A thawed turkey takes 15 minutes per pound to cook. A frozen turkey will take 50% longer, or about 22 1/2 minutes per pound. A 12-pound turkey, which would cook in about three hours if fully thawed, requires 4 1/2 hours to cook from frozen.

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

  • Juicy meat: Steam escaping from the frozen center of bird helps to create a layer of moisture.
  • More flavorful stock: The turkey has more time to caramelize in the oven, which intensifies the flavor of pan drippings and any stock or gravy you make from it.
  • More storage space: Skipping the thawing process frees up fridge space.
  • Less risk of cross contamination: Cooking from frozen is a cleaner process — no raw poultry juices!
  • Money savings: The brining process is unnecessary as are the additional seasonings and spices needed to make the brine.