How To Keep Turkey Warm And Moist After Cooking?

Turkey dinner preparation and presentation are delicate dances that hinge on the size and weight of the bird and how long it takes to cook. The ideal time to take the turkey out of the oven is 30 minutes before dinner is ready to be served.

Do this so it can rest for 20 minutes after being removed from the roasting pan. 

For most of us, having enough oven space to prepare the rest of the celebrations necessitates preparing the turkey early (sometimes as much as the day before). 

We’ve all experienced the disappointment of serving a perfectly prepared dish at an unacceptable temperature, so we’re sharing our best advice for keeping a roasted turkey warm.

Additionally, we will discuss critical information regarding food safety and how to determine the optimal cooking time for the turkey.

This article will walk you through how to keep turkey warm and moist after cooking, so keep reading and learn more.

How To Keep Turkey Warm And Moist After Cooking

Now, let’s take a closer look at the various strategies you can employ to prevent the turkey from drying out while still keeping it warm:

1. Adding A Hot Gravy

If the turkey gets cold, add lots of hot and flavorful gravy to warm it up and keep it moist. Once the turkey has been carved and placed on serving plates, cover it generously with gravy. This eliminates the need to reheat your carved turkey.

But what is the secret to making the best turkey gravy? Here’s a fast and easy recipe for an incredible dressing:

  • Gather the turkey drippings and strain them. Doing so will guarantee that no solid remnants remain.
  • Melt some butter in a pan over moderate heat. Mix in the flour and thyme once the butter has melted. Continue cooking until the mixture turns golden brown.
  • Next, very gradually, pour in the turkey drippings. Mix it up well and let it simmer.
  • Increase the heat and keep constantly stirring until the mixture thickens. Usually, you’ll need to set aside 5 to 10 minutes for this.
  • When everything is done, season the gravy with salt and pepper and stir in fresh parsley. Mix it in while the turkey is still sizzling. 

2. Do Not Carve Turkey Immediately.

Carving the turkey too soon after removing it from the oven, air fryer, or slow cooker will cause the meat to dry out quickly. Also, your hands can easily get burned when cutting a hot turkey.

USDA recommends waiting 20 minutes after laying the turkey out before carving. This method results in a juicier turkey and makes the bird much simpler to carve.

Refrain from stressing if you anticipate that your guests will arrive late. The turkey will stay suitable for another 20 minutes. If you want to avoid running late finishing your dish, you can also plan your turkey preparation around this.

3. Cover Turkey 

Increasing the insulation value is a good strategy for keeping your turkey warm.

Simply wrapping the turkey in aluminum foil or plastic wrap will do the trick. Next, place a dishtowel over the turkey. This will help maintain a constant temperature for the turkey until it is ready to be served.

How to Keep Turkey Warm and Moist After Cooking

After that, put the turkey in a covered baking dish and keep it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend placing a pan of water (warm, not hot water) on the bottom of the oven to help the turkey retain its moisture and tenderness for the entire time.

How Do You Keep A Turkey Warm for 5 Hours?

Let the turkey stay in the oven if you want to keep it warm. When the turkey has rested long enough, wrap it in aluminum foil and return it to the oven. Ensure your turkey doesn’t dry out by placing a pan of warm water underneath it while in the oven.

How Do You Keep A Turkey Warm if You Cook It Too Early?

If it’s ready an hour ahead of schedule, let it rest at room temperature, uncovered, for around 30 minutes. Afterward, wrap your turkey in foil and a blanket or towel to keep it warm and crispy. 

Resting releases initial heat. Once covered, it won’t overcook from the steam trapped inside.

How Can You Keep a Turkey Moist After Cooking?

If the turkey is already dry before it gets cold, it won’t be salvageable. However, you can do a few things ahead of time to guarantee a succulent roast.


You can achieve a juicier roast by seasoning your raw turkey completely with salt for two days before cooking. Season the whole turkey two days ahead, the crown one day, and the boneless turkey breast meat the night before.

Avoid overcooking.

The main cause of dry turkey is overcooking. Use a digital cooking probe to avoid overcooking your turkey. The turkey is ready when a meat thermometer

 inserted into the thigh’s thickest part registers 75 degrees Celsius, or when the breast’s thickest part registers 65 degrees Celsius.


After the turkey has roasted, letting it rest allows the meat to relax and soak up the juices again. Resting the turkey is essential before carving any turkey roast, whether a boneless joint or a whole bird. 

