When you are hungry and limited on time, having a few servings of leftover turkey legs in the freezer comes in useful. Leftover turkey legs are perfect for the following day’s meal. But how do you reheat them while keeping them moist and succulent?
Can you imagine after slaving away for hours preparing your juicy and tender turkey legs, with high hopes of returning to the leftovers the following day?
Only to be left disappointed by a tough and dried-out piece of bird!
Such an atrocity!
But here’s some great news for you:
In this article, I will discuss the best course of action for reheating turkey legs in the microwave, as well as tips to avoid eating dried-out turkey legs in the future.
Can you reheat turkey legs in the microwave?
Yes, you can easily reheat turkey legs in the microwave. In my experience, warming turkey legs in the microwave is easier and faster than the other options.
Dinner time is in a few hours and the kids are yelling, “Mom, what’s for dinner?”
Suddenly, you remember the no-take-out for a week challenge you agreed to.
Good luck with that one!
But as you begin to brainstorm your options, you remember the leftover turkey legs relaxing in your freezer.
So now you are contemplating how to reheat the turkey legs in the microwave.
Microwaving properly guarantees that the meaty goodness remains tender, succulent, and completely reheated for consumption. It’s also quite effortless to reheat turkey legs in the microwave. Hence, in a matter of minutes, you have gone from hungry to crunching down on some awesome turkey drumsticks.
If you are only reheating one or two portions of turkey legs, this approach is best suited. Additionally, it’s better to chop the turkey legs into bite-size pieces first. This is advised because it reduces the likelihood of the exterior drying out before the inside cooks all the way through.
How do you reheat a turkey leg in the microwave?
To ensure even heating, cut bits of meat from the turkey legs. This may be disappointing for those who enjoy taking up their drumsticks by the bone. However, separating the legs into little pieces may destroy the look or shape, but I promise it will deliver steamy meat fast.
Place the meat of the turkey leg in a single layer on a microwavable dish. Please ensure that you do not stack or clutter up the dish. Finally, cover the dish with a lid after adding a dab of butter or a sprinkle of broth for a sure boost of flavor and moisture.
At 70 percent power, microwave the turkey legs for 3 to 5 minutes.
When completed, the inner temperature of the turkey legs should reach 74 degrees Celsius, or 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mastering how to properly reheat turkey legs in the microwave is critical to ensuring a pleasant process and the desired outcomes. Serve with mashed cauliflower and freshly made coleslaw on the side for a hearty dinner that requires no exertion.
Is it safe to reheat turkey legs in the microwave?
Yes, using a microwave to reheat turkey legs is safe. Provided that the ready-to-eat turkey leg is stored properly in the refrigerator or freezer, it may be safely reheated and ready to enjoy.
Microwaving turkey legs is safe as long as the meat is cooked to the correct internal temperature. It is also critical to use a microwavable dish instead of just any plastic dish at home.
Experts advise you to avoid reheating the turkey leg meat on the bone. This is so because bones can prevent the meat from being thoroughly heated to a safe internal temperature.
Regardless of whether the turkey leg is kept in the refrigerator or freezer, it is vital to bring the meat to room temp before reheating it in the microwave. This hastens the heating process and quickly brings the turkey meat out of the danger zone.
To prevent poor reheating, I strongly suggest defrosting the turkey leg in the microwave at reduced power before reheating.
In addition, the turkey legs should always be chilled and stored in accordance with proper food safety rules. If the meat smells unpleasant or rotten in any way, do not reheat it since it may be contaminated.
Food safety tips for microwaving turkey legs
- Chilled, cooked turkey legs can be refrigerated for up to four days, but always use your best judgment.
- Always microwave cold turkey until it is sizzling hot, not just lukewarm.
- Reheat cooked turkey only once.
Tips for reheating a turkey leg in the microwave
The microwave instructions for reheating a turkey leg shown below provide the optimum results each time:
- It should be stored properly.
- If you leave your turkey exposed in the refrigerator, it will lose all of its taste and become dry. Do not just place it on a platter and leave it there. Cover the turkey leg completely or place it in a dish with a tight-fitting cover.
- Apply aluminum foil or food wrap to protect the cooked turkey from cold air while storing it in the freezer. Alternatively, the turkey will develop freezer burn and lose color, flavor, and texture.
- To reheat, add moisture and grease.
- Turkey legs tend to get drier if stored in the fridge or freezer. The easiest approach to reheat turkey legs without further dehydrating is to add some form of fluid. Broth, water, or sauce are all options. Heck! Add some wine if that floats your boat.
- Butter and oil are also effective. The crucial element you must include in the liquid you are adding is fat. This secret agent will make reheated turkey legs taste like they were just prepared.
- Cover and reheat the turkey. Turkey should be warmed while covered. Wrapping the turkey, especially after you’ve poured the liquid, will produce steam and evenly reheat it. Cover the turkey leg with a moist paper towel or microwavable food wrap.
- Take care not to overheat.
- Overheating causes unwanted dryness, which results in rubbery and hard meat.
How long do you microwave a turkey leg?
The cooking duration will vary based on the microwave’s strength, quantity, and size of the turkey legs. Once the turkey leg has been deboned and sliced into tiny chunks, it just takes a few minutes to microwave.
Heating the meat of the turkey leg that has already been removed from the bone takes around 2 minutes per pound in the microwave.
After 60 seconds, I usually check to see if the turkey legs are warm enough. If they aren’t, keep warming until the drumsticks hit a safe interior temperature of 74 °C, or 165 °F. Microwave ovens heat quickly and unevenly. Even on the lowest power level, microwaving a turkey leg may dry up the outside by elevating the temperature beyond 130 degrees and stealing away needed moisture.
On the plus side, adding your liquid of choice doesn’t affect cook time.
Those drumsticks will taste so good with the juice surrounding them rather than dissipating off into the kitchen.
To sum up
Many individuals dislike reheated turkey legs because they believe they lack the flavor and texture of freshly prepared turkey legs. In contrast, reheated turkey legs have the potential to be extremely succulent and flavorful.
Microwaving turkey legs is a fast and easy way to reheat them.
Ultimately, knowing how to properly heat turkey legs in the microwave is key to achieving a favorable outcome.
For me, it’s rewarding to prepare a sumptuous family dinner knowing that we can eat it all over again the following day.
Now that you know how to reheat turkey legs in the microwave… grab them out of the fridge, reheat, and enjoy!