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How to Reheat Turkey So It’s as Tender as When You Carved It


Gobble gobble! Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to learn the tips and tricks on how to reheat turkey. We know preparation is key. So whether you’re looking for advice on how to reheat a whole turkey without drying it out or you want to know how to reheat specific parts of the turkey, we’ve got you covered. All you’ll need is your leftover bird and a few pans to master the art.

How to Reheat Turkey in the Oven

It comes as no surprise that the oven is the best way to reheat a turkey. And whether you’re looking to learn how to reheat a whole turkey or how to reheat cooked turkey, using the oven is the best place to start. Courtney Rada, host of Genius Kitchen’s Carnivorous, says the key to making your turkey taste fresh is to ensure that your once-juicy and tender bird doesn’t dry out. “The best way to do this is to carve your turkey into slices that are similar in size so that you aren’t left with a mix of unpleasantly hot and cold pieces,” she explains. Rada says these six tips will help you heat up turkey and keep it moist.

1. Start by preheating your oven to at least 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. While your oven is preheating, take your turkey out of the fridge and allow it to rest for no more than 20 minutes. This will ensure your turkey heats evenly.

3. Place your turkey in a deep baking dish and pour either 1/2 an inch of water or your preferred stock into the dish. This will keep your turkey nice and moist while it heats up.

4. Cover your turkey in aluminum foil and place in the oven.

5. Let your turkey heat up for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Every oven is different, so I always recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure that the bird is safe to eat.

6. Remove from the oven, garnish with your favorite gravy, and enjoy!

How to Cook a Turkey the Day Before and Reheat It

Knowing how to reheat a fully cooked turkey comes in handy, especially when cooking for a large gathering. While this process does take some planning, patience, and time, it’s worth the effort. But before you get started, make sure you know how long to keep it in the oven. The total time your bird spends in the oven will determine how juicy the meat is, which is a key step when trying to keep your turkey from drying out. Cooking times will vary, but generally speaking, total time to reheat a whole turkey in the oven is about 30 to 45 minutes. So, if you’re looking for a foolproof method to reheat a cooked turkey, check out HelloFresh Chef Claudia Sidoti’s seven steps to cooking a turkey and reheating it the next day.

1. Roast the turkey as you normally would. When the interior temperature of the turkey reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh, take it out of the oven and let it rest covered for approximately 30 minutes.

2. Save the drippings from the roasting pan in a container to make gravy the next day.

3. Carve the turkey.

4. To avoid the meat drying out while it sits overnight, cover it with a liquid such as chicken broth. This will help the turkey stay moist.

5. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator on the day you’ll be eating the turkey and allow it to come to room temperature before reheating. 

6. Cover the roasting pan (the one it stayed in overnight) with aluminum foil and reheat in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes, or until the turkey is hot and steaming. It should reach 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

7. Remove from the oven and enjoy.

How to Reheat a Smoked Turkey

Who doesn’t love a delicious smoked turkey? But getting it just right can take some time and patience, especially if you want to know how to reheat a whole turkey without drying it out. If you’re wondering how to reheat smoked turkey, then these steps from Rada will help you reheat a whole smoked turkey.

1. Whether your turkey was frozen or refrigerated, you’ll want to start by letting it rest and come to just about room temperature.

2. While your turkey is resting, preheat your oven to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Spray or brush your turkey with your preferred cooking oil. (This will ensure it stays crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.)

4. Wrap the entire turkey in tin foil and place it on a roasting pan.

5. Place your turkey into the preheated oven and allow it to warm. When it comes to how long to reheat turkey, the general rule of thumb is five minutes per pound. But use a meat thermometer to be sure it reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Carve up your hot and juicy turkey, and enjoy!

How to Reheat Turkey Breast

Knowing how to reheat a turkey is a skill you should know any time of the year, not just the day after Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for the best way to reheat honey baked turkey breast or how to reheat a smoked turkey breast, check out these three easy steps from Sidoti on how to heat up turkey breast in the oven.

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place the turkey breast in a shallow pan with a small amount of broth.

3. Cover the turkey in foil and heat for about 15 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How to Reheat Smoked Turkey Legs

If you’re a leg lover, you’ll be happy to know that the best way to reheat turkey legs is in the oven. The process is quite simple, and as long as you follow these five steps, you will be a pro at knowing how to reheat a smoked turkey leg. 

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Put the turkey legs into a baking pan or large covered casserole dish (not touching). Pour in about two to three cups of water per two drumsticks. This should be enough to cover the legs completely.

3. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

4. Place the smoked turkey legs in the oven and reheat for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Remove from the oven and serve.

How to Reheat Sliced Turkey

Sliced turkey is the perfect fixing for any type of sandwich. And if you enjoy warm turkey piled high with lettuce, tomato, and mustard, you need to know how to reheat leftover turkey. To make a delicious sandwich, Sidoti shares these six steps to reheat sliced turkey without drying it out.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Add one cup of chicken broth and one tablespoon butter. 

3. Place the turkey in a baking dish.

4. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil.

5. Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until heated through.

6. Uncover and serve.

How to Reheat a Fried Turkey

Does the thought of fried turkey leave you licking your chops? If you’re looking forward to frying your bird some weekend, you’re not alone. This method of cooking turkey seems to be taking over, so read up on how to reheat fried turkey. Here, Sidoti goes over the five simple steps to reheat a whole fried turkey.

1. Remove the fried turkey from the refrigerator.

2. Allow the turkey to come to room temperature.

3. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Reheat the fried turkey uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Remove the fried turkey from the oven and enjoy.

Steps to Follow When Storing Leftover Turkey

Nothing ruins leftovers faster than turkey that smells rancid. If you want to ensure that your bird is ready for safe storage, check out these steps for consuming leftover turkey.

1. Refrigerate leftover turkey within two hours, which prevents bacteria from growing on the food.

2. Store turkey in shallow pans or containers to decrease cooling time. This prevents the food from spending too much time at unsafe temperatures (between 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit).

3. Always store turkey alone. Do not add stuffing or mashed potatoes to the container.

4. Before you head off to reheat your leftover turkey, make sure you have a few sides to go with that delicious bird. Since turkey pretty much goes with everything, you have a ton of options to choose from. If you want a hearty meal, go with some leftover mashed potatoes. If it’s healthy fare you desire, why not pair your turkey with a side of perfectly cooked sweet potatoes? And of course, you can’t go wrong with a baked potato piled high with butter and chives. Enjoy!

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