Learn How to Prevent Freezer Burned Food

What is freezer burn? We’ve heard about it time and again and even see it on TV commercials. But what is it that happens to food that is improperly stored in the freezer?

It’s All About Air

When you pull a steak out of the freezer that looks greyish white and is ringed in ice crystals, that’s freezer burn. The meat has been damaged by air getting into the container – whether that’s a plastic bag or foil.

The food dehydrates and oxidizes and ruins that beautiful piece of meat you planned to grill for Father’s Day.

Ways to Prevent Freezer Burn

There are ways to get around the damage that occurs with freezer burn and it really comes down to the type of container used.

Freezer Containers

These containers actually have a vapor barrier – sort of like the barriers you see on home improvement shows – that keeps the moisture in your food.

And the key to using these kinds of containers is the amount of food placed in them. The more food you stuff into them, the better it is because there is less chance for the moisture to get yanked out and ruin the meal you’re trying to preserve.

Vacuum Sealers

You know what we’re talking about – those devices that suck the air out of storage bags and seals them. It’s a great piece of equipment but can be pricey. Of course, if you’re buying meat in bulk you’ll want to think of a vacuum sealer as a good investment because it saves the money spent on food.

Freezer Bags

There is a way to preserve food in the freezer without the expense of a vacuum sealer device and you probably have it right in your pantry.

It’s a straw.

Here’s what you do: Place the food you want to freeze into as small a freezer bag as possible. Close up the opening until just a small portion is open. Insert the straw and suck air as hard as you can and close it up tight.

It won’t take out all the air but it’s pretty close and will hopefully save your food from freezer burn. It’s impossible to get out nearly enough air just by squeezing the freezer bag with your hands.

preserve food in the freezer

Freezer 101

Make sure your freezer temperature remains stable. Fluctuating temperatures in self-defrosting freezers can cause melting and freezer burn.

Also try to keep your freezer at least 75% full so your food stays cold. It’s also a benefit if you lose power because the frozen foods will stay colder longer.

Repack Frozen Foods

If you’ve used a portion of frozen food bought from the store and just tossed the container back in the freezer, you’re on the path to freezer burn.

Taking a few minutes to repack the remaining frozen food into a freezer bag is the best defense. Just slip the open box or bag into a freezer bag or even put the frozen food into a rigid freezer container to play it safe.

It takes a bit of thinking ahead but you can avoid freezer burn by using a freezer container or getting as much air out of a freezer bag as possible.

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