Life...Fun and Kentucky Real Estate


How Long Should I thaw Out This Turkey?

 No...I'm not talking about real estate!frozen turkey

I'm in charge of our Kentucky Christmas dinner at my house this year. So I'm looking at this frozen turkey and trying to wish it to be thawed.

This will be the first time I have baked one. I feel better that I have watched Christina Ferrare on Oprah bake chickens and a turkey. I have baked a few to test the recipe. It was awesome! I have her recipes and a video if I get stuck. 

My Mom called on Sunday to see if I had put it in the refrigerator. She's always early for everything. She already has pecan tarts and cranberry salad made. I let her know I was in charge of this bird and it would start thawing soon! 

I read on the Butterball helpline to allow one day for every 4 pounds. So I though I would start on Monday. Well Monday night it was still quite frozen! So I sat it out for an hour or so. still has a ways to go. I keep checking on it. Poking it with my finger as a thawing indicator.

Hopefully, Christmas morning it will be ready to bake. This is quite the experience!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Comment balloon 28 commentsLizette Fitzpatrick • December 23 2008 06:41PM


Make sure not to drop it on your foot or on a pet. I saw a myth busters on that and it will crack your foot in half and really hurt the pet.

Posted by Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary, First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes (LemonTree Realty) almost 10 years ago

Lizette - Good advice I've learned over the the turkey (in its wrapping) in the sink and run cold water over it.  It will thaw much quicker.  You can also fill the sink with water and keep the turkey submerged under water (using a heavy plate to weigh it down).  The running water is always quicker though.  Just run it slow, but make sure where it hits the turkey it spreads out as much as possible over the entire turkey.  I wrote a post about turkey for Thanksgiving, if you want the juicest turkey you've ever had, try it out.  The brining process will also help thaw out those last few bits of turkey (and the cold turkey helps keep the turkey and brine cold enough to avoid any possible bacteria).  Good luck.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) almost 10 years ago

I saw that Mythbusters also the poor dog thing didn't have a chance, now back to the turkey Butterbal has a help line 1800Butterball they can answer any questions.

Posted by Quad Cities My RealTeam (Mel Foster Co.) (Keith Allen Allborty ) almost 10 years ago

Hi Lynette~  Is this really the first time you have ever cooked a turkey? I would suggest you use a oven roasting bag to cook it and it will come out perfect!  Vickie

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) almost 10 years ago

Yeah...I've never cooked one husband is cooking prime rib for Christmas dinner with the family :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 10 years ago

I use the oven roasting bag too and it makes it so juicy! don't pack it with the stuffing-cook that outside the bird. It should be thawed out by tomorrow morning. The last couple days really make a difference.

Posted by Sandy McAlpine, Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC (RE/MAX EXECUTIVE) almost 10 years ago


Moma knows best, but Matt gives good advice. Acutally frozen turkey takes many days to properly thaw in the frig, especially if you have a large one and a really good frig! This is a good reason to buy a fresh turkey! Your meat man should be able to advise you on the time, based upon the size of the bird.

Please don't leave it out at room temperature to thaw! This invites problems. Matt's thing about   letting it thaw under cold water is great! I have done this before, but I have also put the turkey on top of the drain and flooded the kitchen! Put the turkey in a colander over the drain! If you put it in a pot of cold water just watch it. Keep the water cold!

You still have time for Christmas Day. I hope you plan a late meal!

Best Wishes for a Great Bird!

Merry Christmas,


Posted by Barbara Delaney (Park Place REALTORS, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Heather - I haven't seen the Mythbusters version. Sounds like a bad idea.

Matt - I might sit it in the sink if it's not thawed by that morning. Youe receipe sounds yummy!

Mel - I've already been over there to scope it out!

Vickie - I believe it is my first time. I practiced with the chickens first and they turned out great.

Sally - Prime rib in Hawaii sounds better than this.

Sandy - I hope it is thawed by tomorrow so I won't worry.

Barbara - I'm hoping for a good outcome. I'll take a pic when it's done! Maybe should frame it!

