This yr, I took on the huge accountability of internet hosting Friendsgiving. However between juggling work and prepping for friends, I made the largest rookie mistake—I forgot to thaw the chook. So, I did what numerous 20-somethings may do on this state of affairs: I opened TikTok and looked for recommendation on easy methods to defrost a turkey rapidly.
The clips, although, appeared a bit…suspect, particularly from a meals security perspective. That made me surprise: What’s the quickest method to thaw a turkey that received’t get all of your friends sick? Right here’s what it’s best to know if you end up in an analogous time crunch.
Some defrosting strategies could be fast, however they’re dangerous.
In the event you thaw your meat incorrectly, you improve your possibilities of getting sick from gnarly foodborne sicknesses, due to micro organism like salmonella or Campylobacter in your turkey, Meredith Carothers, MPH, a shopper schooling specialist at america Division of Agriculture (USDA), tells SELF. These bugs, which go dormant when frozen, begin to multiply because the temperature rises. “The hotter your frozen turkey will get, the extra quickly micro organism will develop,” Carothers says.
That’s why it’s not a good suggestion to thaw your chook in a bath or sink full of heat water, she explains. (The identical goes for simply letting it hang around in your counter.) Certain, it’ll defrost, however you additionally might spoil the turkey. “Ultimately, [these methods will] place your poultry in unsafe temperatures the place micro organism can multiply,” Carothers says. That’s what’s referred to as the “hazard zone”—between 40 °F and 140 °F.
Even in the event you cook dinner the turkey completely to 165 °F, Carothers says you possibly can nonetheless get sick in the event you comply with these defrosting strategies. Some germs can produce heat-resistant toxins, so the roasting course of received’t essentially kill them.
Is there a method to defrost a turkey rapidly and safely?
In an excellent world, you’d give your self sufficient time to prep your chook the USDA-sanctioned manner: by defrosting your turkey within the fridge for someday per 4 to 5 kilos of meat. However typically life will get hectic and also you’re caught with rock-solid poultry and friends arriving in lower than 24 hours. Nonetheless, you’re not essentially screwed in the event you forgot to thaw your turkey main as much as your dinner. Listed here are some fast defrosting ideas that Carothers recommends in the event you’re in a pinch:
Submerge your turkey in chilly water and alter it each half-hour.
This selection prevents micro organism from multiplying because you by no means let it enter that hazard zone, Carothers says. Preserve the meat in its authentic packaging and put it in a big basin full of cool water, she explains. Use a thermometer to ensure it stays beneath 40 °F. Simply don’t count on this to be tremendous fast: It’ll take about half-hour per pound, so when you have a 12-pound chook, you’ll must spare six hours for thawing, in line with the USDA. Nonetheless, this technique is probably going going to be your greatest wager, because you’ll have the ability to brine, season, and roast your turkey with out compromising taste or texture.
Microwave your turkey.
This one comes with some caveats. For one, your chook may simply be too large to suit into your microwave. And even when it may well squeeze in, you’ll must take away the plastic packaging beforehand, which will get difficult whenever you’re coping with a frozen product, Ted McCall, EdD, a meals security professor at Johnson and Wales College in Windfall, Rhode Island, tells SELF.