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Nov 23, 2012 04:24 AM

Turkey Question

We are having our T Day dinner on Saturday. I have a question about keeping the Turkey warm. Every year we pull the turkey out of the oven about an hour before eating, let it rest and then it gets carved. By this point, the turkey is always cold and we always eat it that way. I want to serve warm/hot turkey this year- how do I re-heat it without drying it out?

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  1. I would suggest resting the bird for only a half hour, putting the turkey on a warm platter and pour a little hot chicken broth over the top.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Stingr69

      I wouldn't pour any "hot broth" over the turkey unless you want soggy skin. Just 'rest the turkey for less time under foil. 'Blasting it @ 450F for fifteen minutes I'm not sure you'll get the turkey hot inside without drying it out a bit. I agree to rest the turkey on a really hot platter. Careful though. I shattered a nice big platter in the oven once trying to preheat it for the same reason. To keep the turkey warm. You might try an 'oven proof' glass lasagna type dish.

    2. In a couple of Cook’s Illustrated recipes, they specify to let the turkey rest ½ to 1 ½ hours. Then, blast at 450◦ to crisp the skin.

      I have the same concern as you. This will be my first real turkey, today. I was thinking of letting the turkey cool at least an hour. Then just before serving, turn on the oven to 450◦ for about 15 minutes.

      Hopefully, this will crisp the skin and warm up the turkey, without drying it out. I’ll try and use the thermometer and not allow the turkey to get over 160◦ or 165◦.

      1. Do you cover the Turkey loosely with alum. foil? My turkey was still steaming yesterday, after sitting for over an hour on the counter. I keep it in the roasting pan though until I am ready to carve it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mcel215

          Yup- we had two turkeys yesterday, and we did the same as you. When I went to carve them they were piping hot. Skin was crisp, too!

        2. The best answer has a lot to do with whether you require the oven to finish the sides or not. For any type of holiday roast. I find resting a minimum of one necessary for the meat to recirculate the juices within.....two hours is best. With that said. I always recommend you finish a roast sooner than later. You can always hold a roast, but it's much more difficult to rush it for a specified serving time. Once the roast hits the target temperature, turn the oven down to the lowest warm setting of 140* , open the oven door and let the heat escape for 10 minutes. Close the door and you can hold the turkey for an hour easily. This is how commercial kitchens cook and hold roasted items that are put in the night before closing shop and having the meats ready for next evening's service.

          If you need the oven for sides, take the turkey out and cover. When your sides are done, replace the turkey back into the oven @ 450* for a high heat blast to crisp the skin. Remove and you are ready to slice. It does not need a second resting, as the holdover period has completed the carryover effect and the cooking process has ended.