When preparing a holiday dinner, there are a lot of dishes to juggle on the day of the big feast, so many cooks choose to prepare certain dishes ahead of time. However, precautions should be taken when pre-cooking any dish, including one of the most popular holiday side dishes--stuffing.
Prepare pre-packaged or homemade stuffing according to recipe instructions, making sure your stuffing has a sufficient amount of liquid to keep it moist, since according to the USDA, bacteria is destroyed most effectively in moist environments.
Cook your stuffing in the oven to a safe internal temperature, which according to the USDA is 165˚ F. Then move your stuffing to shallow storage containers.
Refrigerate the stuffing overnight and up to three to four days before you plan to serve, or freeze your stuffing for up to four months.
When reheating your stuffing on Thanksgiving, cook it to an internal temperature of at least 165˚F. Use a food thermometer to ensure the stuffing has cooked to the proper temperature.