The Ultimate Guide to Reheating Turkey Legs: Step-by-Step Instructions

How to Reheat Turkey Legs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Leftover turkey legs can be a delicious option for a later meal, whether it’s lunch or dinner. However, reheating them properly to keep them juicy and tender can be a challenge. In this article, we will discuss the best methods for reheating turkey legs to ensure optimal results.

The best way to reheat turkey legs

Reheating turkey legs in the oven at a low temperature is the recommended method for achieving evenly heated and succulent meat. Although it may take some time, the end result is well worth the wait. Here is a step-by-step guide to reheating turkey legs in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F to 350°F.
  2. Remove the turkey legs from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.
  3. Place the turkey legs in an ovenproof dish.
  4. Add a few tablespoons of stock, water or gravy to the dish for extra moisture and flavor.
  5. Add a knob of butter for richness.
  6. Cover the dish with a layer of aluminum foil or wrap the turkey legs tightly in foil.
  7. Roast the turkey legs in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  8. Once heated through, remove the turkey legs from the oven and enjoy.

Other ways to reheat turkey legs

While reheating turkey legs in the oven is the preferred method, there are alternatives. Here are some other methods you can use to reheat turkey legs:

1. Cooktop method

The stovetop method is the second best way to reheat turkey legs. Follow these steps for best results:

  1. Place the turkey legs in a flat-bottomed skillet.
  2. Pour a little broth into the pan, about 1 inch deep.
  3. Cover the pan to retain heat and moisture.
  4. Cook the turkey legs over medium heat until evenly browned. This should only take a few minutes.
  5. If you prefer crispy skin, you can quickly fry the reheated turkey legs in a small amount of oil. Fry over high heat, skin side down.

2. Microwave method

While not the ideal method for achieving succulent results, the microwave can be used if no other options are available. Follow these steps to reheat turkey legs in the microwave:

  1. Divide the turkey leg into smaller pieces to ensure even heating.
  2. Place the pieces on a microwave-safe plate, avoiding stacking.
  3. Add a splash of stock or butter for moisture and richness.
  4. Lightly cover plate with microwave-safe plastic wrap.
  5. Microwave on medium to high power for 60 seconds per pound of meat.

3. Make a stew with leftover turkey leg

If you have leftover turkey legs and want to turn them into a healthy meal, consider making a stew. Follow these steps to make a delicious stew with your leftover turkey leg:

  1. Place the cold turkey legs in a slow cooker.
  2. Add vegetables of your choice such as potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, onions and celery.
  3. Pour in a few cups of broth and add a tablespoon of flour to thicken.
  4. Flavor with your favorite herbs and spices.
  5. Simmer over low heat for 4 to 8 hours, or until turkey is tender and flavors have melded.

4. Reheating Smoked Turkey Legs

Smoked turkey legs can be enjoyed cold, but reheating them can enhance their smoky flavor. Follow these steps to reheat smoked turkey legs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Place the turkey leg in an ovenproof dish with a tight-fitting lid. If you do not have a lid, use foil to cover the dish.
  3. Add a teaspoon or two of water or broth to the dish for extra moisture.
  4. Cover and place in the oven.
  5. Bake the meat for about 2 hours or until it reaches the desired internal temperature.
  6. For store-bought smoked turkey legs, a temperature of 140°F in the thickest part of the leg is sufficient. For homemade smoked turkey legs, aim for 165°F.

5. Reheating Roasted Turkey Legs

Reheating roasted turkey legs requires special care to maintain their crispy texture. Follow these steps for best results:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Allow the turkey legs to come to room temperature while the oven is preheating.
  3. Place the legs on a baking sheet, uncovered, to preserve the crispness of the skin.
  4. Bake the turkey legs in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.
  5. To keep the skin crispy, avoid overcrowding the baking sheet and leave space between the legs.
  6. When heated, remove the turkey legs from the oven and serve immediately.

Tips for Reheating Turkey Thighs

For best results when reheating turkey legs, follow these tips:

  1. Properly store leftover turkey legs: To prevent the meat from drying out, store turkey legs in a tightly sealed container or wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap before placing them in the refrigerator or freezer.
  2. Add moisture and fat: When reheating turkey legs, add liquid such as stock, water, or gravy to prevent them from drying out. In addition, adding butter or oil to the reheating process can improve the flavor and texture of the meat.
  3. Reheat covered: Whether using the oven or stovetop method, covering the turkey legs with a lid or aluminum foil helps create steam, which aids in even reheating.
  4. Avoid overcooking: Turkey legs contain connective tissue, and overcooking can result in tougher meat. It is recommended to reheat turkey legs over low heat to ensure they remain tender and juicy.
  5. Use a meat thermometer: To ensure that the turkey legs are fully reheated and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The thickest part of the leg should reach 165°F to ensure it is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Experiment with seasonings: As you reheat the turkey legs, feel free to add additional seasonings or spices to enhance the flavor. This can include herbs, spices, or marinades that complement the flavor of the turkey.


Reheating turkey legs can be an easy and enjoyable process when done correctly. Whether you use the oven, stovetop, or microwave, following these steps and tips will help you achieve tender, juicy, and flavorful turkey legs. Remember to store leftovers properly and add moisture and fat during the reheating process to maintain the quality of the meat. With these techniques, you can turn leftover turkey legs into a delicious meal that tastes as good as the first serving.


Can I reheat turkey legs in the microwave?

Yes, you can reheat turkey legs in the microwave. However, keep in mind that this method may result in slightly drier meat compared to other reheating methods. It is recommended that you add a splash of stock or butter to add moisture.

How long can I store leftover turkey legs before reheating?

Leftover turkey legs can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days before reheating. If you plan to store them longer, you may want to freeze them for better preservation.

Can I reheat smoked turkey legs the same way as regular turkey legs?

Yes, you can use the same reheating methods for smoked turkey legs. However, it is important to note that the internal temperature should reach at least 140°F for store-bought smoked turkey legs and 165°F for homemade smoked turkey legs.

How do I ensure that reheated turkey legs stay tender and moist?

The key to keeping reheated turkey legs tender and moist is to store them properly in a sealed container or wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap. Adding a liquid such as stock, water, or gravy during the reheating process can also help maintain moisture.

Can I reheat fried turkey legs without losing their crunch?

Yes, you can reheat roasted turkey legs while maintaining their crunchy texture. To do this, preheat the oven to a low temperature (about 250°F) and bake the legs for a short time (15-20 minutes). Avoid covering the legs to keep them crispy.

Can I reheat turkey legs if they were previously frozen?

Yes, you can reheat previously frozen turkey legs. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating using your preferred method, such as the oven or stovetop. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F to ensure they are thoroughly heated.