How to Reheat Turkey in Microwave Quickly

How to Reheat Turkey in MicrowaveIt’s the day after Thanksgiving, and you’re starving. You wander into the kitchen, open the fridge, and stare at a hunk of leftover turkey.

Your stomach rumbles with excitement. But then your gaze falls on the cold, congealed mass that was once roasted moist turkey. The sight is less than appetizing.

What do you do? Well, if you’re like most people, you’ll probably toss it or cook again from scratch. However, there’s a better way. You can reheat your turkey in a microwave safely and quickly.

Here’s how to reheat turkey in microwave.

Dice up your leftover turkey into thin, even pieces and take the leg bone out. Transfer to a microwave-safe dish, arrange in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil or gravy. Cover loosely with a lid or plastic wrap and nuke on medium in 30-second bursts. Check and flip at each interval for 3-5 minutes or until 165 ° F.

And there you have it: a delectable, moist turkey dinner that’s ready in minutes.

Here, we’ll discuss each of these steps in detail and share some tips for reheating turkey safely in your microwave. We’ll also address a few common questions about reheating leftover turkey.

Let’s get started.

Is It Safe To Reheat Turkey In Microwave?

How to Reheat Turkey in MicrowaveThe holiday seasons are everyone’s favorite time of year. It is a time for family, friends, feasting, and festivity.

One particular food item that can’t miss at any holiday meal is turkey. Its rich taste, creamy texture, and juicy flavor make it a must-have on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

However, if you find yourself with turkey leftovers, you might be wondering if it is safe to reheat them in a microwave.

The answer is yes, it is safe to reheat turkey in microwave. However, there are some precautions that you should take before doing so.

Turkey is very delicate and naturally dry meat. It can quickly become tough or rubbery when overcooked. Similarly, if not adequately reheated, it can cause food poisoning. Therefore, it is critical to pay attention to your turkey whenever you reheat it.

Before you reheat your turkey, make sure it does not have any mold or foul smell. These are characteristics of poorly handled and stored meat that can lead to food poisoning. Store your turkey in an airtight container and refrigerate immediately after cooking.

Foods left at room temperature for more than two hours are considered unsafe and should not be consumed. Bacteria causing food poisoning proliferate at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, so make sure to store your turkey below these temperatures.

Next, for your leftover turkey to be considered safe for consumption, heat it until it is steaming hot. The recommended temperature enough to kill harmful bacteria and prevent food poisoning is 165°F.

How Long To Reheat Turkey In Microwave?

How to Reheat Turkey in MicrowaveBasically, it will take about 3-5 minutes to reheat a pound of turkey in your microwave. However, this time can vary depending on various factors. For example, a high-wattage microwave will heat food faster than a low-wattage one.

Also, microwaves will take longer to penetrate thick pieces of meat or poultry than thin ones. As such, slice or chop your turkey into smaller portions before reheating. Doing so will ensure that all meal parts are heated evenly and quickly.

And in case your meat is frozen, it will take longer to reheat. You will need an extra 20-30 minutes to thaw your turkey before you can start reheating. Defrosting can be as easy as leaving it on your countertop or placing it in your refrigerator overnight.

As you reheat your turkey, you mustn’t burn it. The best way to avoid such an outcome is to reheat in short bursts and check on its progress every 30 seconds. Make sure to rotate your meat between each interval to ensure that all parts are heated evenly.

Tips for Reheating Turkey in Microwave


How to Reheat Turkey in MicrowaveThe ramifications of improperly reheated turkey are dreadful. It’s not only flavorless, tough, and dry but also harmful to your health. So, here are some tips for how to properly reheat turkey in the microwave.


  • Avoid using plastic or Styrofoam containers, as they can leach chemicals into your food. Instead, use microwavable glass or ceramic dishes or containers labeled microwave safe.
  • If you have leftover gravy, pour it into a small bowl and cover it with plastic wrap before microwaving. It will keep your turkey from drying out and burning while reheating. In the absence of gravy, you can use either olive oil, butter, or broth.
  • Cover your food with a microwavable lid to keep moisture inside and promote more even heat distribution when reheating your turkey. The lid will also prevent splatters, making cleanup easier.
  • Slice, chop or tear your turkey into thin, even pieces before reheating it. This will allow heat to penetrate more easily, allowing your food to cook thoroughly without overcooking. Also, for thorough reheating, make sure all pieces are spread evenly inside your dish.
  • Take the leg bone out of your turkey before microwaving. The bone can interfere with the cooking and cause uneven heating.
  • If you’re reheating a frozen turkey, defrost it beforehand to ensure consistent heating and avoid overcooking.
  • Reheat your turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, or 74 degrees Celsius. This will kill any harmful bacteria and ensure that your food is safe to eat.

