Can You Cook Frozen Ground Turkey

Turkey is a delicious meat item to have in pasta, salads, tacos, and other meals. You can have it whole or ground. You can have it fresh or frozen in the store. You can purchase them new and store them frozen for long. The turkey is delicious and has some health value. It contains lean protein that is enough to meet your protein demand. Ground turkey is available in the market and cheap than any other meat.

What will happen if you forget to remove it out of the fridge before cooking time? Can you cook a frozen ground turkey? Do not worry. It is possible to cook frozen ground turkey though it will be best to thaw the frozen turkey before cooking.

Can You Cook Frozen Ground Turkey?

You are ready to cook ground turkey, and you forgot to defrost the turkey. Isn’t it a challenge? To cover up this problem, there are some solutions. If you know those solutions and the know-how to cook a frozen turkey, you can accomplish this challenge. Check the first cooking recipe to get the best result.

Method-1: Slow Cooking Process

In this process, you have to increase the cooking time a little. For example, if you need one hour to cook the ground turkey, you will have to spend one and half hours cooking the frozen ground turkey. For this, you may have to use the slow cooker or oven for cooking this frozen turkey. Now follow the steps below and enjoy the tasty and yummy turkey dish.

Step-1: At first, take the frozen ground turkey out of the refrigerator. Then place a skillet on the stove and pour some water into it. Pour a little water to submerge only the bottom part of the skillet. Then keep the turkey meat in the water. You do not have to dip the turkey meat. Now heat the pan and let the water simmer. Cover the skillet top so that the steam can work more to process the meat. Water is given to prevent the burning of turkey meat.

Can You Cook Frozen Ground Turkey

Step-2: Now check if the meat gets brown. After it gets to simmer, the meat will be brown, and this is the time to reveal other parts of the ground meat using a fork. Slowly move the turkey and expose the inside of the ground meats. You will see that there is more red and frozen meat. Repeat to moving process every 3 to 5 minutes interval. If the existed water dries up, add some more water to the skillet to prevent burning.

Step-3: When the ground turkey is completely defrosted underwater and fully soft and tender, you have to add the onions, chilis, spices, herbs, vegetables, etc., whatever you want to make your dish. Keep cooking and if needed, add some more water to the dish. After simmering the meat well, let it come to the brown and cooked form. When you see that all the fraction of the meat is distributed well with the vegetable and spice mixture, you can be sure that you have finished the cooking.

This process takes time a little more, but you will get a pleasant, delicious taste.

Method-2: Instant Pot Thawing and Cooking

In this process, you have to use cold water. You may think about how cold water can help in defrosting and cooking ground turkey meat. Let’s reveal the secret.

Step-1: At first, add one cup of water to the instant pot. Now keep the frozen turkey on the trivet. It will prevent the meat from being boiled and burned, but it will defrost in this way.

can you cook frozen ground turkey in instant pot

Step-2: The confusion is there for determining how much time you should give to the frozen meat to be cooked. If you can check after 15 minutes, you will see that there are still uncooked and even red parts inside that did not thaw. You have to take the meat out of the pot, keep it in a bowl, and check it with a fork. When you see that there are uncooked parts left, place them back in the pot. Let it cook for 25 minutes in total. Instead, you do not need to check at all. Let it cook for 25 minutes from the first.

Step-3: Now, you have to turn the valve for 5 minutes, and it will let the strong steam pressure out of the pan. Then open the cover and remove the meat, which is already perfectly thawed.

Step-4: Keep the meat in a bowl and break the pieces with a fork gently. Now it is ready to cook with all spices, herbs, and vegetables. Add all the ingredients and cook as much time as you need.

Method-3: Thawing in the Fridge and Then Cooking

Regarding this process, you have to thaw the ground turkey meat first. It is a time-consuming process. But this process is better for getting the best prepared meat to cook. All you have to do is that you have to replace the frozen meat from the deep fridge to the chill fridge. Here, the temperature will be less than a deep fridge, and it will thaw the meat. Though it will soften the meat very slowly, it will keep the meat safe from contaminants. You can keep the meat for two days to be thawed, and it will be safe ultimately. You can keep it back in the deep fridge, too, if you need it.

thawing ground turkey on counter

You can change the temperature within a specific interval. It will thaw the meat fast comparatively. Do you think about the time range needed to soften the meat? It will take 24 hours to thaw 5 pounds of the meat. So, after melting the meat, you can take the ground turkey out of the refrigerator and then cook within your recipe.

Method-4: Thawing in the Microwave and Then Cooking

At first, take the frozen ground turkey out of the fridge and then place it into the microwave oven. Preheat the microwave. Set the microwave for 5 minutes to defrost. Check if it is defrosted. Take it out and check with a fork if there is still any unthawed part inside. If there is, place it into the microwave again, and then set it another 5 minutes defrosting settings. Now take it out, and your meat s ready to cook. Season it with necessary spices and ingredients during cooking.

can you defrost turkey in the microwave

Do not keep the microwave-thawed meat in the fridge again. It is not at that level now. The meat gets cooked a little and reaches the point that can make bacteria-contaminated. So, cook the thawed meat immediately after getting it ready.

Tips About Thawing Turkey Meat

  • You should not thaw frozen meats in hot water or directly on the counter. It will disturb the food value.
  • You should not keep the frozen meat in hot weather, including the basement, porch, car, outdoors, etc.
  • You should not keep the ground turkey meat at room temperature to thaw for more than two hours. It will cause the contact of contaminants.

how to thaw frozen turkey fast


Can you cook a frozen ground turkey? You have your answer. Any method will work well. If you have more hurry, you can use the microwave thawing process. Instant pot cooking is also a great way if you have the pot. If you have enough time, then you should go for the slow cooking process. It keeps the meat taste more than any other process. The fridge defrosting system also holds the health value of the meat well.

So, enjoy cooking and having delicious turkey dishes.

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