Turkey is a great little white meat, so much better for you than red meat. And if you cook it or reheat it right, you can retain the moisture that makes it so juicy and delicious.
Sure, you can eat turkey cold provided it’s already been cooked. But it sure tastes better when you eat it warm.
Of course, there are several different ways you can reheat your Thanksgiving turkey. But we’ve found that some methods tend to work out better than others.
Some methods kind of evaporate all the juices out and leave the turkey feeling dry as a bone. Which is not what you’re looking for.
Before we get onto the best methods for reheating turkey, I just want to add one quick tip. Always keep your leftover turkey in a sealed container. This is because exposing the meat to the air, even in a refrigerator, is the surest way to make the turkey dry out.
One of the best ways to reheat turkey, believe it or not, is to stick it back in the oven again.
However, this doesn’t mean it has to go in for just as long as it did originally (thankfully), but it usually takes at least half an hour, which is why we’ve also got some quicker methods here for you.
Some of the methods we’re going to talk about mention chicken broth, but if it’s easier for you, you can simply use turkey broth if you happen to have made some when you originally cooked the turkey. If you have neither chicken nor turkey stock, then just regular drinking water should do the trick.
So, let’s get straight to it…
If you’ve done a practice run of the Thanksgiving turkey and are happy with it, then this is a great way to prepare ahead of time the day and cook the turkey a day before. So on the day, you can just reheat the turkey in the oven and have more attention spare for your vegetables, side dishes, and other courses. The only drawback is that the meat will be ready sliced.
You don’t need to cook the turkey all over again, so it doesn’t need to go in at such a high temperature or for just as long. Instead, you cook it low and slow. This will help keep the turkey tender.
- First, you’ll need to preheat the oven to 325°F. Then what you need to do is prepare some aluminum foil in a roasting tin. This is an important step because the foil helps to circulate the moisture around the turkey and retain that all-important flavor.
- Remove the meat from the bone and carve into even size pieces, ensuring that there are no small pieces, and place them into the lined baking tray.
- Splash a little chicken stock over the turkey pieces, and then wrap the aluminum foil right around the mixture.
- At this point, the oven should be preheated. Place the roasting tin and let it warm up for a good 20 minutes.
This is a great method for reheating turkey when you’ve deliberately kept the skin on, perhaps because you’ve added some nice aromatic herbs. It’s a super simple method too.
- First, place the turkey pieces into the skillet and some chicken stock until it comes to half an inch high.
- Place the lid on, and turn the dial to medium heat to get the mixture simmering away. It will take just a few minutes for the turkey to warm through.
- If you want the skin to go crispy, and why wouldn’t you, you should then pour out the excess liquid and pat the mixture dry. Then add a small drizzle of cooking oil, and switch the skillet up to higher heat. Then you simply reheat the turkey skin side down for about 3 to 5 minutes.
I bet you didn’t think you’d see microwaving as a great way to reheat turkey, huh? But it turns out, if you do it right, you can reheat turkey in the microwave without drying it out.
This method is best if you’re only reheating one or two servings and not the entire turkey.
- First, you should cut the turkey into bite-size pieces. This helps to lower the chances of the outside drying out while the inside is still being heated through.
- Put the turkey pieces into a microwave-safe bowl or container, and pour in a few spoons of chicken stock, enough to cover it, and a very small stick of butter. Cover the turkey up, either with the lid or with plastic wrap.
- Now you’re all set, and you can reheat the turkey in the microwave. Be careful not to set it to full power, though. If you can set it lower, about 70% of power would be best. You need it to go in for one minute for each pound of turkey.
- The chicken stock and butter should not just keep the turkey moist for you but also add to the turkey’s flavor, without bringing in any overpowering flavors that might disguise the taste.
There’s no sense letting perfectly good food go to waste, so whenever you have leftover turkey, you can keep it fresh and repurpose it however you like.
There’s actually quite a lot you can do with leftover turkey. If you want to go for a turkey and cranberry sandwich, or turkey and stuffing sandwich, then we think the turkey is best served cold.
The same goes for any turkey salads you might like to rustle up.
If you prefer a hot meal, though there are still plenty of different options to consider. Turkey leftovers can basically be cooked into anything that uses a broth or a sauce base.
You can enjoy cuisine from just about every corner of the globe: turkey pasta dishes, Mexican turkey enchiladas, good old turkey casserole, an intense Indian curry. The list goes on…