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Thread: Making stuffing/dressing ahead ?

  1. #1
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    Making stuffing/dressing ahead ?

    I haven't done Thanksgiving for a couple of years, so I am forgetting some of my scheduling notes. Many years ago I would make my stuffing the day before and bake it, then just reheat on turkey day.

    I think I would like to chop and saute the onions, celery, etc the day before, and then mix up the stuffing on turkey day. How far in advance that day can I assemble the casserole before baking?

    It would be helpful to me if I could mix it all and put it in the baking dish in the morning, and then not put it in the oven until 1 or 2. Is this dangerous, food-safety wise, or will it hurt the quality of the stuffing?

  2. #2
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    It's absolutely fine safety-wise, and even texture-wise, to do all the prep in the a.m. (or even the day before) and cook it in the afternoon.

    What ingredients make you nervous about safety? Are you using eggs or raw meat in it? If you include sausage, for example, I'd saute it first, along w/the veggies. But it sounds like that was your plan anyway.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusanMac
    What ingredients make you nervous about safety? Are you using eggs or raw meat in it? If you include sausage, for example, I'd saute it first, along w/the veggies. But it sounds like that was your plan anyway.
    It is your standard celery, onions, sage, apple, stock and a little butter for the wet ingredients, plus the dry bread cubes and seasonings.

    I guess maybe the hysteria over "don't stuff your bird early!" stuck in my head and I was leery of any dish with wet bread products!

  4. #4
    I make stuffing similar to yours the day before Thanksgiving and just keep it in the fridge overnight. I don't cook it in the bird, but I let it sit next to the oven while the turkey is cooking to help bring it to room temperature.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BucknellAlum
    It would be helpful to me if I could mix it all and put it in the baking dish in the morning, and then not put it in the oven until 1 or 2. Is this dangerous, food-safety wise, or will it hurt the quality of the stuffing?
    There is a window called "time as the control for public health", which means you can hold a food without refrigeration/heat for up to 4 hours and then it has to be dumped/tossed. That said I always make my stuffing/dressing in the morning and then bake later that day. Well, the bit that goes in the turkey goes in right away (turkey then oven) but the extra bits in the casserole goes in the fridge until the bird comes out to rest. So as long as you keep the stuffing/dressing below 40 degrees F then you're fine.

    I also prep the onions and celery the night before since the bird goes into the oven quite early and I'm dangerous with a knife before 9am!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

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