Calculating the proper quantity of turkey to prepare for Thanksgiving is quite tricky. Sometimes the main dish receives a smaller-than-expected serving on the plate due to the abundance of substantial side dishes and dessert. The good news is that turkey leftovers taste lovely, and there are many creative ways to prepare and consume them. The turkey can be reheated in the oven for two to three hours.
Fortunately, we know the ideal techniques for reheating turkey, so you need not endure this unfortunate fate.
How Long to Reheat a Turkey in the Oven?
Cook the turkey for 30 to 45 minutes or until thoroughly warmed. It’s a good idea to use an instant-read thermometer to check that each large slice of the turkey reaches 165° during reheating.
Reheating the turkey in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes will make it moist and juicy, and you can eat it like before. This ensures that when the turkey is subjected to heat, its juices won’t evaporate as steam.
Reheating Turkey without Drying Out
The appropriate storage of the turkey is the first stage. The quickest way to develop a dry crust on the surface of the meat is to leave it exposed to air overnight, so don’t just dump it on a plate and store it in the fridge. Keep any leftover turkey in a sealed container once it has cooled, carefully covered, or even better.
Reheating the meat adds moisture to the next stage. We add homemade gravy, chicken stock, or butter to the turkey before heating it in our warming techniques below.
- Doing this can prevent ‘sit fluids from escaping as steam as it is heated.
- Finally, we strongly advise covering the turkey while it reheats. Use a skillet with a tight-fitting lid, an oven-safe dish made of aluminum foil, or a microwave-safe dish. The leftover turkey will taste much better if the fluids stay around the flesh rather than dripping into your kitchen!
Using an Oven
Because leftovers nearly always taste better when they are reheated using the original cooking method, this is our favorite reheating technique. In light of this, you shouldn’t heat the oven as much as you did for the initial roasting. We prefer to reheat turkey at a temperature of 300°F since it prevents the heat from removing the meat’s moisture while yet being high enough to speed up the process.
Put your leftovers in foil and cover the meat with a few spoonfuls of sauce or chicken stock. Then seal the foil tightly after adding a pat of butter. Alternatively, you might use a casserole dish, but carefully wrap it in aluminum foil to keep the steam within.
The turkey should be wholly warmed after 30 to 45 minutes of cooking. When reheating the turkey, it’s a good idea to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure that each large slice reaches 165°.
On the Stovetop
Our second favorite approach is this one. The turkey comes out juicier than in the microwave, but it cooks faster than in the oven. Additionally, if you’re reheating skin-on chunks, it’s a fantastic choice.
Add 1/2 inch of chicken stock to a skillet with the turkey chunks. Over medium-high heat, simmer the mixture while covering the pan with a lid. To thoroughly reheat the turkey, simmer for a short while.
Discard the liquid and dry the pan with a clean cloth if you want the skin to get crispier. Heat it with a teaspoon of oil over a high flame. Add the warmed turkey, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the skin is crispy.
Using a Microwave
This method works nicely if you only need to reheat one or two turkey plates. The turkey should ideally be sliced into bite-sized pieces first to reduce the possibility of the outside drying out before the interior has fully heated.
Put the turkey chunks in a dish that can be heated in a microwave. Add a pat of butter and a few spoonfuls of chicken stock. Put a lid on the container or wrap it in plastic. For every pound of reheated turkey, cook it for one minute at 70% power.
It can be worthwhile to roast an additional Thanksgiving turkey only to ensure you have leftovers because reheated turkey can taste so succulent and wonderful!
Can a Turkey be Cooked the Day Before and then Reheated?
Absolutely! Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stressful, so roast the turkey and let it rest as usual (or use our flavorful method for grilling turkey). After carving it, securely wrap it in plastic or a lid before putting it in the refrigerator. Dinner is ready after utilizing one of the techniques above to reheat it.
This situation lends itself well to the oven approach, mainly because it fills your kitchen with the delicious aroma of cooked turkey. You’ll appear to have spent all morning cooking for your dinner guests!
How Many Times can Turkey be Reheated?
Turkey shouldn’t be reheated more than once. It is technically OK to consume as long as it reaches 165° each time. Nevertheless, each time food is heated or cooled, it crosses the danger threshold (between 40° and 140°).
Giving bacteria repeated opportunities to flourish is not a good idea because bacteria in this range thrive. It’s best to be cautious and only reheat leftover turkey once.
How to Thaw a Turkey?
Your turkey can safely defrost in the refrigerator, cold water, or microwave, among other places. The fridge is the method of choice, but preparation is crucial. If needed, the different approaches are faster. A frozen turkey can be cooked without risk, and it will take at least 50% more time to cook the turkey than is advised for a fully thawed bird.