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 10 years ago

Get a NESCO cooker and wash, salt, pepper, butter under skin and stick it in with some broth, perfectly cooked.  We will be doing just that too, and ours is thawed.  It does take a while, you might have to put it in cold water tonight in sink and it'll thaw.  You'll be fine.

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 10 years ago


Barbara and Matt have given great advice - I use the water as well.  One great big piece of advice......find a good meat thermometer and do not serve that turkey - no matter how hungry anyone is until the temperature on the thermometers reads for poultry.   (Those things that they say will pop up out of the turkey usually pop up before or after the turkey is done).

After I stuff my turkey, I rub my turkey down with butter and cover with spices including paprika and place it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees (not covered with tinfoil) before I cook it at 325 degrees covered in tin foil (as directed by most recipes) until the thermometer reads 180 degrees.  This sears the turkey and keeps the turkey meat very moist (and I don't worry about the butter since we dont' eat the skin).  I keep chicken stock on hand to be able to use to baste the turkey every 1/2 hour because no juice comes out of a turkey that has been seared properly. 

Don't forget to let the turkey stand for at least 20 minutes before you start cutting it....and don't forget to put something in the pan that allows you to lift the turkey from the pan - they usually provide string that works for this with the turkey - if not -buy it at the grocery store.  Good luck and may God bless.....first turkeys are like first babies.......

(Have a ham on hand just in case....don't day when I am bold I will write the story of the first time I cooked a turkey.....when I was pregnant over 21 years ago.)



Posted by Julie Chapman, New Homes Sales Lakeland Florida (DR Horton ) almost 10 years ago

Lizette - No problem.  Even if you don't go for the actual method of cooking I strongly suggest you go with the brining process.  Its a bit of work, but you will be amazed at the difference.  I spent years eating dry turkey and thinking that was normal.  Not anymore.  Also the comments about a good thermometer (not that stupid pop up thing they put in them...its good for one thing...throwing in the trash) and letting it rest before carving are key.  I also suggest carved off the entire breats in one chunk, then slicing it.  It always looks perfect when you do it that way (sharp knife is a must).  Hope all these ideas are helping you.  Looks like you'll have to report back to a lot of people!

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) almost 10 years ago

I love making turkey dinners....I love everything about it, making it and eating it!  Enjoy, it will be fabulous!

Posted by Pat Tasker, Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI) (Shorewest Realtors) almost 10 years ago

Ok I called the Turkey hotline at Thanksgiving. See I always buy a fresh one the day before and put it in the frig, take it out that morning and no worries.

Not this year....I went cheap.

I bought a frozen one.

I put it in the frig on Monday, frozen.To thaw according to directions.

On Thursday morning of Thanksgiving, I got up, unwraped it and put it in cold water in the sink at about 6:30 AM.

By 10:30 it was STILL freaking frozen....................yikes...................

I called the turkey hotline.

H E L P !!

They ( she ) told me to run HOT water over it.

Now that defied, everything I have ever been told. But, being the turkey experts I did it.

Got the innerds out, and cooked.

Thanksgiving dinner was not at 2:00 which it traditionally is but 5:00.

Never again..............did you hear me say...


I will go back to fresh...................

That's my story and I'm stickin too it.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 10 years ago

Missy - I don't need the points either.  Haha.  I have never bought a fresh turkey...perhaps because I am cheap.  I guess if you're in a rush, hot water would do the trick, but of course you want to be sure that its not for a long time and that you cook the turkey fully to make sure you kill the nasties.  Of course, my mom thawed meat on the counter throughout my childhood and I didn't die.  I've eaten under cooked meats and I still thaw things on the counter (even in TX).  I'm a firm believer that we've become way too safe with germs which helps feed the germs mutations.  I never used sanitizer as a kid and touched lots of dirty things, but I'm still alive.  I don't use anti-bacterial anything for the most part (once in awhile if its the soap on sale).  Pork is my favorite subject as we were taught as kids that undercooked pork would be the death of us all, but the fact is so much of what our parent's worried about with prok has been eliminated from the pigs themselves, that they are actually relatively safe, even when undercooked.  I still don't eat a lot of rare pork, but its possible to do so these days.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) almost 10 years ago

Terrylynn - It's in the sink as I type. I started to get worried it might not be thawed in time.

