Turkey legs are a delicious lunch or supper option. Smoking the huge bird results in a richer, deeper taste that you can enjoy for a few days.
Sometimes you leave the dish be so it can be eaten later. However, many people argue that reheating turkey legs is a challenging task. The dish loses touch as the turkey isn’t as tasty and juicy as it was.
Cold or warm, pre-cooked store-bought smoked turkey is ready to eat.
Whether you smoke the turkey legs on your own or buy them at the grocery, you must be careful while reheating them. The juiciness of a freshly cooked turkey is preferable; therefore, they avoid it.
Those who have no idea how to preserve and reheat turkey tend to lose flavor properly. The heat helps bring out the flavors when it is handled properly.
What’s the best method for reheating turkey legs to retain their juiciness and softness? Turkey legs can be reheated in several ways – oven, microwave, skillet, or air fryer.
Things You Need to Know Before Reheating Turkey Legs
A delicious reheated turkey has a few tricks on its sleeve.
They are as follows:
Cover it Properly
If you keep your turkey in the fridge without covering it, it will lose all of its taste and become dry. Put it in the fridge, but don’t just put it on a platter. Put the meat in a tightly-sealed container or cover the plate adequately.
According to the Food Standard Agency, you should always keep your food covered to avoid bad taste (1).
You can keep turkey legs out of the cold air using aluminum foil or food wrap while keeping cooked turkey in the freezer. The turkey must be defrosted at room temperature before cooking to avoid freezer burn.
Reheat with Liquid and Fat
Refrigeration or freezer storage will cause the turkey to dry out. Reheating turkey without drying it out is easiest when a liquid is added. You can use water, stock, or gravy in your dish.
Butter and oil are also excellent cooking companions.
The magic element in the liquid you add is fat, making reheated turkey legs seem like they were newly prepared.
Cover Turkey as It Reheats
Reheating the turkey can be a challenging task. It would help if you reheated it in its skin. Covering the turkey while it is being reheated will produce steam and provide uniform heat distribution.
Ensure the Temperature isn’t Too High
The connective tissues of turkey legs are abundant. The meat will get harder if it is overcooked. Regardless of the reheating technique you choose, turkey legs should be reheated over low heat for the best results.
You can even prepare the turkey at a low temperature ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer to make various dishes whenever you need them.
How to Reheat Turkey Legs – Different Techniques
The following are various techniques to reheat turkey legs:
1. Reheating Smoked Turkey Legs in the Oven
Reheating turkey leg using the oven technique is an excellent method. This procedure is straightforward and does not need a lot of effort. If you want your meat to preserve its crispiness and juiciness, you should reheat the turkey legs using this approach.
You’ll need a baking dish, a touch of oil, and the leftover turkey leg to complete the task.
Follow these simple steps to get started:
- Set the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
- Use a large oven tray or pan to hold the turkey leg
- Place your dish or pan in the oven. Warm it before putting it in.
- Check the meat’s temperature after it has cooked for around 20 minutes.
Your turkey leg can simply be returned to the oven if it hasn’t warmed up properly. Check your meat about every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure it’s not burning. You should be able to serve your turkey leg once the dish has retained its crispiness.
Another method of reheating the turkey leg in the oven is as follows:
- Place it in an oven-safe dish.
- Add 1/8 cup of water or broth/stock.
- Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and place it in a preheated oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using this method, you can keep your turkey moist and juicy without overcooking it. Steam or convection cooking can be accomplished by placing a baking dish with leftover meat in the oven. Use this method of reheating to avoid drying out the turkey legs.
2. Reheating Smoked Turkey Legs in the Microwave
You can also utilize a microwave to reheat your turkey leg quickly. Heating meat in a microwave is an easy and time-saving option. When reheating a turkey leg in the microwave, it is best to use the lowest setting possible.
Take a microwave-safe dish and cover it with turkey leg pieces. You only need a microwave-safe dish and leftover turkey legs to complete the task.
