Rather than worry over cooking a giant raw turkey for Thanksgiving, or any other time of year, many people have taken to simply reheating a smoked turkey.
And why not?
Packed with flavor and so easy to deal with, a smoked turkey can be the answer to many prayers.
The only question now is how to reheat a smoked turkey without drying it out or turning it into flavorless rubber.
Fortunately, we have many appliances to work with.
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Can You Reheat Smoked Turkey?
First you want to know if it is even possible to reheat a smoked turkey well.
Of course, it is possible!
With few exceptions, you can reheat any food that has been refrigerated or frozen, and if you want to make sure that food tastes delightful, you just have to make sure you use the right appliance for the specific food you’re working with.
For example, foods that have been grilled or baked are often best reheated back on the grill or in the oven, and foods that have been breaded or fried tend to do better when reheated in an air fryer or in the oven.
When it comes to smoked turkey, we are probably going to be best served by either the oven or the air fryer, depending on the size of your leftovers.
Should You Reheat Smoked Turkey?
Before we get into each individual appliance and how best to reheat our smoked turkey using each one, let’s talk about whether we should even be doing this.
That’s right. We have to address the safety elephant in the room.
Food handling and foodborne illness issues are critical, especially when it comes to poultry.
The best advice anyone can give you when it comes to reheating food and practicing safe food-handling procedures is to do your own research so you can be sure to cover yourself from all angles.
The BBC article on what you need to know about reheating takeaways is a great place to start.
How to Reheat Smoked Turkey in the Oven
Reheating smoked turkey in the oven is likely going to be your best approach if you are dealing with the whole turkey. Where else can you possibly fit even a small turkey?
- To get your smoked turkey right without drying it out, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Low and slow is the name of the game here.
- Place your turkey on a roasting rack inside of a large roasting pan, breast side up.
- Pour a cup of water into the bottom of the pan to create moisture and prevent drying.
- Cover the turkey and the pan with aluminum foil, making sure to form a firm seal around the rim of the pan so no heat can escape.
- Cook the turkey for 2-3 hours. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow the turkey to sit for about 15 minutes then carve and enjoy!
How to Reheat Smoked Turkey in the Microwave
Reheating smoked turkey in the microwave can be quick and easy.
- Slice the smoked turkey into ¼-inch pieces and place the pieces on a microwave-safe plate.
- Cover the turkey slices with a wet paper towel.
- Heat the turkey on full power in 1-minute increments, checking the internal temperature each time.
- Once it has reached the safe temp, serve and enjoy!
How to Reheat Smoked Turkey in an Air Fryer
After the oven, reheating smoked turkey in an air fryer may be your best approach to keeping it moist and even getting it a bit crispy on the outside.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Separate out the pieces of your smoked turkey or slice into individual ¼-inch slices.
- Place the pieces or slices in your air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Cook for about 10 minutes and check the internal temperature.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to Reheat Smoked Turkey on a Grill
There is nothing like the flavors that come from cooking over a fire, and reheating smoked turkey on a grill can be a wonderful way to lock in moisture and create a whole new experience.
- Preheat your grill to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wrap your turkey in aluminum foil.
- Place the turkey on indirect heat on the grill and close the lid.
- Allow it to cook, without opening the lid, for 2 hours before checking the internal temp. Cook for another 30 minutes to an hour if necessary.
- Let your turkey rest for another 20 minutes to lock in moisture and juices.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to Reheat Smoked Turkey in a Toaster Oven
If you have a cut of smoked turkey, and you want to use your toaster oven, you totally can! Just be sure to allow for plenty of heating time and check the turkey’s internal temperature to be safe.
- Preheat your toaster oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place your turkey directly on the rack in your toaster oven, with a pan beneath it to catch any drippings.
- Heat your turkey for about 3 hours, maybe a bit longer, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Carve and enjoy!
How to Reheat Smoked Turkey in a Pan on the Stove
The stovetop is a wonderful and delicious way to reheat your smoked turkey, especially if you are aiming for open-faced turkey sandwiches or some other dish that calls for slices.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and add a layer of olive oil or butter to the pan.
- Slice the turkey into ¼-inch thick slices.
- When the oil or butter is hot, add the turkey slices in a single layer and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
- Before you remove the slices from the pan, you can pour a few tablespoons of turkey or chicken broth over the top to lock in moisture.
- Serve and enjoy!
WINNER – the Best Way to Reheat Smoked Turkey Is Using the Oven
If you’re working with a whole smoked turkey, the best way to reheat it has to be the oven. It will lock in moisture and juices, cook the turkey all the way through, and get you a nice crispy outside.
What do you think? What tips and tricks do you have for reheating smoked turkey? Let me know in the comments.