Can you cook a frozen turkey? Yes you can! Here are tips for How to Cook a Frozen Turkey!
Cooking a frozen turkey without thawing it first has several benefits.
There is no need to remember to thaw it ahead of time, there is no risk of contaminating your fridge or counter with salmonella-rich thawing juices, and the breast and dark meat, which is a pre-thawed turkey require different lengths of cooking time, are done to the perfect consistency if the bird goes into the oven frozen.
But there are several things to remember when cooking a frozen bird. Keep reading below for tip on cooking a frozen turkey. But first, let’s talk about how to choose the perfect turkey.
How to Choose the Perfect Turkey
When it comes to choosing a turkey for your holiday dinner, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
First, you’ll want to make sure the turkey is big enough to feed everyone. Second, you’ll want to choose a turkey that has been raised humanely and is free from antibiotics. Finally, you’ll want to choose a turkey that suits your taste.
When it comes to size, you’ll want to choose a turkey that is at least 12 pounds. This will ensure that there is enough turkey for everyone. If you have a large family or group of friends, you may want to choose a larger turkey.
When it comes to humanely raised turkeys, you’ll want to choose a bird that has been raised on a diet of natural grains and has not been given antibiotics. These turkeys are typically more flavorful and juicy.
Finally, when it comes to taste, you’ll want to choose a turkey that suits your palate. If you like a more mild flavor, you’ll want to choose a young turkey. If you prefer a more robust flavor, you’ll want to choose an older turkey.
When it comes time to choose your holiday turkey, keep these key factors in mind and you’ll be sure to choose the perfect bird for your dinner table.
Here are some tips on how to cook a frozen turkey.
Best Way to Season A Turkey
There are many different ways to season a turkey, but some methods are better than others. Here are the best ways to season your turkey so that it comes out tasting delicious:
1. Brine the turkey before cooking. This helps to keep the meat moist and full of flavor.
2. Season the turkey with a rub made of herbs and spices. Be sure to get under the skin to really flavor the meat.
3. Baste the turkey regularly while it cooks. This will keep it from drying out and help to create a crispy, golden skin.
4. Let the turkey rest after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, making for a juicier and more flavorful bird.
Following these tips, your turkey is sure to be delicious.
How to Cook a Frozen Turkey
Allow Enough Cooking Time
A frozen turkey of 12-15 pounds requires about five to five and a half hours to cook.
A 20-pound turkey takes about seven to seven and a half hours.
Although thawing time is not necessary because it goes straight from the freezer into the oven, the cook should allow enough time for the turkey to be properly cooked. It is recommended to have an extra half-hour available before the bird is to be served.
The turkey can rest on a warmer for that long without losing flavor, and it’s better to have extra time than to be in a hurry and serve undercooked meat.
Stuff The Turkey While It’s Baking
The frozen turkey can be put in the oven while the giblet bag is still inside it. The bag can be removed once the turkey is sufficiently thawed, after three to three and a half hours at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
At this point, the turkey can also be stuffed. This also reduces the length of time the stuffing spends in the oven, leading to moister and tastier stuffing.
Have Hot Food Handling Tools Ready
Because it’s necessary to take the turkey out of the oven after several hours of baking in order to remove the giblet bag and add stuffing, the cook will be handling the turkey while the pan and some parts of the turkey are hot.
It’s recommended to have heat-resistant insulated gloves, a pad to place the turkey on, and other implements to assist in handling hot food.
Use A Meat Thermometer
The dark meat will thaw and cook comparatively quickly, but the breast will take longer.
When the turkey is cooked and safe to eat, the breast temperature is about 165 degrees Fahrenheit; even if the turkey comes with a pop-up timer, use a meat thermometer to check it from time to time and when it seems to be ready.
Insert the tip of the thermometer at least an inch and a half into the breast, preferably two inches.
Use A Shallow Pan
A pan with high sides insulates the bottom of the turkey from the oven heat and may lead to uneven cooking. It’s better to use a shallow pan that lets the whole turkey cook evenly.
Transferring a turkey straight from the freezer into the oven leads to longer cooking times, which can crowd a busy Thanksgiving or Christmas day.
In terms of the fridge space and time saved on previous days, the convenience of not needing to remember to thaw the turkey, the greater safety of not having a thawing turkey drip on things, and the better results from having the dark meat and breast naturally cook at different rates, however, cooking a frozen turkey is a wise choice.
More Turkey Tips:
If you do have time to thaw your frozen turkey before cooking, read these tips!
How Long Can You Freeze a Turkey For
You can freeze a turkey for up to two years.
However, it is best to use it within the first year for optimal flavor and quality.
After freezing a turkey, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking.
Best Way to Thaw a Frozen Turkey
There are a few different ways to thaw a frozen turkey, but the best way is to thaw it slowly in the refrigerator. This can take a few days, so plan ahead!
In the Refrigerator
Here’s how to do it:
1. Place the frozen turkey in the refrigerator on a tray or in a pan to catch any drips.
2. Allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. So, if you have a 10-pound turkey, it will take approximately 2 days to thaw.
3. Once thawed, cook the turkey within 1-2 days.
In Cold Water
If you’re short on time, you can also thaw the turkey in cold water. Here’s how:
1. Place the frozen turkey in a large container of cold water.
2. Change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold.
3. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound of turkey. So, if you have a 10-pound turkey, it will take approximately 5 hours to thaw.
4. Once thawed, cook the turkey within 1-2 days.
Whatever method you choose, make sure to cook the turkey within 1-2 days of thawing for food safety reasons. Enjoy!