If you haven’t started thawing your frozen turkey yet, hop to it, or you may run into trouble with tomorrow’s main course. Renae Swears, a nutritional health specialist at the Iowa State University Extension, says it’s likely too late now to thaw the big bird in the fridge, so thoroughly clean out your kitchen sink and fill it with tap water.

“Put your turkey in the sink and a lot of times, people think that means it should be an unwrapped turkey but when you are thawing in water, you do still want to have that turkey wrapped,” Swears says. The water should entirely cover the bird, or cover as much as possible. “We do recommend that you change that water every 30 minutes or so,” Swears says. “You don’t want it to be hot water, just room temperature to even a little bit coolish water.”

Larger, heavier turkeys will take longer to adequately thaw. Swears says, “The 12 to 15-pound bird is going to take anywhere from six to eight hours in water that you’re changing every half an hour.” If the bird isn’t completely thawed before cooking, some areas may dry out in the oven.

Swears says Iowa State University has an Answer Line available for questions on preparing the Thanksgiving meal at 1-800-262-3804. Staff will be available today from 9 A.M. to noon and from 1 to 4 P.M.

(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)