How To Reheat A Whole Turkey

Are you worried about serving a dry and tasteless turkey when reheating it? Don’t fret! In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to reheat a whole turkey to perfection.

You’ll learn the best methods for preparing the turkey, choose the right reheating technique for your needs, and follow step-by-step instructions for reheating in the oven, microwave, or stovetop.

Say goodbye to bland leftovers and hello to moist and flavorful turkey every time!

Key Takeaways

  • Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours per 4 pounds of bird.
  • Remove stuffing to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Consider using a turkey bag or roasting rack in the oven to retain moisture and prevent a soggy bottom.
  • Reheating in the microwave or stovetop can help retain moisture, while oven reheating gives a crispy skin.

Preparing the Turkey for Reheating

To prepare the turkey for reheating, you’ll need to make sure it’s fully defrosted and remove any stuffing before placing it in the oven.

Start by thawing the turkey in the refrigerator, allowing 24 hours of defrosting time for every 4 pounds of bird. Once fully defrosted, remove the stuffing to prevent any potential bacterial growth.

Next, season the turkey to enhance its flavor. You can use a combination of herbs, spices, salt, and pepper, or opt for a pre-made turkey seasoning blend. Rub the seasoning all over the turkey, ensuring it’s evenly coated.

After seasoning, store the turkey in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil before placing it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to reheat.

Following these steps will help ensure a delicious reheated turkey.

Choosing the Right Reheating Method

When choosing how to warm up your leftover bird, you’ll want to consider the right reheating method. Here are four options to help you decide:

  1. Reheating with a slow cooker: This method is perfect for maintaining the moisture and tenderness of the turkey. Simply place the turkey in the slow cooker with some broth or gravy, set it on low heat, and let it slowly warm up for a few hours.

  2. Reheating in a sous vide machine: If you want the turkey to be heated evenly and retain its juiciness, the sous vide method is ideal. Seal the turkey in a vacuum bag, set the sous vide machine to the recommended temperature, and let it cook for a few hours until heated through.

  3. Reheating in the oven: This traditional method works well if you prefer a crispy skin. Preheat the oven to 325°F, place the turkey in a roasting pan, cover it with foil, and heat it for about 30 minutes per pound.

  4. Reheating in the microwave: This is the quickest option, but it may result in uneven heating and a loss of moisture. Cut the turkey into smaller pieces, place them in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat in short intervals, stirring occasionally.

Consider these reheating methods to ensure that your leftover turkey is delicious and enjoyable.

Reheating in the Oven

The oven method is a great choice for achieving a crispy skin on your leftover bird.

To ensure the turkey retains its moisture, consider reheating with a turkey bag. Simply place the turkey, along with any leftover juices or sauce, into a large oven-safe bag.

Seal the bag tightly, making sure to leave enough space for the air to circulate. Next, place the bagged turkey on a roasting rack inside the oven. The rack will elevate the turkey, allowing the heat to circulate evenly and prevent the bottom from getting soggy.

Set the oven to a low temperature, around 325°F (163°C), and heat the turkey for about 20 minutes per pound. Remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) before serving.

Reheating in the Microwave

For a quick and convenient way to warm up your leftovers, you can use the microwave. Reheating time in the microwave will vary depending on the size of your turkey and the power of your microwave.

To ensure even reheating, it’s important to carve the turkey into smaller pieces before placing them in microwave safe dishes. This allows the heat to distribute more evenly and avoids any cold spots.

Start by placing the turkey pieces in a microwave safe dish, cover it with a microwave safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. Set the microwave to medium power and heat in short intervals, checking and stirring the turkey every minute until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

This will help retain the moisture and prevent the turkey from drying out.

Reheating on the Stovetop

To warm up your leftovers on the stovetop, simply slice the turkey into smaller pieces and place them in a pan with a bit of broth or gravy.

Here are three helpful tips for reheating your turkey on the stovetop:

  1. Use a low heat setting: Start by heating the pan on low heat to prevent the turkey from drying out or getting burnt. This will allow the meat to warm up evenly and retain its moisture.

  2. Add liquid for moisture: Pour a small amount of broth or gravy into the pan to add moisture and flavor to the turkey. This will help prevent the meat from becoming dry during the reheating process.

  3. Stir occasionally: While reheating the turkey, make sure to stir it occasionally to ensure even heating. This will help distribute the heat and prevent any parts of the turkey from getting overcooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reheat a frozen whole turkey?

Yes, you can reheat a frozen whole turkey. There are several reheating methods you can use, such as oven roasting or using a slow cooker. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the turkey.

How long can I keep a reheated whole turkey in the refrigerator before it goes bad?

Once you’ve reheated that succulent turkey, make sure to store it in the fridge within two hours. It will stay delicious for up to four days. Enhance the flavors by using traditional seasonings like garlic, thyme, and rosemary.

Can I use the same reheating method for turkey leftovers that have been stored in the fridge for a few days?

To reheat turkey leftovers without drying or losing flavor, use the same reheating method as for a whole turkey. This ensures even heating and prevents the meat from becoming dry or losing its delicious taste.

Can I reheat a whole turkey using a slow cooker?

Reheating a whole turkey in a slow cooker is not recommended. It is best to use traditional reheating methods such as the oven or microwave. However, there are alternative options like using a roasting bag or a steamer.

Is it safe to reheat a whole turkey that has been left out at room temperature for a few hours before reheating?

No, it is not safe to reheat a whole turkey that has been left out at room temperature for a few hours before reheating. This can lead to bacterial growth and increase the risk of foodborne illness.


To conclude, reheating a whole turkey requires careful preparation and choosing the right method. Whether you opt for the oven, microwave, or stovetop, remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey reaches a safe internal temperature.

Take your time to reheat the bird, basting it occasionally to keep it moist and flavorful. With patience and precision, you can enjoy a perfectly reheated turkey, tantalizing your taste buds and satisfying your craving for a delicious meal.