How to Reheat Turkey in Microwave

There is often an urge to utilize all the leftover turkey during your next mealtime preparation. Whether it is roasted, barbecued, baked, or smoked it’s much better when warmed.

The number one aim during reheating is to maintain a luscious and succulent turkey rather than the hard and overdone dryness you may have been subjected to in the past.

This raises some crucial questions.

  • What is the best way to reheat turkey in the microwave?
  • How can you avoid the reheated turkey from being excessively dry?

Just think… after so much effort put into baking or frying that juicy bird.

The very last thing you need is to jeopardize the possibility of juicy and flavorful leftovers. Even the best-cooked turkey could be easily annihilated during the reheating cycle.

However, despite what you may have heard… there is hope!

Keep reading to discover expert tips that will give you the best results.

Can you reheat a turkey in the microwave?

Yes, you can microwave a turkey. Set the turkey on a microwavable dish and add some liquid over it.

Stock, gravy, or broth make great options.

Cover with a microwavable lid and microwave on medium power for 30 seconds at a time until the turkey is sizzling and completely warmed.

In any case, it’s advisable to reheat tiny quantities of turkey to ensure equal heating and to prevent overcooking.

Which will result in a dried, hard, and rubbery bird.

The microwave technique is the quickest and simplest way to reheat turkey. However, it is only efficient for reheating small amounts of turkey.

Like myself, it may be disappointing to hear this if you have a big family.

But, it’s critical to reheat in smaller batches to minimize overcrowding and improper heating.

Even if reheating sliced turkey in the microwave, it’s also best to slice fairly thin, consistent slices for uniform cooking. Thick portions will take considerably longer to cook versus thin bits.

In my experience, the longer it heats, the more you lose moisture.

Is it safe to reheat turkey in a microwave?

Yes, it is safe to reheat turkey in a microwave. Considering there is leftover or precooked turkey, it may be safely reheated to a core temperature of 74 degrees Celsius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take care not to overcook or undercook the turkey. Eating turkey meat that is less than 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius will potentially lead to foodborne illness.

In addition, the meat must be chilled and kept in accordance with safe food handling standards. If the turkey smells nasty or off-putting in any way, do not reheat it since it may be contaminated.

Trust me, avoiding a trip to the emergency room is more cost-effective than throwing out that spoiled turkey!

Turkey that has been precooked or fully roasted must only be reheated once.

Reheating meat more than once is not a smart option since it might subject the meat to dangerous food-borne microbes or cause substantial moisture loss. Which tends to make the turkey hard.

Bacteria flourish in the thermal danger zone of 40 to 140 °F, which can pose a health risk including salmonella poisoning if ingested. Consequently, repetitive heating and cooling subjects the meat to temperature fluctuations that are unsafe for food,

How do you reheat turkey in the microwave?

A microwave should never be used to reheat an entire turkey. It will heat irregularly, with some areas overcooking. Remove the breast meat, ensuring it is thinly sliced. After which, cut the leg meat into tiny strips by removing it from the bone.

Turkey meat on the bone should not be microwaved because that could lead to uneven heating.

Place the turkey on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd the plate. To amp up the taste, spritz with broth or sauce.

Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat, or until the core temperature is raised to 74 degrees Celsius. Check the interior temperature using a thermometer, then reheat in 30-second periods until the appropriate safe temperature is attained.

When compared to other heating techniques such as the cook-top or oven, utilizing a microwave saves time and maintains the juiciness and initial taste of the turkey.

How long do you microwave a turkey to reheat?

Typically, reheating a pound of leftover turkey takes about 3 to 5 minutes. The quantity of turkey meat, the size of the chunks, and the microwave’s power all play a role in determining the optimum microwave reheating duration.

It is advised that the bird meat be sliced into tiny bits and deboned before microwaving. This should decrease the reheating time and ensure that the food is completely cooked.

Keep turkey chilled or refrigerated prior to being reheated, and just reheat the quantity that will be consumed during that time. Similarly, if the chilled turkey was refrigerated, let it thaw at room temperature about 15 to 20 minutes prior to actually beginning the warming procedure.

Cooked turkey is heated in the microwave for 3 minutes on medium heat or at 70 percent power level, or when it hits 74 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Fahrenheit).

After microwaving, you must let the turkey rest for a minute or two prior to consuming it. This will cause the residual heat to dissipate completely.

Tips for reheating turkey in the microwave

To effectively reheat cooked turkey in a microwave, the accompanying safety precautions should be followed.

  • Leftover turkey normally lasts 3 to 5 days; much beyond and the danger of food rotting increases.
  • Allow cold-turkey to defrost at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before reheating in the microwave.
  • Cold turkey may contain bacteria that develop at low temperatures, necessitating reheating the turkey to be searing hot. To determine a safe core temperature, use a meat thermometer.
  • Do not reheat leftover turkey multiple times.
  • When the turkey is chopped into thin, consistent slices, it is ready to be reheated.
  • Remove any bones from the turkey leg at all times.
  • To keep the meat juicy, brush it with little quantities of broth, wine, stock, olive oil, or butter.
  • Arrange the turkey on a plate that can be microwaved.

Best way to reheat turkey in the microwave

Microwave the turkey for 30 seconds at a time on medium power. Notably, some microwaves are more powerful than others, so cooking times will differ. Don’t hold back on drizzling that stock or preferred liquid over the meat.

And remember to shield your turkey from the heat by using a microwave-safe lid or dish cover.

Microwaving cold, cooked turkey is the fastest and simplest way to reheat it. The problem with reheating fully cooked turkey meat is that it loses moisture after being stored in the refrigerator or freezer for a long stretch of time.

The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to reheated turkey. It may be used in practically every recipe that calls for chicken.

However, because it’s very lean meat, it does get dry at times.  Particularly the breast portions.

With that said, any portion of a turkey may be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. So, if you intend to serve turkey leftovers that are beyond seven days old, it is best to freeze them in an airtight dish to preserve their quality.

To sum things up

If you are in a hurry for another taste of the delicious turkey masterpiece you prepared last night.

The microwave will do the work for you!

It’s quick, easy, and almost foolproof…

But be vigilant as the turkey could become overcooked in a single glance.

Thankfully by following the recommendations discussed above you are well on your way to a turkey reheating victory.

Now that you know this…treat yourself to a nicely reheated turkey served with creamy mashed potatoes or a fresh green salad as a healthy alternative.


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