www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Business Briefcase (Feb. 1, 2015) -2/1/2015, 4:32 PM

Nex-Tech names a studio space in Hammond Hall on FHSU campus -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Castle Rock Casiono Resort submits application for project -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Dreiling/Schmidt radiation oncology receives accreditation -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/30/2015, 9:54 AM

Bible is playbook to super life, not Super Bowl, victory -1/30/2015, 8:23 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/29/2015, 2:02 PM

Extension offers regional estate planning workshops -1/29/2015, 9:36 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsoring CPR training -1/28/2015, 1:46 PM

Hays Academy of Hair Designs sweeps competition -1/28/2015, 12:06 PM

Hospital restrictions in place at HaysMed -1/28/2015, 10:25 AM

Battling the flu -1/28/2015, 10:06 AM

Comedian, author Rainn Wilson coming to FHSU -1/27/2015, 1:37 PM

Serving up a unique treat with frogmore stew -1/27/2015, 9:12 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsors coffee, conversation -1/26/2015, 11:04 AM

Many can suffer from seasonal disorders -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 25, 2015) -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Winter, spring options for winter annual weed control in wheat -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Bishop from Ghana visits area -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Eating well while spending less actually is possible -1/22/2015, 9:55 AM

One of 5 finalists for FHSU provost position withdraws -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Away from home, and longing to be back in Kansas -1/21/2015, 8:44 AM

New Year babies abound at Rooks County Health -1/20/2015, 1:37 PM

'American Sniper' hits its mark in U.S. theaters -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

HaysMed leads patient safety program -1/20/2015, 9:22 AM

HaysMed joins trend, expands Point of Service collections -1/19/2015, 1:46 PM

Couture-Lovelady assigned to House Rules Committee -1/19/2015, 11:22 AM

Watch out for effects of post-holiday depression -1/19/2015, 8:38 AM

Save some trouble, get agriculture leases in writing -1/18/2015, 3:14 PM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 18, 2015) -1/18/2015, 3:13 PM

-1/18/2015, 2:00 PM

Hays to host Western region farmers market conference -1/17/2015, 3:23 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 17, 2015) -1/17/2015, 3:14 PM

Going crazy with a series of new projects -1/16/2015, 2:09 PM

Nex-Tech acquires Computer Solutions -1/15/2015, 2:01 PM

Senior Companion honored -1/14/2015, 2:49 PM

Lang Diesel donates $1,000 to elementary school -1/13/2015, 2:58 PM

For Your Information (Jan. 13, 2015) -1/13/2015, 1:37 PM

Inside a daughter's mind; making play dough for children -1/13/2015, 9:57 AM

Holidays can be manageable, even as a stepfamily -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 12, 2015) -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 11, 2015) -1/11/2015, 4:00 PM

Calling all precision agriculture geeks -1/11/2015, 3:51 PM

1st film in series on water to feature Cheyenne Bottoms, KWEC -1/9/2015, 4:27 PM

Female farmers shift production trends -1/9/2015, 4:09 PM

Halls of Ivy -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Regional farmers market vendor workshop Jan. 30 in Hays -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 8, 2015) -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

'Into the Woods' strays from the path -1/6/2015, 9:48 AM

Orscheln acquires building in Abilene -1/5/2015, 3:41 PM

Strategies can help stepfamilies through holidays -1/5/2015, 8:46 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 5, 2015) -1/5/2015, 8:46 AM

Make New Year's resolutions that stick -1/2/2015, 9:44 AM

Acceptance, gratitude and joy -1/2/2015, 9:44 AM

Patterned trail -12/26/2014, 2:42 PM

-12/26/2014, 1:28 PM

Holiday activities for family bonding -12/25/2014, 1:21 PM

'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' is surprisingly passable -12/23/2014, 9:43 AM

Using tips can help stepfamilies during holidays -12/22/2014, 9:17 AM

2014 Farm Bill decision making steps upcoming for consumers -12/21/2014, 4:27 PM

Clubs and meetings -12/21/2014, 4:26 PM

The Brady Bunch: Remembering to stay the course when things are gloomy -12/21/2014, 4:26 PM

FHSU joins other institutions in alternative-credit consortium -12/20/2014, 6:01 PM

Community members encouraged to vote for favorite cause in spirit of giving -12/19/2014, 4:17 PM

God can be our light during bleak times today, tomorrow, future -12/19/2014, 9:38 AM

Sneak exercise into your holiday activities -12/18/2014, 9:13 AM

Natoma Auxiliary spreads cheer -12/18/2014, 9:13 AM

The joys of the holiday season are all around us -12/17/2014, 10:30 AM

First Care Clinic gets grant -12/16/2014, 4:16 PM

Westar Energy expands commitment to Kansas wind energy -12/16/2014, 12:48 PM

Brownback appoints new Cheyenne County commissioner -12/16/2014, 12:48 PM

'The Battle of the Five Armies' lacking -12/16/2014, 8:23 AM

Baby keeps family active -12/16/2014, 8:23 AM

Hays native serves as intern for Moran -12/15/2014, 11:55 AM

Several ways exist to integrate stepfamilies, holidays -12/15/2014, 9:20 AM

Business Briefcase (Dec. 14, 2014) -12/14/2014, 2:59 PM

Soil test information can lead to bountiful financial returns -12/14/2014, 2:59 PM

