How Do You Reheat Turkey? The 3 Best Methods to Reheat Leftover Turkey

Don't dry up those leftovers.

By the time Thanksgiving is over, the last thing you want to think about is more cooking. You've probably got loads of delicious leftovers you can make more than one meal from. Whether making turkey dinner or a Thanksgiving sandwich, reheating turkey is one step in the process. However, you might just wave it off as unimportant and just pop the leftover turkey in the microwave. 

You'll soon find out how to reheat turkey is more important than you originally thought. Without simple, but essential steps to reheat turkey correctly, you'll end up with a dried-out bird. Why waste the many amazing meals you can enjoy after the Thanksgiving holiday is over?

Look forward to Thanksgiving turkey leftovers with our helpful guide on how to reheat turkey right. Get the details on reheating turkey in the oven, on the stovetop, and in the microwave (if necessary). Also, don't miss the unique ingredients you'll want to add to ensure nothing short of tasty, moist turkey every time.

Keep reading for tips on how to reheat turkey the best way possible. You'll end up with a juicy turkey that can be enjoyed just as much after Thanksgiving Day.

How Do You Make Leftover Turkey Not Dry?

Adding another element that gives off moisture is a terrific way to make leftover turkey not dry. You can achieve this in a couple of ways. One is to add butter to your gravy and brush the turkey with the gravy before it's reheated. Another is to add approximately a half-inch of stock to the pan before reheating the turkey. 

You can also use both techniques for the ultimate in tender turkey. These extras really make a difference when you're reheating turkey breast, since it has less fat than thighs or legs.

How Do Restaurants Reheat Turkey?

One typical restaurant method for how to reheat turkey is to use the oven. In addition to employing turkey stock or chicken broth and/or buttered gravy, chefs often slice the turkey beforehand. This way, it takes less time and heat to achieve an even temperature for the reheated turkey. It also avoids turkey drying out in the process.

Can I Cook A Turkey The Day Before And Reheat It?

It's possible to cook a turkey the day before and reheat it if more time is needed for other Thanksgiving preparations. For reheating, the USDA recommends using an oven temperature of no less than 325°F. 

Use the broth or butter/gravy method to keep the turkey moist and make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remember that when first cooked, the turkey should cool down for up to two hours before it gets refrigerated.

How Long Can You Eat Turkey After Thanksgiving Day?

Just because there are different leftovers to enjoy after Thanksgiving doesn't mean you should wait too long before making them. It's recommended to reheat and consume turkey no later than three to four days after it's refrigerated. 

Use freezer paper and plastic sealable bags if freezing turkey instead. Unlike some foods which don't freeze well, turkey can be frozen for at least three months. Either way, freeze or reheat your turkey no later than four days after Thanksgiving to avoid bacterial growth.

Three Methods For Reheating Turkey (And Which One Is Best)

Check out these easy methods on how to reheat turkey so Thanksgiving can continue (at least through the weekend).

  • Oven: Reheating turkey in the oven at a lower temperature isn't the fastest, but is easy. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Let the leftover turkey come to room temperature for up to 30 minutes. Slice the turkey breast and thighs into uniform pieces and arrange all of the turkey in a roasting pan. Add about a half-inch of turkey or chicken stock and cover with aluminum foil to keep in the moisture. It should take roughly 20 minutes for the turkey to reheat evenly and stay moist and juicy.
  • Stovetop: While the oven is the best method for reheating turkey, using your stovetop is a good choice if making a small amount. Saute the slices of turkey in a half-inch of stock over medium-high heat until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. You may need to watch the turkey more with this method, depending on the amount you're reheating and your stove
  • Microwave: It's true — using the microwave is the less effective method of reheating turkey after Thanksgiving. If you just can't deal with the oven or stove, simply use a covered microwave-safe dish. Add some gravy or stock over the turkey and microwave in 30-second bursts. This method keeps the turkey from drying out, though you can't walk away during this reheating process.

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