How to Reheat a Smoked Turkey

When you smoke a turkey, it is almost guaranteed you will be left with extra meat to take home or store in the fridge. Turkeys at the grocery store range from 8-16 pounds total, so if you buy too much you will need to have a plan for using leftovers. 

There are many ways to reheat a smoked turkey, which should be evaluated based on how much you have left over and the reheating methods that are available to you. You can reheat a smoked turkey in the oven, microwave, slow cooker, or on a grill. In addition, you can reheat a smoked turkey in whole or in smaller pieces. 

How you decide to reheat a smoked turkey will largely depend on how much time you have to deal with doing so. Also, the equipment you have available to you will also play a big role in how you ultimately reheat leftover smoked turkey. 

Methods of Reheating a Smoked Turkey

Crockpot

There is nothing simpler than sticking a smoked turkey in the crockpot to reheat. When you have smaller pieces, this is ideal for completely rewarming your smoked turkey. When you’re in a pinch and just need to throw something in the crockpot to warm for dinner, a smoked turkey will provide plenty of protein and nutrients for your family, as well as ample flavor. 

To reheat a smoked turkey in the crockpot, all you’ll need to do is:

  1. Turn the crockpot on LOW.
  2. Wrap your turkey in foil.
  3. Put a little bit of water in the bottom of the crockpot. 
  4. Place a rack or foil balls in the bottom to keep the turkey from resting in the liquid. 
  5. Put your foil-wrapped turkey atop the foil balls or rack and heat on LOW for 4 hours. 
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By following this method, you will be able to keep most of the moisture in your turkey to create a decadent reheated smoked turkey everyone will enjoy.

Oven

If you have larger pieces of leftover turkey or a whole smoked turkey you need to reheat, you can use an oven to your advantage. If offers more space and reheats faster than a slowcooker. 

Reheating a smoked turkey in the oven is the best way to give it the most flavor and texture of all reheating methods. You can even use an oven bag to reheat your smoked turkey to add a bit of moisture to your bird. 

To reheat a smoked turkey in the oven, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Place your turkey in an oven bag or directly into an oven-safe glass baking dish. 
  3. Put the turkey in the oven and let it reheat for 3-4 hours or until the thigh and breast temperature ranges from 145-150 degrees. 
  4. Be sure not to let your smoked turkey warm to more than 150 degrees, as it will begin to dry out at this point. 
  5. Remove from the oven, let cool a bit, and enjoy!

Microwave

Sometimes, you may have picked all the smoked turkey meat off the carcass before cooling it, which is ideal for food storage. If this is the case, you can simply reheat it in the microwave for the most convenient way to rewarm smoked turkey. 

All you will need to do is place the amount of smoked turkey you want to reheat into a microwave-safe dish, set the time, and keep a watchful eye until it’s done. Depending on the amount you put in the dish, your microwave time can vary from a few seconds to several minutes. Usually 2-5 minutes will do the trick. 

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Grill

When you’ve just smoked your turkey, it may seem counterintuitive to reheat it on the grill. Yet, this is the best way to preserve that smoking flavor you love in this type of poultry. You can use a grill to reheat a whole smoked turkey or smaller pieces, just as easily. 

If you’ve decided to use this method, simply slide a tray under the grill rack to catch wayward drippings. Place the turkey on the grill and heat until the internal temperature of the bird is between 155-165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

One different thing about using a grill to reheat a smoked turkey is that you will want to let it rest for a bit after it heats up to absorb all the juices. Let the turkey sit at rest for about 15-20 minutes prior to cutting it up, which will allow the heat and moisture to be absorbed. 

How Do You Reheat a Smoked Turkey Without Drying It Out?

Turkey meat is prone to drying out quickly, as you may have witnessed at your family’s Thanksgiving dinner a time or two. Reheating a smoked turkey low and slow is the best way to prevent it from drying out and becoming tough and chewy. 

If you’re really concerned about your smoked turkey drying out, you can always add some liquid to the pan or submerge the smoked turkey in some type of gravy, too. Just a few teaspoons of gravy or broth over the top of the smoked turkey during the reheating process should do the trick. 

Can You Reheat a Fully Cooked Smoked Turkey?

In place of reheating smaller pieces of smoked turkey, you can also reheat an entire smoked turkey if you need to. The best way to accomplish this is to use the oven or the grill and to use plenty of liquid. Again, low and slow is key. 

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Covering it with foil can also help keep some of the moisture in. Aim for an oven temperature of 325 degrees until the turkey’s internal temperature reaches 155 degrees for the best results. 

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Tips for Reheating a Smoked Turkey

Overall, reheating a smoked turkey is a great way to use leftovers and can be satisfying, if done properly. Follow these tips to achieve a delicious smoked turkey:

  • Use plenty of liquid.
  • Cook at low temperatures for longer periods of time. 
  • Cover with foil or a lid. 
  • Let the turkey sit after reheating to preserve moisture. 
  • Don’t reheat multiple times. 

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to reheat a smoked turkey to perfection in no time. 

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