What Thanksgiving Foods Can Go Down the Garbage Disposal?

Find out what favorite 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 if you have a team of cooks prepping the turkey day feast, the kitchen will be a busy place 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 when it comes to 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 clean up, make sure 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.  That should be put in the trash and not the garbage disposal because it can harden and cause problems such as clogs.


Now we know there are many different stuffing and dressing recipes out there, and I’m sure that your grandmother’s 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 keep in mind is that fibrous foods such as onion stalks and celery skins should NOT make their way down the garbage disposal.  Homestructions points out, “These items can easily entangle the blades causing it to jam.”


Green bean, sweet potato, corn…the possibilities are endless when it comes to Turkey Day and casseroles! Just like with the stuffing, what can and can’t go down the garbage disposal will depend upon 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 of the potato peels into the trash can.  However, any leftover potatoes can go down the garbage disposal during clean up.  Though, why would there be any leftover mashed potatoes?

Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie

Mmm dessert.  There is nothing like filling up on turkey and potatoes and topping it all of with a slice of pie….and ice cream, of course.  If pumpkin pie is on the menu, there aren’t too many garbage disposal dangers to worry about- if you are using canned pumpkin.  If you choose to make pumpkin pie by cooking up an actual pumpkin please do not put all of 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 just throw it 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 and grind them into a thick, sticky paste. The same process happens when you put any type of nut down your garbage disposal.”

Have a problem?  Or, would you like to learn more about residential plumbing?  Contact Flame for more information!

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