I waited too long to defrost the turkey!
THE FIX: You may have an urge to put the bird in hot water, but it’s crucial to keep it cold— 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below—until cooking to eliminate the risk of bacteria growth, says Sue Smith, RD, an expert with the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. Instead, defrost the turkey in a cold-water bath, which will take about 30 minutes per pound (so for a 20-pound turkey, you’ll need about 10 hours).
Fill your sink with cold water and submerge the turkey, breast side down, leaving the original wrapper on. Change the water every 30 minutes to make sure it stays cold. If need be, Smith says it’s safe to cook the turkey from frozen, but this will add several hours to the cooking time. Use an oven-safe meat thermometer to measure doneness (165 degrees Fahrenheit).