Thanksgiving Turkey – Quick Thaw or No Thaw Cooking

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the cooking of the turkey is one of the big tasks of the day.  Preparing yourself and your kitchen for the task is important.  Butterball Turkey Talk-Line Expert Bill Nolan says thawing the turkey in the refrigerator will take up to a week and after it is thawed, you will have four days before it needs to be cooked.  If you just don’t have space in your fridge for the turkey, or if you forget to take it out of the freezer, you can still thaw it using a quicker method.

Nolan says there is also a NO THAW method of cooking your bird.

The cooking time is about 50% longer than the traditional roasting method.


**CAUTION**  DO NOT deep-fry a frozen turkey!!!


If you have questions about thawing, cooking, or storing your turkey, call 800-Butterball or go to

Estimated Cooking Times for Frozen Turkeys

  • 8- to 12-pound turkey: 4 to 4 1/2 hours
  • 12- to 14-pound turkey: 4 1/2 to 5 3/4 hours
  • 14- to 18-pound turkey: 5 3/4 to 6 1/4 hours
  • 18- to 20-pound turkey: 6 1/4 to 6 3/4 hours
  • 20- to 24-pound turkey: 6 3/4 to 7 1/2 hours

Partially thawed turkeys will have shorter cooking times.

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