How Long to Thaw a 6 LB Turkey Breast (Defrost Like a Professional)

Are you saving some turkey boneless breasts in your freezer?

Do they weigh around 6 lb?

Allow me to help you calculate the correct defrost time.

As well as some safe thawing methods.

So you can enjoy those delicious turkey breasts properly!


How Long to Thaw a 6 Pound Turkey Breast?

A 6-pound turkey breast will defrost in just over 24 hours in the fridge.

The average fridge temperature is set at 40°F.

At this temp, the turkey will thaw at a rate of 5 pounds of boneless breasts per 24 hours.

Tip: Look at the gauge in your refrigerator to ensure it is set to 40°F.

So When Do I Start Thawing My 6 Pound Turkey Breast?

You should start thawing your 6-pound turkey breast 24 hours before you plan to cook it.

Knowing the Physical Signs of a Raw Turkey Breast

Let’s be honest.

Even someone with very little experience in the kitchen should know when meat is frozen.

A frozen turkey breast will be solid to the touch.

And (obviously) be very cold to the touch.

The packaging and turkey breast may still have ice crystals on them.

But what if your turkey breast isn’t showing these signs and you want to be sure?

The breast’s white meat should have a little bounce to the touch.

This is a quick indication you no longer have frozen meat.


Use A Meat Thermometer With A Long Probe

The touch method is a good start.

But I will always reccomend checking with a food thermometer.

Using a calibrated instant-read thermometer will give you the exact temperature.

This is the most precise and accurate way of knowing if your turkey breast has thawed.

What Reading Is a Safe Internal Temperature for Thawed Turkey?

The safe temperature for your turkey should be 32°F – 39°F.

Insert the probe into the middle of the breast meat.

Avoid it touching the breast bone if your cut still has it in.

Note: Sticking your probe in raw meat will cause contamination.

And the risk of a foodborne illness.

Do not forget to safely clean it straight afterward.

The Best Techniques & Safe Methods to Defrost a Turkey Breast

Keep reading to understand a safe thawing process or 3!

Defrosting in a Refrigerator

Defrosting your turkey breasts in your fridge is the safest and easiest way.

This method of thawing does take a bit of time.

So plan on getting them out of the freezer a day before.

This is the safest method.


Defrosting in a Microwave

Defrosting a small breast or breast halves in the microwave is also a reliable method.

Unpackage the breast and place it on a microwave-safe dish.

Set it on the defrost settings.

The standard rate for microwaving is 6 minutes per pound of turkey.

So a 6-pound turkey will take 36 minutes.

Cold Water Method

Defrosting with cold tap water is another easy way to thaw your turkey breast.

Keep your turkey in its packaging and fill up a container with cold water.

Submerge the breasts completely.

The water temperature will be a constant 40°F.

Allow 30 minutes per pound of turkey.

A 6-pound turkey will take 180 minutes.

Note: Do not use hot water as this can partially cook the turkey and allow bacteria growth.

Keep Turkey Breast in the Original Packaging Until Use

Unless specified, it is always better to leave the turkey in its original packaging.

This is down to food safety, and convenience and can affect the cooked meat.

The low moisture in the fridge can dry out the uncooked meat.

It will also stop the raw meat juices from contaminating anything else!


How Long Do I Have to Cook After a Turkey Breast Has Thawed?

After the turkey has thawed you have 1 or 2 days to cook the meat before it starts to spoil.

See how to smoke turkey breasts so they come out juicy and tender.

How Much Turkey Breast Will you Need?

You need need to allow around 1¼ lbs of raw turkey breast per person

However, they are many variables such as the age of guests, the time of the event, and what you’re serving with it.

See how to smoke turkey breasts so they come out juicy and tender.

Can I Freeze It Again Within Those 2 Days?

Yes, you can put it back into the freezer.

But you might lose some moisture from the turkey meat.

So it wouldn’t produce the juiciest turkey breast meat!

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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