Can you Cook Frozen Ground Turkey? (How to Guide)

Ground Turkey
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Turkey is a type of meat that you can eat as a whole or ground. It’s not just simply used for Thanksgiving, but you can also make very delicious meals out of it.

Ground turkey is also commonly used as ground beef. It is cheap to buy and you can easily find it in your local store. It is very easy to cook and you can add in pasta, tacos, salads and many other meals and recipes. Actually, ground turkey adds lean protein to our meals, so it is also healthy to add it in your meals.

Ground turkey can be found fresh or frozen. Also, you can buy it fresh and store it in your freezer for future use. However, what if you forgot to take it out this morning and you were planning on making something with ground turkey. Is there a way to cook it frozen?

Yes, you can. It is safe to cook frozen ground turkey, but the cooking time will be longer than it should be. Of course, it is more recommendable to thaw it before use or to buy it fresh. Read down the article to find out more how to cook frozen ground turkey and some other methods of defrosting.

Cooking Frozen Ground Turkey

You are preparing a meal and forgot to take out the ground turkey overnight to thaw, no worries, we have the solution for you. We will provide you with the best tips on how to cook frozen turkey.

You can always choose the option to cook the frozen ground turkey meat from the freezer. All you have to do is to increase the cooking time for about 50 % more than you are supposed to cook it.

Actually, if you had to cook it for an hour, now you can increase it to an hour and a half. It is safe to use this cooking method and you can use the oven or simply cook the ground meat in a slow cooker.

This method is faster than thawing in the fridge or in cold water, but the taste is not the same as if the meat has been thawed before. All you have to do is follow the steps to create a nice meal:

  1. Take the ground frozen turkey out of the freezer. Unwrap it and place it in a skillet with a small amount of water. You don’t have to pour too much just enough to cover the bottom of it.
  2. Your next step is to bring the water to simmer but you also have to cover the skillet. The water will actually prevent the meat from burning and sticking to the pan. By covering the pan you’ll make more steam which will help the process of defrosting.
  3. After the water starts to simmer and you see that the meat is getting brown on the outside, use a fork or spoon to reveal the other parts of the meat that are red and frozen.
  4. Continue unrevealing the parts of the meat until the whole piece of ground meat is unfrozen. Keep the pan and add little amounts of water in the pan so nothing will be burned. Scrape the meat every 3-5 minutes as the meat goes brown.
  5.  After the whole piece of meat is now defrosted, you can add some onions, peppers, carrots. This will be up to you to add the vegetables that you desire most. Let the water simmer down and you are almost done.
  6. As long as every part of the meat is thin and breaks apart it means that the meat is being defrosted. Continue to cook until the meat is fully cooked and brown as it should be if you cook a raw one.

How to defrost frozen ground turkey:

This part will help you choose one of the three ways to defrost frozen ground turkey. These are the options if you have more time to spare and use

1. Thaw ground turkey meat in the fridge

One of the best methods before cooking a frozen ground turkey is to thaw it in the fridge. It is advisable to thaw it first because the results will lead to the least amount of moisture loss. You can keep into the ground turkey meat in the fridge for 2 days while defrosting. Also, you can refreeze it once again in the meantime.

This method requires at least 24 hours to thaw a pound of meat so it may not be the best option if you are in a hurry. But as long as you have time you should definitely use this method, so your dish will be juicier, with the appropriate texture and flavour when cooking.

2. Defrosting frozen ground chicken in cold water

A method that requires only a few hours to defrost is the cold-water method. Just add water over the package of frozen ground turkey. Make sure that the frozen ground turkey is a waterproof container.

Refresh it every half an hour until the turkey is thawed. After it’s defrosted make sure to cook it afterwards so there would be no bacteria developed.

3. Defrosting frozen ground turkey in a microwave

The easiest and the quickest way is to defrost it in the microwave. You won’t have the same results but it is fast and useful if you are in a hurry. Increase the heat up to 50 % so you’ll be able to defrost the meat, Check frequently if everything is fine and gets defrosted. Cook immediately after thawing so there would be no bacteria in your meat.

Related questions:

Is it safe to cook frozen meat without thawing?

It is safe so no need to worry if you have no time to defrost. The only thing to know before cooking is that in order for the meat to cook thoroughly you have to cook 50 % longer than you should. Make sure the meat is defrosted and continue to cook.

How long does it take to cook ground turkey on the stovetop?

It usually takes up to 3- 5 minutes for the meat to start going brown. Start stirring until the meat is no longer pink over medium heat.

What colour should the ground turkey be when cooked?

You can always use a thermometer just in case you want everything to be safe and thoroughly cooked. All you have to do is make sure that the meat is not pink, cook a bit longer and your meal is ready.

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