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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-08-2009, 08:25 AM   #1
jonboy
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Default Thawing turkeys

I am preparing to smoke a few turkeys.
Is there a way to safely thaw several turkeys out of the refrigerator?
(Say you buy more turkey then will fit in your fridge)
Last year i tried to put the frozen turkeys into the beer fridge to thaw and a week later they were still frozen.
I rinsed the turkeys in the sink, left them overnight and they are still hard as rocks.
I would like to smoke the turkeys on monday morning.
How long can the turkeys be left out of the fridge thawing?
Thanks for the help,
The last thing i want to do is pass along spoiled turkeys.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 08:32 AM   #2
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There is no safe way to thaw a turkey at any temperature above 40*f. My suggestion would be to turn the temp up to 39 degrees in your beer fridge.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 09:26 AM   #3
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I have thawed turkeys overnight in a salt water brine. Dont know how safe it is but nobody ever got sick.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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I am reading about thawing in refrigerator for several days, thawing in water(changing every 30 mins) and microwaving.
I would like to buy fresh but they arent available.
How would a resturant thaw multiple turkeys?
It seems that we would put them overnight on the prep sinks and allow to stand/thaw....but i am not sure.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 09:47 AM   #5
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How much extra time would be needed to put in smoker frozen. We place frozen in the oven and cook until done every year!I have no clue if you could smoke it that way.It would clearly be safer!
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:15 AM   #6
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I can't see why a big cooler amd some towels wouldn't work. Watch them closely, though. Don't want to go from thawing to spoiling...
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
I am reading about thawing in refrigerator for several days, thawing in water(changing every 30 mins) and microwaving.
I would like to buy fresh but they arent available.
How would a resturant thaw multiple turkeys?
It seems that we would put them overnight on the prep sinks and allow to stand/thaw....but i am not sure.
jon
thats pretty much it.if you have a large icechest just fill it w/ cold water & add birds. you'll probably have to change water a couple times but it works.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwell7 View Post
How much extra time would be needed to put in smoker frozen. We place frozen in the oven and cook until done every year!I have no clue if you could smoke it that way.It would clearly be safer!

I would never do as mentioned here. A turkey lingers long enough in the danger zone when smoked thawed or fresh. Smoking frozen bird would place it in that danger zone for a very long period of time. Just my 2 cents
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:27 AM   #9
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I have done a few in a big igloo cooler just keep a probe in there in the water and change the water out w fresh cold water. I have also done a few while I brined them like other have said above.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #10
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I thawed two large birds last year in my bathtub ( cleaned very good of course ) worked well - easy to change the water
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Unread 11-08-2009, 11:00 AM   #11
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I cook several turkeys every year around the holidays. I use the bathtub... Set the birds in the tub and fill it up with cold water. Drain and refill the tub every 20-30 minutes. The birds will thaw fairly quick... I then smoke/roast them in the pit at temps averaging 325°. As long as you thaw them quick and cook 'em quick, you should be OK. Poultry takes on some easily and quickly, so there is no real need to do them low and slow.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 11:36 AM   #12
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My family always put the bird in a 5 gal bucket with ice water overnight (with lid). No one has ever gotten sick from it. Though this may not work for larger birds as we usually only had 12-14#.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 01:15 PM   #13
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Got this from a reliable source, it's never failed me - seattlepitboss

Frozen turkey thawing time table

Weight Time in refrigerator Time in cold water
4 to 12 lbs. 1 to 3 days 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 lbs. 3 to 4 days 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 lbs. 4 to 5 days 8 to 10 hours
21 to 24 lbs. 5 to 6 days 10 to 12 hours

Around here I cook my bird on Wednesday, then bone it all the way out and cook the carcass in the stock pot, saving the meat & gravy-makings for the next day. That way I get all the heavy cleanup done before anyone even thinks about showing up and I don't have to do so much on the day itself. To cook a 21# deeply frozen bird on a Wednesday, I remove it to the refrigerator the previous Friday. Works every time.
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