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Can You Cook Frozen Ground Turkey? Find Out The Answer!

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There are many questions about frozen food in general. There are questions about freezing cooked chicken, defrosting frozen chicken, defrosting frozen ground chicken, defrosting raw ground turkey and fresh ground turkey, defrosting ground beef, and so on.

So there are also questions about frozen ground turkey, i.e. Can you cook frozen ground turkey? In general, I can conclude that the answer is positive, but it isn’t that simple.

As with any food, there are a lot of factors that can influence some culinary processes. And that is exactly the case with cooking any frozen meat, including frozen ground turkey meat.

So, if you want to find out more about cooking frozen ground turkey and everything that goes along with this topic, I warmly recommend you to continue reading this interesting article.

So, Can You Cook Frozen Ground Turkey?

A man makes flat minced pork and beef in bags for storage in the freezer

Yes, you absolutely can cook frozen ground turkey! But before I answer how, I am going to write a few words of introduction to this delicious ground meat.

First, you can buy turkey as a whole bird, in fillet form, or ground version. You can buy it fresh if you find it in the butcher shop, but there is a higher chance that you will buy it in a frozen state in your local grocery store.

And when you buy it, there is also a big chance that you’ll have to add it to some meal that you’ve planned to prepare that day. Because of this, the question “Can you cook frozen ground turkey?” is often asked.

As I already said, the answer is “yes”, but it really depends on what will you use to defrost it, how much time you can afford it, and what meal was in your plan to prepare. 

I must also emphasize that it is always better to defrost any kind of meat on low heat, including turkey, before you cook it. But, of course, not everybody has the time to wait for the process of thawing, so the only thing that is left is to cook it right away.

3 Ways Of Cooking Frozen Ground Turkey

There are many answers to the question “Can you cook frozen ground turkey?” like stewing it using a stovetop or cooking ground turkey in the oven, or using a slow cooker, or even in a Ninja Foodi. But, below are the 3 best ways that I have selected for you.

1. In A Skillet

Cooking your frozen ground turkey in a pan or in a skillet is one of the best ways to do it if you do not have time to thaw ground turkey. The process itself is not a hassle, but rather is very simple and you will see that in the following steps:

• Before you head for cooking, you first have to take your ground turkey out of the freezer.

• Then you will put a skillet or pan on the stovetop and put the frozen ground turkey in it.

• The third step is to fill the pan with water just enough to cover the bottom.

• You will then have to cover the skillet and bring the water to simmer.

• The key is to scrape the meat every 3-5 minutes as the meat goes brown. You can also add a cup of water to ensure that the meat doesn’t burn or stick to the cooking pan.

• You will continue to cook your ground meat until it is fully cooked and brown when you will know that the process is finished.

2. In A Ninja Foodi

Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and air fryer

As the name suggests, cooking your ground turkey in a ninja foodi will take some extra time but you will get some extra flavor as well. That time is estimated to be about 40 minutes.

So let’s take a look at the required steps.

• First, you’ll need to add your ground turkey to the bottom of the ninja foodi.

• Then pour 1/2 cup of water into it and close the lid.

• Adjusting the settings of ninja foodi is another step in this process. If you have 1 pound of meat you will have to set the cooking time on 15 minutes and set it at high pressure.

• After the required cooking time, you will turn off the pressure and take off the lid. You will use your cooking equipment (it is best to use a spatula) to break up your meat.

• You will continue breaking up the meat until the majority of the juices have dried up. Then your meat is finally ready!

3. In An Air Fryer

When you really don’t have the time to wait for your ground meat to cook, you can use an air fryer, of course, if you have one at home. The cooking time is just about 9 minutes and it is a very simple process in a few easy steps:

• Your first task is to preheat your air fryer above medium-high heat, about 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Then you have to put your frozen ground turkey meat into the air fryer basket.

• When you have done that, you just have to shake it a little bit during those 9 minutes’ time and it will be done.

I also have to say that the more you shake the basket, the more crispy the outside and soft on the inside your meat will be.

3 Solutions To Defrost Frozen Ground Turkey

frozen minced meat cutlet pork

In case you have a little more time and you are not in some kind of hurry, you can pursue thawing your frozen ground turkey. As I already mentioned, this is a better solution, although it has nothing to do with food safety. However, the quality will be better!

1. In The Microwave

It is not only the question “can you cook frozen ground turkey and how to do it?”, but there is also the question “What is the best way to defrost it first?”.

