OK, the big holiday dinner is over and if you were the cook, you’re probably not feeling like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, right? The problem is, you very likely have a whole bunch of leftovers in various dishes and a big half eaten turkey taking up room in your fridge. If you don’t plan on eating all of the leftovers today, you should spend a little time storing the food well so it stays healthy and delicious.
The good news is it’s not that much work and here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Probably the two most important things about storing food are:
1) Make sure you keep things at a cool or cold temperature when you aren’t eating them. Hopefully your turkey, gravy, left over stuffing (if there was any!) got put back in the fridge shortly after you finished your meal. Keeping your leftovers cool will slow down spoilage. In general, you should try to eat your leftovers in four days or less, or freeze them.
2) Protect the food from exposure to lots of air which will dry it out. That means keeping things in the smallest container that will hold it and wrapping the turkey in wrap or putting it in a big zip-lock bag, etc. Yes, it’s a pain to move something from a larger already dirty but half empty container to a smaller clean one, but it’s a good practice and will keep the food fresher and save space in the fridge.
Other post-Thanksgiving tips:
- Be sure to take out all of the stuffing from your turkey before storing. Stuffing will spoil faster than the meat, so you want to separate it.
- Some people suggest slicing the turkey to make good pieces for sandwiches later on, but it will cause the turkey to dry out a lot more. We recommend taking the meat off the bone in the largest possible pieces and then heating up only what you need, and/or slicing when you need them.
- Combine! Hey, admit it, you’re going to eat that little bit of left-over potatoes and gravy together anyway, right? So go ahead and store them together rather than in separate containers. Just remember to eat them sooner rather than later.
We know lots of people who like the leftovers more than the original meal. If you are one of them, following these simple storage tips will help keep your leftovers worth eating! Belated Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
We used this article as a source for our blog post. http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/articles/food-safety-storing-thanksgiving-leftovers.page-2.html