For years those who’ve forgotten to thaw their turkey or who wanted to buy a frozen turkey at the last minute were told they had to thaw the bird before cooking.
Gretta Irwin of the Iowa Turkey Federation says an Iowa State University expert told her research shows you don’t have to panic if your bird isn’t thawed. Irwin says you can cook a whole turkey that’s frozen and she tried it herself with a frozen 14 pound turkey. Irwin says there’s one difference between cooking a frozen bird compared to one that’s thawed — it takes 25- to 50-percent longer to cook.
Irwin says in her case, the 14-pound turkey took five hours instead of four hours to cook. Irwin says the extra hour saved some refrigerator time to thaw the turkey. Irwin says cooking the turkey straight from the freezer also does away with one common concern — it helps reduce an risk of cross contamination of the turkey in your kitchen while you’re thawing the bird.
Irwin says you’ll just need to adjust your serving time to compensate for the increase in cooking time.