How to Reheat a Smoked Turkey Without Drying it Out

How to Reheat a Smoked Turkey Without Drying it Out

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There’s nothing quite like the tradition of smoked turkey on Thanksgiving - not only does it make for a delicious dinner that night, but the leftovers make for amazing sandwiches, soups, and other meals the next few days!

But, let’s face it - there’s never a bad time for smoked turkey. Waiting to enjoy it once a year is depriving yourself for no reason. We enjoy it at least a few times throughout the meal for not just special occasions but anytime we want something tasty, tender, and outside of the norm.

Pre-smoked turkeys are a great choice because they save you time and stress while ensuring a delicious flavor and the perfect texture every time. The only challenge comes in reheating these to bring out their full potential - but we’re here to help.

Learn how to reheat a smoked turkey without drying it out below, as we cover the oven method (our preferred approach), other techniques, and general advice on making the most of your turkey.

First things first, though - buy smoked turkey here at Mahogany Smoked Meats for the tastiest bird and the simplest, most convenient process. It’s really this easy:

  1. Let the turkey thaw
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Cover the turkey
  4. Let it heat for 10 minutes per pound (anywhere from 90-120 minutes)

Place your order today, and while you’re anxiously anticipating its arrival, learn how to reheat a whole smoked turkey below!

How to Reheat a Smoked Turkey Without Drying it Out

There’s a fine line between reheating a smoked turkey to the ideal temperature and overdoing it, leaving the meat dry and zapping the flavor from it. Don’t worry - all of this can be avoided with a bit of care. Here’s how to reheat a smoked turkey without drying it out.

Preparing to Reheat Smoked Turkey

If you’re reheating a frozen smoked turkey you need to give it ample time to thaw at room temperature. This can take a while, so be sure to give yourself plenty of runway before you need to serve the turkey. A 10-12 pound turkey can take well over a day to defrost in the fridge.

While you can certainly speed things up by putting the bird right in the oven or even placing it in a tub of hot water, this can cause thermal shock and affect the final product.

This is also a good time to check the turkey for any signs of spoilage, especially if you’re pulling it out of the freezer after long-term storage or out of the fridge after initially reheating it a few days ago.

Choosing the Right Reheating Method

There are three different methods you can use to reheat your turkey. We recommend the oven as it’s the most consistent and slow (which means it’ll preserve taste and texture), some prefer a slow cooker or sous vide approach.

Oven Method

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). This lower temperature helps heat the turkey gently without drying it out.
  • Prepare the turkey: Place the turkey in a roasting pan. You can add a cup of broth or water to the pan to help maintain moisture during the reheating process.
  • Cover the turkey: Use aluminum foil to tent the turkey and trap steam. Again, this helps prevent the turkey from drying out.
  • Reheat: Place the turkey in the oven and heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). The time required will depend on the turkey's size, but generally, it should take about 10 minutes per pound. So, think anywhere from 90-120 minutes.

Slow Cooker Method

  • Set up your slow cooker: Place the turkey slices or smaller sections into the slow cooker. Add a mixture of broth and butter, or a sauce of your choice, to enhance the moisture.
  • Cook on low: Set the slow cooker to low and let the turkey reheat slowly for 2 to 4 hours. This method is excellent for keeping the turkey moist and tender.
  • Check for doneness: Ensure the turkey reaches 165°F (74°C) before serving.

Sous Vide Method

  • Vacuum seal the turkey: If not already packaged, place the turkey in a vacuum-seal bag with some broth or sauce.
  • Set the sous vide: Preheat your sous vide cooker to 165°F (74°C) and place the bagged turkey in the water bath.
  • Reheat thoroughly: Allow the turkey to reheat for about 2 to 3 hours. This method ensures even heating without any moisture loss, making it ideal for maintaining the quality of your smoked turkey.

Why We Recommend the Oven

The oven is the best way to reheat a whole smoked turkey because it’s the most consistent method. You won’t have to worry about compromising the texture and moisture of the bird when you follow our advice on covering, temperature, and timing.