Put the turkey on a cutting board or serving platter. Leave it while you finish up the rest of the preparations. You can leave a boneless breast joint alone for 20 to 30 minutes, while a whole bird or crown can rest for 40 minutes and still be served warm.

Restauration of the flavor by reintroducing the juices

Carving the turkey to the table can be a hassle, and the turkey loses some of its flavorful juices in the process, so it’s easier to serve it already carved on a serving plate.

When you reheat leftover turkey or carve it, pour any accumulated juices or chicken stock back over to serve it. Ensure that it remains juicy as it cools.


It’s easy to forget about your turkey and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator or a turned-off oven overnight, but this only hastens the drying-out process.

When it comes to safety and keeping the turkey’s juices locked in, it’s best to cover and refrigerate it or carve and refrigerate it in an airtight container a minimum of 2 hours after eating.

How Do You Transport A Cooked Turkey And Keep It Warm?

Use a sealed, insulated container to transport the turkey. 

It takes work to transport a fully cooked turkey. You must safely fasten the turkey, so it doesn’t spill all over your car on the way to Thanksgiving dinner. It also needs to be kept warm so that it can be served at your destination. 

You should store a cooked turkey in a cooler or other insulated container for safe transportation. You must also ensure that the ride is as comfortable as possible. Limit the number of times you stop and how much the turkey moves while traveling. 

How To Keep A Turkey Warm While Traveling?

Hot turkey can be kept warm for longer if stored in insulated containers or wrapped in foil and covered with heavy towels. Use freezer packs or ice to keep perishables cool in a cooler. 

Remember that any time spent away from refrigeration, usually less than two hours, puts food in danger. It can drastically reduce the shelf life of perishable foods.

How to Keep Turkey Warm and Moist After Cooking

What Is The Best Way To Reheat A Previously Cooked Turkey?

Here’s how to reheat your frozen turkey:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the turkey breast and remove the meat from the turkey legs. Set in a gratin or roasting pan.
  • For 30 minutes, with the foil tightly covering the dish, roast the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 75 degrees Celsius.

How To Keep A Turkey Warm In The Oven

When the turkey has rested long enough, wrap it in foil and return it to the oven. Ensure your turkey doesn’t dry out by placing a pan of warm water underneath it.

How Long Can You Keep A Turkey Warm In The Oven?

Turkey stays warm in the oven for approximately 1.5 – 2 hours.

Once your pound of turkey has been resting for 20 minutes, cover it with foil and a kitchen towel. The towel will serve to insulate the turkey even more. If you follow these steps, your turkey will stay warm for 1.5 to 2 hours.

What Is The Best Way To Keep A Turkey Warm?

The best way to keep your turkey warm is to cover it. When you immediately cover your bird, the trapped heat continues to cook it, resulting in overcooked (dry) meat. You should therefore give it some time to rest. 

Once the turkey has been resting for 20 minutes, cover it with foil and a kitchen towel. The towel will serve to insulate the turkey.

Can Sliced Turkey Keep Warm In A Crockpot?

Yes, you can keep the turkey slices warm in a crockpot. Home cooks can use a crockpot to keep nearly any food warm. 

How To Tell When Ground Turkey Is Done?

Using a food thermometer, verify the ground turkey has attained a 165-degree Fahrenheit internal temperature. The ground turkey is ready to eat once it reaches this temperature.

How To Keep Turkey Warm In An Electric Roaster?

Turn the electric roaster’s temperature to the warm setting once the turkey is done cooking. With the roaster set to low heat, the turkey will keep at an ideal serving temperature until serving.


The last thing you want to do after spending hours perfecting a roast turkey is to have your guests eat it cold (unless, of course, you like your turkey cold).

Wrapping the turkey in a kitchen towel and foil keeps it warm for up to two hours, giving you plenty of time to prepare the rest of the meal. 

If you have access to an oven, you can keep the turkey warm by keeping it in there at a low temperature (or with your oven turned off, as it provides insulation).

If you cooked the bird in advance, you’d need to carve it, store it in the fridge, and then reheat it in a pan with some juices. 

Your Thanksgiving turkey will be warm if you use any of the discussed cooking methods. If you want to view some thanksgiving recipes check out this article.


At Cooking be Fun, we believe that cooking can and should be an enjoyable experience for everyone. We provide a comprehensive resource of recipes, cooking tips and advice to make the process easier whether you’re just starting out or have been cooking for years.

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