Today we’re addressing an issue that so many of us have to deal with; Freezer Burn. Freezers are an amazing tool for our kitchens and also save us money, and save the planet wastage, but if we get this nasty ‘burn’ on our food, if affects the way it looks and tastes, and not for the better. Food doesn’t resemble the item you put in the freezer all those months again and looks a shadow of its former self.
So what is freezer burn? Basically, it is imperfection caused to the food in your freezer which comes from dehydration and oxidation from the air surrounding the food. The evaporation of water means it is effectively sucked out of the food you’ve frozen, which causes the problem.
The effects are often visible, food can come out looking a bit ‘off’ – for instance meat looking discolored after being left in a freezer. Luckily, there are things you can do. Of course, if you hadn’t already guessed, Vacuum Sealing is the method we truly recommend, but there are some other things you can do to help, so lets quickly address those first:
- Keep your freezer pretty full. If it is emptier then the temperature is a lot less stable. It is also best practice purely because if anything happens the food will stay cold for longer, so a short power outage doesn’t necessarily mean spoilage.
- Let food cool before you put it in the freezer as temperature changes are likely to cause problems.
- Don’t leave the door open any longer than you need to, for the same reasons!
Why A Vacuum Sealer is the Answer
Nothing in current technology is as good as a vacuum sealer at preventing freezer burn. Basically, the better the food is wrapped and protected, the less likely it is to be a problem, but doing this manually is never going to be perfect. As it is the oxygen which causes the issue, the way to get rid of it is to tightly vacuum seal the product with a foodsaver or other style of vacuum sealer. They don’t have to cost the earth, and they can prove the perfect assistant to your freezer, preventing oxidation and salvaging the taste of your food.
Can’t I just pack it really right? Well, air tight packaging is helpful, and if you wrap food tightly in cling film and put it into an air tight container then it is better than just chucking it into the freezer, but the oxygen will be considerably higher than if you have the capacity to vacuum seal it!
As always, for meat we tend to recommend something such as the Foodsaver Gamesaver Outdoorsman which is wonderful for big quantities, but it may be that a handheld sealer and one of the gun style vacuum sealers will do the job for you. A vacuum sealer is worth the investment for preventing freezer burn.