Defrost a Turkey Shortly—With out Getting Everybody Sick

This 12 months, I took on the huge accountability of internet hosting Friendsgiving. However between juggling work and prepping for friends, I made the largest rookie mistake—I forgot to thaw the chook. So, I did what numerous 20-somethings would possibly do on this scenario: I opened TikTok and looked for recommendation on learn how to defrost a turkey rapidly.

The clips, although, appeared just a little…suspect, particularly from a meals security perspective. That made me surprise: What’s the quickest method to thaw a turkey that gained’t get all of your friends sick? Right here’s what you need to know if you end up in the same time crunch.

Some defrosting strategies could be fast, however they’re dangerous.

Should you thaw your meat incorrectly, you enhance your probabilities of getting sick from gnarly foodborne sicknesses, because of micro organism like salmonella or Campylobacter in your turkey, Meredith Carothers, MPH, a shopper training specialist at america Division of Agriculture (USDA), tells SELF. These bugs, which go dormant when frozen, begin to multiply because the temperature rises. “The hotter your frozen turkey will get, the extra quickly micro organism will develop,” Carothers says.

That’s why it’s not a good suggestion to thaw your chook in a bath or sink full of heat water, she explains. (The identical goes for simply letting it hang around in your counter.) Positive, it’ll defrost, however you additionally might spoil the turkey. “Ultimately, [these methods will] place your poultry in unsafe temperatures the place micro organism can multiply,” Carothers says. That’s what’s often called the “hazard zone”—between 40 °F and 140 °F.

Even in the event you cook dinner the turkey totally to 165 °F, Carothers says you may nonetheless get sick in the event you observe these defrosting strategies. Some germs can produce heat-resistant toxins, so the roasting course of gained’t essentially kill them.

Is there a method to defrost a turkey rapidly and safely?

In a really perfect world, you’d give your self sufficient time to prep your chook the USDA-sanctioned method: by defrosting your turkey within the fridge for someday per 4 to 5 kilos of meat. However typically life will get hectic and also you’re caught with rock-solid poultry and friends arriving in lower than 24 hours. Nonetheless, you’re not essentially screwed in the event you forgot to thaw your turkey main as much as your dinner. Listed here are some fast defrosting suggestions that Carothers recommends in the event you’re in a pinch:

Submerge your turkey in chilly water and alter it each half-hour.

This feature prevents micro organism from multiplying because you by no means let it enter that hazard zone, Carothers says. Hold the meat in its unique packaging and put it in a big basin full of cool water, she explains. Use a thermometer to verify it stays beneath 40 °F. Simply don’t count on this to be tremendous fast: It’ll take about half-hour per pound, so if in case you have a 12-pound chook, you’ll must spare six hours for thawing, in keeping with the USDA. Nonetheless, this methodology is probably going going to be your finest wager, because you’ll be capable to brine, season, and roast your turkey with out compromising taste or texture.

Microwave your turkey.

This one comes with some caveats. For one, your chook would possibly simply be too huge to suit into your microwave. And even when it could possibly squeeze in, you’ll must take away the plastic packaging beforehand, which will get tough while you’re coping with a frozen product, Ted McCall, EdD, a meals security professor at Johnson and Wales College in Windfall, Rhode Island, tells SELF.