Turkeys are complex beasts that beleaguer you with infinite ways in which you can screw up cooking their corpses. The myriad ways to clean, cook and carve a bird can stressify your Thanksgiving, but before you get into all that, you can start by thawing your tryptophan delight.
How Stuff Works identifies three ways to that a turkey, ranging in speed from methodical to desperate:
In the fridge: This can take from one or two days for an 8 to 12-pound bird, or as long as five days for a turkey that weighs in between 20 to 24 pounds. Just clear out some space in the refrigerator, keep it in its wrapping and place it in a pan to catch the moisture.
In cold water: Ranging from 4 to 6 hours (8 to 12 pounds) to 10 to 12 hours (20 to 24 pounds), you stick the packaged turkey in a sink filled with ice water, which you must change every 30 minutes.
In the microwave: This obviously works only for turkeys that can fit into a microwave and allow you to close the door. The microwave owner’s manual should give you a guideline, ranging from 60 to 90 minutes on the “defrost” setting.
What’s the fastest way to thaw a frozen turkey? [How Stuff Works]