An Easy Way to Freeze (and Thaw) Leftover Turkey

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some foods stay good in the fridge longer than others, and do you follow the rules of USDA (which advises that most foods are trashed after three to four days of refrigeration) or live by the smell-and-taste model, it’s good to know when the last day is near — and about a week out, The end is darn close for this year’s Thanksgiving leftovers.

If you hate tossing leftover meat but you’re out of time and hungry, break out the zip top bags and reusable food storage containers and turn to the freezer. As you surely know, meats like turkey, roast ham, or prime rib all freeze well when raw, but they’re also perfectly fine to freeze after they’ve been cooked. But when you’re ready to freeze them, keep your future in mind to make it easier for you to thaw the meat later.

If you have a large, solid piece of meat, break it down into serving sizes or smaller slices. This ensures rapid freezing and rapid melting on the other side. Freezing in individual portions is a good idea, as you only need what you plan to eat.Tea did not recommend you refreezing meat many times, because it can cause moisture loss and spoil its quality.

So if you have lots of small containers, put small amounts of meat in them. If you only have large containers, layer the pieces of meat with parchment, waxed paper, or plastic wrap between them. Not only does this ensure you’re not fighting a giant brick of meat the next week, but smaller portions make it easier to work with when you’re ready to cook.

Thaw meat wisely. If you think ahead, you can move individual servings of pre-cooked meat down in the fridge to thaw slowly overnight, which is the best way to avoid bacteria growth, and the most hands-on. From is closed approach. If you forgot to thaw it and you’re hungry now, don’t worry: You can run it under cold water for a few minutes, as long as it’s in an airtight plastic bag. Once the meat has cooled but is pliable once again, you can use it in sandwiches, salads or wraps.

If you plan to reheat frozen leftovers into a hot meal, such as a stir fry, casserole, braised dish or soup, you can skip the thawing step altogether. Remove the individual portion from the freezer, cut it into appropriate pieces, and drop it in with the other ingredients.

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