If you’ve ever cooked a turkey, you know how hard it is to get it to be perfectly juicy, soft, not tough, and not dry.
The process of roasting turkey properly takes hours, and it seems like you can ruin everything in minutes if you don’t hit the right ratio of roasting with foil, adding the sauce, and finally roasting it uncovered to get a fine crispy skin.
Similar troubles await you with heating the leftovers. Sure, you almost certainly have leftovers, especially if the turkey is a little bigger.
It is necessary to master the art of reheating without drying the meat and getting a tough gum that you can’t even chew. With our few tricks, you will become a real turkey warming up guru.
Warming Up Turkey In An Oven
We like to hold the firm view that an oven is simply the best way to reheat turkey. That’s how you baked it, so why not warm it with the same method. Besides, this way, you will slowly heat the turkey and keep all the juiciness you want.
Step 1: Preheat the Oven to 300 °F
The temperature for reheating the leftover turkey should not be too high. It needs to be heated slowly. Yes, it will take a little longer, but the result will be a tender and juicy turkey. Therefore, turn on the oven to medium high heat of 300 degrees and let it heat up thoroughly.
Step 2: Slice the Turkey to Smaller Pieces if You Prefer
First of all, the advice is to cut the turkey into smaller pieces if you want to heat it up faster and more evenly. Make sure the pieces of breast meat are about the same size. If you don’t want to, you can leave it whole but adjust the baking length later and check with a thermometer that the inside is evenly heated.
Step 3: Prepare the Turkey by Adding Moisture and Fat
This is a crucial step to keeping the meat soft. You need to add moisture and fat to maintain juiciness.
You can wrap the whole turkey in aluminum foil or put it in a baking dish covered with foil or a lid. Add to the leftover portions the gravy you have from the roast and a turkey fat or some butter. It is essential that the meat does not dry out while heating.
Step 4: Bake for Half an Hour
Put the turkey in the oven and let it bake for half an hour. If you have a larger piece of meat, leave it for 40 minutes. Take the meat out of the oven after it’s done and make sure everything is well heated. Be careful not to get burned by steam while removing the foil.
Warming Turkey On A Stove
This is a much faster way than preheating in the oven, and yet, safer than a microwave to get a juicy turkey. If you reheat on the stove, you can get a slightly crispier exterior, and the meat will certainly be well heated. We suggest you listen to our advice and do two procedures below to get the best result.
Step 1: Reheating in a Broth for Moisture
First, put the chicken broth in the pan and put on medium heat to warm up. Add pieces of leftover turkey to it (you should definitely cut it into smaller pieces) and cover with a lid or foil. So, heat for a few minutes until the meat is well heated.
Step 2: Reheating on Oil to Get Crispy Skin
The next step is to take the turkey out of the broth and wipe the pan with a paper towel. Add one to two tablespoons of oil and put the pan back on the fire to heat.
Now, put the turkey pieces and bake for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides to get a crispy crust. When it is done, you can soak up the excess oil with a paper towel.
Reheating Turkey In A Microwave
A microwave is always a good solution if you are in a hurry, and if you only have one or two smaller pieces of leftover turkey. It doesn’t pay to light the oven for it.
In any case, add moisture to keep the turkey from drying out. And, even if you have smaller pieces of turkey, you can still cut it into even smaller bites. This will prevent the meat from drying out on the outside before it is heated.
Step 1: Place the Turkey in a Dish and Add Broth
Place the turkey pieces in a microwave-safe dish. Add the chicken stock and mix it a little to distribute it evenly over every turkey piece. Then, cover the bowl with a secure lid or plastic foil for the microwave.
Step 2: Nuke for 2 Minutes
Place the cooked turkey in a microwave and turn it on for 2 minutes. Check if the reheated turkey meat is hot enough. If not, place it in the microwave for an additional minute.
Heating Up Turkey In An Air Fryer
Although a great heating device, the air fryer has just as much chance of drying out and destroying turkey leftovers as the previous methods.
Therefore, it is very important to achieve an optimal moisture level and take all the necessary steps so that the meat is juicy and soft, especially turkey breasts, which are known for dryness.
It would be a shame if a delicious roast turkey became hard and dry chewing gum. Here are tips on how to achieve the desired result.
Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer to 300 °F
Just like when reheating in a conventional oven, you don’t want too high a temperature, but a medium of 300 degrees F.
Even when you have sliced turkey pieces, they are still usually a bit larger than a chicken and definitely need more time to heat the inside of the meat properly. So, turn on the device at a moderate 300 degrees.
Step 2: Arrange Turkey Leftovers in a Baking Dish
Since you have to add fat, you will need a better container than just a fryer basket so that everything does not drip through the grates. So take a baking dish that fits in your air fryer and arrange the pieces of turkey in it.
Do not cram too many parts at once. If you have one large piece, you don’t necessarily need to cut it into smaller portions as long as it fits comfortably in the fryer without touching the heating elements.
Also, if you can’t find a suitable pan, use baking paper to cover the inside of the basket well so that it doesn’t leak somewhere.
Step 3: Add Turkey Moist
This is a really crucial step if you want a juicy turkey. Add cooking fat, extra oil, or chicken broth. You can also add some additional spices if you wish.
This is an opportunity to correct if you lacked any seasoning in the original baking. Wrap everything well in aluminum foil.
Step 4: Bake for 10 Plus Minutes
Cooking time will vary greatly depending on the size of a turkey. Of course, the bigger and meatier the piece, the more minutes it will take to heat up.
Make sure the first interval is 10 minutes, and then take out the turkey and check if the internal temperature is satisfactory. If you are not sure, you can use a meat thermometer.
Then return it to the air fryer and turn it on for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or more, if necessary.
Turkey often gives us a headache when roasting, and then we always have leftovers with which we do not know what to do because they are dry and tough. But, if you use a few tricks to restore moisture to the meat, you will get a great meal the following day.
Always add fat and liquid when reheating and cover the meat to keep it juicy. Our recommendation is the oven method, but if you are in a hurry, you can use an air fryer, stove or just put a turkey in the microwave.