How to Cook a Turkey From Frozen

by Holidays & Celebrations Editor

How to Cook a Turkey From Frozen. Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey from frozen requires a few more steps than cooking it fresh. Follow these tips and that icy bird will provide your holiday table with a beautiful centerpiece.

Purchase a frozen turkey large enough to feed your group, but not too big to handle. A little over one pound per person is a good rule of thumb. 5 adults and 2 children would need a 9 pound turkey to eat and have leftovers.

Get started early. Thaw the unopened turkey in the refrigerator at a rate of one day for each four pounds of turkey.

Use cold water if time is running out. Cold water thawing takes less time but more care. Change the water every 30 minutes. This will keep the surface of the turkey cold. Estimate 30 minutes of cold water thawing for every pound of frozen turkey.

Wash thawed turkey thoroughly, inside and out with cold water. Place the bird in the roasting pan.

Rub the outside of the turkey in room temperature butter or brush with olive oil. Salt and pepper both the inside cavity and the outside of the bird.


  • Roasting times vary by the size of the bird. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and follow the roasting guide on the turkey wrapper for exact times. Purchase a turkey with a pop up timer to ensure thorough cooking, or use a meat thermometer. Cover the breast and thighs with moistened cheese cloth during the last hour of cooking time to prevent drying.

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