Cooking, Food, Healthy Eating

How to Properly Store Leftovers

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Once you start preparing food it is only natural that you may have leftovers every once in a while. These leftovers need not be thrown out as you probably already know, but they can be eaten later. 

While leftovers can come in handy on those days when you don’t want to cook or you just want to have a ready-made meal, you need to be careful with how you store them. Storing leftovers the wrong way can lead to a myriad of problems.

The 2 Hour Rule Is Important

When it comes to storing your leftovers correctly, the most important thing you need to remember is the 2 hour rule. This means that you need to cool your leftovers, cover them and then place them in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking them. 

Always make sure that you eat leftovers within two days of cooking them. You can go ahead and eat the leftovers cold or you can warm them up so that they are very hot.


It’s Sometimes Best to Freeze

While it is best to eat your leftovers within two days, if you feel that you will not be able to achieve this goal, then the better idea is to freeze the leftovers. You can do your research to find out which foods can be frozen. 

However, most foods can be frozen and this is why freezing is such a good option if you can’t eat something right away. You can save it for later without fear that it will be spoiled when you are finally ready to eat it. 

While having containers for freezing is great, if you don’t have these you can always store things such as soups and stews in bags and then stack them in the freezer. This makes it even quicker to defrost.


Label Everything

Labeling everything correctly is one of the most important parts of storing leftovers. 

You want to make sure that you know what is in a container or a bag at all times. Make sure you write the date it was first stored. This will help you to follow the first in, first out rule. 

This is important because when you are storing a lot of different leftovers in the freezer or the fridge, it can all get very confusing and you may not remember which was cooked first. Always take the time to label correctly.


Raid the Fridge

At least once a week you should raid the fridge and take out all the oldest leftovers. It doesn’t matter if the leftovers are from different meals you can create a unique meal for that night only. 

At the very least it will get the fridge clean of all the old leftovers. For example, before they spoil, use leftover fruit along with some oatmeal to create this delicious muesli recipe.


Store Your Leftovers Properly

Storing your leftovers correctly is something that you cannot afford to fail at. You can become very ill if your leftovers are not stored correctly. Use the guidelines discussed to make sure that your leftovers are safe every time.


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