I hate to break it to you guys, but there really isn’t a really fast way to thaw a turkey. Turkey is poultry which means that it can quickly enter the food temperature danger zone. Unfortunately, there are those times that we thought we put that turkey in the fridge far enough in advance but when we take it out to roast – it’s still frozen in the center.
So what do you do when there are 16 people heading over for a roasted Thanksgiving turkey and it’s still frozen at 8am? Luckily, there are a few things you could do to help it finish thawing in an hour or two, without poisoning your guests.
Running Water: This is a trick I learned in culinary school. What you want to do is make sure the turkey is wrapped tight and submerge it in a pot or container large enough for it to fit in. Then you want to place it under cold running water. The water doesn’t have to be pouring out of the spigot but you want it continually replacing the water that is in the container. It helps with circulation and keeps the water at the appropriate temperature. Do not, under any circumstances, think that turning the water to a hot temperature is a good idea. What you will do is turn half of the bird into a breeding ground for bacteria. I doubt you want to be known as the host that gives everyone food poisoning.
Quick Tip: if you don’t have space in the sink for the turkey, place it in the bath tub under cold running water. You could also put it in a cooler and place it outside under cold running water.
Fabricate the Turkey: I know, I know – this isn’t going to result in a beautiful roasted turkey for the dinner table, but it will in fact, at least give you a turkey to eat at the dinner table. There are two different ways to fabricate your turkey and both are dependent on how frozen the darn thing still is.
- You can cut it in half, wrap and place in cold running water.
- You can cut it in quarters, wrap and place in cold running water.
- You can cut in quarters and thaw in the microwave.
These tips above work like a champ – but neither of them beat putting that turkey in the fridge 5-7 days before Turkey day.