Ground turkey is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. However, if your ground turkey is still frozen before you get cooking, you will need a quick and efficient method to help you thaw this out.
Using your microwave is one of the fastest ways to defrost food, but is it safe to thaw your ground turkey in your microwave?
The good news is that yes, it is perfectly safe to defrost your ground turkey in your microwave. It is also super easy to thaw your ground turkey using your microwave.
All you need to do is remove it from its original packaging, then place it on a microwave safe plate. Next, you will need to use your defrost setting or set your microwave to 30% power. Your ground turkey will take around 2 minutes for each pound of frozen meat.
There are of course three methods that you can use to defrost your ground turkey. You can leave it in your refrigerator over a period of 24 hours, you can leave it in its sealed packaging then run it under cold water, or you can remove it from its original packaging and use your microwave.
The microwave method is by far the quickest and most efficient method for defrosting your ground turkey.
Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about thawing ground turkey so that you can get the best out of your poultry. So let’s take a deep dive into the ins and outs of defrosting your ground turkey!
Is It Possible to Thaw Ground Turkey in your Microwave?
Yes, it is perfectly possible to thaw your ground turkey using your microwave. Remember to use your defrost setting or set your microwave to 30% power level, then your ground turkey will need 2 minutes of defrosting time for every pound of meat.
So if you have forgotten to remove your frozen ground turkey from the freezer to leave to thaw in your refrigerator overnight, you can easily use your microwave to quickly do the job.
If you were to use the other two methods for defrosting your frozen turkey – leaving it in your refrigerator for 24 hours or running it under cold water – these would take much longer to achieve the same results.
So using your microwave to thaw your frozen ground turkey is not only possible, but it is also the most efficient method that you can use to do so.
Can You Safely Defrost Ground Turkey in your Microwave?
Yes, you can safely defrost ground turkey in your microwave. The only things that you will need to remember are to remove your frozen ground turkey from its original plastic packaging, to use a microwave safe plate to put it on, and to use either your defrost setting or a reduced power level.
If you were to leave your ground turkey in its original plastic packaging, this could melt into your ground turkey. When plastic melts, it releases harmful toxins into the food that it contains.
So you should always remove your ground turkey from the plastic packaging before you microwave it.
Do You Have to Thaw Ground Turkey Before you Cook it?
Yes, you should always thaw your frozen ground turkey before you cook with it. This is because if you try to cook using frozen ground turkey, it will start to burn on the outside while remaining raw in the center.
You will also have to adjust the temperature that you cook your ground turkey at so as to cook it thoroughly all the way through. This will mean your cooking process takes a lot longer than it should do. You are also still more likely to overcook the exterior of the turkey meat.
So you should always defrost your ground turkey before you start cooking with it. If you’ve forgotten to defrost your ground turkey overnight, you can use your microwave to quickly defrost it so that you can use it in your dish.
If your microwave doesn’t have a defrost setting, you can lower the power level to around 30%, which will serve much the same purpose.
You should also not leave your turkey out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. If you were to do this, this would increase the likelihood of nasty food borne bacteria appearing.
Can you Refreeze Defrosted Ground Turkey?
The good news is that yes, you can easily refreeze your defrosted ground turkey. You can even do this if you haven’t yet cooked with it!
However, you should remember that you can only do this if you have defrosted your ground turkey in your refrigerator overnight. If you have thawed it out slowly like this, it will be perfectly safe to refreeze within 3 days.
If you have left your ground turkey out of your refrigerator, at room temperature, for longer than 4 hours, you should throw it away. This is because it has likely adopted quite a lot of harmful food borne bacteria, which will make it no longer safe to eat.
The general rule of thumb is that if you have left your defrosted ground turkey out at room temperature for under 2 hours, it will still be safe to use. Anything longer than this and the likelihood of food borne bacteria increases.
How to Quickly Thaw your Ground Turkey?
The best way to quickly thaw your ground turkey is to use the microwave method. This will involve removing your ground turkey from its original plastic packaging, placing it on a microwave safe plate, and then using the defrost setting on your microwave to nuke it for around 2 minutes for every pound of meat.
Other methods for defrosting your ground turkey are of course leaving it under cold, running water, or leaving your frozen ground turkey to defrost over a 24 period in your refrigerator.
However, both of these methods take a lot more time than the microwave method. Using the microwave method will leave you with defrosted ground turkey that you can use in your favorite dishes.
How Much Time Does it take to Thaw Ground Turkey in your Microwave?
