You open your freezer to get a meal or snack, only to discover it’s been a bit of time since you did so. Your food looks like it’s got a bad case of freezer burn. What do you do now? Is freezer burn safe to eat? How did it happen in the first place? Let’s dig in.
What Is Freezer Burn?
First, let’s define freezer burn. Freezer burn happens when your food isn’t securely wrapped in air-tight packaging before it’s frozen. Through dehydration and oxidation, the food gets damaged spots. They look like grayish brown, leathery spots on meat or white splotches on other foods.
Freezer Burn Prevention
To prevent freezer burn from occurring, make sure to securely wrap all your food. Wrap large items in double layers of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or wax paper. Then put them inside freezer bags. If you’re buying pre-portioned food, ensure the wrapping is designed for freezer storage.
For smaller items, place them in portion-sized containers. This reduces the amount of air trapped in the container with the foods.
Just securely wrapping your foods won’t completely keep them safe from freezer burn. You must also try not to let the food sit in the freezer for extended periods. The longer it’s exposed to air, the more likely freezer burn will occur.
Another freezer burn prevention tip is to use a vacuum sealer. If you have one, sucking all the air out with a vacuum sealer ensures the water inside the food doesn’t have room to evaporate and dehydrate.
If you don’t have a sealer, place a barely closed freezer bag in a pot full of water. The pressure from the water forces the air out; close the bag just before it sinks for maximum expulsion.
Another tip is to place an open cup of water in your freezer. As it evaporates, even frozen, it increases the humidity in the freezer. This increases the hydration of the other foods.
One last freezer burn prevention tip is to dip your food in water before wrapping it. The added layer of moisture will evaporate before the moisture in your food, helping it stay fresher for longer.
Is Freezer Burn Safe to Eat?
The good news is, yes! Freezer burn does not change the quality of the food. It will, however, change the taste. It’s best to cut off burned portions of meat and fish before eating it if you care about the flavor.
As always, make sure you froze your food fresh and that you thaw it properly before you eat it.
Frozen Foods from Den’s Hot Dogs
Shop our offerings of hot dogs, sandwiches, and meals. Stock up your freezer so you never have to wonder what to make for dinner.