How to Safely Defrost Your Gluten Free Turkey

Like any turkey, a gluten free turkey can spoil quickly. It is extremely important to thaw your turkey properly. You may not be aware, but bacteria quickly multiply in poultrybetween 40 and 140°F. Forty degrees may seem cold, but not to those bacteria. They thrive in a warm environment, and 40°F is warm to them. -To prevent this, follow the simple guideline for each of the thawing methods below. They are compliments of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Meanwhile, have a healthy and safe Thanksgiving.

Image: Gluten Free Turkey

Turkeys contain bacteria. Once they are frozen, the bacteria stops growing. However, once they reach 40 degrees, they begin to multiply. Even when the center of the turkey is frozen and the outer portion is defrosted, the bacteria in the outer portion begins to multiply. Choose the choice that is right for you: refrigeration, soaking in cold water, or in the microwave.
What Not to Do:

Do not leave any poultry defrosting on the countertop for more than 2 hours. Freeze the turkey until the specified time in the method your choose below.

Refrigeration Thawing Times: 

  • Be sure your refrigerator’s temperature is below 40°F.
  • Place the turkey in a roasting pan to catch all of the juices that drip out of the wrapping to prevent contaminating other foods in your refrigerator.
  • Allow about 24 hours per each 4 pounds for defrosting. (It may take a shorter to defrost, but this is playing it safe. Leaving a thawed turkey in the refrigerator for a day or two is alright. You just don’t want to resort to water thawing on Thanksgiving morning, if you don’t have to.)

Cold Water Thawing

  • Be certain there are no holes in the packaging. Otherwise bacteria can get in or out, and begin to multiply.
  • Use very cold tap water to defrost the turkey.
  • Change the water every 30 minutes. Otherwise the water will reach room temperature, allowing bacteria to grow.
  • Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound for it to defrost.
  • Once thawed, cook the turkey immediately.

Microwave Thawing

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for microwave thawing, as they may vary from brand to brand.
  • Cook the turkey immediately once thawed.

To find gluten free turkey brands, visit Gluten Free Turkey List.

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