It’s important to note that there is no one size fits all answer for how long it will take your ground turkey to defrost. This is because it will differ depending on the thickness of your ground turkey, its overall weight, as well as the wattage of your particular microwave.
The general rule of thumb is that it will take around 2 minutes for each pound of turkey. So the average time it will take for ground turkey to defrost will be between 2 to 4 minutes.
If your microwave has a lower wattage, it will take much longer to defrost your frozen ground turkey. Higher wattage microwaves have more heating power, so can thaw your frozen meat a lot quicker.
You should also ensure that you use the defrost setting on your microwave so that you can efficiently defrost your ground turkey. If you were to use the standard heating settings, this will start to cook your meat before it has fully defrosted, so it will still be frozen in the middle.
If your microwave doesn’t come with a defrost setting, you can simply reduce the power level to around 30%.
Top Tips for Defrosting Ground Turkey
To get the best results from defrosting your ground turkey, use these below tips.
Use a microwave safe plate
When it comes to defrosting frozen ground turkey, you will need to place it on a microwave safe plate. The best types of microwave safe dishes are made from ceramic or glass.
It will also need to be large enough that there is roughly 1 inch of free space surrounding your ground turkey. This is so that any juices that come off the defrosted meat will remain on the plate and not drip all over your microwave.
Remove the packaging
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to defrosting your ground turkey is to remove it from its original plastic packaging. This is because the plastic can start to melt or even catch fire.
Melted plastic releases harmful toxins that will be highly toxic. If you were to defrost your ground turkey in its original packaging, this will cause your ground turkey to become inedible.
2 minutes for every pound
The general rule of thumb when it comes to frozen ground turkey is that it will take around 2 minutes of defrosting for every 1 pound of meat. So check the weight of your turkey before you place it in your microwave, then set the timer accordingly.
To prevent the meat from cooking, it will be best to do this in 2 minute increments. This way you can also turn or flip the meat so that it thaws out evenly, and ensures there are no hot spots that end up cooking your meat.
If your ground turkey is still slightly frozen after the defrosting process, you can blitz it in short 1 minute increments to get the meat to thaw out properly. If you notice that your ground turkey has partially defrosted, you will need to adjust the thawing time down to 1 minute per pound of meat.
Cook your defrosted turkey straightaway
Once you have finished thawing out your ground turkey, you should cook it immediately. This is because the longer it is left out at room temperature, the more likely it will be to start developing harmful food borne bacteria.
If you don’t use all of your thawed ground turkey, you should place it either in your refrigerator or back into your freezer to prevent this food borne bacteria from appearing and making the food inedible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for ground turkey to defrost?
Frozen ground turkey typically takes around 2 minutes per 1 pound of meat to defrost. However, the cooking time will depend on the weight of your ground turkey, the size of the block, as well as the wattage of your particular microwave.
Do you have to defrost ground turkey before cooking?
Yes, you should always defrost ground turkey before cooking it. This is because if you start to cook using frozen ground turkey you will burn it on the outside while it is still raw on the inside.
The other option is that you will have to lengthen the cooking time and lower the cooking temperature to ensure that it cooks all the way through. It will be much quicker and easier to use the microwave method to defrost your ground turkey before you need to cook it.
How do you defrost ground turkey in a package?
You should never defrost your ground turkey in plastic packaging. This is because the plastic melts, releasing harmful toxins into the meat and leaving it unsafe to eat.
The plastic could also catch fire in your appliance. You should always remove your frozen ground turkey from its plastic packaging before you defrost it, and place it on a microwave safe plate.
How long can ground turkey thaw at room temperature?
You should never leave ground turkey to thaw at room temperature. This is because if it is left out at room temperature for longer than 4 hours, it won’t be safe to eat. The longer raw meat is left out at room temperature, the more harmful food borne bacteria it starts to develop.
You should either defrost your ground turkey in your refrigerator over 24 hours, run it under cold water, or use the microwave method to quickly thaw your meat.
So there you have it! You now know everything there is to know about defrosting ground turkey. Your frozen ground turkey will take around 2 minutes of defrosting time for every 1 pound of meat.
You should always remove it from its original packaging, and place the meat on a microwave safe plate. It will also be important to make use of your microwave’s defrost setting so that the meat doesn’t start to cook.
You should cook your freshly thawed ground turkey immediately after it has finished defrosting. It shouldn’t be left out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours to ensure that it is still safe to eat.