How To Reheat A Whole Turkey Without Drying it Out

Smoked Turkey

Turkey season can be so draining. It’s no wonder you are thinking of purchasing a pre-made turkey or baking your turkey a day in advance.

Not only will it save time and create more space for you to cook other items, but it will help relieve some of your holiday stress. However, before you head to the store and purchase a pre-made turkey, you need to know how to reheat it properly.

Tips For Reheating A Whole Turkey

Unfortunately, reheating a whole turkey is not as simple as placing it in the oven. Follow these tips to make sure you end up with a juicy moist bird.

Whether you are searing Denver steaks or cooking 3-2-1 ribs in an electric smoker, you should let your meat come to room temperature. The same rule applies to reheating an entire turkey.

Remove your turkey from the fridge at least an hour before you reheat it.

Although there are some safety concerns about leaving a turkey at room temperature, there’s no need to worry. The turkey is already cooked and will not be sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours; it is completely safe to leave it out.

In addition to this, letting the bird come to room temperature will allow the bird to come to room temperature, making it easy to reheat. If you reheat the bird as soon as it comes out of the fridge, you will likely end up with a dry bird.

Furthermore, wrap your turkey with foil before placing it in the oven. The foil will trap moisture helping the meat remain juicy while it is reheating.

Temperature is very important when it comes to cooking or reheating any meat. If your oven is too hot, the turkey could dry out. Even though it will add extra time to the reheating process, it’s best to set the oven to a lower temperature.

The optimal temperature for reheating an entire turkey is 250°F. However, if you are tight on time, you can set your oven to 325°F. Do not heat your oven to a temperature higher than 325°F, or you will end up with a dry turkey.

In addition to the temperature the turkey is reheated at, you must also pay attention to the bird’s internal temperature. Monitoring the bird’s exact temperature will allow you to remove it from the oven at the right time and prevent the turkey from drying out. Again, an infrared thermometer or a probe thermometer will allow you to track your bird’s progress.

Because the turkey is pre-cooked, you want it to get hot enough that its temperature rises above the danger zone and neutralizes any bacteria. Therefore, once your turkey has a temperature that ranges between 140°F-150°F remove it from the oven.

Yes, the recommended temperature for reheating meats is 165°F. However, if you go over 150°F meats, the turkey will dry out. In addition to this., the turkey’s temperature will continue to rise as it rests, so there’s no need to worry about unsafe meat.

How Long Does Reheating A Whole Turkey Take?

The time it takes to reheat a turkey can vary. Even if you were to estimate a cooking time, some birds are bigger than others and may take longer to come to the recommended temperature than others.

Nevertheless, it is good to estimate a rough reheating time to plan accordingly. If you reheat your turkey at 275°F, it may take 3-4 hours to reheat. In contrast, if you reheat your bird at 325°F, it will take 2 1/2 hours.

Moreover, you will also need to factor in an additional 30 minutes to let the turkey rest before carving it. Letting the turkey rest will give the juices time to reabsorb into the meat and give it time to come up to 165°F.

How To Reheat A Whole Turkey

Whether you are reheating rotisserie chicken, prime rib, salmon, or an entire turkey, you will most likely end up with dry meat if you do not know what you are doing. When it comes to reheating turkey, the rule is to heat it evenly. Therefore the oven is the best option for reheating a whole turkey.

However, you must make sure the oven is at the right temperature. Remember, if your oven is too hot, the bird’s exterior will heat too quickly while the inside remains cold. In addition to this, you must make sure the turkey will fit inside the oven.

To reheat your whole turkey in the oven, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit for one hour at room temperature. Heat the oven to 325°F, then place the turkey into a roasting pan breast-side down. The fat will trickle down the turkey and create a tender, juicy breast as the bird reheats.

Wrap the turkey with foil place it into the oven. The standard calculation for reheating turkey is 5 minutes for every turkey.

However, your turkey should take approximately 2 1/2 hours to reheat. Once the turkey has a temperature between 140-150°F, remove it from the oven. Allow the reheated turkey to rest for 30 minutes, then carve your turkey and serve it.

Can I Make Gravy Even Though I Used A Pre-Made Turkey?

For some folks, there’s no turkey without gravy. If you are one of those folks, there’s no need to fret. Even if you are using a pre-made turkey, you can make gravy.

Simply add 1 cup of water or chicken broth to the roasting pan before you place the turkey into the oven. The turkey drippings will infuse the liquid with flavor while giving you liquid to make gravy with.

Final Thoughts

Turkey is a standard part of the holidays. It is often the centerpiece that gathers friends and family around the table. But there is no denying cooking a turkey is a tedious process.

Therefore you may want to cook it a day in advance or purchase a pre-cooked turkey. Now that you know how to reheat turkey the right way, you don’t have to stress about cooking a turkey the day of the gathering. You can simply reheat it!

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