Clubs and meetings (Dec. 14, 2014) -12/14/2014, 2:59 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Dec. 13, 2014) -12/13/2014, 3:11 PM

The heart of Christmas -12/12/2014, 8:49 AM

DHDC announces new board members -12/11/2014, 4:17 PM

Area student selected to livestock judging team -12/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Bake ahead, freeze for holidays -12/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Extension estate planning workshops announced -12/10/2014, 3:31 PM

Remembering the Japanese invasion, World War II -12/10/2014, 10:12 AM

DHDC kicks off annual partnership program -12/9/2014, 12:05 PM

A few holiday movies to enjoy -- again -12/9/2014, 9:31 AM

New addition to family brings smiles to faces -12/9/2014, 8:18 AM

Steps can be taken to help stepfamilies adjust to holidays -12/8/2014, 9:41 AM

Genetically modified organism fact or fiction -12/7/2014, 4:12 PM

Clubs and meetings (Dec. 7, 2014) -12/7/2014, 4:11 PM

Yes, there is a Santa Claus -12/5/2014, 9:03 AM

Getting out of balance disrupts life satisfaction -12/5/2014, 9:03 AM

A month of busyness at Hays Public Library -12/5/2014, 9:03 AM

Cookie exchange raises money for children -12/4/2014, 3:27 PM

Master honored with inaugural award -12/4/2014, 8:55 AM

DCF unveils new Hays service center -12/3/2014, 3:29 PM

What's in a color -12/3/2014, 8:57 AM

Several honored for milestone celebrations -12/3/2014, 8:57 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Turkey still a block of ice? Chill out

Published on -11/21/2013, 10:07 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

I'm giving my age away a little, but I remember an old Johnny Carson monologue about Thanksgiving. (For people younger than 40, he was the guy who hosted "The Tonight Show" before Jay Leno.)

It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and Johnny asked the audience if they had placed their frozen turkey in the refrigerator to thaw. He then concluded that, if they hadn't, they might as well cancel Thanksgiving.

It really isn't that drastic an issue. There are other options for thawing that bird. However, frozen turkey seems to be an annual problem, and I've heard many creative ideas over the years for getting it thawed in time.

Let me set the record straight. It is not safe to thaw a turkey in the trunk of your car, in a closed cold barbecue grill on the patio, in a cooler on the porch, in the garage, basement, bathtub or clothes drier. Even though the turkey might stay frozen on the inside as it thaws, the outside is exposed to the temperature danger zone in these methods -- and this might result in a food-borne illness.

The very best way to thaw a turkey is in the refrigerator. But, Johnny was right: If you don't get it in the refrigerator soon enough, it won't completely thaw using this method. It takes 24 hours of thawing time in the refrigerator for each 5 pounds of frozen turkey, so a 25-pound bird needs to start thawing on Saturday for roasting on Thursday.

You also can defrost in cold water. This method can be used to finish thawing the turkey that was only in the refrigerator for a day or so. But this also takes time, attention and a lot of water. Place the turkey in a leak-proof bag in a large pot (or cleaned and sanitized sink) and submerge in cold water. The water needs to be changed every 30 to 60 minutes; don't just leave the turkey in the same water for hours. The reason for this is the water needs to be kept colder than 70 degrees the whole time to keep the outside of the bird cold. Thawing this way takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound, so your 25-pound turkey would have you changing water for 12.5 hours.

If you have a smaller turkey, it could be thawed in the microwave. But because some portions of the turkey might start to get warm in this process, it needs to go straight into the oven immediately after microwave thawing.

You could even cook the turkey directly from the freezer. It will take about 50 percent more time. So your 25-pound bird would take about 7 to 7.5 hours to roast, and it won't be stuffed. If you do this method, you could carefully remove the frozen pack of giblets during roasting when the bird becomes thawed enough. (Then throw them away, or remove them from the packaging and finish cooking another way.) Do not try to deep-fry a frozen turkey.

If you really are having trouble finding space to allow a frozen turkey to defrost in the refrigerator for several days, you might consider purchasing a fresh turkey and picking it up just before the holiday. But you're still going to need to find room for it in the refrigerator unless you start to roast it as soon as you get it home from the store.

Whatever your method of thawing, you'll need to use a food thermometer to determine when the turkey is done. Be sure the meat has reached at least 165 degrees, measured in several places, before serving.

Johnny was right on the money with many of his clever quips. But a frozen turkey on Thanksgiving morning is not a reason to cancel the whole dinner. You just might have to eat later.

For more information on food safety for holiday meals, see the Kansas State Research and Extension food safety website at bit.ly/19H1qB0. You'll find a lot of helpful hints for making holiday meals delicious -- and safe -- for everyone at your table.

Linda Beech is a Kansas State University Research & Extension agent in Ellis County specializing in family and consumer sciences. lbeech@ksu.edu

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.

Kansas News