Foods on the Go
1. Don't let any perishable food stay at or near room temperature for more than 2 hours.
2. Cold food should stay cold; warm food should stay warm.
3. Place foods from the fridge in a cooler immediately.
4. Wrap warm foods in foil and large towels or ideally, place them in an insulated traveling pack.
5. A full cooler stays cool longer, so pack in bulky items first (like casseroles) and fill in the space with fruit or beverages.
6. When you get to grandma's, quickly put cold food in the fridge and put warm foods in a heated oven.
Travel with Turkey
Partially cooking the bird before you get on the road and then finishing the cooking when you arrive is a bad idea; you could end up with dry, tasteless meat and a food-borne illness.
Trying to transport a hot turkey for any extended length of time can also be risky.
If you have to travel with turkey, our recommendation is to completely cook the bird, carve it, and store it in several shallow containers that can be chilled and travel in a cooler. You can then re-heat the meat in a little gravy at your destination.
The best way to deal with side dishes such as casseroles is to prepare them a day ahead of time and refrigerate. Travel with them in a ice-packed cooler, then bake until steaming hot when you arrive. Mashed potatoes, however, are best made just before the meal.
Cakes and Pies
These are some of the best options if you have to travel to Thanksgiving dinner. Pecan and pumpkin pies can be baked, chilled, stored in a cooler and then either be heated or brought to room temperature.