Here's the skinny on thawing a fat bird:
- Allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.
- This means, if your turkey weighs 15 pounds, you'll need to move it to your refrigerator early Monday.
- Never thaw a turkey anywhere but the refrigerator.
- Place the bird in a roasting pan to thaw. Even though it's wrapped up, it's possible that juices will leak out. Not only is it messy, but it can become a health hazard, too, if that juice comes into contact with other things you eat.
- If you plan on brining your bird, you'll need to thaw even sooner. You don't want to brine a frozen bird.
- Turkey (along with any other meats, dairy or prepared foods) should not be left out for more than two hours at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees. That pretty much means your bird must either be in a cold refrigerator or hot oven except when you're prepping it.