Keeping Your Frozen Foods Fresher – Preventing Freezer Burn

Have you ever taken food out of your freezer only to find that its covered in ice crystals, discolored, and has areas on its surface that appear dried out or leathery? If so, youve seen the effects of freezer burn first hand.
If youve prepared food that was freezer burnt, you probably found that it didnt taste or smell quite right. While freezer burnt foods are generally safe to eat, their taste, smell and texture may be unappealing, and the food may go to waste. To get the most out of your food budget, you want to do everything possible to keep your frozen foods fresh. Otherwise, you are just throwing money away.
Freezer burn happens when moisture within frozen foods is drawn to the surface, turns to ice crystals, causing the food to dehydrate. Water evaporates at low temperatures (even well below the freezing point) as well as high temperatures. It just evaporates more slowly at low temperatures. Exposure to air is the culprit. If food is loosely packaged and exposed to air, it will develop freezer burn. To keep your frozen food fresher, here are some tips to avoid freezer burn:
When freezing pre-wrapped foods, consider double wrapping them or placing the packages in tightly sealed plastic bags for additional protection.
Wrap foods tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Label and date packages so you know how long its been in the freezer.
When using freezer bags, squeeze out the air as you seal them. You can even use straw to suck out air. Label and date.
Fill containers completely, only allowing space for expansion during freezing.
Freezer-safe glass containers allow less air infiltration.
Place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of soups and stews before sealing the container.
Set your freezer temperature below 0 Fahrenheit. Buy a freezer thermometer to insure the temperature controls are accurate.
Never put warm items directly in the freezer. For best results, cool to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator before freezing.
Open the freezer door as little as possible. A separate chest freezer (with manual defrost) is best for dedicated long-term storage of frozen foods. BOLA TANGKAS