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Ground turkey is an excellent protein choice. It's versatile and can be used in all kinds of recipes. Now, you might be wondering how do you have it thawed quickly so you can use it for a fabulous dinner recipe that you have in mind? We turned to our meat experts for their advice and here's what we got.
There are 2 ways to thaw your ground turkey in a quick and safe manner:
- You can put it in the microwave and use the defrost settings. It should be done in 2 minutes.
- You can also submerge your frozen ground turkey in a bowl of cold water. Use the 1 pound to 1 hour rule for this and make sure you change the water every half hour.
Continue reading because we'll teach you the safe ways to defrost your ground turkey so you can use it to prepare a healthy and delicious dinner for your family. We'll also tell you if you can cook it frozen and how to store ground turkey in your freezer properly so you can be assured of its freshness for months.
Can you quickly defrost ground turkey?
We all have those moments when we need to fix something for dinner really fast because someone is about to get hangry. Having ground turkey in your freezer is a big help because you can thaw this meat quickly, especially with the help of the ever-dependable microwave.
Just remove its packaging then transfer your frozen turkey to a microwave-safe dish and use the defrost setting. If your unit doesn't come with this function, you can set the power from 30% to 50% to thaw your meat. It should be ready for cooking in about 2 minutes.
Is it safe to microwave ground turkey?
Using the microwave is a safe way to thaw your meat and poultry, such as frozen ground turkey. Check your owner's manual for specific instructions regarding the thawing process. The main concern here is that you have to cook your turkey immediately after defrosting it.
Thawing it in the microwave has exposed it to extreme heat and the outer portions might have been partially cooked already. This is considered a danger zone for your food as it is prone to bacterial growth which could cause contamination and foodborne diseases.
How do you defrost ground turkey in water?
If you have a few hours to spare before cooking time, meat experts recommend that you use the cold water technique because it'll thaw your ground turkey more evenly. Just make sure your meat is inside a sealed plastic bag so that the water won't get inside. Submerge it in a bowl of cold water and change the water every half-hour so that it'll thaw continuously.
How long does it take frozen ground turkey to thaw?
The amount of time that it'll take your ground turkey to defrost will depend on its size and the thawing method that you'll use. In the fridge, where it's the safest to defrost your meat, it will take 12 to 24 hours. If you thaw it using the cold water method, it would take about an hour for every pound of frozen turkey.
When you use the microwave, it'll only take a few minutes. The general rule here is one minute for every pound of ground meat that you'll defrost.
What is the safest way to thaw ground turkey?
It may not be the quickest way to thaw your ground turkey but transferring it to the fridge is the safest way to defrost it. The temperature is kept within 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Because of this, you also won't be in a hurry to cook it right away after thawing. It will stay safe in the fridge for up to 2 days after defrosting it, giving you more time to plan the perfect dish to serve to your family.
Can you thaw frozen ground turkey in hot water?
This is what you should never do. Don't be tempted to thaw your frozen meat and poultry in hot or warm water. The temperature is conducive to the rapid growth of harmful bacteria and increases the risk of foodborne illnesses. Stick to the 3 safe ways of thawing your turkey: in the fridge, cold water, or microwave. Or if there's no more time left, cook it straight from the freezer!
How long can frozen ground turkey sit out?
Like any meat and poultry, you shouldn't thaw your ground turkey on the counter. Room temperatures that range from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit encourage bacteria to grow and multiply rapidly. This can cause foodborne diseases so instead of enjoying a hearty meal of ground turkey, you might end up with an upset stomach or much worse. If ever your ground turkey has been left sitting out for more than 2 hours, it's best to throw it away rather than risk contamination and illness.
Can you cook ground turkey from frozen?
If you can't wait until your ground turkey is completely thawed, don't worry because it is safe to cook it even from its frozen state. However, do expect your cooking time to take longer, usually by 50%. You can cook it on your stovetop or oven and make sure that you wait until you reach the proper internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before your serve it.
How to store ground turkey in the freezer?
If you plan on stocking up on this healthy meat, you would be happy to know that they'll maintain their best quality in cold storage for up to 4 months. Make sure the ground turkey is fresh or at most, 2 days past its sell-by date. You can opt to keep it in its original packaging or separate the meat according to the proportion that you need for cooking. Wrap the ground turkey in aluminum foil, then put it inside a freezer-safe container to seal its freshness. Put a label and date on the container before putting it inside the freezer.
There is a good reason to always have ground turkey in your freezer. It's easy to thaw or you can even cook it straight from the freezer and have a nutritious and mouthwatering meal ready in no time. There are lots of tasty recipes that you can do with it such as spaghetti, sloppy joes, pesto meatballs, cheesy meatloaf, taco bowls, pan-seared dumplings, turkey burgers, and the list goes on and on. Sounds amazing, right? From now on, turkey isn't just a dish you serve during special occasions but it can definitely make ordinary days a lot more special!
Put your frozen ground turkey on the microwave to thaw it for a couple of minutes or place it in a bowl of cold water for an hour so that it'll be ready for cooking your favorite dishes. Use it as a healthy alternative to ground beef and enjoy its mild flavor that goes well with almost everything. Now you can enjoy turkey not just on Thanksgiving but whenever the craving strikes any time of the year!