Freezer Burn Facts

July 31, 2018

© Ken Backer |

Freezer burn happens to the best of us. From once red beef faded to brown and a layer of ice crystals on the top of your ice cream, there’s no reason to fear freezer burn. First off, freezer burn foods are safe to eat (although the taste may be affected). Freezer burn is just dehydration that happens when your frozen foods are exposed to air. When too much moisture evaporates from the food, the tissue dries out. Freezer burn occurs when the temperature of the freezer is inconsistent and the four biggest culprits are opening the freezer door too often, freezing too much food at once, freezing food that hasn’t been pre-chilled, and not setting the freezer to the right temperature. So with that knowledge, it's pretty easy to stop freezer burn before it happens. Wrap your foods really well to keep as much air out as possible. Use plastic wrap and then put your food in a resealable container. And if you put something in an airtight bag, try to make sure that all of the air has escaped from the bag before you close it up. Make sure you freeze items in small batches. Putting too much thawed food in the freezer at once can increase the temperature of the freezer. Only freeze up to three pounds per cubic foot (food that is already frozen doesn't count) and before transferring food or leftovers to the freezer, chill them in the fridge for one to two hours prior in order to bring down the temperature. A trick for ice cream is to not let the whole carton come to room temperature. Instead, scoop it into a bowl and put that pint back in the freezer! As for the correct temperature, it is true that freezing occurs at 32ºF but your freezer should get colder than that. For basic dials, set your freezer to Cold or Low. For freezers with temperature gauges, set it to 0ºF (-18ºC) and keep it at least 75% full at all times.

SOURCE: Kitchn & WikiHow

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