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How to Transport a Cooked Turkey (Warm or Cold)

How to Transport a Cooked Turkey (Warm or Cold)

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Turkey is one meat that many people love to eat during the holidays. Another thing that many people do during the holidays is travel.

Some people, especially those who enjoy being able to cook family meals for people might find themselves wanting to share cooked turkey with their family, but not knowing the best way to bring the turkey along.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to be able to transport a cooked turkey, there are a few things that you will have to keep in mind. For one, you will need to make sure that the turkey is properly cooked, as you already should.

If there is any stuffing to go with the turkey, you should make sure to keep that separated from the turkey, both during the cooling and the transportation of the turkey.

While many people love the appearance of a full, cooked turkey, it is going to make it much easier on you to cut the turkey up into smaller pieces to travel.

This is fully optional, and if you happen to have a cooler that is large enough to accommodate a full turkey, then there really is no reason to do this. It is simply something that you should keep in mind when you are thinking about how you want to transport your cooked turkey.

As for the materials you will need, you are going to probably want a container of sorts to keep the turkey (and potentially stuffing in). Some people feel more comfortable transporting the turkey in a cooler, where it can stay cold and below the temperature where bacteria festers at. You will need to bring ice packs to pack into the cooler as well.

When all is said and done, transporting a frozen turkey is a fairly straightforward process. There isn’t too much to worry about, other than making sure that the turkey stays cold while you are travelling to your destination.

Before you know it, you will be able to share your turkey with your family and friends.

Transporting a Cooked Turkey Cold


One of the most common methods to transport a cooked turkey is to make sure that it is cold, if not frozen, and reheat it at your destination.

As you might be able to imagine, this requires that your destination have a suitable oven, or in a worst-case scenario, a decent-sized microwave to heat the turkey up in.

Once the turkey, and any additions to the meal have been cooked, you will want to let it cool down and rest before you do anything with it. You should make sure that any and all stuffing is removed and cooled to room temperature as well, since the stuffing is going to be packaged separately.

If you are willing to cut up the entire turkey into smaller pieces for easier transport, this is the part where you should be doing that. Either tightly sealed containers or air-tight packaging will work well for keeping the turkey safe from anything that might want to grow in it.

If you want to make sure that the bird remains intact so that you can have a beautiful-looking meal to serve to your family, then you can move on to the next step.

From here, you will want to put the turkey into the fridge so that it can begin cooling down even more quickly. If you won’t be travelling for a few days, then you should make sure to put it in the freezer.

When the time comes that you are leaving, you will want to make sure that you put the turkey, and anything else you want to bring along for the meal, in an insulated cooler. The cooler should have ice or frozen gel packs in it to help keep everything frozen.

Once you place the turkey in the cooler, there isn’t much else to do than to get to the destination. If you are going to be driving for a long time, you might want to consider getting a thermometer for the cooler and periodically check the temperature of the meat to make sure it doesn’t reach a temperature where bacteria might start to take interest in it.

After you have reached your destination, you will want to simply reheat the turkey and you will be ready to serve your food to your family for the holidays. With that being said, if you live within two to four hours of your family, you can transport your turkey warm so that it can be served immediately.

Transporting a Cooked Turkey Warm


Do keep in mind that this method only works safely for two to four hours. The first thing that you should do is hold the turkey in the oven for as long as you can, simply so that it can remain as warm as possible for as long as possible. You should keep it there until you are ready to pack the turkey up and leave.

With this method, you shouldn’t cut up the turkey at all either, as this will cool it down considerably quickly.

From here, you will generally want to use a cooler and some tin foil to both insulate and protect the turkey on its journey. You will want to cover the turkey with foil so that it is completely covered and insulated.

Then, you will want to place it in the cooler so that it can retain its heat throughout your short journey. If you want to be extra cautious, you can place towels with hot water around the turkey to insulate it even further.

With this method, you should arrive at your destination with a warm turkey in the cooler that is ready to be served when you arrive.


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