Tips for Storing Thanksgiving Day Leftovers

There is nothing quite like the comfort of enjoying a big plate of Thanksgiving Day leftovers. In fact, many people look forward not only to Thanksgiving Day, but also the day after, simply for the pleasures of leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and of course, pie! So even though Thanksgiving is over, the holiday will keep on giving, so long as you store all your leftovers properly that is. Improper storage practices can reduce the quality of food, as well as pose several health risks since contamination can happen quite quickly.

In order to get the most of your holiday leftovers, and to protect your loved ones, be sure, you know how to store food the right way. You can give your fridge a   quick check right now to see if your storage practices are keeping your foods tasty and fresh.

Continue reading to learn all the tips you need to know for storing Thanksgiving leftovers, safely.

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Georgia Catering Services 678-340-0510

Cooling and Packing

Leftover foods should be stored in a separate container than the one they were served in. So, if you simply put your sweet potato casserole dish in the fridge and covered it with some plastic wrap, it is not the best practice for maintaining quality and freshness. Instead, pack all leftover foods separately in shallow containers with airtight lids, or plastic storage bags. Use the smallest container possible for each type of food you are storing to reduce oxygen exposure.

Length of Time

in order to maintain top quality and freshness, it is best to consume your Thanksgiving leftovers within 5 to 7 days. It is recommended to simply reheat the portion of food that you want to eat rather than heating up the entire container. Although it is safety reheat the entire container, and then store it again, reheating one portion at a time as needed will keep the food fresher for longer. If you wish to freeze your leftovers, be sure to use freezer-safe containers or plastic bags. In the freezer, leftovers should remain good for 2 to 6 months.

Defrosting Frozen Foods

There are three primary ways to thaw out leftover frozen foods. The best way to defrost frozen foods is to simply place them in the refrigerator and let them thaw out overnight. Just be sure to transfer them to a plate and keep them in the container. You can also choose to use cold running water to defrost frozen foods. To do this, run lukewarm water at your kitchen faucet directly on top of the frozen container. Depending on the mass and volume of the item, this can take anywhere from an hour to several hours. If you don’t waste water, you can fill a large bowl with lukewarm water, and place the frozen item inside. This can also take a few hours; however, you will feel like you’re wasting water or money. The least recommended way to de-thaw frozen foods is to use the microwave. If you choose to use this method, just be sure to follow your manufacturer’s instructions for your particular make and model microwave.

Reheating Leftovers

As mentioned, leftover foods can remain in the refrigerator safely for up to seven days. In order to reheat them safely, be sure the internal temperatures reach 165° Fahrenheit. If you are reheating sauces, be sure to bring them to a full boil before consuming to ensure any bacterial growth has been killed. When reheating foods in the microwave, use microwave-safe plate or containers, and rotate them during the heating process to ensure even cooking.

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Food for Thought Catering 678-340-0510
Food for Thought Catering 678-340-0510

How to Calculate How Much Food You Need for Thanksgiving Dinner

Are you hosting this year’s Thanksgiving for the first time? If so, you might feel the pressure to get everything right. But as any loving family would fervently insist, the only thing that truly matters is being together. However, they would also agree that a full belly is important too. So long as you get the portions right for each guest, you can feel confident in pleasing the whole crowd this holiday.

Continue reading to learn how to properly calculate the amount of food you will need to feed your friends and family on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving dinner table, overhead shot, long banner

The Parts of a Thanksgiving Dinner

To start your planning, think about the fundamental components to a traditional Thanksgiving meal. You will have a protein, starch, carbohydrate, vegetable, some condiments, and of course, dessert. Using this basic guideline of food offerings, multiply the proper portion control with the number of guests you expect to have for an accurate estimation of the amount of food you need. As an added tip, prepare enough food for one or two unexpected guests, or even for your own leftovers for the next day!

For a customary Thanksgiving Meal, here is how much food you should prepare PER GUEST:

🍗 Turkey – 1 Pound
🍨 Cranberry Sauce – ½ Cup
🍠 Potatoes – ½ Cup or 1 Full Potato
🍵 Gravy – 1/3 Cup
🌽 Vegetables – ½ Cup
🍚 Stuffing – ¾ Cup
🍞 Bread Rolls – 1 Roll
🥧 Pie – 1 Slice

When You Don’t Have the Time or Patience to Prepare Thanksgiving Dinner…
Hire a professional Georgia catering company for fast, affordable, and stress-free Holiday catering that fits the budget!

A Georgia Catering Company You Can Trust

Call Food for Thought Catering at 678-340-0510 for customized Thanksgiving Day catering in Newnan, Georgia and its surrounding towns. Our expert catering coordinators and Executive chefs specialize in providing tailored menus and themes for all races, religions, ethnicities, and more. We can also accommodate special dietary requests and restrictions, including Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, food allergies, and kosher diets. Request a free quote, today!

Food for Thought Catering 678-340-0510
Food for Thought Catering 678-340-0510