Turkey Defrost Time Calculator

You bought the biggest one, didn’t you? Excellent! For any special event, ensuring your turkey is properly defrosted is crucial. Our Turkey Defrost Time Calculator is here to help! Simply enter the weight of your turkey, and we’ll provide you with an accurate defrosting time.

Our Turkey Defrost Time Calculator

How Long Does Turkey Take to Defrost?

The time it takes to defrost a turkey comes down to the weight and the cut. Below we’ve compiled a complete table outlining how long different weights and cuts take.

If you need a precise time for the frozen turkey you’ve currently got, then the free turkey defrost time calculator above is the best way to calculate how long it’ll take to defrost:

CutWeight (kg)Defrosting Time
Whole2-2.524 hours
2.5-3.236 hours
3.6-4.548 hours
5-6.872 hours
7.3-9.196 hours
9.5-11.3120 hours
Leg0.9-1.412-18 hours
2-2.524 hours
Crown2-2.524 hours
2.5-3.236 hours
Rolled0.9-1.412-18 hours
2-2.524 hours

The timings in this table assume you are using the fridge to defrost the turkey. Leaving it out at room temperature in an attempt to speed up the thawing process is NEVER a good idea when it comes to meat.

How Do You Quickly Defrost a Turkey?

The cold water thawing method is a faster way to defrost turkey compared to the refrigerator method. However, it requires more attention and isn’t a passive way to defrost turkey:

  1. Packaging
    Ensure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water.
  2. Submerge
    Place the wrapped turkey in a large sink or basin and cover it completely with cold tap water.
  3. Change Water: Change the water every 30 minutes to keep the water cold.
  4. Time
    Allow about 30 minutes of defrosting time per 0.5 kg of turkey.
  5. Cook Immediately
    Once the turkey is thawed, cook it immediately. Do not refreeze or refrigerate a turkey after using the cold water thawing.

Here’s the table with estimated defrosting times for different weights of turkey and different cuts using the cold water thawing method:

CutWeight (kg)Defrosting Time
Whole2-2.52-2.5 hours
2.5-3.22.5-3.2 hours
3.6-4.53.6-4.5 hours
5-6.85-6.8 hours
7.3-9.17.3-9.1 hours
9.5-11.39.5-11.3 hours
Leg0.9-1.40.9-1.4 hours
2-2.52 hours
Crown2-2.52 hours
2.5-3.22.5-3.2 hours
Rolled0.9-1.40.9-1.4 hours
2-2.52 hours

As you can see, defrosting a turkey in the fridge can take ten times longer than using the cold water method.

Once the special day is over, learn more about freezing those leftovers here.