How To Thaw and Prepare a Turkey

How To Thaw and Prepare a Turkey?

Lemon and Thyme Roast Turkey With White Wine GravyImage by: Jeff Coulson  Author: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen


How To Thaw and Prepare a Turkey

These tips on thawing and trussing a turkey will guide you towards a beautiful roast turkey dinner.


Leave turkey in packaging. Never thaw it at room temperature.

  • Refrigerator : Place turkey on large tray in refrigerator. Allow 5 hours per pound (500 g) thawing time.
  • Cold Water: Place turkey in large container or sink; cover with cold water. Allow 1 hour per pound (500 g) thawing time. Change water at least every hour.


  1. Remove wrapping, giblets and neck.
  2. Pat dry inside and out.
  3. For unstuffed bird, insert 2 bay leaves in body cavity and 1 in neck cavity. Quarter 2 onions and place in both cavities. Sprinkle cavities with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper and generous sprinkle of fresh or dried herbs, such as savory, thyme or sage.
  4. For stuffed turkey, stuff both cavities loosely just before roasting. Never stuff turkey ahead of time.
  5. Skewer cavities closed. Tie legs together with kitchen string and tuck wings under back. Place, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan. Combine 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter, melted; 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried herb (such as savoury, thyme or sage); 1 tsp (5 mL) salt; and 0.4 tsp (2 mL) pepper. Brush over turkey. Cover loosely with foil.
  6. Cook according to Turkey Roasting Chart for desired weight.
  7. Lift turkey onto platter. Remove skewers. Tent with foil and let stand for at least 15 minutes or for up to 30 minutes before carving.

How to Cook a Turkey Video: From thawing to stuffing to trussing to roasting - watch and learn everything there is to know about cooking a perfect turkey.

Recipe used in this video: Roast Turkey with Herbed Stuffing


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How To Thaw and Prepare a Turkey