How to Quickly Defrost a Turkey

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The quickest way to defrost a turkey is in the sink submerged in cool water, which will still take about eight to 10 hours to thaw. Get a turkey ready for baking with help from a professional chef in this free video on cooking techniques.

Part of the Video Series: Cooking & Kitchen Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Michelle Karam with Dishes by Michelle in Los Angeles, California, and I'm here today to teach you how to quickly defrost a turkey. So, what do we have but a frozen turkey. So you come home and you've got this ginormous frozen turkey and you don't know how to quickly get it defrosted in time for your holiday dinner. Well, I'm going to teach you a few tricks today on what you could do to get this frozen bird unfrozen real quick. So the best way to probably defrost a turkey would be in the refrigerator. The math of it goes 24 hours for every five pounds. So if you think about it it would be a ten pound bird would take 48 hours, a 20 pound birth would take 96 hours. Well who has got four days to let a 20 pound bird defrost in the refrigerator. So here's the quick way to do it. You might think the microwave. Well, let's think about that. Can you fit a 20 pound bird in the microwave? I can't in mine, probably not in yours either. So, the best way to do it would be in your sink. It's a fast method, faster method I should say than the refrigerator. It's still no quick fix and you're still going to have to take about eight to ten hours to thaw your bird but you will get there in about half the time you would using your refrigerator. So, the first thing we're going to do is we're going to put our bird, we're not going to take it out of the plastic wrapper at all because you want to protect the bird. We're going to go ahead and we're going to put it in the sink and make sure that your stopper is at the bottom of your sink so that we keep all that water in there. So, the next thing you want to do is you want to go ahead and turn on your water. You're not going to put it on super cold. You're not going to put it on super hot. You're going to keep it right down the line in the middle which is cold to lukewarm water. So let's go ahead and fill up this sink and cover our turkey with water. So that's perfect, there you go. It's not ice cold freezing but it's not lukewarm either. It's just kind of in the middle. Okay so now that we have our turkey completely immersed in water, here's where the fun part of defrosting a turkey comes in. Get out your good old timer, set it to 30 minutes and then in 30 minutes when this timer goes off, you're going to come back, you're going to drain out all this water that you just put in there and you're going to do the same thing over again. So, like I said, I've got a 14 pound turkey here. It's probably going to take me about seven to seven and a half hours to get this turkey properly defrosted in the sink. I'm Michelle Karam with Dishes by Michelle in Los Angeles. Thank you so much for watching my video on how to quickly defrost a turkey.

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