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How to Defrost Turkey Leg in Microwave

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Do you have frozen cooked or raw turkey leg that needs to be thawed quickly? Whether it is roasted or still uncooked, leftover turkey legs are an excellent source of protein that can be stored easily in the freezer to extend shelf life. 

But the question is, how exactly to defrost a frozen turkey leg without losing the natural juices from the succulent meat. Microwave is the best tool to defrost food quickly and help to reduce cooking or reheating time.

How do you defrost turkey leg in microwave? Transfer the frozen turkey leg to a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on the defrost function for a time based on the weight of the turkey leg. 

For 1 pound turkey leg, it will take about 6 minutes to fully defrost in the microwave. Every 3 minute interval, rotate and flip the meat for even thawing all around.

When dealing with frozen precooked turkey leg, it is recommended to thaw first before reheating the turkey leg. Defrosting can help to heat up afterward quickly and more equally on all sides. 

Several methods are used to defrost a frozen turkey, but microwaving is the fasted way compared to refrigerator or running under cold water.

In this article, defrosting turkey leg in the microwave is covered comprehensively. Answered below are frequently asked questions about microwave defrosting frozen turkey legs including safety tips and techniques for quick results.

Can you defrost the turkey leg in the microwave?

Yes, you can defrost the turkey leg in the microwave. Defrosting meat in a microwave is the quick and easy, in a matter of minutes it is fully thawed and ready to cook or reheat

Set the microwave in a defrost setting power mode, and place the frozen turkey legs inside a microwave-safe container or dish to a juices that may leak out while thawing. 

Flip and rotate the turkey leg to ensure equal distribution of heat across all areas. 

The turkey leg may start to cook instead of defrosting; in such a scenario, let the cooked turkey rest for 5 minutes, after which defrosting process resumes. 

Ensure that once the turkey leg is fully defrosted, it is cooked or reheated immediately to prevent it from extended exposure to the temperature danger zone where food borne bacteria multiplies rapidly.

How long to defrost turkey leg in the microwave?

Typically, 1 pound of a frozen turkey takes about 6 minutes to thoroughly defrost. Generally a turkey leg weighs between 1 to 2½ pounds and takes between 12 to 15 minutes when using the defrost setting.

The duration to complete the defrosting process depends on the size of the frozen turkey leg. Calculate the time based on the weight to see how long it takes for the amount to be fully defrosted and ready to be cooked or reheated.

Tips to defrost turkey leg in microwave

Defrost turkey leg in microwave is easy and quick. However, it is important to prevent the leg from cooking instead of thawing. 

Use these helpful microwave tips to defrost turkey leg quickly: 

  • Properly store turkey leg in the freezer with an airtight container or a food wrap to minimize freezer burn on the exposed areas. 
  • Leave the frozen turkey leg in the fridge a night before to ease the process of defrosting.
  • Use the defrost button or set the microwave to low power mode.
  • Use a microwave-safe container and place the frozen turkey leg in a Ziploc bag to ensure no juices leak. 
  • Allow one pound of frozen turkey leg to defrost in 6 minutes.
  • Rotate the turkey leg at multiple times throughout the process to ensure equal distribution of heat.
  • Fully defrosted turkey leg is to be cooked or reheated immediately after thawing to minimize exposure to the temperature danger zone and potential growth of food born bacteria.

Best way to defrost turkey leg in the microwave

For best results, it is recommended to leave in the fridge the night before to defrost the turkey leg with ease. However, if you need quick results then defrosting in the microwave is fast and easy to do. 

Place the frozen turkey in a microwave-safe bowl and wrap it outside to hold any juice that may escape. Set the microwave at defrost function power setting. 

Depending on the weight of the turkey leg, set the defrost timer for 6 minutes for every pound. Rotate the frozen meat throughout the defrosting process continues to ensure even distribution of heat. 

Once the defrosting process is done, cook or reheat the defrosted turkey immediately. The longer the thawed eat stays at room temperature in the temperature danger zone, then high potential for food borne bacteria to multiply.

How to defrost turkey leg in microwave

Defrosting Turkey Leg in Microwave: Conclusion 

There are various ways to defrost frozen turkey leg, but the quickest and most efficient way to thaw turkey leg is in the microwave.

Place the turkey leg on a microwaveable container and place inside a resealable bag or cover with microwavable plastic wrap to minimize juice from spilling out of the dish.

Set the microwave on defrost setting and run it for 6 minutes per pound to fully thaw the frozen turkey leg. Breakdown between 1 to 3 minute intervals to turn the leg on the other side to completely thaw all around.

Frequently check the status of the turkey leg to prevent it from starting to cook. When the turkey leg is brought up to room temperature, reheat or cook right away to avoid rapid bacteria growth that may potentially lead to food borne illness.