Do the following while reheating turkey legs in the microwave to get the best results:
- Divide the meat into pieces. The meat will cook properly if the turkey leg is divided into smaller pieces. Even though your turkey legs might look terrible, you won’t be eating cold flesh.
- Rather than cramming the food into the dish, spread it out.
- Add a little bit of stock and maybe some butter for an extra burst of flavor.
- Wrap the plate in microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave it for a few seconds.
- Use a microwave set to medium or high power and cook for 60 seconds for every pound of beef.
3. Reheating Turkey Legs on the Stovetop
You can reheat turkey leg in a frying pan on the stovetop in a matter of minutes. You can use non-stick, cast iron, and regular pans to perform the job better.
Make sure to use a pan with a lid that fits on top to avoid drying out the meat. Use a cover to keep the steam and moisture locked in to ensure that the meat retains its moisture and flavor.
All you need is a large pan to hold the contents of your leftover dish and the turkey leg.
You can easily reheat your turkey leg by following these simple instructions.
- Heat oil in a saucepan on the heat.
- Turn the heat down to medium or low on the stovetop.
- Use a lid for covering the pan after adding the meat.
- You should turn your meat over after it has cooked for a while.
- Cook the turkey leg for 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it’s warmed up, it’s ready to eat.
4. Reheating Turkey Legs on a Microwave Oven
The best way to reheat turkey meat is using a microwave oven, which prevents it from drying.
- Put your oven on broil.
- Drain and pat dry the meat before cooking.
- Place another moist piece of paper on top and secure with tape.
- Use oil spray to moisten dry leftover turkey.
- Set the timer of the microwave for 2 minutes when it’s heated but not sizzling.
- Take out of the microwave.
- Put the turkey on a baking sheet blanketed with parchment paper.
- Don’t cram too much turkey flesh into the baking dish.
- The turkey should be placed on the top level of the oven.
- Just turn the wings over after a minute to cook the wings for a second time. The dish is ready to be served.
5. Reheating Grilled Turkey Legs
Most people prefer grilled smoked turkey legs. This is a wonderful way since it enhances the flavor and aroma of the mouth-watering dish. Remember, just because you’re using a grill for cooking food doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with it.
Do the following to reheat grilled turkey legs:
- You’ll need a substantial amount of white-hot charcoal to get the grill going.
- Prepare a fire under a grill and place the meat on it.
- After about an hour of cooking, turn the meat over and brown the other side.
- Enjoy it with a cold beverage once it has been prepared.
The Number of Times Can You Reheat Turkey Legs
Turkey legs should only be reheated once. You should only keep your turkey leg for three days in the refrigerator. If it’s been more than three days, throw it out. If your meat has been left out in the open for more than two hours, you should toss it.
Reheating the dish at a low flame temperature in a pan with oil and butter will ensure its quality.
Make sure the meal is prepared to an appropriate temperature before storing any leftovers, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Instead of reheating your turkey, slice it while it is still cold for the best results. It is vital to let it thaw before reheating a frozen turkey leg.
According to Warwick, reheating food more than once is not recommended (2). You can reheat cooked turkey legs several times; however, it is not encouraged.
The cooked turkey can be preserved for a longer period of time if it is frozen after it has been served. The shelf life increases up to three months in the freezer compared to three days in the refrigerator.
Frozen turkey legs can be defrosted the night before by placing them in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. Reheating the beef is as simple as defrosting it and then following the procedures mentioned above.
A quick method for warming up frozen turkey legs is to use the microwave’s “Defrost” option. Turkey legs can be quickly defrosted by placing them in a plastic bag and pouring cold water over them.
The reheated turkey should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit on the inside. However, germs can flourish even before it reaches this temperature. Because of this, reheating a turkey more than once is not recommended.
Reheat as many turkey legs as you’ll be eating if you’ve had them in the freezer or fridge. Keep some for later to avoid wasting food or putting your health in danger.