a cooked turkey for thanksgiving
How Much Time It Takes For Turkey To Thaw In The Fridge
The USDA advises thawing your turkey in the fridge as the safest method. This way, your food won't hit the danger zone for bacterial growth, which is between 40 and 140 F.
Give yourself one day of defrosting for every four or five pounds your turkey weighs. For example, if it weighs 24 pounds, it will need to defrost for at least five days.
Once fully thawed, your turkey can safely stay in the fridge for up to two days prior to cooking, per the USDA. Just keep it in the original package and place it in a roasting pan.
If you buy your turkey pre-brined, it may take an additional day to defrost, so be sure to double-check the packaging when calculating your defrosting time.