April 16

How To Thaw Ground Turkey in Microwave? – Learn Here


Author: Ana Stanar
Kitchengearoid.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Turkey is a great source of protein, and like meat and fish, it can be preserved by various means including freezing.

Ground Turkey is great for your everyday protein needs. Over the years, the appeal for ground turkey has risen in so many American families and many people even prefer it to ground beef or fish.

The major method of keeping your ground turkey preserved is to keep it frozen always when you’re not using it. This article will be considering how to thaw ground turkey in microwave, and why this option should be there first on your list when you want to thaw your ground turkey.

Other methods people use for thawing ground turkey includes putting under running water, dipping inside hot water for a couple of seconds at a time and leaving it in the refrigerator.

Thawing the ground turkey in a microwave is a piece of cake. All you need to do is keep it in for 7-8 minutes while checking it after every 1-minute heating. This is the fastest, safest method you will find.

Read more: What is a microwave oven

How to Thaw Ground Turkey in Microwave

White Ground Turkey
Ground Turkey

Once in a while, or often, you might want to try out food recipes that call for ground turkey, this is getting more common by the day. What happens when you forget to take out the turkey from the freezer early enough so that it can sit at room temperature to thaw?

Unfortunately, those recipes almost always require unfrozen turkey because the frozen ground turkey will put excess liquid in what you’re cooking and the ground turkey will not cook evenly and this might damage your meal.

To thaw your ground turkey in the microwave, remove it from the packaging as it can melt during the thawing process since it is not heat resistant. Put in a microwave-safe container and cover it properly.

Microwave 1 pound at a time. On average, each option will take about 7-8 minutes. Use the defrost option of the microwave and put the turkey in.

If you own a microwave, one that rotates, you can leave it in for 7-8 minutes, if the microwave is one that doesn’t rotate, you might want to check the ground turkey at intervals and turn it over so that it is defrosted throughout.

Once the turkey is thoroughly defrosted, cook it immediately.

Read more: How to Tell If Plastic is Microwave Safe

Why You Should Substitute Ground Beef for Ground Turkey

Ground beef has been around for a very long time. But these days, ground turkey has started to gain even more popularity because of its health benefits.

Ground beef has been found to contain more cholesterol which is higher in red meat, this increases the risk of obesity and major heart problems. Ground turkey is a more healthy alternative to ground beef and can be a substitute in most major recipes.

Ground turkey
Ground Turkey VS Ground Beef, Source: Pinterest

Things to Watch Out for When Thawing Your Ground Turkey in the Microwave

While you are thawing your ground turkey using a microwave, you want to ensure that you’re not cooking the turkey instead of thawing, this is why you should check at a 1-minute interval.

The major characteristic of a microwave is that the meal is heated inside out so you can measure the temperature of the food using a kitchen thermometer.

Try to cook the ground turkey within the hour. Immediately after it is thawed and reaches room temperature, the quality of the ground turkey starts to deteriorate so be sure to use it as quickly as possible.

Make sure you don’t attempt to cook the ground turkey frozen, as it might not turn out as good as you expect.

how to thaw ground turkey in microwave
Ground Turkey Peppers, Source: Simple Recipes

Comparison of Other Thawing Methods

Let us see how thawing ground turkey with microwave compares with other methods.

1. Thawing Using a Microwave VS Running Water

To thaw the ground turkey using the running water method, you put the ground turkey inside a zip lock bag or a container and put directly under running water, drain at regular intervals and keep repeating the process.

While this option is not the worst idea ever, it takes time, you have to do this consistently until its thoroughly unfrozen unlike using a microwave, a microwave does most of the work. All you have to do is keep checking to ensure that the microwave isn’t cooking the turkey.

The running water option also wastes lots of water, if you live in a place that you have to manage water, you might want to consider another option.

2. Thawing Ground Turkey Using a Microwave VS Using a Refrigerator

If you want to use a refrigerator to thaw your ground turkey, you have to take out the turkey from the freezer at least a day before you need to use it because you want to keep it cold not frozen.

Take out the quantity of ground turkey you need and leave the rest in the freezer. You can keep the needed quantity in the refrigerator for a day or through a night. By the time you need it, it should be completely unfrozen.

The downside to this option is that it wastes a lot of time, it is not the go-to option if you need to use the turkey almost immediately. If it is urgent, you should probably consider using your microwave as it only takes a couple of minutes.

3. Thawing Ground Turkey Using a Microwave VS Using Hot Water

To use hot water to thaw, you need boiling water and a container to put the turkey, all you need do is pour the water over the turkey, for about 15-30 seconds, then strain.

Unfortunately, you will have to pour the hot water over your turkey. If you intend to fry the turkey, the moisture would probably thwart that. The hot water can get into the turkey and ruin it for whatever you want to prepare, depending on your cooking method.

When microwaving, on the other hand, you needn’t put any water in your microwave-safe bowl to bring it to room temperature.


Microwaves are a very essential part of home appliances and they can easily be used for so many other home heating needs including baking, reheating, boiling e.t.c.

Now that you know how to thaw ground turkey in microwave it’s almost senseless to use any other means.

When you thaw your ground turkey, ensure that you do not leave it for more than a couple of minutes and keep It opened, that way, you can keep it safe for some time till you can cook.


1. Is it safe to defrost meat in the microwave?

Yes, thawing meat and poultry in a microwave oven are safe. When thawing meat and poultry in the microwave, prepare to cook them quickly, as some portions of the meal may become warm and begin to cook.

2. Is it safe to microwave ground turkey?

Yes, it is fully safe. Covering the ground turkey is critical since it helps maintain the temperature of the dish. This will eliminate potentially hazardous microorganisms. If your ground turkey is frozen, thaw it in the microwave before cooking.

3. How long does ground turkey take to defrost in a microwave?

In general, it takes seven to eight minutes per pound of ground turkey to defrost, depending on the wattage of your microwave and the size and thickness of the meat. If your microwave does not have a defrost function, you can adjust the power level to 30%, which is the default setting for the defrost function.

4. Can you quickly defrost ground turkey?

If you're in a hurry to defrost a turkey, the microwave is your best bet. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) recommends thawing ground turkey in one of three ways: in the refrigerator, cold water, or the microwave. 

5. How do you defrost ground turkey without a microwave?

Fill a big bowl halfway with cold water and submerge the bag. Replace the water every 30 minutes to keep it cool and continue thawing the meat. Smaller cuts of meat, poultry, or seafood (less than a pound) can be defrosted in an hour or less; larger portions (3–4 pounds) may take 2–3 hours.

About the author

Ana Stanar

An Art Teacher, entrepreneur, and a mother of three, Ana considers cooking a form of art - pleasure for all senses as well as a process that requires creativity, passion and devotion. Since she leads a busy life, Ana just loves testing various kitchen appliances for Kitchen Gearoid, especially those that save her time while preparing food and cooking but also make every meal a masterpiece!



You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}