How to Thaw and Prep Thrive Market’s Frozen Meats

March 4, 2021

While frozen meat has many conveniences (most importantly, that you can buy it in advance to prepare later), it often elicits a bit of head scratching when it comes to the cooking process. 

How do you safely defrost a whole turkey?

How long does it take to thaw steak before cooking? 

Can you ever cook meat straight from frozen? 

Freezing, thawing, and cooking meat requires a bit of know-how, but it’s a worthwhile trade to know that your freezer is fully stocked in advance for any occasion. 

Thrive Market’s frozen meat selection includes high-quality, sustainably sourced beef, poultry, and seafood. Adding these meats to your grocery order offers the convenience of frozen meat, backed up by our ethical sourcing stories and identifiers like non-GMO, organic, free-range and G.A.P. Animal Welfare Certified.

Whether your dinner table is centered around a classic roasted turkey and all the sides, or you’re planning a more intimate meal by pairing a nice steak with an equally nice bottle of wine, we’ll show you how to prep and thaw any of our frozen meats for your next celebration.

How to Prepare a Whole Turkey

For an extra-juicy turkey, try brining it overnight after it completely thaws. Check out these easy instructions for how to brine your turkey.

And if you’d like to add a seasoning mix to the turkey before popping it into the oven, here’s our tried-and-true turkey seasoning recipe:

Turkey Seasoning Mix

1/4 cup Thrive Market Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Thrive Market Organic Black Pepper, ground
2 tsp Thrive Market Organic Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Thrive Market Organic Garlic Powder
1 tsp Thrive Market Organic Paprika

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

How to Cook a Whole Turkey

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Working over the sink, remove thawed turkey from the bag and allow liquid to drain. Place turkey in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Spread the seasoning mixture over the turkey. Loosely cover with aluminum foil.

Cook the turkey for approximately 25 minutes per pound; using a meat thermometer, make sure the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. To prevent over-cooking the turkey, check the internal temperature throughout the roasting time. (Pro tip: Save the turkey pan drippings to make homemade gravy.)

How to Thaw a Turkey Breast

For the best results, thaw your boneless turkey breast one to three days in advance of cooking. Allow approximately 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of turkey (we recommend thawing in cold water, in the original wrapping). After your turkey breast has thawed, store it in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

How to Cook Turkey Breast

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove thawed turkey breast from the bag, rinse with cold water, and season to your liking. Place the breast in an uncovered roasting pan, then add two cups of water (or broth) to the bottom of the pan.

Place roasting pan in the center of the oven. Cook as directed on packaging; use a meat thermometer inserted sideways into the center of the breast to ensure an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove turkey breast from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Once turkey has rested, carve and serve turkey with the delicious pan juices.

How to Thaw Pre-Cooked Spiral Sliced Ham

Our Spiral-Sliced Bone-In Holiday Hams are made from pork that is humanely raised at Pederson’s Natural Farms without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. They’re fully cooked and completely free of sugar, preservatives, nitrates, and nitrites. 

We’ll ship your ham frozen, and it will arrive frozen at your doorstep. If you choose to warm your ham for serving, it should be completely thawed before you heat it. We recommend thawing your ham in the refrigerator; thaw time is approximately five hours per pound (roughly two days for a half ham).

How to Reheat Pre-Cooked Spiral Sliced Ham

Since it’s already fully cooked, gently heat your spiral-sliced ham or serve it chilled. However you choose to enjoy it, we recommend serving it with one of our go-tos: a sweet-yet-spicy brown sugar glaze.

Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

1 cup Thrive Market Organic Dark Brown Sugar, packed

1/2 cup Thrive Market Organic Light Brown Sugar, packed

1/2 cup of brandy

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Cumin

1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Coriander

1 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Allspice

1/2 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Cayenne Pepper

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Cornstarch

In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the cornstarch. Add cornstarch last to thicken the glaze.

Ham Reheating Instructions

Preheat oven to 275°F. Remove packaging, reserving liquid. Place ham cut-side down on a large sheet of foil in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of liquid (water, broth, etc.) to pan and cover with aluminum foil. Warm ham in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes per pound.

Remove ham from the oven when heated through. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Uncover ham, brush or spoon the glaze over the surface of the ham. Return to oven, uncovered, and heat for 10 minutes.

How to Thaw Salmon

Thrive Market Wild-Caught Sockeye Salmon is sustainably harvested in Alaska, but lucky for you, it arrives at your door frozen, individually wrapped, and ready for cooking — with just a bit of prep work.

If you have the time, allowing your salmon to defrost in the refrigerator is the best way to preserve its flavor and texture. Simply place the entire package in the fridge and allow it to slowly thaw over a period of 24 hours. 

If you have just a few hours, submerge the fish in a bowl of cold water while still in the package. It will thaw completely in about an hour. 

How to Cook Salmon From Frozen 

Here’s something that should make all the last-minute home chefs happy: you can cook salmon straight from its frozen form. Simply cover the frozen salmon with foil, heat the oven to 425°F, and bake for 15 minutes covered to lock in moisture. Finally, remove the foil and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes (or until your salmon is cooked through). 

How to Thaw Steak 

Versatile and flavorful, First Light Wagyu steaks are made from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle with no antibiotics or synthetic hormones. Different cuts of meat are great for different preparations, but because they all arrive frozen, you’ll want to properly defrost them in order to avoid bacteria growth or changing the meat’s texture. The best way to defrost steak is by allowing it to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours; if you don’t have that long, you can place the steak (still inside the bag) in a bowl of cold water and allow it to thaw for 1-2 hours. 

How to Thaw Chicken Breasts

Thrive Market’s organic, free-range chickens are raised on a certified humane farm in Virginia without hormones or antibiotics. These chicken breasts are a dinnertime staple, and they’re always great to have on hand in the freezer.

To thaw chicken breasts, allow them to sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours; for a quicker process, place the chicken in the plastic bag it comes in in a bowl of cold water and allow to sit for 1-3 hours (depending on the size of the chicken breasts). 

How to Thaw a Whole Chicken 

Whether you’re prepping a weeknight dinner or a holiday meal, roasting a whole chicken is a special way to elevate your dinner table. Thrive Market’s Pasture-Raised Chickens are cared for in a humane way that’s earned them a Global Animal Partnership Animal Welfare Step 4 Rating, so you’ll feel good about making these non-GMO chickens the focal point of your meal. 

To thaw a whole chicken, use the refrigerator, not the microwave — while it may seem tempting if you’re short on time, microwaving a whole chicken could cause the outside to start to cook while the inside remains frozen. Instead, place the chicken in the refrigerator and allow it to defrost for at least 24 hours. 

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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