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What Thanksgiving Foods Can Go Down the Garbage Disposal?

For some people, Thanksgiving is a day full of relaxing, eating food, and maybe watching some football. However, one place that isn’t relaxed on Thanksgiving is the kitchen. Whether one person is shouldering the whole meal or you have a team of cooks prepping the turkey day feast, the kitchen will be busy preparing Thanksgiving foods on that Thursday.

The last thing you want to worry about after all the plates have been cleared and the counter has been wiped up is calling a plumber because something went wrong with your garbage disposal. So, when it comes to common Thanksgiving foods, follow these guidelines regarding what not to put down the garbage disposal.


No Thanksgiving feast is complete without a turkey on the table. After everyone is stuffed and it comes time for a cleanup, ensure that any turkey bones go in the trash can and NOT the garbage disposal. Turkey meat can go down the disposal, but you may choose to save it for leftovers the next day. Isn’t that one of the best parts of Thanksgiving?

Another thing to be wary of with your Thanksgiving turkey is any fat or grease—it should be put in the trash, not the garbage disposal, because it can harden and cause problems such as clogs.


We know there are many different stuffing and dressing recipes, and I’m sure your grandmother’s recipe is the best one. So, it is hard to say what can and can’t go down the garbage disposal with this Thanksgiving classic since the ingredients will differ. However, something to remember is that fibrous foods such as onion stalks and celery skins should NOT make their way down the garbage disposal. Homestructions states, “These items can easily entangle the blades causing it to jam.”


Green bean, sweet potato, corn…the endless possibilities of Turkey Day and casseroles! Just like with the stuffing, what can and can’t go down the garbage disposal depends on what type of casserole you are making and what ingredients the recipe calls for. Remember, onion skins should go in the trash, as should potato peels, egg shells, and foods like pasta that can expand and create clogs.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the most beloved Thanksgiving foods. If you opt to make your mashed potatoes from scratch, be sure to throw all the potato peels into the trash can. However, any leftover potatoes can go down the garbage disposal during cleanup. Though, why would there be any leftover mashed potatoes?

Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie

Mmm dessert. Of course, there is nothing like filling up on turkey and potatoes and topping it all with a slice of pie….and ice cream. If pumpkin pie is on the menu, there aren’t too many garbage disposal dangers to worry about- if you are using canned pumpkins. If you choose to make pumpkin pie by cooking up an actual pumpkin, please do not put all the pumpkin innards, including seeds, down the garbage disposal.

Nuts should not go down the disposal, so if you have big chunks of nuts left in any pecan pie leftovers, it is a good idea to throw them in the trash instead of worrying about your garbage disposal blades. Justin Curtis explains, “Do you know how they make nut butter? They put them in grinders into a thick, sticky paste. The same process happens when you put any nut down your garbage disposal.”

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