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So, how long do you keep leftovers?

BotchBotch Posts: 6,219
edited April 2012 in EggHead Forum
The thread on cooking food for the next week, and an experience I had just a couple weeks ago, makes me ask the question.
Two weeks ago I spatchcocked my first chicken, ate most of it that weekend, half the leftovers Monday night, but the next Saturday I realized I still had a wing and a leg left, almost a full week.  Before tossing it, I gave it a quick whiff and it smelled just fine (I tossed it anyway).  
Then I realized that meat was originally smoked to make it keep longer; add modern-day refrigeration, and how long can one expect a smoked chicken to last?  I'll eat a leftover piece of fish the next night, but not go any further than that; but the other kinds of meats, is there a safe rule-of-thumb?  

_____________________________________________
 
Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
 
Ogden, Utard.  

Comments

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    Your nose and naturally evolved disgust reaction will guide you. my wife doesn't agree but the human body can usually tell if something is safe to eat by sight, smell, and taste.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    Fun fact: tears are the only bodily fluid that doesn't cause a disgust reaction in humans.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Mike8itMike8it Posts: 468
    I can think of one more that didnt cause a disgust reaction with one of my ex-girlfriends ;)
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,536
    Your nose and naturally evolved disgust reaction will guide you. my wife doesn't agree but the human body can usually tell if something is safe to eat by sight, smell, and taste.
    +1 with the above.  I have gone a good 7-8 days with no issues.  I do tend to lace the end of the cook (days 6-8) with jalapenos and cold beer to help in the event my senses are not up-to-speed.  On a related note, my SWMBO has a tendency to purchase in the "good deal" quantity so I have opened and consumed several sauces and liquid seasonings many years past the "sell-by" date.  I figure she is trying to help me on to the next adventure but I keep survivng, without any issues.  (Now I am jinxed...) :)
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    Not cool, mike. There are ladies on this forum and that is inappropriate.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Personally, I wouldn't eat 2 week old chicken... but my husband agrees with Travis & Lou. :)

    With that said, I've eaten fresh beef in Haiti several times that was never refrigerated, just preserved with their own special sauce.  It was awesome!   (I didn't go near their chickens, tho'.)
    I'm Kristi ~ Live in FL ~ BGE since 2003.
    I write about food & travel on Necessary Indulgences.  
    You can also find me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.
  • Outlaw77Outlaw77 Posts: 71
    I ate two week old brisket yeaterday and it was still great. Have one more sandwich left for lunch this week.
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,852
    OK for the food, I'm in with Lou and Travis.

    As far as tears, I had an ex that pulled that card out way too often, and if it wasn't disgust, it was close.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited April 2012
    quality will wane before safety becomes a problem, if your fridge is at proper temps.

    I may have a looser take on this stuff then most.  Once you dry age beef for a hundred days, it becomes awful difficult to believe that a cooked piece of chicken is going to somehow go 'bad' (where bad=unsafe) in a week. I told a story a few years ago about a 45-day steak I had eaten.  It had been hung to age before sale for the normal couple weeks.  Then it was aged 45 days by the shop I got it from.  I ate half, and tossed it in the meat bin.  Found it a month and a half later.  And ate it.

    Someone would have to tell me what would be unsafe about it.  And that steer had last walked the earth some three and a half months before.

    I think people have conflated the idea of bad/unpalatable and bad/unsafe. 

    Americans love to throw out food well before it is time.  Heck, I have some French cookbooks here for pates, and after covering in butter or lard they say to 'store in a cool place for up to five weeks.  No mention of a refrigerator anywhere in the book.

    even raw meats can go much further than we are used to thinking. Keep temps low, and you greatly reduce waste.

    If someone is a carrier for Listeria, and coughs all over your meat, then you may have an issue.  But cooked foods and properly stored foods, no rush.  Except for maybe organ meats.  Even then, that';s why they made pate.  No one eats 4 pounds of pate in a sitting.  Just seal it with melted butter and set it back in the pantry. ...or, nowadays, the fridge, if you wanna.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,958
    It's two days for me, then it's outta here.  The day before garbage day is a big fridge clean out day for me.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • I don't even think about it until 7 days. then if it smells ok, I'll still eat it. I don't eat fish after a day or 2 but that's not because it's rotten. I just don't like the taste or texture.


