how to reheat a smoked turkey richard pantry

How To Reheat A Smoked Turkey And Keep It Tender

A smoked turkey is delicious and convenient. The flavor of the smoked meat is always different from the other ways of cooking. Also, if you have an enormous meal to prepare, you may want to have your turkey smoked forehand. On the day of the meal, you only need to reheat it and serve to your hungry guest.

However, not everyone knows how to reheat a smoked turkey without drying it out. Reheating a smoked turkey is to process it with heat a second time. It is easy to overcook it and take away all the tenderness and juiciness of a delicious turkey.

After a few failures, I gain some experience when warming smoked turkey, especially a whole one. I can tell you that it is not difficult to reheat a turkey and keep it tender. Here is how I do it.



A beautiful smoked turkey

Photo Credit: Another Pint Please... Via: Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

What Do You Need To Reheat A Smoked Turkey?

There are several ways to reheat a smoked turkey. But after some experiments, my favorite one is to do it in an oven at 325°F. This method requires more time to finish than some other ways. But it allows heat to go into the thickest part of the bird while keeping its tenderness.

Using an oven to warm a smoked turkey gives you time to prepare other food. When the oven does it job, you are free to deal with other dishes. There is no particular requirement of tools for a turkey reheat. Everything you need is already in your kitchen.

To reheat your smoked turkey, you need to prepare below tools:

  • A good panto bake your smoked turkey. The size of the pan you should use for the turkey depends on the size of your turkey and oven
  • Cooking spray to moisturize the smoked turkey
  • A probe thermometer to check the inside temperature of the smoked turkey
  • Aluminum foil to tent the smoked turkey and keep it moist
  • Chicken broth to maintain the turkey tenderness
  • An oven

How To Reheat A Smoked Turkey Properly

The process of reheating a smoked turkey consists of 4 steps. They are simple and easy to follow. The most important factors you should pay attention to are the temperature and time.


Resting a reheated smoked turkey

Photo Credit: snowpea&bokchoi Via: Foter.com / CC BY
Step 1

Thaw Your Turkey Before Reheating It

A smoked turkey is likely to be frozen. Thaw the turkey inside the refrigerator for at least one day prior to reheating it. Defrosting the turkey helps the heating process happen more quickly and keep the turkey delicious.

Reheating a frozen smoked turkey is possible. But from my experience, I’m against it. Doing so will impact the texture of the turkey meat. Most of all, it is hard for heat to reach all the parts of a frosted turkey.

Step 2

Prepare The Reheat

Place the smoked turkey in a roasting pan, with the breast side down. You can choose to reheat the turkey with or without an aluminum foil cover. No matter which one do you choose, you can avoid drying the turkey out.

If you choose the former, use the cooking spray on the skin of the bird then wrap it with foil. If you choose the latter, pour a layer of broth onto the pan. These preparations are to keep the smoked turkey moist and tender.

​Then, preheat the oven to 325°F and ready for the next step.

Step 3

Reheat A Smoked Turkey

Place the roasting pan in the oven. The total reheat time depends on the weight of your turkey. A simple formula you can use is every pound equals five minutes. So, it will take approximately more than 1 hour for a usual size turkey.

Use the probe thermometer to check the inside temperature of the bird. You will want to check the thickest part of the thigh. If it reads 145°F, your reheated smoked turkey is ready. Take it out of the oven before overcooking it.

Step 4

Let It Rest And Serve

Let the now warm smoked turkey rest for about 15 – 20 minutes after you remove it from the oven. During this time, the meat absorbs the simmering juice and becomes juicy and tender. Then you can carve it and serve to your guests.

Resting your reheating smoked turkey makes it easier to cut later. Do not rush and destroy the delicious bird by cutting it right after getting out from the oven. A little bit patient is the only thing you need.

Some Extra Tips To Thoroughly Enjoy A Reheated Smoked Turkey


You can always use some tips when reheating a smoked turkey depending on the particular situation. Here are some of them.

 Speed Up The Process

This is what you can do if you prefer a faster process and do not need to care about how the turkey presents: cut the breast, wings, thighs, and legs. Reheating separate parts is faster than doing so to a whole smoked turkey.

 Stuff Your Smoked Turkey

If you want to stuff your smoked turkey, I would advise you to precook them before stuffing. Because method I introduce here is to warm the turkey not to cook, it may not cook the stuffing appropriately.

 Make The Gravy

The dripping on the bottom of the roasting pan is the answer for your love of gravy. Take the final mixture and use it for the gravy recipe you prefer. It may not be as perfect as usual gravy, but it is a good choice when you use a precooked turkey.

 Reheat Sliced Turkey

If you have some slices of turkey and want to reheat them, you can apply the above process. Pour some chicken broth over the meat and wrap it with foil to keep it moist and tender while reheating. Bake them for about 30 minutes.


These above steps for reheating a smoked turkey are dead simple. It ensures your success and saves time. I find a smoked turkey very useful when preparing a big meal for a large number of people. I can buy it or make it before the day and use the saved time to cook other dishes.

The only thing you want to ensure is to reheat the smoked turkey to keep it as delicious as a freshly made one. Below is what I collect from my trial and experiments. For me, the process is optimal for a simple, and tender reheated smoked turkey.

I would love to read your opinions and sharing on this topic. If you have any practical methods or tips, feel free to share with everyone to help and to learn. If you use this tutorial at home, tell me if it works for you or is there anything you want to change.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 7 comments
Scott quinlan - last year

I think your temperature is wrong. 325°C = 617°F I don’t think most commercial get that hot. Are you sure that’s not a typo and you meant to put 325°F?

    Kevin Richard - last year

    Hi Scott

    This is typing mistake but thank you 🙂

Phyllis - last year

Can I put a rub on a already smoked turkey? Before baking it?

J - 7 months ago

Do you keep the bird breast down when resting as well?

    Kevin Richard - 7 months ago

    Hi J,

    Yes, you can do it. But in my opinion you shouldn’t do it because the breast will be not dried out and effect to the flavor a lot.


Troy &Heidrun Taylor - 6 months ago

A Women from germany told me to pour Malt Beer over the smoked before you heat it, it will make the Crust nice and crispy.
Has anybody ever tried this ?

    Kevin Richard - 6 months ago

    Sure. You can try with it and let share its flavor to me after. 🙂


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