Julie - Mom already dropped off the thermometer so I would prepare! Thanks for all your good tips!

Matt - I like the idea of carving off the breast chunks. I have an electric knife. I don't have anything to do the brinning process in. Maybe I'll do that next time. My tests with the chickens have turned out super juicy.

Pat - I agree! There's nothing better!

Missy - That's hysterical! Glad it turned out OK! I would have freaked! As soon as I read your story I went in there to unwrap that sucker. He was still frozen. Now in the sink for as long as it takes. At least I will have it thawed before Christmas Day!

Matt - I must be too cheap too! They were on sale for $1.69 @ lb.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 10 years ago


A watched pot never boils and a poked Turkey never thaws so take it and place it in cold water for aboutthree or four hours to help it along.  OH, leave it in the wrapper too.

I do hope that you were talking about the bird and not the market.

Merry Christmas ma'am!!

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) almost 10 years ago


Be so glad you Mom is going to be there,.......

Posted by Julie Chapman, New Homes Sales Lakeland Florida (DR Horton ) almost 10 years ago

If you drip the water from the tap over the turkey it creates a friction that helps to thaw the turkey! I saw that ont he Food Network. Good Luck and Happy Holidays!!

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) almost 10 years ago


I do most of the cooking for my kids, and I am more of an Off the Cuff type of guy.  so I am always defrosting something for dinner.  Fill the sink with water and drop it in... Water is great at transfering temperature and it will defrost quickly. 

Have a Happy!


Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) almost 10 years ago

Don- After Missy scared the begeebers out of me with her comment I started thawing that bird in water last night. Thought I'd freeze my fingers off. It's all patted dry and chillin in the fridge right now.

Julie - She's the boss! Last Thanksgiving she arrived with my brother an hour before the time I had told her to be here. I was a mess. No makeup. In a t-shirt. Barefoot in the kitchen. Only minutes before after I had all the kitchen in order and clean I realized that I had left the chicken out of the Chicken pot pie casserole I had prepared. Two big pans of it! Frantically I had to scrape off the cornbread mix that was on the top and press in the chicken pieces. All this mess as they walked in!

Caren - Good news to use for the next one! Thanks!

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 10 years ago

You are a brave woman.    I have never done a turkey either, and still won't this year.   Maybe later!

Have a wonderful Christmas Day,  and See you and Chanel soon to ring in 2009!

Posted by Connie King almost 10 years ago

Connie - I'm getting excited to be there! Chanel just got her Christmas present. Her own wheels!

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 10 years ago

Merry Christmas Lizzette.  The turkey should be thawed out by now.  If it isn't use the cold water method.  Put the turkey in a big pot and cover with cold water.  Make sure you check the neck and the cavity and pull the innards out.  Good Luck!

Posted by Donnette Walker-Lark (Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Donnette - I just have the turkey breast. All thwawed and I decided to bake it late this afternoon. Now done and sliced. It would be one thing finished for tomorrow. Good thing because I worked on that and the gravy for 5 hours. Now I only need to do the dressing!

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 10 years ago


I imagine you got that resolved by now. I want to wish you a great holiday season. I enjoy your blogs.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Steven - I sure did resolve the turkey problem. Baked him the night before.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 10 years ago

I think people overthink cooking a turkey, it really isn't difficult.  I tried something different that I had read.  I cooked my turkey upside down.  Supposed to keep the breast moist, and it worked.  Of course, it wouldn't have been pretty on a platter.  But the meat, removed from the bone and then put on the serving platter, was very moist and juicy!  Yum!

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) almost 10 years ago

Ya know, the bad thing about a Turkey Breast is that you have no innards or turkey legs.

I've found that the easiets way to get a well cooked turkey dinner is to marry a great cook.

At least, that's how I handled that mess.

All I have to do is carve and eat!

I hope your dinner came out okay with mommy?

Posted by Erby Crofutt, The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY (B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( almost 10 years ago

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