Yes. Absolutely you can cook your turkey ahead and reheat it and we have the best method to share with you.
One of the main reasons people want to cook their turkey ahead of time is because they are having a large amount of people over and their oven is not big enough.
Cooking your turkey ahead is a great time-saver, but who can do without the aesthetics of the beautiful whole presentation turkey? You went to all the trouble to decorate the table and make everything perfect…you have to have a whole turkey to present!
We’ve got you covered. And no one will know. It will be like you are feeding the 5000 (Bible story) and the turkey just keeps coming and never running out!
In this case, we suggest making a smaller, 12-14 lb “presentation turkey” for the table and the aesthetics. It is the one you will put on the table but that isn’t big enough to feed everyone.
Our best method for making turkey ahead and reheating it:
Up to a week before the big feast day, make enough turkey ahead of time for everyone coming to dinner.
This is great because you can make the best turkey meat without worrying about what it looks like. Making a turkey look good usually makes for dry breast meat because you have to roast it long enough for the dark meat to get done. But you have the advantage. You can cut the turkey up into pieces and roast the white meat and the dark meat separately, roasting them each to perfection!
After roasting a cooling, we believe the only way to store your cooked turkey is to vacuum seal it. And the reason we suggest this is because the reheating method works hand-in-hand with vacuum sealing. We recommend this FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer!
If you have a hunk of turkey vacuum-sealed in a bag, the way to reheat it is to drop it into a simmering pot of water. STILL IN THE BAG.
We have used this method over and over and the turkey tastes like it was just cut off the bone.
On the day of, make all your other sides and the “presentation turkey”. While the turkey is resting, you can have your “make-ahead” turkey reheating on the stovetop. Get everyone seated with all the food on the table. Carve up the turkey and remove to to a “serving platter”. Add your reheated turkey and pass it all around! Everyone gets seconds!
We get right to the point here at Home Cook FAQ…so you can get back to cooking!