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Turkey Thawing

Do you need to thaw your turkey? We can help.

We recommend refrigerator thawing. To be prepared, a helpful tip is to do your math now so you can mark your calendar when to get your turkey out of the freezer. You will need to allow 24 hours of thawing time for every 5 pounds of turkey. All you need to do is keep the turkey in it's original wrapping and put a pan or cookie sheet under it to catch any moisture.

For refrigerator thawing, here is a cheat sheet to make it easy:

  • 20-24 pounds will need 4-5 days (get it out on the Friday or Saturday before Thanksgiving)

  • 16-20 pounds will need 3-4 days (get it out on the Saturday or Sunday before Thanksgiving)

  • 12-16 pounds will need 2-3 days (get it out on the Monday before Thanksgiving)

If you forgot to get your turkey out to put in the refrigerator (or if you don't have the refrigerator room), there is always Plan B. You can use Cold-water thawing. You can immerse your packaged turkey in ice-cold water (such as a sanitary sink or a picnic cooler) and change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold. You will want to allow 30 minutes of cold-water thawing for every pound of turkey. Be sure to wash your sink and all surfaces when finished thawing.

For cold-water thawing, check this list to figure out which
thawing time is right for you and your turkey:

  • 20-24 pounds need 10-12 hours to thaw

  • 16-20 pounds need 8-10 hours to thaw

  • 12-16 pounds need 6-8 hours to thaw

  •   8-12 pounds need 4-6 hours to thaw

After the turkey is thawed, you will need to pull out the giblets. As for the next step, there is some disagreement. Some recommend rinsing the turkey inside and out before roasting. Other sources say, "absolutely not, do not rinse your poultry." You will need to make your own wise decision regarding rinsing the bird.

Whatever you do, don't forget to wash your hands and anything in the kitchen that has touched the raw turkey.

Use a meat thermometer to figure out when your turkey is done -- when the thermometer registers 160-165 F in the thickest part of the turkey, it's ready to eat.

Here are some rules of thumb for turkey roasting time.

Estimated Cooking Times For Turkey

Based on an oven temperature of 325F

12 to 14 lbs....2-1/4 to 3 hours
15 to 17 lbs....3 to 3-1/2 hours
18 to 20 lbs....3-1/2 to 4 hours
21 to 22 lbs....4 to 4-1/2 hours
       23 to 24 lbs....4-1/2 to 4-3/4 hours

Remove the bird from the oven, transfer (carefully!) to a warm platter,
tent loosely with foil, and let rest for about 30 minutes.

Here is a link to a great video from Butterball. (Ahem, ahem!)
You gotta give them this. They know turkeys.


Thank you for buying a Bechard Family Farm turkey.


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