PSA: Start Defrosting your Turkey


Hello faithful readers!

A few years ago, I was still using frozen turkeys for the main dish of Thanksgiving. They’re super cheap, still delicious, and Butterball makes it hard to screw up a bird beyond recognition. However, I wasn’t the amazing home chef I am today. Sure, I could turn out good food with or without a recipe, but my sense of organization and timing was for merde.

At the time we were living in an apartment in Orlando and the kitchen was not super well designed. What is relevant for this story is that the sink had two basins. Two smallish basins. Super convenient for doing dishes. Not super convenient for defrosting a fourteen pound bird.

I was thinking ahead, yessiree. I bought my bird four days before Thanksgiving. And two days before Thanksgiving I moved it from my freezer to my fridge to defrost, fully intending to brine it the night before Turkeyday.

Y’all, 36 hours is nowhere near long enough to defrost a frozen turkey. Not nearly.

This is how I found myself with a rock hard turkey the night before Thanksgiving. Fortunately I still remembered enough physics from Good Eats to know that running cool water would defrost the bird quickly(ish) and safely. Being the bright mind that I was, I unwrapped the turkey and wrestled the turkey underneath the spigot of the sink. I managed to wedge it into the small basin and ran water through the cavity.

Three hours later and I had managed to unthaw the giblet bag from the ribcage. Just running water wasn’t enough of a “heat sink” to thaw out the bird. Time to MacGyver a solution: which in this case turned out to be two trash bags and the shower.

So start defrosting your turkey today. Or at least double-bag it.