Freezers are magical home equipment: They permit us to avoid wasting selfmade soups and sauces for months on finish, hold ice cream frozen for our day by day after-dinner sundaes, and retailer ice for cocktail events (a should). As important as it’s to freeze leftovers and frozen pizzas for zippy suppers, freezers aren’t all the time our buddies. In reality, they will generally be the foe—particularly, when so-called “freezer burn” infiltrates our provide of frozen meals.
Let’s get one factor clear: Freezer-burned meals is totally fit for human consumption. In keeping with the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA), “freezer burn is a food-quality subject, not a meals security subject.” The FDA notes that freezer burn usually presents itself as “as grayish-brown leathery spots” on the meals in query. So though freezer burn doesn’t all the time look or style fairly proper, it doesn’t imply your meals is spoiled or in any other case dangerous if consumed.
That being mentioned, freezer burn can render the objects in your freezer wholly unappetizing, masking them in swaths of ice crystals and leaving them with a bland, off style. So how does freezer burn kind? It’s truly fairly easy: As Shelly Schmidt, professor of meals chemistry on the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, defined, freezer burn is just a byproduct of moisture loss, or dehydration.
When meals is uncovered to the chilly, dry setting of a freezer, its water content material—within the type of ice—undergoes sublimation, a course of by which solids are remodeled straight right into a gaseous state. After this ice is drawn out from frozen meals as vapor, it’s then redeposited on the floor as ice crystals. Because of this freezer burn so usually leads to meals that’s concurrently discolored, shriveled, or leathery and lined in ice crystals.
Okay, however how do I keep away from freezer burn within the first place?
Now that we’ve cleared up what freezer burn truly is, we’re in a greater place to guard our meals from its not-so-tasty results. As a result of freezer burn outcomes from contact with the freezer’s chilly, dry air, the best technique to keep away from the issue is by minimizing that publicity within the first place.
“Various kinds of [materials] will fluctuate in how a lot air they let by them, in addition to odors and what we name moisture vapor, or airborne moisture,” says Elizabeth Andress, meals security specialist and professor of meals and vitamin on the College of Georgia. Plastic or silicone zip-top baggage are one nice possibility for limiting air publicity, and for bigger objects, double-wrapping first with plastic wrap after which with heavy-duty aluminum foil will do the trick.
Although these options are fairly strong, in the event you’re searching for the utmost stage of safety towards freezer burn, you might wish to chew the bullet and buy a vacuum sealer—particularly in the event you plan on freezing meals usually and for lengthy intervals of time. “Along with pulling the air out of the package deal, they’re much extra preventative at letting something [in the air] transmit by the plastic itself,” says Andress.
Whether or not you’re utilizing a high-tech vacuum sealer or good ol’ cling wrap, the identical precept applies: Hold your frozen meals wrapped as securely and tightly as potential. Your make-ahead meals, ice cream, and dino nuggets will thanks.
What’s your favourite tip for avoiding dreaded freezer burn? Inform us within the feedback!