It's Thanksgiving morning and you are ready to cook your turkey, but it is still frozen. Can you cook a frozen Turkey? According to the folks from Butterball Turkey, you sure can. Some suggest that you defrost your turkey by sticking it in the sink filled with cold water, but that is going to take 30 minutes a pound. Most people don't have that much time on Thanksgiving morning to defrost and cook their turkey before their guests arrive for dinner, so that's not much help. So what is a cook to do?
Frozen solid or semi-frozen
On Thanksgiving morning there will be two types of frozen turkey dilemmas going on in homes across the nation and that would be the frozen turkey and the semi-frozen turkey. Most people who find themselves with a frozen turkey are usually looking at a semi-frozen bird. These are the folks that had their turkey defrosting in the fridge or in a sink full of water but find it is still solid in the center.
Then you have the cooks who completely forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer and that bird is a frozen block, so what is a cook to do? You are going to get on it right away because while it is perfectly fine to cook a frozen turkey, it is going to take some extra time. According to Still Tasty if you are looking at a frozen block of a bird that's come right out of the freezer than it is going to take you about 50 percent longer to cook your turkey. It will take less time if the bird is semi-frozen.
Cook to temperature
A thawed 15-pound turkey will take 3 to 3.5 hours to cook, so if that turkey is frozen solid, you are now looking at the cooking time of 4.5 to 5 hours. If the turkey is semi-frozen the time may be a bit less, but no matter how frozen the turkey was when you started out, it isn't cooked thoroughly until that meat thermometer reaches 165-degrees F.
You need to take that temperature from the thickest part of the breast, innermost part of the turkey's wing or thigh. As soon as the turkey starts to defrost in the oven, check it often with the thermometer. Cook your frozen turkey at the same temperature that you would cook a thawed bird, 350-degrees (F).
Frozen giblets in center
A turkey that is frozen solid is going to go into the oven with the frozen giblets and neck in the center of the bird. You need to keep an eye on your turkey in the oven and as soon as the bag of giblets and that neck have thawed enough to separate from the bird, remove them using tongs or a fork.
Warning: If you neglect to remove the giblets and the plastic melts from the bag used to wrap the giblets, you cannot use giblets and your turkey is ruined. That bag contains harmful chemicals that can seep into the bird. Today most companies use paper wrappings for anything tucked inside the turkey and this poses no risk if forgotten.
Believe it or not some cooks believe cooking a turkey frozen makes a bird moist and tasty, more so than if you cooked it thawed! So if you are looking at a frozen block of a bird on Thanksgiving morning, just start cooking a few hours earlier than you planned. Your dinner will be fine, suggests thekitchn.com website.
How many hours per pound for cooking?
- 8-lbs to 12-lbs: 4-hours to 4 1/2 hours
- 12-lbs to 14-lbs: 4 1/2- hours to 5 3/4 hours
- 14-lbs to 18-lbs: 5 3/4- hours to 6 1/4 hours
- 18-lbs to 20-lbs: 6 1/4 - hours to 6 3/4 hours
- 20-lbs to 24-lbs: 6 3/4 -hours to 7 1/2 hours
For questions about your turkey, frozen or thawed, call the Butterball Hotline which is open all day Thanksgiving. You can call 1-800-288-8372 and talk to a live expert or head over to the Butterball website and chat or email an expert.
While cooking that turkey tune into the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Check here for all the ways you can watch the parade, along with time and TV channel. Or check out these five traditional Thanksgiving movies. #Can you cook a frozen turkey #Turkey hotline #How long do you cook a frozen turkey