Don't let freezer burn ruin good food. With a little preventative measure and proper storage you can keep those steaks you stashed away delicious and fresh instead of freezer burned and chewy. Photo by Clicksy.
Freezer burn is, technical terms aside, the effect of water slowly being drawn out of food in your freezer and redeposited on the surface of the food. Everything from steak to ice cream can succumb to freezer burn. The process doesn't make the food unsafe, assuming the food has remained in the freezer during the whole process, but it does alter the taste significantly.
Freezer burned steak for, for example, will taste tough and bland because the process of freezer burning essentially turns the meat into jerky. Freezer burned ice cream takes on a strange chewy texture like that of taffy. You could safely eat both, but—blech—only if it's for dire need of sustenance.
What can you do to stave off the onset of freezer burn? Over at wikiHow, they've put together a how-to guide to combating freezer burn. The biggest thing you can do is to ensure stable temperatures. Strong fluctuations in temperature within your freezer are almost a guarantee of freezer burn.
- Try to not open the freezer unless you have to and, when you do, don't linger with the door open, peering into the frozen abyss.
- Fill plastic containers with water and put them in the freezer. Make sure there's room for expansion. This will help stabilise the temperature in the freezer.
- Don't put hot food directly into the freezer. Sticking hot food in the freezer can cause a drastic change in temperature. Put it in the refrigerator first to let it cool before freezing.
For more tips on keeping your food free from freezer burn, check out the full guide at the link below to learn more about packaging and storage. If you've got a trick or two of your own for keeping frozen food nice and fresh, sound off in the comments below.
Prevent Freezer Burn [wikiHow]