How Long To Defrost An 8 Lb Turkey Breast?

How to Thaw a Turkey – Find all the information you need to thaw your Thanksgiving turkey and get it ready to cook for a small or large group in one convenient location!

Thaw in refrigerator (not at room temperature).

Place unopened roast on a tray in refrigerator for 1½ to 2 days, or until thawed. To thaw faster, place unopened roast in cold tap water for 3 to 5 hours.

How to Thaw a Turkey 101

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Every year, without fail, I need to clear out the mental clutter in order to remember how to properly thaw a turkey in time for Thanksgiving. Every turkey is a different size depending on how many guests we are expecting, which makes it tricky. Sometimes I buy the turkey early and have plenty of time, other times I wait until the last minute and have very little time, and other times I just need a small turkey breast. It’s challenging to recall what to do in all of those various circumstances, so… We have everything you need, gathered in one place, to thaw a turkey in any circumstance!

How Much Turkey Per Person

A good guideline is to purchase approximately one pound of turkey for each guest you will be hosting. Therefore, if there will be 15 guests for dinner, you should purchase a 15-pound turkey from the grocery store. If you want to have leftovers (please, yes! ), you should add an additional half pound for each person. If you are only feeding a few people, you might only need a small turkey breast.

If you need any help with the calculations you can checkout this handy turkey calculator.

How Long To Defrost An 8 Lb Turkey Breast?

How to Thaw A Turkey in the Refrigerator

Because this is the slowest method, give yourself plenty of time. For every five pounds of turkey, you should give yourself about 24 hours. It will therefore take around 3 days if your turkey weighs 15 pounds.

  • Keep the frozen bird in the original packaging.
  • Place your turkey breast side up in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet to prevent any turkey juices from getting all over your fridge.
  • Once the turkey is thawed in the fridge it can continue to stay there for up to 2 days before cooking – this is one perk to thawing in the fridge!
  • How to Thaw a Turkey: Cold-Water Method (Water Bath)

    This method of defrosting may be the most effective, fastest, and one that I use most frequently. Every pound of turkey should be cooked for around 30 minutes. This means that a 15-pound turkey will require 7 people. 5 hours.

  • Keep the turkey in the outside wrapping.
  • Place the wrapped turkey breast side down in a kitchen sink, bucket, or cooler large to hold enough cold water to completely submerge the bird once water is added.
  • Fill your sink, bucket, or cooler with COLD tap water (40 degrees F. or colder!) and make sure you change the water every 30 minutes (or half hour).
  • Once the turkey thaws you will want to immediately cook the turkey – remember as soon as the thawing process begins bacteria that was present before freezing will begin to grow again so cooking your thawed turkey immediately is very important.

    Up to 12 lbs. 1-3 days2-6 hours12-16 lbs. 3-4 days6-8 hours16-20 lbs. 4-5 days8-10 hours20-24 lbs. 5-6 days10-12 hours. Turkey WeightThawing Time (Refrigerator)Thawing Time (Cold Water)

    How Long To Defrost An 8 Lb Turkey Breast?

    How Long To Defrost An 8 Lb Turkey Breast?

    How to Know if Your Turkey is Thawed

    If there are any ice crystals inside the bird, you should check with your hand. Additionally, use a fork to prod the large portions of meat to check for any frozen components. It is still partially frozen if it is difficult to poke.

    How to Thaw a Turkey Breast

    You should calculate the thaw times based on the size of your turkey breast and adhere to the same thawing instructions as above. Since a turkey breast is typically smaller than a full turkey, the total thaw times should be fairly brief.

    A FEW FAQs

  • Can I thaw a turkey at room temperature? No! Do not leave your turkey out a room temperature. It should always be in a fridge or in water until you are ready to prep it for cooking.
  • Can I still cook the turkey if it is partially frozen? Yes, but it will affect your cook times and will take longer. The exception here is deep frying – NEVER deep fry a turkey unless it is 100% thaw.
  • How long can a turkey be kept in the freezer before thawing and cooking? If the fully frozen turkey is kept frozen and unopened (in the original wrapping) you could keep it for up to 2-3 years. For best quality it is recommended to eat within 1 year.
  • How do I know if my turkey has gone bad? Usually the skin starts to look a little slimy and it will have a “rotten egg” smell.
  • Can I cook a frozen turkey: if your turkey is still a little frozen on Thanksgiving morning you CAN still cook it (unless you are deep frying it – then it HAS to be fully thawed) it will just take longer to cook so plan accordingly.
  • How Long To Defrost An 8 Lb Turkey Breast?

    Best Ways To Cook A Fully Thawed Turkey

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    How Long To Defrost An 8 Lb Turkey Breast?

    How to Thaw a Turkey

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Thaw Time: 60 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 thaw turkey 1x
  • Category: How-To
  • Method: Refrigerator
  • Cuisine: American
  • This is your go-to guide on defrosting any turkey or turkey breast if you need to thaw one. All your questions answered!.

  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey
  • Keep the turkey in the original wrapper.
  • Place your turkey breast side up in a pan to prevent any drippings from getting all over your fridge. Ensure the temperature of your fridge is 40 degrees F. or colder.
  • Allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.
  • Once the turkey is thawed in the fridge it can continue to stay there for up to 2 days before cooking – this is one perk to thawing in the fridge!
  • Never: never thaw a turkey using hot/warm water, in a microwave, oven or at room temperature.
  • Refrigerator vs. Cold Water: the safest way to thaw a turkey is in the refrigerator, as described above. The Cold Water method works well in a pinch, but you really have to be careful and watch the water temperature and you have to cook your turkey immediately.
  • USDA: for more information about food safety, cross contamination and/or answers to other foodborne illness questions please check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
  • Keywords: how to thaw a turkey


    How long does it take to cook a 8 lb frozen turkey breast?

    How to Cook a Frozen Turkey
    1. 8- to 12-pound turkey: 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
    2. 12- to 14-pound turkey: 4 1/2 to 5-3/4 hours.
    3. 14- to 18-pound turkey: 6 to 6-3/4 hours.
    4. 18- to 20-pound turkey: 6-3/4 to 7-1/2 hours.
    5. 20- to 24-pound turkey: 7-1/2 to 7-3/4 hours.

    How long does it take to thaw an 8 pound turkey?

    4 lbs: 1 hours to defrost. 8 lbs: 4 hours to defrost. 12 lbs: 6 hours to defrost. 16 lbs: 8 hours to defrost.

    How long does it take to defrost a 7lb turkey breast in the refrigerator?

    A 6 or 7-pound turkey breast will take about 1 and a half days (36 hours) to thaw completely in the refrigerator. Once more, ensure that the refrigerator is set to a temperature between 37 and 40 degrees.

    When should I take my turkey breast out of the freezer to thaw?

    Your refrigerator (set at 40°F) is the simplest and safest place to defrost your turkey. For every 5 pounds of food, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests thawing it in the refrigerator for one day. Therefore, you must begin defrosting at least three days in advance if your bird weighs 15 pounds.