DENVER (KDVR) — Thanksgiving is almost here and if you haven’t thawed your turkey yet, you better get on it.

The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment offers the following options to defrost your bird.

  1. In the refrigerator — The safest way to thaw a frozen turkey is on the bottom shelf in the fridge. It will defrost at a consistent, safe temperature. Placing it on the bottom shelf helps reduce cross-contamination of other foods as it thaws. Remember, every 5 pounds of meat needs one day to thaw. So, a 14-pound turkey will need at least three days to thaw completely.
  2. Soaking in cold water — Submerge the bird in its original wrapper in cold tap water, adding new cold water about every 30 minutes. When defrosting this way, every pound needs 30 minutes to thaw. So, a 14-pound turkey will need at least seven hours to thaw completely.
  3. By microwave — ALWAYS follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.

DDPHE says to cook the turkey to 165 degrees internally, then remember to:

  • Refrigerate the food after two hours of serving
  • Eat turkey leftovers within four days
  • Eat casserole and mashed potato leftovers within five days

With these tips, you can have a happy and healthy holiday meal.