The turkey is done, the day is over. You have yourself plenty of leftovers, but you are really not in the mood for more turkey right now. That is when it is time to employ your own personal time machine – the freezer. By properly freezing the turkey you can return to that 4th Thursday in November anytime you want.
How Long Will Frozen Turkey Last in the Freezer
In the freezer I would say the turkey would be perfect for 3 months, then quality would start going down. I would say 6 months tops, but I would really aim for finishing it up in 3.
What Do You Need to Freeze Turkey
There are three things that I use whenever I freeze meat – plastic bag, heavy duty aluminum foil, and a permanent marker.
How to Freeze Leftover Turkey
I start out by laying a piece of foil down on the counter or cutting board. I always use heavy duty foil. It doesn’t rip like the regular stuff does, I feel it’s worth the less extra money. I perfer to portion my meat into single servings, that way I can pull out what I| need without having to defrost any entire batch. Make sure you use enough foil so that the meat is tightly wrapped without any of it showing.
In order to prevent the meat from freeze burner I then place the meat into a plastic bag. I love the ones with the slider zipper top. This gives us double protection. You can either use quart size bags which will probably only fit a single serving, maybe two. Or the large gallon size that can fit more. Then again it’s easy to be organized and find what you need in your freezer.
Make sure you have little air in the bag as possible. This will not only save space, but air is not your friend for long keeping food. Make sure to press all the air of the bag before sealing. Some people like Alton Brown, stick a straw in the bag and suck all the air out.
A moment about freezer bags. When shopping for plastic bags you will see bags marked freezer bags. I never ever buy these. You always get less bags for buck. I have never had a problem with just using the regular ones, so no reason to switch over.
You have taken all the proper steps to ensure all life for your soon to be frozen food, there is still one more step and it’s a key one. Label the food. I love a black Sharpie for this. You don’t want what you wrote to come off easily. I always write exactly it is and put today’s date on the bag. This is a vital step as if you come back to it later on and don’t know what it is your likely to skip using it or just throw it out. Make sure to label clearly.
With these few simple tips a leftover turkey salad, sandwich, soup, etc can easily be at your finger tips, weeks after Thanksgiving has ended. Don’t let those leftovers go bad in the fridge, freeze them!