If you wake up Thanksgiving morning and realize that you forgot to do the one thing you swore you were going to do, don't panic. Here are a few ways you can safely and quickly defrost a turkey before anybody realizes you are a useless idiot.


Yes, as gross and weird as it sounds, you can shove an entire turkey into the microwave and turn it on. Make sure you remove any plastic, metal clamps or any weird packaging stuff attached to the turkey that is not microwave safe.

A turkey needs roughly six minutes in the microwave per pound. If you have a 20-pound turkey, you can throw that bad boy in the microwave for two hours on a defrost setting. As long as you're going to put your bird right into the oven afterward, this is a sure-fire safe method.

Continuously running cool water

If you have a few hours to spare or your turkey isn't massive, you can quickly defrost a turkey under continuously running cool water.

Leave the plastic on your turkey, set it in a big salad bowl, and turn the cold water on. Make sure you put the faucet directly over the turkey, and that the turkey is fully submerged under the running water.  If you aren't a fan of leaving the water running, you can put the entire turkey in a sink full of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes to maintain its temperature.

If it isn't completely unfrozen in time to start cooking, follow it up with the method below.

Cook it from frozen

This method should be your last-ditch effort at getting that turkey ready in time. If you must, cooking the turkey from frozen is an easy way to defrost the bird and make it look like you never had a problem in the first place.

Put your turkey in the pan, cover it with a foil tent to help keep the heat inside it, and crank the oven up for the first hour. Temp the turkey and once you get the center of the bird up to a more reasonable and less freezing temperature, you can remove the foil, add whatever else you were going to add to the bird, and throw it back in the over until the innermost thigh is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Your family will be none the wiser.

If all else fails, go eat at Furr's or another place in Lubbock that's open for Thanksgiving.

For any other turkey tips, head over to this article by the USDA on safe ways to defrost your turkey. Good luck, and don't screw this up.

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