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How to tine your turkey

We enter Thanksgiving, which means there is probably a frozen turkey stuck in the freezer or waiting for you in a deep frozen food store. However, it's time to start thinking about how to thaw the bird in time for the big day.


It's quite easy to thaw a turkey; you only need time. Here are three different ways that you can safely tin a turkey, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Make sure you know your turkey weight, which determines how long it takes to tin.

Use your refrigerator

This method is the most time-consuming option: USDA says you must allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds in refrigerators that are 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, which means you would have to spend a few days for a big bird. But this method requires least effort. All you have to do is put your turkey in a container to get a drop and let it hang in the fridge.

Learn more: How and why (or not) to salt a turkey

I thaw this turkey in cold water.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Frozen turkey in cold water

Get ready to do some work if you use this technique to thaw your turkey. Put the turkey in a leakproof bag and put in cold tap water. USDA recommends replacing your water every 30 minutes. I have found that it is easiest to thaw your turkey in a large cooler with a beverage pig. This allows you to easily drain the water in the sink, and you can only remove the top and pour into fresh water. It takes about 30 minutes per pound to completely thaw your turkey.

It takes some work to go from frozen turkey to a good main course.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Low on time? Turn to your microwave

USDA says you can tin your turkey in the microwave, as long as you follow the operating instructions and fix it immediately after you have dried it. I would be tired of relying on a microwave to thaw up such a big piece of meat, but you can try if you are desperate.

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