Make no mistake, we love using slow cookers and sous vide machines - they’re just not our go-to solutions for reheating a smoked turkey. If your oven is out of commission or is being used to prepare other components of your meal, you can certainly rely on these alternatives.

That being said, we’ll offer some more tips on how to reheat a smoked turkey below to maintain moisture and flavor.

Adding Moisture

You may consider adding a cup or two of chicken/turkey broth, or even water, to the base of your roasting pan before placing your turkey in it. This will create a steamy environment in the oven to help keep the bird moist.

Or, you can consider basting the turkey periodically with its own juices or additional broth to not only add moisture but enhance the flavor.

Covering Methods

Remember to loosely tent your turkey with aluminum foil for the majority of the reheating time. This traps steam around the turkey but allows enough heat circulation to ensure even reheating.

It’s important that you remove the cover for the final 30 minutes or so of the reheating process to let the turkey’s skin crisp up. This results in a delicious, satisfying bite while still prioritizing moisture retention. 

Temperature and Timing

Just as with the beef jerky smoking temperature, there’s a fine line between over drying your turkey and not warming it efficiently. Our advice is to set the oven to 325°F. This temperature is high enough to heat the turkey thoroughly without drying out the meat.

Now, similar to how long to dehydrate beef jerky, you need to make sure to pull your turkey out at the ideal time. Like we mentioned earlier, 10 minutes per pound is a safe estimate - but you should always default to your meat thermometer to assess doneness. Make sure the thickest part of the turkey reaches 165°F for food safety.

Enhancing Flavor During Reheating

You won’t have to do anything to enjoy our pre-smoked turkeys. But if you just got your turkey at the grocery store, you can apply a glaze or sprinkle on seasonings such as herbs and spices in the last half-hour of reheating. This adds a fresh burst of flavor and improves the skin's texture.

You can also consider placing carrots, and celery in the roasting pan. These vegetables will caramelize, enhancing the turkey's flavor profile.

Enjoy Simple Meal Prep and Incredible Flavor at Mahogany Smoked Meats! 

If you don’t already have a turkey to reheat, you’re in luck. You can really steal the show at your next dinner gathering with a whole turkey from Mahogany Smoked Meats.

Our brand was born back in 1922 from a passion for creating delicious smoked meats. While a lot has changed in the last century, we’re more committed to our craft than ever before. We still use the same time-honored approach to smoking meats in a deep mahogany log pit - which is where our name comes from.

We’re the only smokehouse in the nation that uses mahogany, and it results in a flavor unlike any other given the unique characteristics of this type of lumber. 

The whole turkeys we prepare range from 9-11 pounds and are great for groups of roughly 10 people. The bird arrives at your doorstep fully cooked and ready to enjoy - just warm it using the advice from above and wait till you see the look on everyone’s face as they try that first bite! 

You can let us handle dinner so you can actually enjoy the time with your loved ones and rest assured you’re getting a delicious turkey that’s not too dry.

We know you came here to learn how to reheat a whole smoked turkey, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention all the other delicious varieties you have at your disposal at Mahogany Smoked Meats:

Our satisfaction guarantee extends across our entire catalog. If you’re not happy with what you receive just let us know and we’ll make it right. But trust us - you’re going to be coming back for more once you taste the difference and experience the convenience firsthand!

Parting Thoughts on How to Reheat a Whole Smoked Turkey

That concludes our guide on how to reheat a smoked turkey without drying it out. 

We know that this can be a stressful, uncertain process as the stakes are high and you don’t want to disappoint your guests or family with dry turkey meat. Hopefully, this quick guide has left you feeling clear and confident in the process.

Remember to thaw the turkey properly, use the oven for even reheating, and keep it moist with broth while covering it loosely with foil. Monitoring the temperature ensures that your turkey reaches the safe and optimal warmth of 165°F without drying out. You’ll enjoy a deliciously succulent turkey as if it was freshly smoked!

So, head over to Mahogany Smoked Meats for a truly delectable smoked turkey that's easy to prepare and sure to impress. Don't just take our word for it - try it for yourself and discover your new favorite way to enjoy turkey!