How to Reheat Turkey in Microwave (Step by Step)

If you’re on a time crunch, reheating your turkey in a microwave is the best option. It’s quick, easy, and gives you perfectly cooked meat every time. Here are some simple steps for how to reheat a turkey in a microwave:

Step 1: Thaw your turkey completely     

You can do so by leaving it out on your counter for 20-30 minutes or using your microwave’s defrost setting. Either way, make sure that your meat is no longer frozen before proceeding.

Step 2: Dice Your Turkey into Small-Even Pieces

Use a sharp knife and cut your turkey into bite-sized pieces, ensuring that they are all of the similar sizes so that they will cook evenly. Remember to remove the leg bone before reheating your turkey in a microwave.

Step 3: Transfer your Turkey Portions into a Microwave-safe Dish

Make sure that your dish is big enough to fit all of your turkey pieces and that it has high sides. This will help prevent splatter when you reheat your turkey in a microwave.

Step 4: Arrange your Turkey Pieces into an Even Layer

Make sure that your turkey pieces are evenly distributed throughout your dish. It would help if you did not pile them on top of each other to ensure even cooking.

Step 5: Drizzle Some Gravy and Cover

If you have leftover gravy, pour it over your turkey pieces. This will ensure that they stay moist while reheating them in a microwave. Then cover your dish with a microwavable lid or plastic wrap to prevent splatter when you reheat your turkey.

Step 6: Nuke Your Turkey Pieces on Medium for 3-5 Minutes

Nuke in 30-second bursts, stirring each time, until your turkey is thoroughly reheated. Insert a meat thermometer into one of your pieces and make sure it reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit before removing it from your microwave.

Final Step: Remove Your Turkey from Microwave and Serve Immediately

Once your turkey is thoroughly reheated, remove it from your microwave. It’s best to serve it immediately, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Faqs on How to Reheat Turkey in Microwave

Can you eat cold turkey?

Yes, you can eat cold turkey. However, you must ensure that it is properly refrigerated and consumed within four days of purchase or cooking. If not, bacteria causing food poisoning will grow on your turkey.

How do you reheat a turkey breast without drying out?

You can use various methods for reheating turkey: an oven, microwave, or stovetop. In all cases, add some gravy or olive oil before reheating to ensure your turkey breast doesn’t dry out and stays juicy.

Also, heat it at 30 seconds intervals to monitor doneness, rather than leaving it unattended for extended periods.

How do you reheat cold turkey slices?

You can reheat cold turkey slices in a few different ways: a microwave, an oven, or a stovetop. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Make sure to dice your meat into small pieces and remove leg bone if present.

Then cover with a lid, and heat for 30 seconds intervals on medium while stirring. Repeat if necessary until the desired temperature is reached.

How do you heat up fully cooked Jennie O turkey breast?

How to Reheat Turkey in MicrowavePreheat your oven to 325 degrees, and elsewhere, in a pan, melt some butter. Once it’s fully melted, place your turkey breast in it and cook until done.

Wrap in foil put it into your preheated oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven at 74 C (165F) and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.


How do you reheat a fully cooked Butterball turkey?

How to Reheat Turkey in MicrowaveWrap your fully cooked or whole Butterball turkey in a double layer of foil. Place it on a preheated baking sheet and heat for 5 minutes at 325 degrees F per pound. For example, if you have a 6-pound turkey, cook it for 30 minutes at 325 degrees F.

Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone (it should register 165 degrees).


How do you keep a turkey warm for 4 hours?

If you have a spare oven, set it at around 200 degrees and place your turkey inside. Cover with foil and cook for 4 hours. You can also use a warming drawer if you have one. If not, use a slow cooker on low or medium heat (depending on how hot it gets).

Final Thoughts

Reheating your turkey using a microwave is an easy way to reduce wastage. It’s also a great way to utilize leftovers, especially if you don’t have time to cook another meal. However, if not done properly, it can result in dry meat or, even worse – food poisoning.

Make sure your turkey is thoroughly cooked before reheating. The USDA recommends that you cook a whole turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Also, dice or slice meat into smaller pieces for even heating and quicker cooking time.

Follow these guidelines and the rest in this post to enjoy a healthy meal without spending a dime. Always plan, and your turkey will taste better, last longer, and cost less.

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