Can I Reheat a Whole Turkey? Tips on Which Method Is Best

You made, or ordered, a whole turkey for Thanksgiving or for another occasion, and now you have the whole thing, or close to it, left over. It’s sitting in your fridge, and it was the perfect dish in the first place.

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But how can you make sure it’s just as good reheated? Is that even possible?

Can You Reheat a Whole Turkey?

Can You Reheat a Whole Turkey

Yes. You can reheat a whole turkey. Of course, you are dealing with a giant bird because even a small turkey can feel like a giant bird. Naturally, you’re worried about heating it all the way through without drying it out.

The first time, you had the opportunity to baste, to cook low and slow from a raw state. You were aiming for crispy skin. And you nailed it!

Now, however, you have to reheat that perfect poultry from an already cooked state. You want to keep that skin crisp, and you have to ensure you maintain the moisture.

The best approach you can take, no matter what the appliance, is to separate the turkey into legs, thighs, and cuts of the breast. You will have to choose this option to reheat your turkey in every appliance.

The truth is that as long as you take the right approach with the right appliance, you can reheat pretty much any food. For foods that have been grilled or baked, you can reheat them back on the grill or back in the oven. For foods that have been breaded or fried, you can reheat them in the oven or in the air fryer.

For a whole turkey, we are probably going to be best off reheating it in the oven. But let’s run through all the appliances, just to cover our bases.

Should You Reheat a Whole Turkey?

Should You Reheat a Whole Turkey

Before we go over all the ways to reheat a whole turkey, let’s discuss whether or not we should.

After all, we’re dealing with poultry. We have to consider foodborne illnesses and safe food-handling practices. No one wants to end up sick from a delicious turkey.

The general advice tells us to reheat a whole turkey to the point of an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Still, you should always do your own research just to be sure. To get you started on that research, check out this article on reheating leftovers by Healthline.

How to Reheat a Whole Turkey in the Oven

Reheating a whole turkey in the oven is easily the best way to get this job done.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Carve your turkey into serving size slices and cuts.

  1. Place the turkey cuts onto an oven-safe pan.
  2. Pour about a cup of broth over the turkey and into the pan.
  3. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Heat the turkey for 45-55 minutes and check the temperature.
  5. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

How to Reheat a Whole Turkey in the Microwave

Reheating a whole turkey in the microwave is quick and easy, but you want to be careful not to dry the turkey out.

  1. Carve the turkey into slices and cuts and place those cuts into a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Cook for 2 minutes at 75% power and check the temperature.
  3. If it’s not ready, you can continue to heat in 30-second increments until it is ready.
  4. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

How to Reheat a Whole Turkey in an Air Fryer

The air fryer is a dream when it comes to reheating turkey.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Carve your turkey into serving sizes.
  3. Place the slices and cuts of turkey, separated out, into the air fryer basket.
  4. You will likely have to heat the turkey in several batches.
  5. Heat for 10 minutes and check the temperature.
  6. If necessary, you can heat for another minute or two.
  7. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

How to Reheat a Whole Turkey on a Grill

While the grill is a wonderful appliance to cook a raw turkey to fully delicious, it is not ideal for reheating. It can be done, but I won’t advise you to rush out to your patio to fire up the grill to reheat a turkey.

Still, if you are outside already and hankering for some leftovers, you can give it a try.

  1. Carve the turkey into serving-size pieces and wrap the pieces you want in aluminum foil.
  2. Preheat the grill to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Place the foil-wrapped turkey on the grill over indirect heat and close the lid.
  4. Heat the turkey for 30-45 minutes and check the internal temperature.
  5. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

How to Reheat a Whole Turkey in a Toaster Oven

If you’ve got a toaster oven, and you’re determined to heat your turkey on it, we can make it happen!

It’s basically a small version of a big, conventional oven. Totally doable.

  1. Preheat the toaster oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Carve your turkey and place the slices you want to reheat on an oven-safe baking sheet.
  3. Heat the turkey for 20-30 minutes and check the temperature.
  4. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

How to Reheat a Whole Turkey in a Pan on the Stove

While it might seem like the stove is a silly place to reheat turkey, it can actually be a wonderful way to give your turkey a whole new spin.

  1. Place a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in the pan, and when it heats up, place the carved turkey slices and pieces into the heated oil.
  3. Saute the turkey for a couple of minutes on one side then flip the turkey and heat on the other side for a couple of minutes.
  4. Check the temperature, serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!

Winner! – The Best Way to Reheat a Whole Turkey Is Using the Oven

Okay, the truth is that the air fryer is a wonderful way to reheat turkey, but unless you only have a few slices, you’ll have to work in batches, which can be a huge pain.

Thus, the oven is the best way to reheat a whole turkey.

What do you think?

Do you have a favorite way to reheat a turkey? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from my readers!

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