Thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator in its original packaging.
Allow 24 hours of thawing time for each 4 pounds of turkey… so a 12-pound bird thaws for 3 full days.
If you don't have time for a refrigerator thaw, you can thaw it in cold water, about 30 minutes per pound of turkey. Make sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Cover the turkey with cold tap water, so the turkey is completely under water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey as soon as it's thawed.
Never thaw a turkey at room temperature. Never ever!