How to thaw ground Turkey? The question is common for those who always have a package of ground turkey in store.
Nothing is more convenient for a fancy dinner than having ground turkey in your freezer. It’s easy to cook, packs a lot of nutrition, and you can turn it into too many dishes.
Ground Turkey is low-fat meat and an excellent alternative to minced beef. Buying in bulk saves cost, and you always have something ready to cook in the freezer.
It’s a perfect option for last-minute meals. You can keep it in the freezer, and it stays good for months with excellent quality. The only trouble is to defrost it before cooking.
This article will discuss how to thaw the ground turkey fast, how to do it safely, whether you can refreeze it, and other pertinent questions relating to the topic.
Ground Turkey is convenient and should be in your freezer if you love high protein, low-fat meals with less preparation. Thawing ground turkey is easy.
You can keep it in the fridge overnight, put it in a microwave, or leave it in a cold water bowl for an hour. However, if you want to refreeze the leftover, keeping it in the fridge is the only option to prevent contamination.
How to Defrost Ground Turkey Fast?
Ground Turkey is easy to cook and is loaded with healthy proteins. You can cook instant meatballs, add it to lasagna, pizza, pasta, tacos, or make mouthwatering patties for burgers and sandwiches.
Cooking frozen meat is not always an option. It can add up some extra moisture to the dish and takes more time to cook. For many dishes, you need to marinate the meat before.
The only trouble with frozen ground turkey is how to thaw the frozen ground turkey fast.
Defrosting ground turkey is no different than any other meat. You can defrost the ground turkey in three different ways.
How to Defrost Ground Turkey in Fridge
The easiest and safest way to thaw the ground turkey is by shifting it from the freezer to the fridge section some hours or the night before you plan to cook it.
If you are the one who plans the meals a week or day before, then this one is easier. You can keep the frozen package in the fridge overnight or for a few hours, and it will be thawed by the time you need to cook it.
To thaw the meat place the ground meat in a bowl or simply put it in the lower section of the fridge. In a few hours, the meat will loosen up and you can use it in any way you like.
Keeping the ground meat in the fridge prevents any possibility of contamination as well. As the temperature fridge is too low bacteria cannot grow in meat. You can use as much as you like and put the rest of the meat in the freezer
However, a downside with this method is that it only works if you have already planned the day’s meal before. What if you need to thaw the meat urgently to serve a guest or feed a hungry child. The method is time-consuming and may not work for instant use.
How to Thaw ground Turkey in Microwave
If you are challenged by time and need to put together some instant meal with frozen meat, the microwave is your best friend. Defrosting the ground meat in the microwave is easy and takes no time.
To defrost ground turkey put the packet of ground meat in a microwave-safe bowl. You need to unwrap the plastic cover as it can melt with heat.
Place the ground meat in the bowl and make sure there is some extra space over the bowl so that juices won’t spill out of the dish.
Set the microwave on defrost mode, or you can manually choose 50% power and run it for two minutes.
You can check after two minutes and mix the ground meat. If it still has some crystals, you can leave it in for two minutes.
If you are defrosting the ground meat in the microwave, you can’t refreeze it or leave it out. You need to cook the meat instantly. Once ground beef gets warm in the microwave, it becomes ideal for the bacteria to grow.
How to Thaw Ground Turkey in Cold Water
An easy way to defrost a ground turkey is by leaving it in cold water for some time.
To defrost the meat, take the turkey out of its freezer. Make sure the meat is sealed inside the packet to prevent contamination.
Water can transfer bacteria to the ground meat easily while defrosting. Put cold water in a bowl and leave it in the water to defrost.
This method is not as quick as putting the meat in a microwave but certainly works faster than leaving the frozen meat in the fridge.
Again if you choose this method to defrost frozen ground meat, make sure you cook it instantly. You cannot also put the leftover ground turkey back in the freezer if it is more than you need.
Can I Refreeze the Thawed Ground Turkey?
Most of the time, you don’t need to cook the whole packet of ground meat, and you wonder whether I can put the rest back in the freezer.
The answer is yes, and no at the same time. It depends on how you have thawed the meat.
If you have defrosted the meat in a microwave or have left it in cold water to defrost, you cannot put it back in the freezer. The moment ground meat is warm, it can develop bacteria, and refreezing is unsafe.
But if you have put the ground meat in the fridge section a night or a few hours before, you can use as much as you like and put the rest back in the freezer. The meat remains at a low temperature in the fridge, so there is no possibility of contamination.
Can I Cook Frozen Ground Turkey?
In some cases, yes, you can cook the frozen ground turkey. If the recipe requires some prior marination, cooking frozen ground meat is impossible. You can still try without marination, but the taste does not remain the same as with marination.
In some dishes, where you need to put the ground turkey on the stove or in the oven right away, you can cook frozen ground meat in the oven. You have added some extra time to let the meat thaw in cooking time in both cases.
Another problem with cooking a frozen ground turkey is that you ended up adding more water than the recipe requires.
Tips to Defrost Ground Turkey Safely
Here are a few tricks to defrost ground Turkey safely.
- Never leave the frozen ground turkey out on the shelf to defrost. Bacteria can develop very easily once your meat starts to defrost.
- Never leave frozen meat in warm water to defrost.
- If you have defrosted meat in the microwave or cold water, don’t put it back in the freezer again.
- Don’t leave frozen meat in a closed space like a car or a kitchen cabinet.
- Don’t use ground meat if it is defrosted in a closed car on your way home. It may have already been contaminated.
How Long Does It Take to Defrost ground Meat in the Microwave?
As we have already mentioned, the quickest way to defrost a ground turkey is in the microwave. You can leave it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Check the meat and if it has not loosened up completely, stir the frozen meat and leave it in the microwave for another minute.
How Long It Takes to Defrost ground Meat in Cold Water?
It can take a little more time if you thaw the frozen ground turkey in cold water. You can leave the packaged meat in cold water for an hour.
How Long Does It Take to Defrost a ground Turkey in the Fridge?
The safest way to defrost a ground turkey is by leaving it in the fridge section, but it takes time. It can take 12 hours to defrost. You can leave it in the fridge overnight or a day before.
How Long Can I Keep Defrosted ground Turkey In Fridge?
You can keep the defrosted ground turkey in the fridge for up to 48 hours. You should not keep it in the refrigerator for longer. However, the ground turkey that has been defrosted in the microwave or cold water should be cooked immediately.
How to Refreeze the Thawed Ground Turkey?
You can only refreeze ground turkey if it is thawed in the fridge. So what to do with the remaining ground meat if you can’t put it back in freeze?
A safe and convenient way to freeze this meat is by cooking it for a while. You can refreeze it after cooking, and it will be good to use for up to six months.
How to Tell if Frozen ground Turkey is Bad?
If stored properly, frozen ground turkey can stay good to use in the freezer for four months. Still, if you notice any discoloration, especially if meat turns brown or grey, it is time to say goodbye.
Another obvious sign of frozen ground turkey gone bad is a strong foul smell. Also, if you see crystal inside the packaging or notice the slimy texture of ground meat, it is probably not good to use.
ground Turkey is easy to use and stays good in the freezer for four months. Thawing the frozen meat is easy, and you can do it in different ways depending on how much time you have. Just take out the package, thaw the ground meat, and you can use it in a versatile manner.