Ready to talk turkey? Get the essentials on how to select and thaw a turkey from our experts
in the H-E-B Meat Market. Before you select your holiday bird, consider the following:
Fresh or frozen?
Fresh turkeys are available during the holiday season at your H-E-B Meat Market. Because
fresh turkeys don't require thawing, they may be bought up to three days before or on the day
of cooking and will be ready to roast straight from the refrigerator.
H-E-B fresh turkeys also come seasoned. Choose from Homestyle, Honey, or Cajun flavors.
These seasoned turkeys make it easy to roast a tasty turkey.
Frozen turkeys may be more affordable but must be purchased ahead of time. A 12-pound turkey
takes 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator and a 20-pound turkey takes 5 days to thaw.
H-E-B Fully Cooked® turkeys
H-E-B offers a variety of flavors and sizes of precooked, whole turkeys and turkey breasts. Try
Oven Roasted, Honey Roasted, Smoked, Spiral Sliced, or Cajun Seasoned. To serve them hot, just
follow the directions on the package. Heating and serving a Fully Cooked turkey will slice
about 2 hours off your cooking schedule.
Allow 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person when buying a whole turkey. A 12-pound turkey
will feed 12 people and leave enough for you to have some delicious leftovers.
Thawing the turkey
Never thaw frozen turkey at room temperature. Thaw your turkey in one of the following
A whole turkey needs 24 hours thawing time per 4 pounds. Allow 3 to 5 days of thawing time
depending on the size of your turkey. The turkey is completely thawed when there are no ice
crystals in the interior cavity.
Allow 30 minutes thawing time per 1 pound of turkey. Place unopened turkey, in wrapper, breast
side down, in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Allow 6 to 10 hours thawing time
depending on the size of your turkey.