How To Heat A Pre-Cooked Turkey Breast (3 Simple Methods)

Do want to know how to heat a pre-cooked turkey breast?

We all know that turkey is lean meat, so it can dry out easily. 

Below are my simple steps to ensuring your pre-cooked turkey breast turns out perfect!

Was The Turkey Breast Pre-Packaged Or Leftovers?

The advice covers if you have brought pre-packaged cooked turkey from a store.

Nothing will change about the heating methods. But you might want to consider storage and temperature storage.

A store-bought turkey breast may come with a roasting bag. Check the packaging and the reheating instructions first.

The Best Ways To Reheat A Pre-Cooked Turkey Breast

Below are the best ways to reheat a cooked boneless turkey breast. However, they are factors you might want to consider before picking your method.

Like if it is frozen plus some cooking tips and safety advice to follow in your reheating and cooking method.

Reheating In An Oven Or Smoker 

Simple but very effective for reheating already-cooked meat like turkey breast. If your store-bought turkey comes with a roasting bag then keep it inside!

Wrap the turkey meat in foil with a bit of water splashed over the top.

– Seal the turkey meat and insert a meat thermometer. 

Set the smoker or oven temperature to 365°F.

Place the turkey breast side down. 

– Remove the internal temperature to reach 160°F.

This method will take around 10 minutes per pound of meat.

Tip: Check the packaging for the weight before reheating it. Or weigh it yourself on calibrated scales. This will allow you to estimate approximate cooking times when reheating.

Reheating Turkey Breast By Frying

A little unorthodox but still an effective method. Just make sure you slice the breast in half, otherwise, it will not heat through. Remove the breast from the packaging before attempting. 

– Cut the breast vertically and evenly.

– Dab some olive oil on both sides of the turkey.

– Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest turkey breast.

– Heat a pan on medium. 

– Fry the turkey breast cut side down.

– Turn when the breast reaches 100°F.

– Add a touch of hot chicken stock.

– Remove when the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Note: Be very careful that the outside doesn’t burn. Adjust the heat when shallow roasting or frying if necessary.

Reheating In A Microwave 

I thought about leaving this out…..

However, I have come to understand that it is efficient and easy to reheat in a microwave which is sometimes all you need!

– Place 1 pre-cooked turkey breast in a microwave-safe container.

– Add a splash of water and cover the container.

– Microwave in a medium-temperature setting. (Or a reheating setting one if you have it)

– Microwave for 5 minutes at a time.

– Check it has heated through.

Why Do I Need To Add Liquid When Reheating?

A splash of stock or water does wonders by introducing moisture. Moisture that was lost during the original cooking process and when stored.

What If I Am Reheating Frozen Turkey Breast?

The reheating methods are the same after you have defrosted the cooked turkey.

Defrosting Cooked Turkey Breast

– Remove the cooked breast from the freezer and into the refrigerator straight away.

– Frozen turkey breast will defrost at a rate of 6 pounds over 24 hours.

– Confirm the breasts are fully defrosted before reheating.

– Keep the turkey in its original packaging when freezing and defrosting.

 

How Will I Know The Meat Has Defrosted?

Frozen turkey breast (cooked or raw turkey) will be solid and cold to the touch. The meat may still have ice crystals on it.

But what if your turkey breast isn’t showing these signs and you want to be sure?

The breast’s white meat should have a little bounce to the touch. This is a quick indication you no longer have frozen meat.

You can also insert an instant-read meat thermometer. Defrosted meat will read above 0°F.

How Should I Store Cooked Turkey Breast?

Below is the safe way to cool and store-cooked turkey.

– Store the cooked breast in airtight conditions or the original packaging.

– Wait until the internal temperature has cooled to 140°F.

– Keep airtight and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

– Freeze after 1 day and refrigerated for up to 3 months.

Can I Season The Turkey Breasts When Reheating?

You may have already seasoned when cooking. Or check the packaging ingredients. 

But don’t let that stop you!

Just be aware of the salt levels or any contrasting flavors.

Simple ingredient additions transform precooked meat. Especially in the form of a liquid like an orange sauce or garlic butter.

Get creative!

Do I Have To Reheat The Turkey Breast Meat?

That title has a nice ring to it!

But no, you don’t HAVE to reheat it if you prefer it cold. Just make sure the meat was cooked properly following the below safety steps. 

Which for a turkey breast is 165°F. You also need to be conscious of the storage conditions.

Tip: Cold shredded turkey meat is great for a sandwich or a salad. I love having fun building an epic sandwich with creamy mayonnaise. 

18 pound turkey cook time

Safety Tips For Reheating Meat

Below are some tips to avoid food poisoning when dealing with leftover or packaged turkey breast.

Remember that bacteria in poultry can be deadly.

It Was Cooked To The Right Internal Temp

Use a meat thermometer to know if the breasts are cooked through accurately. (If you cooked the turkey)

If it was pre-packaged you can be sure it was cooked correctly due to strict regulations for meat processing. 

If they didn’t reach 165°F then they are only partly cooked. 

how-to-heat-a-precooked-turkey-breast

Monitor The ‘Danger Zone’ When Cooling 

The dangerous temperature range for bacteria is between 40°F – 140°F. Cool the breast meat to 140°F from 165°F before refrigerating.

Store In Airtight Conditions

Controlling air exposure will reduce the contaminating bacteria.

Throw Away After 3 Days

Do not eat turkey breasts 3 days after it was cooked or purchased. This principle is vital to have for any type of cooked meat.

After 3 days meat proteins will begin to break down and rot.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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