How to Cut a Frozen Turkey: A Comprehensive Guide for the Home Cook

If a turkey is too large for your family, we have frequently suggested to readers that they ask the butcher to cut it in half. Then you can cook just half as much at a time.

Just so you can see, this is how the butcher will cut the turkey in half for you. My family can’t eat an entire turkey at once so we have them cut it in half. Sometimes they will wrap both halves together but just ask them to do it separately and they will. At . 69 a pound that’s a great deal on meat!.

Here is a picture of the tomatoes that I got from my neighbor on Halloween. They are ripening very nicely. I put them on a tray lined with newspaper and then put a newspaper on top. It keeps the gases in so they ripen faster. They taste much better than store-bought tomatoes, even though they don’t taste as good as vine-ripened tomatoes!

I like using those boxes you get at the grocery store with the 2 in. or so sides.Jill

Cutting a frozen turkey can be a daunting task, but it’s definitely doable with the right tools and techniques. While butchers have powerful band saws to slice through frozen meat with ease it’s not recommended to attempt this at home. Unlike woodworking saws, meat saws are specifically designed for easy cleaning and sanitation, which is crucial when dealing with raw meat.

For home cooks, the safest and most effective method is to thaw the turkey completely before cutting it. This allows for a more precise and controlled cut, reducing the risk of injury and ensuring even cooking. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to cut a frozen turkey, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

Tools you’ll need:

  • Heavy-duty kitchen shears: Look for shears specifically designed for poultry, as they have a strong, sharp blade that can handle frozen meat.
  • Sharp chef’s knife: A good quality chef’s knife will be useful for trimming and shaping the turkey after it’s been cut.
  • Cutting board: Choose a sturdy cutting board that won’t slip or slide while you’re working.
  • Mallet or hammer (optional): This can be helpful for breaking through particularly tough sections of frozen meat.

Steps to cut a frozen turkey:

  1. Prepare your workspace: Clear a large, flat surface and ensure your cutting board is secure.
  2. Partially thaw the turkey: If the turkey is rock-solid frozen, let it thaw slightly at room temperature for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will make it easier to cut.
  3. Cut through the skin: Using your kitchen shears, carefully cut through the skin of the turkey, starting at the breast and working your way down the sides.
  4. Separate the legs: Locate the joint where the leg meets the body and use your shears to cut through it. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Remove the wings: Find the joint where the wing meets the body and cut through it with your shears.
  6. Cut the breast: Place the turkey breast-side down on the cutting board. Starting at the tail end, use your shears to cut along the backbone, separating the two halves of the breast.
  7. Trim and shape: Once the turkey is cut into pieces, use your chef’s knife to trim away any excess fat or skin. You can also shape the pieces as desired, such as cutting the breasts into smaller portions.


  • Work slowly and carefully: Don’t rush the process, as this can lead to uneven cuts or injury.
  • Use a sawing motion: When cutting with your shears, use a sawing motion to avoid crushing the bones.
  • Sharpen your tools: Ensure your shears and knife are sharp before starting to make the cutting process easier.
  • Thaw the turkey completely if possible: This is the safest and most efficient method for cutting a turkey.

Additional Resources:

Remember: Cutting a frozen turkey requires caution and the right tools. If you’re unsure about the process, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and thaw the turkey completely before cutting it. This will ensure a safe and successful outcome for your culinary endeavors.

How to Cut a Frozen Turkey in Half – Wedge Technique


Can I cut up my turkey before roasting?

Once ready to roast, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting, then lightly coat with neutral oil before placing in oven. Breaking down a turkey into parts before roasting creates the most golden, deliciously seasoned bird possible.

What to do with a half frozen turkey?

It’s perfectly safe to cook a frozen or partially frozen turkey in the oven — you just need to allow some extra cooking time, according to the USDA. Estimate 50 percent longer cooking time for a completely frozen turkey and around 25 percent longer for a partially frozen turkey.

Is it better to cook a turkey frozen or thawed?

Benefits of Cooking a Frozen Turkey The white and dark meat will cook properly and you may find your turkey is less likely to have dry breast meat than when you cook a thawed turkey. Refrigerator Space: No thawing means no turkey taking up space in your fridge and no stressful thawing process.

How to cut a frozen turkey?

* The quarter-breast method is the most difficult method, but it produces the most individual pieces of meat. * When cutting a frozen turkey, it is important to use a sharp knife and to work slowly and carefully. * It is also important to thaw the turkey completely before cutting it.

Can a butcher cut a Turkey in half?

We have often advised readers to ask the butcher to cut a turkey in half if it’s too big for your family. Then you can cook just half as much at a time. Just so you can see, this is how the butcher will cut the turkey in half for you. My family can’t eat an entire turkey at once so we have them cut it in half.

How do you cut frozen meat?

Invest in a butcher saw if you need to cut through frozen meat often. Pick a heavy-duty knife with a serrated edge for smooth cuts. Choose a chef’s knife that feels heavy in your hand and has a serrated edge so you can easily cut through the meat. Make sure the knife is sharp so it doesn’t leave a jagged edge when you make your cut.

How do you cut frozen meat with an electric knife?

Push the electric knife through the frozen meat. The blade on the electric knife quickly saws back and forth to make it easier to cut through your meat. Apply a small amount of pressure and push it down into the meat while the knife is running to cut through it.

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