    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    USDA says eggs are good to go for 6 to 8 weeks.

    cook them, and then they need to go into the trash in two days?

    ah well.

    we had a ham i hung at room temp for a year, to dry, for Easter. cooked it, and now the leftovers are in the fridge.  why is it safe at room temp for a year, but after a few days as leftovers, i need to throw it out?  hey! maybe it's the fridge that is makin my meat go bad.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Mike8itMike8it Posts: 468
    Travis - didn't mean to offend you. The ex was an RN and neither blood nor urine disgusted her. Only thing that did was mucus. I do agree with the smell test but then again I imagine some of stikes aged meat smells pungent but is probably delicious.
  • Yeah, fish gets the bad smell which causes me to toss it. 

    Usually, w/ all other meat, I'll just eat on it till it's gone (usually w/in a week). 

    Obviously, other foods, like cereal, cookies, etc are based on whether or not it gets "stale" (I still think you could eat it from a "safety" standpoint, but you wouldn't really want to because, well... who wants to eat stale cereal or cookies)???

    Although, we did find some canned mango juice in the garage that had a date from 2008 or 2009 on it, and my GF would NOT drink it!!  I told her to toss a couple in the fridge, and I'd try it - once it was cold, I opened it up (was in a metal can similar to a tomato paste can), and it was fine (I'm not dead)  :))
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,323
    If it was cooked through then I draw the line at two weeks from when cooked provided it passes appearance, smell, and taste tests. But from reading war and survival stories you can go a LOT longer, depending on what your other options are before safety is a concern. And people have.

    As an aside, I had the same question about bagels one time. The Costco ones would show mold before a week. But Lender's bagels would easily go longer and so I put a bag in the bread cupboard to see just how long. Three-plus YEARS later no mold, and though they were a little stiff they appeared edible. The 'cleaning lady' tossed 'em on me and ended my experiment.
  • If it was cooked through then I draw the line at two weeks from when cooked provided it passes appearance, smell, and taste tests. But from reading war and survival stories you can go a LOT longer, depending on what your other options are before safety is a concern. And people have.

    As an aside, I had the same question about bagels one time. The Costco ones would show mold before a week. But Lender's bagels would easily go longer and so I put a bag in the bread cupboard to see just how long. Three-plus YEARS later no mold, and though they were a little stiff they appeared edible. The 'cleaning lady' tossed 'em on me and ended my experiment.
    You can leave a (insert fast food hamburger of choice here) out on a counter top for months without getting moldy. It's a wonderful testament to the chemical preservatives they put in their food. There was a health food store by my old restaurant that used to buy fast food around town and leave it out with the dated receipt next to it. It was nuts how long that stuff could stay out without going bad.


    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i get mold even with 'preservatives'.  mold isn;t bad, fwiw. to be expected even (if you are doing things right)

    USDA's position on mold: scrub it off.
    :))
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Mike8itMike8it Posts: 468
    edited May 2012
    Stike- would you cut the mold out of cheese or leave it? Does the type of cheese affect the mold?
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,219
    As an aside, I had the same question about bagels one time. The Costco ones would show mold before a week. But Lender's bagels would easily go longer and so I put a bag in the bread cupboard to see just how long. Three-plus YEARS later no mold, and though they were a little stiff they appeared edible. The 'cleaning lady' tossed 'em on me and ended my experiment.
    Interesting story to me, because I had bought a dozen of my favorite local bagels to eat during the next week, when I was younger.  They didn't mold but even after one day they just didn't cut it anymore; some things just have to be fresh.
     
    Hey guys, thanks for all the input!  Sounds like I can keep a piece of meat in the frig a bit longer than I have been, good news for me because it takes a single guy, even with a bit appetite, a while to get thru an 8-lb pork butt!  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • "Stike- would you cut the mold out of cheese or leave it? Does the type of cheese affect the mold?"

    I eat blue cheese all the time. The stinker, the better.

    I do cut mold off regular cheese but just because it does not add anything and it's not supposed to be there. Mold is ok if it's doing a job (it's ok if it isn't too but I can't bring myself to eat it under those circumstances)
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • Smoker_GuruSmoker_Guru Posts: 372
    It's two days for me, then it's outta here.  The day before garbage day is a big fridge clean out day for me.
    +1
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,672
    For me it would be about a week tops. Mabye not so much because its not safe, but if I haven't eaten it in a week, I probably won't. Most leftovers get taken for lunch the next day. Big cooks like pork butt or a ham, gets vac sealed and frozen within a few days to save for later. Great for those nights you don't want to/don't have the time to cook. Just pull it out and thaw or throw in boiling water. I just don't want to eat something for a straight week, I'm already on to the next thing to cook. That's just me though. Think about investing in a food saver, freeeze it and don't worry about how long its safe.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

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