Experts and BHG readers answer.
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Is it safe to leave a turkey in the sink to defrost overnight?
Thawing a turkey in a sink full of cold water is a good way to thaw your turkey, but it's not safe to leave it in the sink to thaw overnight. It is recommended to thaw a 4 to 12 pound turkey in cold water for 2 to 6 hours, a 12 to 16 pound turkey for 6 to 8 hours, or a 20 to 24 pound turkey for 10 to 12 hours. Or, it takes about 30 minutes per pound. The water should be changed every 30 minutes, so it would not be recommended to do this overnight. Better to do it during the day so that when thawed, the turkey can then be placed back in the refrigerated until cooking time.