7 Hacks for Storing your Holiday Leftovers

Blossom Lady
Dec 30, 2022 09:19 PM
7 Hacks for Storing your Holiday Leftovers

It's holiday time! It's time to get dressed up, because there's plenty to eat at this time of year. But the joyful (and perhaps a little gluttonous) enjoyment of a holiday meal doesn't just end when everyone clears the table. Perhaps the best part of a delicious holiday meal is the leftovers later.

1. One and done
It's easy and tempting, but don't reuse the original container for leftovers. Most aren't meant for multiple uses. Throw them away or recycle them, and put the leftovers in a storage container instead.

2. Get fresh
The best way to preserve food you love is to use certified food containers. The lids are tight enough to keep air (and bacterial growth) out or release steam when the food is hot. They're also made of food-safe material. When shopping, look for the special sign on the product packaging.

3. Follow the 2-hour rule
Always avoid the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F because this is the range where bacteria can grow the fastest. Refrigerate or freeze food within two hours of serving, or keep it warm in a frying pan or on warming utensils.

4. Plan ahead
Cool hot foods first before freezing them, and don't shop too many foods at room temperature at once, as this can affect your appliance's ability to maintain temperature. You may want to lower the temperature the day before you shop for food.

5. Don't put the whole turkey in one bag
Shop smaller portions in multiple bags or containers. This will ensure that your leftovers cool quickly and are easier to reheat later.

6. Find the right container for the job
Ziplock bags work well for freezing food because they're easier to seal airtight before storing and don't take up as much space as other containers. Glass containers are more airtight than plastic containers, as plastic containers don't seal as well in the freezer.

7. Serving
Not all food containers are suitable for reheating food. Check the directions on the bottom of the container, visit the manufacturer's website, or ask the retailer for details. Use your thermometer and reheat leftovers to at least 165° F (73° C) before eating.

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