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Turkey Talk: Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

Thanksgiving leftovers are one of the best parts of a Thanksgiving feast (if there are any!) So, what do you like to do with your leftover turkey? Regardless of how you like to eat it days after Thanksgiving, here are a few Thanksgiving leftover ideas and safety tips.

Storing Leftover Turkey:

Turkey connoisseurs agree: the leftovers are the best part! Here’s how to store them safely:

  • Cut the turkey into small pieces. Refrigerate stuffing, turkey, and gravy separately in shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking (or 1 hour in temperatures above 90 degrees F). If left out longer, discard.
  • Use leftover turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3-4 days; or freeze these foods. Use frozen leftovers within 2-6 months for best quality.

Reheating Leftover Turkey:

If you choose not to go the “cold turkey” route, use these guidelines for reheating:

In the Oven:

  • To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.
  • Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 degrees F. Reheat to an interal temperature of 165 degrees F–use a food thermometer to check.

In the Microwave:

  • Cover and rotate the turkey for even heating. Allow standing time.
  • Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer to make sure it reaches 165 degrees F.

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*All of this information has been taken from the USDA Food & Safety Inspection Services website.

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