For one Florida family, the backyard pool is part of a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition.
It all began on Thanksgiving nearly 20 years ago, when Michael O’Donnell and his family realized they’d forgotten to thaw their turkey. Before panic could set in, Uncle Dave did some quick thinking and hurled the bird into the pool for a nice warm soak. In just a few hours, it was ready for the oven.
His signature move has been the preferred meal-prep method ever since. Each year, a different relative gets to do the honors.
O’Donnell posted a video of 2020’s thaw online, where it gathered lots of attention.
“Yes, folks, we thaw our turkey in the pool. That’s how you do it when you live in Florida, right?” he says, on Facebook Live.
But amid a sea of likes and shares, viewers have questions. Most are concerned about chlorine becoming part of the meat’s marinade.
O’Donnell says there haven’t been any issues. “These bags are sealed by factories,” he assures. “We’ve never had a leakage, and no chlorine in our turkey.”
Of course, the United States Department of Agriculture makes no mention of swimming pools in their list of recommended turkey-thawing methods. The rest of us are limited to the refrigerator, cold sink water or the microwave.