Food Hygiene and Safety

Can You Reheat Turkey?

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Don’t ruin your leftovers! Turkey leftovers taste great, so you can enjoy leftovers as roasted, fried, grilled or smoked. Believe me, correctly reheated food is sometimes more moist and juicy than the first cooking.

Whether leftover turkey is fried, grilled, roasted or smoked, there is always a desire to use all the leftovers in upcoming meal prep. However, it’s even more enjoyable when reheated, to retain the moist and juicy tenderness instead of challenging and overcooked dryness.

A whole grilled turkey in a black plate with herbs and vegetables


Can you reheat Turkey?

You might think can you reheat the turkey if you have some leftovers at home? The answer is yes! But you have to be aware of some points:

    • The first step is to cool the cooked food and, store the turkey properly, and keep leftovers in an airtight box.
    • It is best to cover the turkey when it is reheated. Use an aluminum foil pouch in the oven, a microwave-safe dish, or a skillet fitted tightly with a lid.
  • When reheating large turkey pieces, it’s a good idea to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure each piece reaches 165° Fahrenheit.
    • Oven: Preheat at 300° Farenhite and keep low to medium heat; place the dish in aluminium foil, add a spoon of gravy or chicken stock, butter or oil, and close the foil tightly. Please wait for 30 to 45 minutes until it’s warmed through.
    • Stovetop: Place the pieces in a skillet or pan and add some chicken stock. Cover the pan and simmer over medium-high heat for a few minutes until the turkey is warmed through. You can add a teaspoon of oil or butter and warm it over high heat. Flip the piece and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the exterior is crispy.
    • Microwave: Cut the turkey into bite-size pieces first to get the inside heat thoroughly. Place the pieces in a safe container. Add a few chicken or butter or olive oil. The turkey should be steaming hot.

Do you know that food poisoning can occur due to various reasons, one of which is improper reheating methods? So, understanding the causes behind it is crucial. Explore our blog “What is Food Poisoning? Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment” to gain insights into foodborne illnesses and their prevention. This knowledge helps you maintain food safety and hygiene in your routine.

Food Safety and Hygiene Rules for reheating Salmon

a plate full of whole and sliced turkey and knives

Cooked or reheated whatever you do, it is essential to maintain the rules of food safety and hygiene rules. Everyone wants food to live, so the importance of food safety none one can be ignored. Please keep the below tips in mind while reheating-

  • USDA( recommends some suggestions while reheating Turkey-cutting into smaller pieces and storing them in the fridge. For example, you can slice breast meat; legs and wings may be left whole.
  • Always test reheated cooked and sliced pieces in several places with a food thermometer to ensure that the temperature has reached 165 °F thoroughly.
  • Using a conventional oven is not safe to reheat any cooked meat or poultry at lower than 325 °Farenhite. When reheating turkey in the microwave, cover and rotate once or twice during cooking.

Making sure to follow Food Safety and Hygiene Rules isn’t only important when reheating turkey but for all foods. Neglecting these rules can lead to foodborne diseases. That’s why it’s essential for everyone to consider taking the Foodborne Diseases Course – Bacteria and Risky Foods. This course covers microorganisms, contamination, and ways to prevent risks for better food safety.

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How to Defrost Turkey Safely?

Defrost is always used before cooking or reheating food and ensures the security of foods. Some safe ways to defrost a turkey are as follows:

  • Cold Water: First, remove the sealed package and submerge the turkey in a large sink, bowl, or container full of cold water. If you find the water is not so cold, then change it with some fresh cold water. Please ensure the packet is appropriately sealed. For this procedure, you approximately have to wait 1 hour for 1 kg.
  • Fridge: USDA suggests that the best way to defrost a turkey is in the refrigerator. It is a slow process and takes 24 hours for 4 – 5 pounds. After thawing correctly, reheat the pieces immediately.

A woman standing near her fridge and opening it

  • Microwave: It is one of the quickest processes to thaw. Before placing it in the microwave, remove the package. Place the turkey in a safe dish and use the defrost function for 30 minutes. It can take 6 minutes per pound and after that, you have to rotate it several times. Flip it and take 5 minutes extra until it is fully thawed. After removing the turkey, quickly clean the microwave. This method can take at least 1 hour for this method.

How Many Times You Can Reheat Turkey?

It’s not an excellent option to reheat turkey more than once. So it’s best to take precautions and reheat leftover turkey only once.

The second time heating food can carries the risk of illness from food poisoning if it is not done correctly. So you have to do this at your own risk.

pieces of turkey in a grilling pan


Is it Safe to Reheat Cooked Turkey?

You can reheat cooked turkey safely, but the only safe way to reheat turkey is to slice the cooked, chilled meat and reheat it.

The best process is to lay the slices in an oven-proof dish.

  • Add some gravy, chicken stock or butter.
  • It is safe to cover the plate with a lid or foil and place it in a hot oven.
  • Ensure the leftover is piping hot before serving.
  • It’s not better to reheat turkey more than once.
  • When it reaches 165° Farenhite each time, it’s safe to eat.

Besides, if you’re in the food business, adhering to the highest food safety standards, including proper reheating procedures, is crucial. Maintaining these standards not only ensures safety but can also lead to a Level 5 rating for your business. To achieve this, consider completing the Achieving Food Hygiene Rating Level 5 Training. This course equips you with comprehensive knowledge, practical skills, and the confidence to excel in food safety, ultimately contributing to the success of your food business.


You get information on reheating turkey and food safety and hygiene methods. Turkey leftovers can cook into anything that uses a broth or a sauce base.

Surprisingly, you can make an exciting menu for your feast. So it’s time to enjoy your meal!

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