Yes, You Can Cook a Fully Frozen Turkey (Here’s How)
We've all heard the horror stories about folks who didn't realize they needed to thaw their turkey, had to buy a frozen one last-minute or just plain forgot to take that step days earlier.
While it isn't an ideal situation to be in, it's not the end of the world. As it turns out, you can actually cook a frozen turkey as-is and I am going to tell you how!
First things first: NEVER deep fry or grill a frozen turkey. Never, ever. Instead, the frozen bird should be cooked in the oven at 325 degrees until the entire turkey reaches 165 degrees.
The first thing to realize is that you won't be able to do some of the things to a frozen turkey that you can (and should) do with a thawed one.
- It won't be possible to brine/season the turkey beforehand. However, the turkey can be seasoned a bit when it starts to thaw partway through the cooking process when the skin is thawed enough to absorb the herbs and spices.
- The stuffing should be cooked outside of the turkey. Since the stuffing needs to reach 165 degrees to be done, it would take too long inside the frozen turkey to fully cook.
- Removing the giblets will have to wait until the turkey is partially thawed.
According to thekitchn, your turkey will take about 50% longer to cook when its frozen, so allow up to 4.5 hours for a smaller turkey and up to 7.5 hours for a 24-pounder.
Again, the turkey needs to reach 165 degrees throughout the entire bird to be considered done.