Freezer burn is the loss of moisture that food may get when incorrectly frozen. The surface appears dry, with white or gray spots. It does have an impact in the texture and flavor of the affected food. Find how to prevent freezer burn.
How to prevent freezer burn
Many of us have had the experience. You are excited about having people over for the cookout. There are plans for good food and good times, which have been in the works for weeks. You bought the burgers, steaks and chicken almost a month ago so there wouldn't be any last minute stress trying to rush to the store. You took precautions to get home quick, while the meat was still cold and to get it, promptly, into the freezer.
The morning of the party, you pull the meat out, only to your horror to find huge ice crystals and a color of meat, which doesn't even classify as a color. You have just been freezer-burned. But you did everything within your power to prevent the icy chill that is well known for ruining parties; or did you? Let's take a deeper look into ways you can prevent freezer burn.
Before we can effectively stop freezer burn, it is important to know what causes it. When foods are frozen, the water inside begins to form ice crystals. While food doesn't freeze at the same time, the ice crystals begin to form on the coldest part. As the crystals form, the water from other areas in the food start to migrate to the coldest part, leaving the rest of the food dehydrated. As freezer burn begins to occur, food may become oxidized where the water has left, changing the smell and flavor, usually for the worse.
Trying to keep your food at a consistent temperature is an important part of stopping freezer burn. This is one reason it is important to keep your freezer as close to the same temperature as possible. It also helps if the freezer is full, so when the door is opened, it doesn't have to work as hard to cool everything down again. It is usually the fluctuation above Zero degrees when frost burn and oxidation occur.
Once the ice crystals begin to form, if any oxygen gets to the food, it will start the oxidation process. In order to prevent oxidation and further freezer burn, it is important to package the food tightly so as little of the surface is exposed as possible. Many people opt for the vacuum sealers, which remove as much air as it can and try to create a seal that does not leak.
Just as important as packaging food for the freezer, is the amount of time you plan on leaving it in the freezer. The longer food is in the freezer, the more opportunity it has to begin the process of freezer burn. There are many tables and charts, which list maximum freezing times for different foods. It is always a good idea to hand write a "best by" date on the package so you know exactly how long it has been in the freezer and if it should still be viable.
Preventing freezer burn is simple as long as you keep a consistent temperature, ensure the proper packaging techniques and don't leave the food in the freezer for too long. Sure, it takes a little more work to keep all of these practices up, but it also keeps money in your pocket by preventing freezer burn and having to throw food away.