The option of thawing frozen ground turkey in the microwave is somewhat closest to cooking it when it comes to cooking time.

The procedure is also very simple. You first have to place your ground meat in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with plastic wrap.

Then it is best to use the defrost setting or defrost button, according to your microwave model, for about 5-6 minutes to do the job for you.

After that, you should have a fully-defrosted block of ground turkey meat. But I will also add that you have to ensure that the internal temperature of the meat is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can check that using a thermometer.

2. In Cold Water

This is another method for defrosting any type of meat, including ground turkey meat. This method takes a few hours and an amount of water to defrost your meat. So, if you have that time and water, it is a very good solution to your problem.

You will first get your ground turkey meat out of the freezer and put it into a large container of cold water and let it sit for about 30 to 60 minutes. Also, you need to change the water every 30 minutes, as stated by the USDA.

You must place your meat in a bowl and cover it. Just make sure that the packaging is intact, so the meat doesn’t get wet. If its not, you can use resealable plastic bag.

You must change the rinsing water about 4 times until it is clear. Then you will let your defrosted ground turkey meat soak for about half an hour.

When those 30 minutes pass, you will remove your meat from the cold water bath and place it in a clean container. Then you can cover it and refrigerate it for later.

I must also emphasize that you can’t refreeze that meat after defrosting it because of the potential for harmful bacteria growth.

And just one more thing. If you think that you can speed up the process by using hot water because that is somehow logical, don’t do that under any circumstances! The reason is this creates a great risk of dangerous bacteria growth!

3. In The Refrigerator

If you have plenty of time to defrost your meat, then this method of defrosting it in the refrigerator is the best one for you. It is the method that takes the longest amount of time among all the methods of defrosting.

The process is very simple. First, you have to place the frozen meat in a resealable bag and remove the air from it. Then you can place that sealed bag into the coldest part of your fridge.

It is best to keep it in the fridge for one night and then cook it immediately after you have taken it out. If you don’t cook it immediately, you must make sure that you do that within 24 hours.

One extra tip is that if you have to defrost more than 2 pounds of meat, it is best to split it into 3-5 separate bags. This way you will speed up the process.

What Are Some Ground Turkey Dishes That You Can Try

Delicious Crunchy Hard Shell Tacos made with the freshest ingredient

Ground turkey is highly recommended for use in your everyday dishes because it has some nutritional value due to its low cholesterol content which is considered bad fat. It also has zero carbs which is a great thing for people on diet.

So, here are a few delicious ground turkey dishes that I would warmly recommend you to give a chance.

• Turkey meatballs: You can serve them with spaghetti or eat them as a snack.

• Turkey meatloaf: Adding some mushrooms to this meatloaf will make it moist inside and boost its flavor.

• Turkey tacos: Instead of using frozen ground beef, ground turkey could actually work as a substitute in your favorite tacos alongside some spicy Mexican fillings.

• Turkey burgers: Delicious ground turkey patties incorporating paprika and chili powder and some cumin and onion powder will delight your taste buds.


What Is The Fastest Way To Cook Frozen Ground Turkey?

Ground turkey or chicken with ingredients and spices on wooden table

The fastest way to cook frozen ground chicken is to cook it in the air fryer. It is a very simple procedure and it will take only about 9 minutes of your precious time.

If you have a little extra time I would recommend that you thaw your ground meat first with the use of a food processor because that is the quickest way to defrost it besides thawing it in the microwave. It will take only about 5-10 minutes of time.

How Long Do You Cook Turkey Breast From Frozen?

The time that is required for you to cook a turkey breast from frozen is about 65 minutes plus additional 15-20 minutes for the cooker to reach full pressure. This is where you are using a pressure cooker.

Just as is the case with ground turkey meat, you don’t have to thaw turkey breasts in order to cook them.

But you also can and, if you decide to do so, it will take about 35 minutes to cook your thawed turkey. And there is also extra 15-20 minutes required for the cooker to reach full pressure.

Final Answer

So, frozen ground turkey is something you definitely don’t have to order on Amazon or something like that. You can simply find it in the closest local grocery store for an acceptable price. The answer to the question of whether you can cook frozen ground turkey is a positive one.

And now that you know that you can cook it directly from its frozen state, and have learned how to do it properly, there is nothing to stop you from easily making your own turkey burgers or tacos and enjoying your delicious dish.

See also: Here Are 4 Signs On How To Tell If Ground Turkey Is Bad