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Oct 24, 2013 05:05 PM

Thaw, cut up and refreeze turkey?

Recent talk about turkey reminded me I have one in my freezer purchased (frozen) last winter. I know I don't want to roast the whole thing, so I would like to thaw it in the fridge long enough to cut it up, then package and refreeze most of it again. I could roast the breast right away, then chop up the rest and put it back in the freezer. From what I've read, as long as things stay relatively cold, they can be refrozen. I would really like to cut the breast in half, cook half and refreeze the other. But, if necessary I could cook the whole thing and package up some of the cooked meat to refreeze. The legs and thighs would go back to the freezer. I probably would cook the carcass right away for broth. What do you think?

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  1. I always buy extra turkeys around the holidays because I like to put them on the grill and make pulled turkey BBQ. Sometimes, I'll partially thaw one and cut in in half instead of using a whole bird. The half not used goes back into the freezer. I've never had any problem with doing this so I don't see why you cant.

    I use a sharp serrated knife to cut it in half; whatever you use to cut it up, make sure it's sharp and get the rest of what you're not cooking back into the freezer asap.

    1. I think that's a really fraught plan. You may be able to get your still-frozen bird halved with a band saw in the meat department of your supermarket, or by an independent butcher or poultry farmer. Expect to have to go at the end of the day because in view of liability, they will have to sanitize the equipment before using it on the next thing, and nobody's going to be willing to clean the saw until the last customer has been served. Call in advance to find a place that will accommodate you.

      1. I think even if kept cold the texture of partially defrosted meat would be impacted when re-frozen.

        If it were me I would roast the whole thing. Eat what you want and then freeze the cooked meat.

        If you can devote a day why not repurpose what you don't want to eat? You could make a couple of turkey pot pies and freeze them. Make stock and freeze in portions that make sense for you. Freeze a bag of mixed white and dark meat to add to soup or use for fajitas/tacos. Or better yet, make the soup and freeze it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodieX2

          Yeah, it was the texture that would concern me. And I like all your "repurpose" ideas.