Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Too Good

A drawback to our efficient little fridge: it's very difficult to thaw anything in it. I've yet to do it successfully, except when I happened to be running the defrost on the freezer compartment at the same time. I think the defrost works by simply shutting down the compressor and letting the frost thaw. The phase change draws heat from the rest of the refrigerator and thus keeps the food cool. When all the frost has melted, the temperature in the refrigerator begins to rise, and a sensor switches the compressor on again.

So I guess the trick is to take the turkey out of the deep freeze, put all the food from the freezer compartment into the new space in the deep freeze, wedge the turkey into the freezer compartment, hit the defrost button, and pay attention, because as soon as the thaw is finished, the compressor will kick back in and freeze that bird all over again. Of course, if there's room for the bird in the fridge part, you're okay, and the sound of the compressor kicking in is just a handy signal that the thaw is complete.

I'll have to try that.

And then I'll have to cook the thing. Never cooked a turkey in my life.

Learn to do by doing, they say...

11 comments:

Wayne said...

Here's how we thaw out a frozen turkey. Fill a sink with cold water, put the frozen turkey in, and let it sit overnight. It'll be thawed in the morning. The water stays around just above 0C until the turkey is thawed.

H. Stallard said...

I thawed out 10 lbs. of deer meat today in about 30 minutes using warm water in the sink .

Granny said...

I do the same thing as Wayne basically. I know they say don't do it but I've never had any problems.

I just season the dumb bird and throw it in a browning bag. Used to do it the hard way but no more.

Laura said...

Thanks everyone! Yes, my mom uses the sink technique too. I usually just avoid the big stuff, and cook the small stuff from frozen. I was just thinking it's curious that the food gurus haven't changed their tune since the refrigerators got better. In my experience, you can leave meat in the fridge for the full recommended hours-per-pound, and it will still be solid.

Anonymous said...

Learn by doing, yes. What I learned by doing that is to cook chicken!

Wayne said...

When I thaw out a turkey that way I always think of Ann Tyler's "The Armchair Tourist", and the crazy family's card game of "Vaccination", as well as Rose's "new way of cooking turkey" - place in a 150 deg (F!) oven for three days. "Pure poison!"

But so long as you don't keep it in the *cold* water (not warm?) past the point where the water temperature starts rising, there's no problem.

For small frozen objects, a large pot of cold water would substitute for a sink.

Laura said...

Anybody else notice that the more hasty and frivolous the post, the more abundant the comments? This is fun.

Madcap - do you mean, you discovered that chickens are easier to cook, or do you mean, you discovered that what you had cooked was a chicken??

I know, I sound all helpless and needy, but actually, I am very resourceful. This year I reached a new height of resourcefulness. I asked my mom to take the kids for a day so that Garth and I could go to Brandon for my birthday. Then I asked if we could have my birthday supper at her place when we got back, and I generously offered to give her the turkey for it, several days in advance, and of course, still frozen. Worked like a charm.

Laura said...

Wayne - "Armchair Tourist" - I'll have to check that out. Yes, the "warm water" idea makes me squirm, but maybe for small pieces, if you're quick about it . . . yeesh. Have to check on Harold, see if he's still posting today . . .

Anonymous said...

I discovered turkeys are a nuisance, and I prefer chicken anyway.

I'm bad, and the Domestic Deities might smite me, but I used to take a frozen turkey, leave it in the roaster on the counter overnight, and bung it into the oven in the morning. Inevitably it was still half-frozen by daylight, and we never ever got sick. Just sick of turkey.

Deb said...

Confession time: I have not gotten used to the idea of how long it takes to properly thaw foods, so I often end up leaving a chicken or ground beef in a pan on the counter overnight. Of course, I do cook in a shed and this time of year it gets pretty cool in there overnight!

Laura said...

Deb - how do you like cooking in a separate building? I have been trying to imagine that, and I imagine I'd be burning things a lot. Or maybe I'd just stay out there and relish the quiet; leave the kids untended instead of the supper. I might like that.