I bought a turkey right after thanksgiving to turn into broth but didn’t the day of so I froze it and now I don’t know if I can put the frozen turkey into a pot as is or if I’d have to thaw it like normal first. I’m considering cutting the turkey in half to put in two pots to make more broth and have more space.

So, can I put a frozen turkey in a pot of water on the stove and cook it? Or do I need to thaw it first?

2 Answers 2


You can make stock with a frozen turkey. There is no issue. Ensure your stock comes to the boil and that you simmer until the meat is fully cooked.


You can make broth from a frozen turkey, but you may have a few problems:

  1. It’s a giant ice cube. You will have difficulty bringing the pot to a simmer or boil until it’s thawed out.
  2. You can’t easily cut into it or move limbs around, which will make jointing it out or cutting the backbone out to get it into smaller pieces more difficult. You might be able to use a cleaver, but a boning knife likely won’t work.
  3. Many turkeys come with a bag of giblets stuffed inside the cavity. Usually, the bag is made of paper, so won’t melt and ruin your broth, but I suspect that you won’t want it in there. It will be nearly impossible to get out while the turkey is still frozen

I’ve made stock from a half frozen turkey, that I had let thaw in the fridge for two days then speed thawed until I could remove the giblet packet, then jointed it out and ended up cutting the backbone out after it thawed further. I wouldn’t personally recommend it if you have the time to let it thaw out more completely

  • 1
    Thank you! The giblet bag is something I need to think about.
    – Madeleine
    Dec 19, 2022 at 4:05

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