I find it easier to make a huge dish of pasta and save some for leftovers later in the week than to make dinner every night. While finding the correct tupperware lid can be hassle, with the below tips ensuring leftovers can be no more.
- While cooking, make sure to cook foods to proper internal temperature (IT)–poultry to IT of 145°F, raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to IT of 160°F, raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to 145°F
- Use shallow containers to place leftovers to prevent the growth of bacteria
- To quickly cool food down, place food in a glass or plastic container and place in the fridge
- Put unused cut up vegetables in an air tight plastic bag
- Remove contents of partially emptied canned and place in a covered container
- Refridgerate leftovers within 2 hours at 40°F or lower
- With weather 90F or higher, refridgerate leftovers within one hour
- Leftovers that taste better leftover: casseroles, skillet dishes, chicken, steak, cooked vegetables, pasta, potatoes or noodles
- Reheat thoroughly: It’s important all parts of the food reach at least 165°F before any is eaten. With “layered” dishes, like casseroles, sometimes it can be hard heat all the way through evenly. Make sure to stir the food halfway through microwaving. After “standing time”, check temperature with thermometer.
- It is safe to refreeze leftovers after reheating them to safe 165°F
- It’s safe to reheat leftovers without thawing if done in a sauce pan, microwave or oven
- Leftovers can be stored up to 3-4 days after packaging as a leftover in fridge or up to 3-4 months in freezer
- Recommended to toss: Leafy green salads with dressing; french fries; breaded foods
While there are a lot of considerations in regards to leftovers, over time you’ll get the hang of it! In my opinion, it beats cooking every night!