Can you defrost a 10 lb turkey?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you defrost a 10 lb turkey?” We will also discuss the time required and the different methods of defrosting.

Can you defrost a 10 lb turkey?

Yes, it is possible to defrost 10 lb turkey and it takes 1-3 days for the turkey to be defrosted completely. The thawing time depends on the weight of the turkey hence, the higher the weight of the turkey the higher the time. 

The estimated time for the thawing of 10 lb of turkey is 2 days and 12 hours to be precise, however, this may vary depending on the temperature of the refrigerator and other external factors.

What is thawing?

Thawing refers to the process of defrosting or melting a product from the frozen state to the liquid state. In terms of food products, it can be defined as the process of warming food from its frozen state to make it perishable. The purpose of thawing at the refrigeration temperature is to avoid the growth of bacteria already present in the turkey in order to prevent food poisoning.

What are the ways to defrost a turkey?

There are 4 accepted ways to defrost a turkey:

  • In the refrigerator
  • In the microwave
  • With cold water and
  • Cooking process

What is the time taken for the turkey to thaw in the refrigerator?

The time taken for the turkey to thaw completely depends on the weight of the turkey as mentioned above. Typically it takes about 24 hours for a turkey weighing 4 pounds. The safe way to thaw the turkey is to leave the wrapping on. Refrigeration thawing is the best method for the thawing of turkey and it is the most commonly used method.

Weight of TurkeyTime required for Thawing @ 5℃/41℉
Up to 12 lbs1-3 days
12-16 lbs3-4 days
16-20 lbs4-5 days
20-24 lbs5-6 days

What is the cold water method to defrost a turkey?

The cold water method of thawing the turkey is to immerse the entire turkey in a bowl of cold water. However, the water needs to be changed every half an hour. It takes 30 minutes for every pound of turkey to be thawed using this method which means it takes about 5 hours for a 10 lbs turkey to defrost.

What is the microwave method to defrost a turkey?

The microwave method is the one in which the turkey can be defrosted using the defrost setting in the microwave. In general, it takes about 6 minutes per pound of the turkey to be thawed. However, it is advised to remove all of the wrappings before popping the turkey into the microwave. 

Instead of thawing if the turkey is cooking then, you need to rest the turkey for a few minutes before resuming thawing. This method however is not feasible for large turkeys as the microwaves are not as big. It is recommended to cover the drumsticks and the tips of the wings with the help of a foil to avoid cooking. 

What is the cooking method to defrost a turkey?

The cooking method is the one in which the frozen turkey is used as-is for cooking. This method is not recommended as it takes a lot of time. It is proven that the turkey takes 50% more time to cook if not thawed. There are beliefs that this method is harmful, however, that is not true and it is perfectly safe to cook a frozen turkey.

What not to do while defrosting a turkey?

Some of the methods not to use for defrosting are:

  • The turkey cannot be thawed at room temperature as the built-in bacteria will grow and make it harmful to eat. 
  • The turkey cannot be thawed using a dishwasher using steam or without steam as this could be hazardous.
  • The turkey cannot be thawed using a grocery/ plastic bag
  • Any other way of defrosting other than the 4 mentioned ways can be harmful and hazardous to humans.

How to know if the turkey is cooked?

The best way to cook the turkey is using a conventional oven at 325℉ or 165℃. The time taken for the turkey to be cooked also depends on if the turkey is stuffed or unstuffed. For a 10 lb turkey if stuffed takes about 4 hours and for an unstuffed turkey, it takes about 3 hours. 

The best way to check if the turkey is cooked is to check using a meat thermometer. If the thermometer reads 180℉/82℃ in the thigh and 170℉/77℃ in the breast, it means that the turkey is cooked well.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you defrost a 10 lb turkey?” We have also discussed the time required and the different methods of defrosting the turkey.

References

https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/11/18/how-safely-thaw-turkey#:~:text=Remove%20all%20outside%20wrapping%20and,it%2C%20during%20the%20thawing%20process
https://www.butterball.com/how-to/check-for-doneness
https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-not-to-thaw-a-frozen-turkey-996023
https://www.thespruceeats.com/turkey-cooking-times-1807695

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.