Thanksgiving won’t be the same without a best-tasting turkey on the dinner table. If found missing, your guests and even your family won’t forgive you.
Kidding aside, having a turkey will make the most memorable thanksgiving party if you are hosting it in your home.
It symbolizes great wealth when prepared and is even a symbolic food meal for most people worldwide.
And here lies the question to some others that might find it confusing, if it is possible to cook a frozen turkey inside a slow cooker.
All we know is that turkeys bought on the market should be frozen to avoid spoilage, plus you have the good old, slow cooker on your countertop that can make things easier for you.
Today in this article, let’s try to investigate if it is best to cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker. Continue reading to know more.
Can I cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker?
Yes! You can cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker; however, there is a catch to it. You need to thaw first the frozen turkey before putting it inside the slow cooker.
This is to avoid the risk of having food poisoning due to unsafe food safety practices. You should avoid putting frozen goods inside a slow cooker because it needs to reach a certain safe temperature level for it to be considered safe to it.
Cooking frozen turkey directly in a slow cooker should not be done; thus, when you want to cook it for Thanksgiving, you should thaw it first before cooking it inside the slow cooker.
One of the other reasons not to do this is that the slow cooker can’t handle extreme temperatures and the very reason that it increases the risk of cracks within the inner pot of your slow cooker.
And when you do have no time left, or you are in a hurry to cook the frozen turkey, you should thaw it quickly with running cold water and cook the turkey inside the slow cooker and allow some additional cooking time.
Is it worth it to cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker?
Of course! This is one of the best and easiest methods to cook a frozen turkey. A slow cooker can do wonders in the culinary industry because it can almost cook all kinds of food and recipe.
Having a slow cooker will give you the convenience of not having to monitor it all the way. It can also bring out the flavors of the frozen turkey that you want to cook.
And having a frozen turkey is the best thing to serve at any holiday parties and feasts.
Is it important to brine the frozen turkey before cooking it in a slow cooker?
Brining the frozen turkey is a must before cooking it directly in the slow cooker. You should not skip this important process because it will absorb the extra moisture, making the output of your turkey juicier and mouthwatering.
Brining the turkey will also help it to season it more, and it will add flavor all the way through. The reason for this is that the brine contains aromatics that enhance the flavor of your turkey, and it doesn’t dry out the turkey while cooking it in the slow cooker.
Upon using the brine, the frozen turkey will get seasoned not only on the outside but also on the inside to make every bite more mouthwatering.
Can I make a frozen turkey juicy and moist in a slow cooker?
Always remember that cooking any type of meat product tends to dry out when cooked in the slow cooker, and that will make your food meal become bland.
However, concerning cooking a frozen turkey, we can make a way to make it juicier and mouthwatering. The solution is to brine the frozen turkey so that it can add moisture as it is being cooked in the slow cooker.
How long to submerge the frozen turkey in the brine?
As previously said, brining can help to make the frozen turkey juicier and more delicious to eat, but it needs to be submerged for a specific duration of time to absorb all the brine.
You need to submerge the frozen turkey for about 8 hours and refrigerate it to ultimately absorb the flavors from the brine.
Do I need to set first the slow cooker to a high setting when cooking a frozen turkey?
Yes! If you are ready to cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker, you need to set it to a high setting and cook it for the first hours with that.
This is to make sure that the frozen turkey will reach safe levels of temperature to prevent bacterial growth.
Why do I need to spray the slow cooker with oil or grease before cooking a frozen turkey?
Greasing the slow cooker or spraying it with non-stick spray first will make things easier afterward.
By doing so, the frozen turkey won’t stick to the inner linings of the slow cooker, making it not messy to clean after. Greasing it also will kickstart the heat to quicken up the cooking process.
How long to cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker?
In cooking a frozen turkey in a slow cooker, you need to cook it on the high setting for 2 hours, then reduce it to low for about 2 hours.
You should keep in mind to check the internal temperature of the frozen turkey that it meets the safety level temperature of 165°F.
You may use a food thermometer to determine the core temperature of the frozen turkey. In that way, you will know that the frozen turkey has been cooked thoroughly.
You wouldn’t want to eat uncooked turkey as your meal for the feast, right?
Is it okay to leave the turkey on the counter for that for a few hours?
No matter what the slow cooker can bring convenience for your everyday cooking, you need to know that it isn’t recommended to leave your frozen turkey on the counter to thaw for a few hours.
It will just worsen things and may pose a risk of food poisoning. If you want to thaw the frozen turkey, you should submerge it in hot water or run it with cold water. You can also wrap it with a heating pad or use a hairdryer, perhaps.
Is it safe to cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker?
Slow cookers are known to be safe at all times when done accordingly and with manufacturers’ instructions and following the steps of any food recipe.
However, in some cases, many slow cookers cannot accommodate large turkeys, even the best 3 quarts slow cooker.
That is why food experts and even the UDSA recommend cutting the turkey into chunks or smaller pieces for it to be cooked in the slow cooker. If it is frozen, you need to thaw it first before placing them into the slow cooker.
Do I need to season the frozen turkey before cooking it in a slow cooker?
Of course! That is the best way to make it more delicious and savory. Without the seasoning, the frozen turkey meal that you are going to cook in the slow cooker will become bland and tasteless.
That is why you need to season all the sides of the turkey meat with pepper, salt, and your preferred choice of spices and herbs.
Why do I need to check the temperature of the turkey during the slow cooking process?
It is very important to check the internal temperature of the turkey throughout the slow cooking process to ensure that the turkey has been cooked thoroughly.
You need a food or meat thermometer to do that. Upon checking the progress, you need to see that the turkey’s core meat will reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is the fastest way to thaw a frozen turkey?
There are numerous ways to that a frozen turkey, and one can easily do that without any help. The only thing that you need is to prepare yourself and the frozen turkey.
First, you need to submerge the frozen turkey in cold water and defrost it for 12 hours in the sink. You can do this overnight.
You also need to maintain the temperature so that it never gets to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If so, you need to add more ice to set that in place.
At what temperature is it safe to cook a frozen turkey in a slow cooker?
To reach safety levels in terms of temperature, the turkey must reach about 165 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be considered cooked.
When measuring the core temperature of the turkey, you need to get a food thermometer to do that.
How to know if the frozen turkey is spoiled?
The best way to determine if the frozen turkey is good to cook is by determining its texture and smell.
Once you smell an awful odor coming from the turkey, that is considered spoiled, and you should not cook it because it certainly has bacterial growth that can harm the health of your family or guests.
If ever you haven’t checked the frozen turkey before and after you tasted the turkey and it tastes sour, stop eating the turkey because that is not good to eat.
Which is better to cook a turkey in a slow cooker, frozen or fresh?
Both ways are good to go, but if you have a frozen one, you need to thaw it first before cooking it in a slow cooker.
Still, if you want to have a safe and delicious way to celebrate, grab a turkey that is fresh and not spoiled. Always check the expiry date from the packaging to tell if the turkey can be cooked at the desired date.
Cooking a frozen turkey in a slow cooker is indeed fun. After reading everything in this guide, you should be inspired to cook a frozen turkey right now.
Always remember the do’s and don’t in cooking a frozen turkey so that the party won’t stop because of unnecessary events.
Make sure to thaw first the frozen turkey before cooking it in the slow cooker. Prepare your best seasoning mix to create a twist of flavors that your guest or family will have.
Create the best brine to bring out the flavors of the turkey that you are going to cook. In that way, you can have the best and most memorable frozen turkey experience on every holiday throughout the year.