Thawing turkey in water questions
I'm doing a test cook of a large turkey (20 lb) at some point this weekend and timing being what it is I'm having to do the alternate thawing method of submersing it in water and changing it every 30 minutes.
First question is, are there any tricks to telling if a bird is good and thawed without unwrapping it? It was purchased Wed night sat in the fridge til Fri afternoon (about 41 hours). I did the calculating and determined it would take about 5 days to thaw in the fridge alone and then decided to proceed with the cold water method to make sure it was thawed by Sat evening
Second, the usda guidelines state if you thaw the bird in the fridge you can let it sit in there thawed for 1-2 days before cooking, however if you thaw with the cold water method you should cook it immediately. Is that just a CYA safety thing due to the differences in temp of cold tap water in location/time of year? My ideal timing situation would be thaw with the water and put it in the fridge for about a day. Anyone had any experience doing it like that? Seems it would be about the same temp as people that brine and then toss it back in the fridge to firm up right? My initial thought is that if there was speedier growth of bacteria towards the end of the thaw putting it back in the fridge would knock it off and the eventual cooking should kill the nasties anyways. Am I right there?