View Full Version : !! EMERGENCY !! - Turkey not completely thawed!!!

12-24-2003, 09:23 AM
Oh gosh you guys - I just got my brining turkey out of the fridge to rinse it off and roast it for tonight, and realised that in spite of following the directions on the turkey, it's not completely thawed through. Directions on bag: "defrost in fridge, allowing 8 hours for each 5 lbs of weight" - it's a 18 lb turkey so I had it in the fridge, bagged, for the required 28 hours which should have been enough to thaw it, then brining in the fridge overnight for an additional 12 hours!!!
ACK! :o :o
:eek: :eek:

OK, deep breath.
What can I do to hurry the thawing process safely? Does anyone have any advice??

I'm going to be roasting it at 250 for close to 6 hours, as recommended by Pamela Anderson in The Perfect Recipe. (I did this for Thanksgiving and it was perfect. Of course, I used a fresh, not frozen turkey... oh whaaaaaa!!!)

I'm wondering if I can just roast it at 250 for longer ?????????????? I do have one of those special meat thermometers that beeps at the right internal temp. so no worries there.

12-24-2003, 09:33 AM
My only suggestion would be to defrost it in cold water until it's thawed (don't know how that would work for your brining, though). If need be, you can roast it at a higher temp for a shorter time, to have it ready in time (not sure of the numbers on that though).

Personally, I've never found thawing a turkey in the fridge works well, unless you've got a small one. I've also run into problems with the inside of the bird not being fully defrosted, so I usually just do the cold water method (or buy a fresh one!).

Personal Chef
12-24-2003, 09:34 AM
The only thing I can think of is to submerge in room temperature water. If it's not hard as a rock I think I would just proceed as planned and maybe allow an extra 30-60 minutes roasting time.

12-24-2003, 09:38 AM
I also thaw meat by submerging in water. But I have never done a whole turkey. Just be sure to keep checking that the water is getting to the frozen parts to thaw them.

12-24-2003, 09:44 AM
I'm going to get kicked off the BB for this unseemly suggestion.

Leave the bird in the brine and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours and see how it does.
The brine should prevent most bacteria from multiplying. Make sure the bird is cooked to the proper temperature and all should be well.

Good luck.
Worst case, give yourself enough time for the bird to cook longer if need be.

12-24-2003, 09:52 AM
I'm so mad at Redbird!! I've been googling the phrase "defrost turkey" since I wrote my emergency post, and all the web sites say to allow 24 hours for every 5 lbs - not 8 like their packaging says!!!!!

OK, now the turkey is propped up in the sink under a faucet running tepid water through it's middle.
(It wasn't frozen rock hard, but when I took the neck and stuff out of the center, they were still partially frozen...).

I'm hoping that if I leave the water running like that for 1-2 hours, it should be completely thawed through by then-???

I did find a web site that said you could defrost your turkey in the microwave, but that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen don't you agree?? Some parts would overcook, some would be still frozen...

Urgh. :(

Thanks everyone for ideas, support etc. Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!! I will keep checking back for other ideas/comments as I sit and wait for the never-ending thawing process. :rolleyes:

12-24-2003, 10:04 AM
Just for the water usage, I would let it set in water for an hour, rather than run water through it.

.... Either that or just like posted above, cook for an extra 30 minutes.

:) Hope your day gets better!

12-24-2003, 10:11 AM
DH did not take our turkey out in a timely manner for smoking today so he followed Alton Brown's directions. His just called for submerging it in cold water in an ice chest and changing the water every 2-3 hours.

It sounds like you're going the right way. The brine helped I'm sure. Take a deep breath, have a glass of wine and watch him/it thaw. :D :D ;)

12-24-2003, 10:15 AM
Don't use the microwave! Also do not use hot water! Like you said, it would start to cook the meat, might even dry it out some.

12-24-2003, 10:38 AM
My parents always have this problem, so they let it sit for an hour or so in cool to room temp water. You can take the bird out every once in a while to run mildly warm water through it, but only for short periods at a time (less than 30 seconds or so), then put it back in its "bath" until its thawed.

Good luck!

12-24-2003, 11:00 AM
OK, it wasn't as frozen in the middle as I'd feared, as an hour of running tepid water (sorry environment! *gulp!*) through it did the trick just fine.
It's finally in and barring salmonella, we should be on track for a decent Christmas Eve feast that's only slightly late.
(Guess we'll just have to have a glass of wine or two while we wait!! ) :D

Thanks everyone!:D

12-24-2003, 12:14 PM
You're bird will be just wonderful! You probably just ran across some remains of the ice block that is in the cavity from the freezing process they use.
The rule of thumb I have always followed is 5 hours for every pound to defrost. Some times it works and sometimes it doesn't but since I've stopped stuffing the bird I don't condsider a bit of ice in the cavity a problem, JMHO!
Merry Christmas!

12-25-2003, 07:01 AM
Kuvy, how did your bird turn out? I usually let the bird sit out for a couple of hours to get the process going.


12-26-2003, 12:18 PM
It turned out GREAT!
Super-moist - almost un-turkey-like :p - from the brining - just like the one I did at Thanksgiving using the same method.

BUT... we had a doneness issue and I don't think it was anything to do with that panic over ice in the cavity. I was never fully confident about where to put the meat thermometer. The picture in the book I was using - THE PERFECT RECIPE by Pamela Anderson - said to put it in the leg pit "touching the bone" - other sources said not to touch the bone. I thought I'd play it safe by putting it in the leg pit to start, then when it reached the right temp (I think 170 although I don't have the book with me right now), put it into the breast and get it to the right temp there (160-165) as well. I actually got it to 169 in the breast, just be COMPLETELY safe, and was SURE it must be done by then. We drove it to the in-laws, covered in foil, then popped it back in their oven to heat up at a low temp - about 300. One hour later we carved it and the legs were still pink and juices not completely clear!!! Fortunately there was enough breast meat to feed us that night so we just put the rest back in to roast some more at 350.
*Sigh* It does seem like some things elude us on purpose - the more important it is, the more likely it is to go wrong, no matter how careful you try to be.