Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thanksgiving Turkey on the Counter to Defrost | Lifehacker

For these with a frozen hen to prepare dinner for Thanksgiving dinner, planning begins a number of days forward of the vacation. Your hen clearly wants sufficient time to thaw, and in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are just a few alternative ways to soundly defrost a turkey…however leaving it on the counter at room temperature is not one in every of them.

Why you shouldn’t go away a turkey out on the counter to defrost

To safely defrost a frozen turkey—or every other frozen meat or poultry, for that matter—you will wish to stop it from reaching temperatures between 40 levels and 140 levels Fahrenheit. That’s the vary that foodborne micro organism multiply quickly. The USDA calls it because the “Danger Zone,” and while you go away a frozen turkey out on a counter at room temperature for greater than two hours, the temperature of the outer layer falls inside that Danger Zone even when the middle stays frozen.

In addition to not leaving your turkey out on the counter, the USDA urges customers to not defrost a frozen turkey:

How to soundly defrost a turkey

There are two USDA-approved strategies for defrosting a turkey: Placing it in a fridge, or a cold-water tub. Either manner, some math is concerned. To thaw a frozen turkey in a fridge, plan on leaving it in for roughly 24 hours for each 4 to 5 kilos of poultry. This means larger birds might want to spend a number of days in there. Once it has thawed, you possibly can safely preserve the turkey within the fridge for one more day or two earlier than cooking it. 

Defrosting a turkey in a cold-water tub is considerably sooner, taking round half-hour per pound of poultry. Start by submerging the whole turkey in its unique packaging. To keep away from cross-contamination, it is best to change the bathwater each half-hour till the turkey is thawed. It’s additionally vital to concentrate to your timing while you’re defrosting a turkey in a cold-water tub. This methodology doesn’t include the identical flexibility because the fridge, and it is best to prepare dinner your turkey instantly after it is thawed.