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A special occasion, such as a Thanksgiving meal or a small party, is quickly coming. As we all know, turkey is a must-have on any menu and is always a huge success at any event.

You’re probably budgeting 15 pounds of turkey for the occasion and aren’t sure how long it takes to defrost a 15 pound turkey in the refrigerator. Preparing even a portion of the dish ahead of time can save you time on the big day, including thawing that rock-hard frozen huge bird in the fridge.

A 15-pound turkey can take up to three days to defrost in a refrigerator set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees C).

In this essay, we will explain how we arrived at this computation and how to properly defrost the bird. So make sure you finish reading!

How Long To Thaw A 15 Pound Turkey In The Refrigerator

Thawing a frozen bird in the refrigerator takes a long time; depending on the size, it might take several days. Some may take up to four days.

So here’s how it works:

  • It takes around 24 hours to cook 5 pounds of turkey. As a result, a 15-pound turkey may be kept in a refrigerator set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for up to three days (5 degrees C).
  • With cold water, though, it only takes 30 minutes per pound. Nonetheless, the water must be refreshed every 30 minutes.
  • Nevertheless, thawing at room temperature is not recommended since it is unsafe.
  • The bird is more likely to be harmed by the development of harmful germs that might cause food poisoning.
  • The refrigerator is the ONLY safe place to thaw a frozen turkey.
  • Consider it. While defrosting takes a long time, you are not performing any effort.

Also, you may just let it defrost while completing other household duties.

I’m going to show you three strategies for safely thawing not only a 15-pound turkey in the refrigerator, but any bird that won’t possibly bring a ton of illness-causing germs to your joyful table.

How To Thaw A 15 Pound Turkey In The Refrigerator

Slow, medium, and quick are the three safe approaches.

We’re presenting these approaches in ascending order so you can choose the one that works best for you, whether you’re a last-minute or a plan-ahead chef.

1. The Slow Method

This advice is just for defrosting in the fridge!

Keep the turkey in its original covering to make this procedure work.

It normally comes in a wrap, whether you purchase it from an online retailer, the grocery store, or anyplace else.

Just keep it in that wrap in the fridge to thaw.

To prevent contamination, place it on a baking pan with the breast side up so it does not come into touch with other items or the fridge’s surface.

Let it to rest for the appropriate time or until thoroughly thawed before cooking.

2. The Medium Method

As compared to the previous way, this method allows you to defrost it more faster.

So instead of putting it in the fridge and patiently waiting for Christ to return, you’ll be thawing it in cold water.

A 15-pound turkey should be ready in 7 to 8 hours.

First and foremost, as with the prior procedure, you must save its original wrapper. And then put it all in a bigger, leak-proof plastic bag.

Before closing the bag, try to press out any excess air.

Then, breast-side down, put the sealed plastic bag in a bucket (full of cold water) big enough to confine the bird.

This allowed the turkey to completely soak and defrost.

This may also be done in your kitchen sink.

Then you’re supposed to cover it with a plate or whatever. Next, on top of it, add a heavy item to push on the rising bird, keeping it submerged.

Every 30 minutes, change the water. Furthermore, begin cooking the turkey as soon as it has defrosted.

3. The Fastest Method

Consider defrosting using fire.

Well, not the type of fire, but microwave oven heat.

Read the oven’s user manual for more directions on thawing a frozen turkey to verify you’re doing the proper thing.

The time and power parameters will vary from model to model. Nevertheless, it might take up to an hour to defrost.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Remove the naked bird from its packing. Take off any metal clips or tags.
  • But, you must still cook the breast-side-up in the microwave-safe pan to collect any drips.
  • To prevent burning, keep an eye on the turkey from time to time.
  • Following that, wash the interior of the oven to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Furthermore, don’t let it stay after thawing; prepare it right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can You Keep A Thawed Raw Turkey In The Refrigerator?

Even if it had entirely thawed, the bird still had a day or two of safe leisure in your fridge. It may also be refrozen if required.

Is It Safe To Eat A Turkey Frozen For A Year?

It is, indeed. A turkey that has been frozen for a year may be eaten. Foods stored consistently frozen at 0F or below are SAFE to consume, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Can You Leave A Turkey Out To Thaw Overnight?

Certainly not!

I’m not surprised you inquired, since many people like defrosting frozen chicken on the counter.

BUT DON’T DO THAT WITH A FULL TURKEY. Bacteria will have an impact on it.

Even with the chicken, it is not recommended to defrost it overnight.

Why Change The Water When Thawing A Turkey?

To prevent the development of microorganisms. This also applies to the second technique. Although it is quick, it needs a lot of preparation since the water must be changed every 30 minutes.

Conclusion: Can You Thaw A 15 Pound Turkey In The Refrigerator?

Food safety should be your main responsibility after defrosting the rock-frozen chicken. Loved ones should not conclude the day with food sickness, but with leftovers.

If you want any advise, we recommend thawing in the refrigerator. Not to say that other techniques aren’t safe, but thawing it in the fridge is by far the safest. In addition, I’ve observed several home chefs combine methods one and two.

Indeed, that is conceivable. Instead of waiting three days, you may defrost it in the fridge for the first two days then finish it in the sink EARLY.

Related Articles:

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  • How Long Does Broccoli Last in the Refrigerator?
  • Is it possible to ripen bananas in the refrigerator?
  • How to Bake Corn on the Cob Without Using Foil


When should I put a 15 lb turkey in the fridge to thaw?

Hence, if the turkey weights 4 to 12 pounds, allow one to three days for it to thaw in the refrigerator. If it weighs 12 to 16 pounds, store it in the refrigerator three to four days before the holiday.

Can you keep a thawed turkey in the refrigerator for 4 days?

A thawed turkey may be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. A turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen if required.

Can you thaw a turkey too early?

Do you want to err on the side of melting sooner rather than later? That’s a brilliant concept, and it’s completely risk-free. According to the USDA, after your turkey has fully defrosted in the refrigerator, it may be securely stored there for two additional days (without being unsafe to ingest).

What happens if turkey isn’t completely thawed?

Cooking a frozen or partly frozen turkey is totally fine; just allow for little additional cooking time. Expect a 50% increase in cooking time for a totally frozen turkey and a 25% increase for a partly frozen turkey.

How do you know when turkey is defrosted?

Test the breast and thighs with a probe thermometer; they should be at least 32°F to 40°F, or approximately the same temperature as your refrigerator. After placing your probe thermometer into the raw turkey, be sure to clean it!

Can I keep an uncooked turkey in the fridge for a week?

Information. About four to five pounds of frozen whole turkey takes around 24 hours to defrost in the refrigerator. After thawing the turkey, store it in the refrigerator for one to two days before cooking. Go to Turkey Basics: Safe Thawing for additional information on thawing a turkey.

How soon after defrosting turkey should it be cooked?

Cook the turkey as soon as it has thawed. A turkey thawed in cold water should be cooked right away. Turkey meat may be frozen after it has been cooked.

What to do if your turkey has been in the refrigerator 3 days and still frozen?

Place the turkey in a water-resistant plastic bag to avoid cross-contamination and water logging. Place the turkey in a sink of cold water. Every 30 minutes, change the water. Cook the turkey as soon as it has thawed.

What is the fastest way to thaw a 15 pound turkey?

The quickest method to defrost a frozen turkey

Even a 24-pound chicken may be defrosted in 12 hours by immersing it in freezing water (Thermoworks says to count on about 8 hours for a 15-pounder).

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