- Place the frozen turkey in its original wrapper on a skillet or in a container to keep the juices from spilling onto other foods while it is stored in the refrigerator. For every 4 to 5 pounds, put the container in the fridge (40 °F or lower) and give it around 24 hours. The refrigerator can hold a thawed turkey for one to two days. The recommended refrigerator thawing times are listed below.
- In Cold Water: Don’t freak out if you fail to thaw the turkey or don’t have space in the fridge for thawing. Ensure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to avoid cross-contamination and water absorption. Every 30 minutes, change the water in which the turkey is submerged. Per pound of turkey, allow around 30 minutes for defrosting. It is best to cook a turkey right away once it has thawed in cold water. The suggested thawing times in cold water are as follows.
- In the microwave: If the turkey is not too big, microwave thawing is safe. For the size of turkey that will fit in your microwave oven, the number of minutes needed to defrost each pound, and the power setting, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. Immediately after defrosting, cook.
How to Properly Roast a Turkey at Home?
To roast a turkey safely, adhere to these steps:
- It would help if you did not lower the oven’s temperature below 325°F.
- Before and after handling the turkey, wash your hands with soap and water.
- Before cooking, remove the giblet packaging.
- Place your turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan (2 to 212 inches deep).
- Put the bird’s wing tips behind its shoulders (called “akimbo”).
- Put a half cup of water in the pan’s bottom.
Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer on the packaging when using an oven cooking bag.
- For the first 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours of cooking, a tent of aluminum foil may be lightly placed over the turkey’s breast; it may then be removed for browning. Alternatively, after the turkey has acquired the appropriate golden brown color, a tent made of foil may be placed over it.
- Stuffing your turkey is not advised for maximum safety. Instead, prepare the stuffing in a casserole. Before serving, ensure the filling has reached an internal temperature of 165 °F using a food thermometer.
- To keep everyone safe, it’s crucial to abide by food safety regulations if you decide to stuff your turkey. If you prepare ingredients ahead of time, stay wet and dry ingredients apart. The wet components should be chilled, including the sautéed celery, onions, and butter/margarine. Before stuffing the turkey cavities, combine the wet and dry ingredients and loosely seal the holes.
- Prepare the turkey right away. Make sure the stuffing’s center reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 °F using a food thermometer.
- Use the timetables to calculate the appropriate cooking time for your turkey. These times are a ballpark figure. Always use a food thermometer to verify the interior temperature of your turkey and stuffing. A frozen turkey can be cooked without risk, and it will take at least 50% more time to cook the turkey than is advised for a fully thawed bird. Remember to remove the giblet packaging during the cooking process if cooking from frozen. Carefully remove using tongs or a fork.
- A whole turkey must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 °F or higher to be safe. The thickest section of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh and wing, and the internal temperature should all be checked. Customers may decide to roast turkey at greater temperatures out of personal taste.
- Suppose your turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator. In that case, it is advised that you also use a food thermometer to check the bird’s internal temperature in the thickest section of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing. To ensure safety, the interior must be heated to 165°F.
- Enable the turkey to stand for 20 minutes before carving to ensure quality and allow the juices to solidify. The turkey will be simpler to cut. Check out this fast video or these instructions to learn how to slice a turkey.
- If you stuffed your turkey, be sure to clean out the cavities thoroughly. Before serving, make sure the stuffing has reached an internal temperature of 165 °F using a food thermometer.
What are the Health Benefits of Turkey?
A Lot of Protein
Turkey is lean meat that is a fantastic option for anyone trying to cut back on their fat intake because it is lower in fat and higher in protein than chicken. However, because it has a lot of protein and little fat, the meat might cook quickly and end up being dry. To retain moisture, various techniques, such as bringing, using fattier ingredients, and jointing the bird for more even cooking, may be helpful.
In addition to providing all nine of the essential amino acids required for growth and repair, the protein in poultry meat is of a sort that is simple for human systems to acquire and utilize.
Suitable B Vitamin Source
Turkey meat is a good B vitamin family source, including vitamins B3, B6, and B12. These vitamins are essential for creating red blood cells, brain health, and energy production.
Excellent Mineral Source
Turkey meat is a valuable addition since it is high in selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron, which help thyroid function, immunity, bone health, and energy production. The darker meat pieces, such as the leg and thigh, are higher in iron-rich elements.
It May Benefit Heart Health
The low fat, high protein, and wide range of micronutrient contributions of turkey contribute to its potential heart-health benefits. According to extensive observational research on females, higher poultry and fish diets were linked to a lower risk of coronary artery disease. Additionally, it appears that switching from red meat to poultry decreased the cardiovascular risk by 19%.
To properly reheat the turkey, cook it for 30 to 45 minutes. When reheating the turkey, it’s a good idea to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure each large slice reaches 165°.
The turkey will be moist and juicy after being reheated in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, and you may enjoy it just like before. This ensures that the turkey’s juices won’t become steam when heated.