Storing Your Leftovers
Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left sitting at room
temperature for longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above
90°F. Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze
in covered shallow containers or storage bags for quicker cooling.
Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3 to 4
Moist Turkey Tip: To keep the cut
surface of the turkey breast from drying out, press a piece of
plastic wrap or a damp paper towel next to it before covering and
If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months. Use freezer
wrap or freezer containers for the best quality. Proper packaging
is important to the success of frozen leftovers. Otherwise,
circulating air in the freezer will create freezer burn: white
dried-out patches on the surface of food that make it tough and
tasteless. Use heavy-duty aluminum foil, freezer paper, or
zip-closure freezer bags for best results. Do not leave any air
space. Squeeze excess air from freezer bags and fill rigid freezer
containers to the top with dry foods. Leave one-inch headspace in
containers with liquid and 1/2-inch in containers with semisolids.
Remember to label and date each package and use the oldest ones
Reheating Your Turkey
Cooked turkey may be served cold or reheated.
In the Oven
- Preheat the oven to no lower than 325°F.
- Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F. Use a food
thermometer to check the internal temperature. To keep the turkey
moist, add a little broth or water and cover.
- Reheat leftover stuffing to at least 165 degrees F. Bring
leftover gravy to a rolling boil before serving.
In the Microwave
- Cover your food and rotate it for even heating. Add a little
broth or water to keep turkey moist while reheating. Allow for
standing time so potential hot spots won't burn you.
- Check the internal temperature of your food with a food
thermometer to make sure it reaches 165°F.
- Consult your microwave oven owner's manual for recommended
times and power levels.
Stop by Fiesta Mart for all the supplies you need
to keep your food and family safe. We have plastic and freezer bags
in a number of sizes to fit your refrigerator and freezer. We also
have plastic containers in all shapes and sizes so you can portion
out just the amount of food, whether it be for a single serving or
a single family meal. At Fiesta Mart, we're more than just a store,
we're your home.
For more information about turkey safe cooking tips and
Thanksgiving leftovers storage, visit www.fsis.usda.gov.