After preparing a great holiday feast, the kitchen may be the last place you want to be. This is why after a big holiday meal, the leftovers are very important. If you properly store and refrigerate the excess food, you can enjoy your delightful preparations for days.
An unwritten rule for food safety is to keep the hot food hot and cold preparation cold. But every household does not have restaurant-style warming trays and buffet servers. Hence, it is suggested to pack up and refrigerate the surplus food items within two to four hours after preparation. The U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says leftovers can be stored safely in the freezer from 3-4 days to even 3-4 months, regardless of the type of food.
If you are finished with a lavish dinner and not sure how to store the leftovers, here are a few tips to help you do the job right!
Properly Store The Leftovers
Storing the uneaten dishes is all about packing right and placing them in the refrigerator at the right temperature. Divide the meals into smaller portions and tightly wrap the food in small containers as they help the food cool quickly.
Contrary to popular folk wisdom, cooked food should not be brought down to average room temperature before refrigeration. Leftovers can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible, even if they still have steam or heat coming off of them. Proper storing will help you relish the delicious flavors for days without compromising on the quality of food.
Freezing The Leftovers
Freezing excess food keeps it safe by preventing the growth of food spoiling bacteria. You can store your food for a longer time as long as they are frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. However, frozen foods also come with a limited shelf-life, usually of up to two to three months.
Make sure to press the air out of the plastic bags before you seal the eatables. However, liquids like soups or gravies will expand when frozen, which is why it is recommended to leave space at the top of the container. When it comes to storing meat, it should be sliced out and wrapped in foil or freezer paper.
Reheating Holiday Leftovers
Reheat the refrigerated food just as you would when cooking them the first time. If you are using a microwave, arrange the meal properly on a microwave-safe dish and cover it. While reheating any sauces, soups, or gravies, ensure you bring them to a roiling boil. You can also use your microwave to thaw the refrigerated food safely.
Be Creative In Your Recipes
You can always transform the surplus into a new dish that makes it more appealing. It is better to do so instead of letting uneaten food go to waste. Toss roasted veggies into a salad or create a mixture out of cubes of sweet potatoes and leftover ham or turkey.
To prepare a mouth-watering dish from the leftovers, you must ensure that your refrigeration and heating appliances are functioning correctly. If you are facing any issues with your heating and cooling appliances, feel free to call us. At Able Appliance & HVAC Service, we provide comprehensive solutions to get rid of all heating and refrigeration service-related issues.