If you thaw a turkey in your refrigerator, it will take 24 hours per 5 pounds. This means that your 15-pound turkey will take 3 days minimum to thaw completely. I don’t know about your house but in my home, I don’t have the refrigerator space to hold a full turkey for 3 days while also storing the rest of my groceries and living a normal life.
In comes some specialized equipment, the cooler. We will mimic the temperature of the refrigerator but in a convenient location and away from any cross-contamination risks. To accomplish this safely we will need our ChefsTemp Quad XPro thermometer and a bag of ice. You want to place your bag of ice in the bottom of the cooler then set the turkey, still in the wrapper and breast side up, on top of the ice. Place the ambient temperature probe close to the turkey and seal up your cooler. Make sure to set the temperature alarm to 40 °F (4.5°C), any higher and you are escaping safe cooling temps and entering the bacterial danger zone (41-140°F, 5-60°C).
Let this sit for 72 hours, checking once every day by touch to see if the turkey has softened up. After 72 hours take the temperature of the thermal center of the turkey. The center of the breast should be between 32-40°F (0-4.5°C).