When thawing a turkey using the cold water method, should you unwrap it first?

I bring a raw, seasoned turkey to my family gathering and they fry it there. I'm usually on top of this, but not this year! I'm (hopefully!) getting the bird today, but haven't been able to find the right size turkey that isn't frozen, and I'm starting to freak out a little bit. If I cold water thaw it tonight, can I keep it in a cold refrigerator until tomorrow? Should I remove wrapping or keep it on?

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Susan W
Susan W November 25, 2015

No, leave it wrapped.

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Nancy
Nancy November 25, 2015

And take it in a cooler, or cooler bag, especially if your travel time is more than 2 hours.

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Susan W
Susan W November 25, 2015

To answer your other questions, not sure about refrigerating the bird overnight in the water. Because of the size of the turkey, the water may be too cold to defrost. I'm not positive about that though. The method for cold water defrosting is to fill up a sink. Change the water every 30 minutes. It takes about 30 minutes per pound.

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sydnestrong
sydnestrong November 25, 2015

No, I meant that I want to thaw it first, store it in the refrigerator overnight. Without the water. But actually, I'm not sure why I couldn't do that now that I think about it.

Susan W
Susan W November 25, 2015

Oh got it. Yes, just thaw it now and then remove it from the water and refrigerate until tomorrow. I would unwrap it when it's thawed and place it on a rack if possible uncovered to let it air dry to encourage crispy skin. It will exude liquid because it's been frozen, so that's why the rack is a good idea if you have room. It also allows better air circulation to dry the entire bird.

sydnestrong
sydnestrong November 25, 2015

Thank you!

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