How to Roast a Frozen or Thawed Turkey!

How to Roast a Frozen or Thawed Turkey – It’s easy either way! And so tender and succulent, you’ll want to stock up to have this several times a year just because! And making Tammy’s Turkey Hash out of it will be worth roasting a turkey in the middle of June!

How to Roast a Frozen or Thawed Turkey | Culinary Craftiness

Year after year I used the cold water method in one side of the kitchen sink to thaw turkeys. Until one year I completely forgot until Thanksgiving eve and knew it was way too late to thaw an 18 lb. bird. I had a brilliant idea! Roast it from frozen like I do chicken! It turned out perfect and was SO much easier!

Thanksgiving dinner plate 2016 | Culinary Craftiness

This Thanksgiving dinner plate was filled in 2013. Delish!

How to Roast a Frozen Turkey

  • 1 (16-20 lb) frozen turkey
  • Oil spray (coconut tastes great!)
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion and garlic powders, optional (if using broth for Old-Fashioned Bread Dressing or Old-Fashioned Dumplings, don’t use)
  • Large roasting pan with lid or heavy duty foil OR an electric roaster

Place the frozen turkey in a clean sink. Using clean scissors or a sharp knife, carefully cut and peel the netting and plastic from the turkey.

Place the frozen turkey in the roasting pan. Liberally spray all over one side with the oil. Liberally sprinkle with salt, pepper, and other seasonings if desired.

Flip the bird and repeat the spraying and seasoning.

Cover tightly and beginning roasting at 250°F around 12:00 a.m. If using an electric roaster, set to defrost if that’s an option.

At 7 a.m. or thereabouts, remove from oven, remove the lid and use tongs to take the neck and giblets out of the cavity. You can leave them in the pan or throw them away.

Turn up oven to 375°F.

Baste with the pan juices and return to the oven. Roast 1-2 hours or until nicely browned and internal temp in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F on a meat thermometer. If you don’t own a meat thermometer, when the legs fall off easily, it’s done.

Save the broth and drippings to flavor Mary B’s Open Kettle Frozen Dumplings or my Old-Fashioned Dumplings and/or Old-Fashioned Bread Dressing.

How to Roast a Thawed Turkey

If your turkey is frozen, begin thawing a full 24 hrs or more before you plan to start roasting. With the turkey still packaged, place in a plugged sink and cover with cold water. Change the water every couple of hours. If you thaw your turkey days ahead of time, place, still sealed in its plastic in the refrigerator until you’re ready to prepare it.

  • 1 turkey, any size – follow the instructions on the turkey packaging for the number of minutes per pound at the appropriate temperature
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • Spray oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion and garlic powders, optional (if using broth for Old-Fashioned Bread Dressing or Old-Fashioned Dumplings, don’t use)
  • Large roasting pan with lid or heavy duty foil

Remove the turkey from the packaging and remove the neck and giblets bag from the cavity. You can add these to the roasting pan for extra flavor in the broth or save them to make giblet gravy, or throw them away.

Cut the stick of butter into slices and liberally season with salt, pepper, and optional garlic and onion powders.

Pat the turkey dry with paper towels then place in a roasting pan or electric roaster, breast side up. Carefully pull up the skin from the flesh from the butt end, sliding your fingers in to separate.

Slide the pats of butter in as far as possible. Stick a couple of pats under the wings. Spray the top of the turkey with oil and liberally salt and pepper the outside skin.

Cover and roast according to the package directions.

If roasting in the oven, remove the lid the last half hour of roasting. Baste with pan juices and return to oven and let the skin brown and get crispy.

Save the broth and drippings to flavor Mary B’s Open Kettle Frozen Dumplings or my Old-Fashioned Dumplings and/or Old-Fashioned Bread Dressing.

How to Roast a Frozen or Thawed Turkey | Culinary Craftiness

This turkey was roasted from thawed in 2016, and was the second of 2 I cooked that Thanksgiving. I needed one for the extra broth. It may look overcooked and dry, but turned out delicious and made a great Cheesy Turkey Enchilada Casserole and Turkey Avocado Salad. 😋

Roasted from Thawed in 2016 | Culinary Craftiness

Happy eating! 😊

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