A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for one or two days before cooking.
Cold water thawing requires less time, but more attention. Allow about 30 minutes per pound. Be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product.
Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.
Microwave defrosting is the fastest method, but manufacturer's instructions should be followed closely. Plan to cook the bird immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving. Holding partially cooked food is not recommended.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.