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Turkey thawing question

So I wanted to brine my turkey this year, but they were still frozen solid last Saturday.  I took the two 16 lb turkeys and put them in a cooler with cold water (no ice) and let them thaw for a complete day and a half in the garage (cool temp Ohio).  The water was cold when i took them out, and I thought it would be fine thawing them this way based on my experiences going camping and such.  I brined one for 24 hours then put in fridge.  The other went into the fridge from the cooler and is still wrapped. 

So I start reading about prepping the bird and now I'm worried they're safe to eat. Any advice/opinion on this?  Emergency run to the food store for a fresh bird?

Strongsville, OH


  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,560
    Do you have any idea how cold the water was?  If the water temp dropped below 40* during the thaw and stayed there, I would not not be concerned. If the water did not feel ice cold to you when you pulled the turkey, I'd be more nervous.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,662
    what's the temp of your garage?  You should brine in refrigerator temperatures.  The unbrined bird should be fine.  If the brine stayed in the 30s it should be ok.  It's probably ok if it even got in the low 40s if you had a 5-6% salt brine.  If it got over that, I'd cook it anyway and feed it to the dogs.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
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  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,939
    Here's a web site that offers computer projects for the growth of various pathogens at various temperatures.

    I did a quick look at a test of one kind of salmonella in chicken burgers held at 50F. There was no growth for more than 24 hours. You might be O.K. if your garage has been as cold as mine. Here in N. Indiana, concrete is at 45F.

    Your call. Always follow "When in doubt, throw it out."
  • I didn't have a thermo in cooler, so I don't know how cold it was other than when I checked periodically it if felt like ice water.  The garage was mid 40's. Not my best work, obviously.

    The brine process was conducted in the garage fridge at 35F.

    If there was only an emoticon of a dumbass...

    Strongsville, OH

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