How to Quick Thaw a Whole Frozen Turkey Breast

by Jenny Harrington

Few things throw a greater kink in your dinner plans than realizing the turkey breast you wanted to cook is still frozen. It's usually recommended to thaw turkey in the refrigerator for a day or longer, but this doesn't work when you need to prepare it that evening. Proper thawing ensures the poultry is safe to serve to your family. You can still thaw the meat quickly while keeping it at a safe temperature so illness-causing bacteria doesn't taint the turkey.

Wrap the turkey breast tightly in plastic food wrap. If the turkey came packaged in a sealed bag, leave it in the bag instead of wrapping it. Place the wrapped breast into a plastic zip-top storage bag and seal it closed.

Fill a clean sink or a large bowl with enough cold water to fully submerge the turkey breast. Cold tap water is sufficient.

Place the turkey breast in the water. Replace the water with fresh cold water every 30 minutes throughout thawing.

Thaw the turkey breast for two to six hours, depending on its weight. It takes approximately 30 minutes per pound of turkey to thaw it completely.

Items you will need

  • Plastic wrap
  • Zip-top bag
  • Bowl


  • Cook the turkey breast immediately after thawing.


  • Never thaw a turkey breast at room temperature, as temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to bacteria growth.
  • Use warm, soapy water to wash your hands and any cooking utensils that come into contact with the raw turkey.

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo Credits

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