey at room temperature, or about 68 degrees.

  6. Step 5

    Check to see if it's thawed

    Make sure there aren't any ice crystals in the bird's cavity before cooking. Poke the thicker parts of the turkey with a fork to make sure it feels soft and flexible. If the turkey is still hard, it may need more time.

  7. Step 6

    Be sure your turkey is thawed

    Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you cook it. If the bird is still partially frozen, the recommended cooking time won't be enough to cook it thoroughly and you risk bacteria that can cause food-borne illness to survive the cooking process.

  8. Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.