Turkey is a perennial holiday favorite, but what do you do with all the leftovers? Reheat them and have them again later, of course. There are so many ways to reheat and repurpose leftover turkey, that it would be a shame to waste them.
The trick is to reheat your turkey correctly so it retains it’s natural juices, and you’re not left without a dried out piece of poultry that looks and tastes nothing like the original meal.
Not sure what the best way to reheat your leftover turkey is? We’ve got you covered. No matter what appliance you have available, we’ll share the best methods for reheating your turkey for another meal.
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Can You Reheat Turkey?
Whether you want to eat it on its own or use it in another dish, you absolutely can reheat turkey and have it retain its original flavor and texture.
When reheating anything, including turkey, it’s a good idea to consider the original cooking method.
In general, foods that are breaded or deep-fried often do better when reheated in an oven or air fryer while foods that are baked or grilled often do better when reheated in an oven or on a grill.
Should You Reheat Turkey?
It is perfectly safe to reheat turkey as long as it has been stored correctly in the refrigerator and hasn’t been left out at room temperature for more than two hours.
When reheating your turkey, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s always a good idea to research the safety of reheating your food, including turkey, yourself to make sure you understand any concerns your particular situation may create.
How to Reheat Turkey in the Oven
Using the oven is preferable if you need to reheat a large quantity of turkey at once. Follow these steps to reheat turkey in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the turkey thinly and remove any leg meat from the bone.
- Prepare a roasting pan by filling it with stock until it nearly covers the meat. Sprinkle some butter on top.
- Roast the turkey for 30 minutes with foil tightly sealed on the dish or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow the turkey to sit in the juices for a few minutes before serving.
How to Reheat Turkey in the Microwave
Preparing turkey using a microwave is quick and easy, but you’ll be unable to restore as much moisture as you would in a skillet or oven, so save it for single servings or when you’re crunched for time. Use these directions to get the best results when reheating turkey in the microwave:
- If you have time, allow the turkey to sit for 15-20 minutes to reach room temperature.
- Put the turkey in a baking tray, cover it with a clean towel or a microwave-safe lid, and prepare it in the microwave.
- The recommended heating time is 2-6 minutes on low electricity.
- Due to the risk of uneven cooking, turkey on the bones is not suggested for microwave use.
How to Reheat Turkey in an Air Fryer
If you fried your turkey originally, the air fryer is a great option for reheating it. Follow these steps to reheat your turkey in the air fryer:
- Set the air fryer’s temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the turkey on a baking tray that will fit in the air fryer then cover the turkey with water and aluminum foil.
- For every pound of turkey, reheat it for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be aware that cook times may vary significantly depending on the power and size of the air fryer and the amount of leftover turkey. The temperatures and timeframes are a reference and should be modified as needed.
How to Reheat Turkey in a Toaster Oven
Use these guidelines to get the most out of the leftover turkey while reheating it in a toaster oven:
- Set the toaster oven’s temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help hold in the turkey’s juices while still heating it relatively quickly.
- Place the turkey and a few tablespoons of broth or water on the toaster oven’s baking sheet and cover with foil.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then check to see if it is warm. If not, bake in 5 minute increments until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Reheat Turkey in a Pan on the Stove
Reheating turkey in a pan on the stove is one of the best ways to reheat turkey, and you can even leave the skin on. Use these steps to reheat turkey in a pan on the stove:
Put the turkey in a pan with about an inch of chicken stock.
Bring the contents of the pan to a boil over medium heat, cover.
Simmer for a few minutes until the turkey is heated through.
If you wish to crisp up the skin, dump the broth and wipe the pan using a clean cloth. Add a tablespoon of oil and get it nice and hot over high heat. Add the rewarmed turkey and cook for 3-5 minutes, skin side down, until the skin is browned and crispy.
WINNER- The Best Way to Reheat Turkey is Using the Oven
Besides filling your house with a tasty aroma, reheating turkey in the oven allows you to warm it at a low enough temperature to trap in juices while not drying it out.
Always cover your turkey and add some liquid, broth or water, to the roasting pan to avoid ending up with a dried-out pan of turkey.
Do you have a favorite way to reheat turkey. Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments!