There are three safe ways to thaw a frozen turkey. Thawing at room temperature is not recommend because it promotes bacterial growth
1. Gradually thaw in Refrigerator – Place on a tray to collect any juice and allow 24 hours per 5 pounds.
8 to 12 lbs. 1 to 2 days
12 to 16 lbs. 2 to 3 days
16 to 20 lbs 3 to 4 days
20 to 24 lbs 4 to 5 days
2. Gradually Thaw in cold water – To thaw a turkey more quickly, use this method. Leave the turkey in the packaging, free from tholes. Put in sink or clean large container filled with cold water that you change often. Allow 30 minutes per pound for whole turkey. An 8 to 12 pound turkey will thaw in about 5 hours.
3. Quick Thaw in Microwave – To thaw a turkey even faster, following the microwave manufacture’s directions.