Freaking Out Because Your Turkey’s Still Frozen? Try 1 of These 2 Tips

How lengthy does a frozen turkey take to defrost?

For those who purchase a frozen turkey, you need to ensure that it’s correctly defrosted earlier than cooking – all through.

If it’s nonetheless frozen in locations it may not prepare dinner evenly, which implies that dangerous micro organism might survive the cooking course of – which might break Christmas for everybody.

However don’t get up on Christmas morning and suppose you possibly can take your chicken out of the freezer and whack it within the over. Defrosting takes time. Relying on the dimensions of your turkey, it will possibly take days.

So, it’s vital to plan forward.

Work out the defrosting time you want upfront, so you understand how a lot time to permit.

First, it is best to test the packaging for any steerage – hopefully it’s going to inform you how lengthy it might want to defrost.

If there are not any defrosting directions, the NHS means that it is best to thaw your turkey in a fridge at 4C (39F) for 10-12 hours per kilogram. Check out your fridge settings, as a result of not all fridges can be set to this temperature.

When your turkey is totally defrosted, hold it within the fridge till you’re able to prepare dinner it.


Does cooking turkey kill micro organism?

Cooking a frozen turkey will take round 50 p.c longer than cooking one which’s already been thawed. This can be sure that the turkey stays above any liquid that will drain out, which might trigger it to steam fairly than roast. And it’ll prepare dinner extra evenly on a shallow pan than one with excessive sides.

Are you able to refreeze a thawed turkey?

Cooked or raw turkey can safely be refrozen, so long as you refreeze it inside three days of thawing. You ought to solely refreeze turkey if it’s been dealt with correctly at each step alongside the way in which. Turkey that has been thawed on the counter or neglected for lengthy durations shouldn’t be refrozen.

👨‍🍳 Does Smoking Your Personal Turkey Take Longer?

If you’re going to take the time to reheat a smoked turkey, you may simply smoke the turkey your self. Smoking your personal turkey might not take so long as it appears. For those who purchase a frozen smoked turkey, the time you spend thawing it after which reheating it, will not be a lot completely different then in the event you smoked a recent turkey your self.

Simply one thing to ponder 🙂


Pulling your turkey from the oven or smoker or frier is definitely NOT the final step earlier than carving and serving. Resting your turkey is. We advocate a 30-minute relaxation earlier than carving.

Why relaxation? Two vital causes…


The upper temperatures that exist on the surface of the turkey will proceed shifting towards the decrease temperature middle space of the meat even after you’re taking your turkey out of the warmth.

That is referred to as carryover cooking. Whereas small cuts of meat like steaks or chops expertise minimal carryover, massive cuts, like turkeys or roasts, can expertise as a lot as 5-10°F (3-6°C) improve in inner temperature whereas the outside cools. We name the way in which a cooked turkey comes to at least one temperature whereas it rests “equilibration.”


One more reason to relaxation your turkey is so it has an opportunity to reabsorb its juices.

Whereas uncovered to the extreme warmth of an oven, smoker or fryer, turkey meat’s protein fibers shorten, shrink and contract, expelling out the water they’ve retained. Throughout the remainder, these protein fibers have an opportunity to calm down and reabsorb a number of the juices which are misplaced. A turkey carved and served with out resting will spill extra of its juices onto the chopping board and never be as moist.


Upon getting verified that your turkey has reached its pull temperature of 157°F (69°C), take away the turkey from the oven or smoker.


If in case you have a ChefAlarm or Smoke alarm thermometer from ThermoWorks, go away the probe in place, and the alarm thermometer will file the utmost temperature reached by the interior meat of the turkey throughout the remainder.


Set a timer for half-hour, and permit your turkey to relaxation at room temperature (the ChefAlarm has one built-in).


Verify the ChefAlarm or Smoke’s Max temperature studying to see what your turkey’s ultimate resting temperature was. Even when your turkey didn’t attain 165°F (74°C), it solely must be held for 25.6 seconds at 160°F (71°C) to succeed in the identical degree of meals security (a 7-log discount in pathogens as outlined by the USDA).


