Find out how long you need to thaw your turkey.
Find out how long you need to thaw your turkey.

How Long Do I Thaw and Cook A Turkey?

Whether you need a bigger turkey, you overcooked or forgot to thaw your turkey, we have recommendations that will set you up for success.


Go from frozen to an oven-ready bird!

The first thing you need to do before prepping the turkey for baking is to determine the weight. This can easily be found on the tag or label that is part of the packaging. Once this is identified, you can establish the timeline to properly thaw and cook the turkey.


Things to Note

  • A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking.
  • Turkey thawed using the cold water method needs to be cooked immediately.
  • The cold water used to thaw the turkey needs to be under 40 degrees & changed every 30 minutes until fully thawed.


How much does your turkey weigh?


Turkey weight

4 to 8 pounds

8 to 12 pounds

12 to 16 pounds

16 to 20 pounds

20 to 24 pounds


How long do I thaw a turkey in the refrigerator?


Refrigerator thaw

1 to 3 days

1 to 3 days

3 to 4 days

4 to 5 days

5 to 6 days


How long do I thaw a turkey in cold water for?


Cold water thaw

2 to 6 hours

2 to 6 hours

6 to 8 hours

8 to 10 hours

10 to 12 hours


How long do I cook a turkey?


Cooking time for (unstuffed)

2 to 3 hours

3 to 4 hours

4 to 5 hours

5 to 6 hours

6 to 7 hours