Freezers are magical appliances: They allow us to save do-it-yourself soups and sauces for months on conclude, hold ice cream frozen for our daily after-evening meal sundaes, and retailer ice for cocktail parties (a will have to). As vital as it is to freeze leftovers and frozen pizzas for zippy suppers, freezers aren’t often our mates. In actuality, they can often be the foe—namely, when so-named “freezer burn” infiltrates our supply of frozen foods.
Let’s get a single thing apparent: Freezer-burned meals is fully safe and sound to eat. According to the Foods and Drug Administration (Fda), “freezer burn is a food items-top quality situation, not a foodstuff basic safety challenge.” The Fda notes that freezer burn off generally offers alone as “as grayish-brown leathery spots” on the foods in concern. So even even though freezer burn doesn’t constantly glimpse or style very ideal, it does not signify your food is spoiled or normally dangerous if eaten.
That being stated, freezer burn off can render the merchandise 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 up kind? It’s actually very very simple: As Shelly Schmidt, professor of foodstuff chemistry at the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, described, freezer burn off is only a byproduct of dampness reduction, or dehydration.
When foods is exposed to the cold, dry atmosphere of a freezer, its drinking water content—in the variety of ice—undergoes sublimation, a system by which solids are remodeled instantly into a gaseous condition. Immediately after this ice is drawn out from frozen food as vapor, it is then redeposited on the surface as ice crystals. This is why freezer burn so normally final results in food items that’s simultaneously discolored, shriveled, or leathery and covered in ice crystals.
Alright, but how do I steer clear of freezer melt away in the 1st area?
Now that we have cleared up what freezer burn up really is, we’re in a improved area to shield our meals from its not-so-tasty effects. Since freezer burn outcomes from get hold of with the freezer’s chilly, dry air, the most straightforward way to stay away from the issue is by reducing that exposure in the very first area.
“Different forms of [materials] will vary in how a lot air they permit by way of them, as effectively as odors and what we get in touch with dampness vapor, or airborne dampness,” says Elizabeth Andress, foods basic safety specialist and professor of foodstuff and nourishment at the College of Ga. Plastic or silicone zip-leading bags are a single wonderful choice for limiting air publicity, and for more substantial products, double-wrapping first with plastic wrap and then with heavy-obligation aluminum foil will do the trick.
Although these answers are rather stable, if you’re searching for the utmost degree of security in opposition to freezer burn up, you might want to bite the bullet and buy a vacuum sealer—especially if you prepare on freezing foodstuff usually and for very long durations of time. “In addition to pulling the air out of the package deal, they are considerably more preventative at allowing something [in the air] transmit by the plastic itself,” claims Andress.
Regardless of whether you are using a higher-tech vacuum sealer or superior ol’ cling wrap, the exact same theory applies: Maintain your frozen food items wrapped as securely and tightly as doable. Your make-forward meals, ice product, and dino nuggets will thank you.
What is actually your favourite tip for steering clear of dreaded freezer burn? Notify us in the comments!