If you would like your turkey pores and skin to remain crispy, hold the turkey uncovered throughout the remainder. If you might want to maintain the turkey for longer than half an hour earlier than serving, hold it heat in an oven set to 150°F (66°C). Depart your alarm thermometer probe in place and monitor the interior temperature whilst you wait.

Reader Interactions


  1. terri

    can I cooked / warmth a totally cooked smoked turkey breast in a stress cooker?

  2. Jeni

    Is it alright to eat smoked turkey chilly??

  3. Mike

    My turkey is smoked however it’s frozen and at this time is Thanksgiving. How can I heat the Frozen smoked turkey?

  4. Olivia Spencer

    I purchased two smoked, totally cooked turkeys every week after Thanksgiving–to be served at Christmas. The birds are labled, “Use by Jan 1, 2019.” They’ve been refrigerated for 3 weeks. I am a little bit nervous although about how lengthy they’ve been refrigerated (not frozen) Am I alright to serve them to my company Dec. 25?

  5. Eric Samuelson

    If it was me I might haven’t any downside cooking them because it’s nonetheless earlier than the use by date, which typically are conservative. Was it ever frozen?

  6. Eric Samuelson

    Comply with the identical methodology, it is simply going to take longer. For those who can no less than attempt to defrost it considerably earlier than your meal that might be good. Put it in a 5 gallon bucket with ice to maintain the temperature of the water out of the hazard zone (beneath 40 levels).

  7. Eric Samuelson

    So long as it says that it has been totally cooked.

  8. Jackie

    We have been overseas on Thanksgiving, so we’re having a mini one at this time, Dec 1st. I received a smoked turkey from Sam’s membership and wish to eat about 5. So if I take it out now, let it sit for an hour, wrap in foil and 275 for about 4 hours, I needs to be good? I want the oven for roasted brussel sprouts, so I want time to do this too.

  9. Eric Samuelson

    I feel your timeline sounds cheap for positive. For those who get your Brussels all prepped and able to go you possibly can throw them in after the turkey is heated via.

  10. Basia turner

    My turkey was neglected for a little bit over 2 hours, do you suppose cooking it to 140 or 165 will take it out of the hazard zone and eliminate Micro organism that will have grown?

  11. Eric Samuelson

    Sometimes you aren’t suppose to depart something out for over 4 hours, so 2 hours can be beneath that threshold. If it is smoked, it is salted as nicely offering extra safety in opposition to micro organism. Personally I might be happy with cooking it nonetheless, use your greatest judgment.

  12. WKA

    Turned out nice! I adopted your solutions, wrapped it in foil and gradual roasted at 250 for 3 hours. Good and moist, hardly any leftovers. Made soup from the carcass at this time, nice taste.

  13. W

    This labored so nicely at Thanksgiving, I made it once more for New Years. Baked candy potatoes alongside facet as nicely.

  14. Eric Samuelson

    Glad to listen to it. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Eric Samuelson

    I glad it turned out nicely for you. Thanks for taking the time to share.

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Carving your turkey correctly is the right of entirety. Not solely does it make it simpler for individuals to eat, however it’s the good strategy to publicly reveal your new-found turkey prowess! However carving a turkey—with all its nooks and crannies, the legs, wings, and breasts on the ribcage—isn’t like carving a tenderloin. It takes a strategic plan.

To carve your turkey…


Take away the turkey leg by slicing down between the thigh and breast. Pull the thigh away from the breast till the thigh pulls out of joint. End severing the joint with the purpose of your knife till the complete leg is free.


Separate the turkey drumstick from the thigh by following the road between the leg and the thigh with the purpose of your knife. Once more, pull the drumstick away from the thigh to disclose the joint. End severing the joint with the purpose of your knife.

Do the identical to the opposite thigh and drumstick.


Free the breast by chopping down proper subsequent to the keel bone. Angle your knife outward and comply with the bone construction down of the chicken all the way in which alongside the ribcage till the breast meat is free. Beginning at one tip, slice the breast meat into cross-sections, every with their very own strip of pores and skin.

Repeat on the opposite breast.


Take away the wing by pulling the wing away from the carcass to determine the joint. Sever the joing with the purpose of your knife. Repeat for the opposite wing.