Are you properly utilizing your freezer? If all that’s in there is ice cream, frozen dinners, and ice cubes, then the answer is no. If you want to save money (and time), you need to freeze food! Between making freezer meals, saving leftovers, and freezing excess food you got on sale, your freezer can really help you save money! But if you don’t freeze your food correctly, you may find it ruined by freezer burn. To prevent that, here are some handy tips on How to Freeze Food and Prevent Freezer Burn!
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Freezer burn can happen in any freezer, regardless of size, but overstuffing your freezer can increase your foods’ risk of freezer burn. If you just have the freezer that came with your fridge, you may want to consider getting a separate upright freezer or chest freezer. They come in many different sizes and at different price points, so there’s likely one out there that will fit your space and your budget. We have an upright freezer, and we consider it a great investment! We can take advantage of bulk sales, and have a lot of space for freezer meals!
How to Freeze Food and Prevent Freezer Burn
Freezer burn happens when frozen food dries out. It can occur because of air hitting the food, or water evaporating from the food due to an inconsistent freezer temperature. It’s the reason why you can’t just throw food into the freezer with no packaging, and it’s also why you don’t want to stand with the freezer door open for too long. Freezer burn is usually distinguishable by the food being covered with ice, or changing color (usually darkening). Food that is freezer burnt is still completely safe to eat, but the food may taste bland or metallic. That’s why it’s so important to know these tips on how to prevent freezer burn!
1. Wait Until Cool
The first thing you need to be careful of if you want to freeze food and prevent freezer burn is how hot the food is. If you just took it out of the oven, don’t stick it in the freezer. You need to wait until it cools down. If you put a hot dish in the freezer it could thaw out the foods around it. But you also don’t want to leave food sitting out for too long (two hours or more), for food safety reasons. If the food isn’t cooling down fast enough on its own, you can surround its dish with ice to speed up the process.
2. Add Extra Protection
If you’re freezing something straight from the store that’s in its original packaging, it’s a good idea to add an extra layer of protection via foil, a freezer bag, or just a plastic bag from the store. And if you’re freezing something homemade, you may want to put a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the food, under the lid of the container. This helps prevent frost (and possible freezer burn) from developing on the top of the food.
3. Freeze in Batches
While you may want to spend all day preparing freezer meals, if they’re hot meals you’ll want to make sure you don’t put a ton of them in the freezer at once. Too many non-frozen foods being put in your freezer at one time may increase the freezer’s internal temperature, and the fluctuation could cause freezer burn in your other foods.
4. Don’t Freeze Forever
Your freezer isn’t a magical place to keep food frozen for eternity. To freeze food and prevent freezer burn, you’ll need to remember that food can’t be frozen forever. Some foods should only be frozen for a few months, while others can be frozen for a year, or more. But in general, the longer food is in the freezer, the more likely it will develop freezer burn.
5. Seal Tight
The easiest way to freeze food and prevent freezer burn is to make sure your food is sealed tight in a freezer-safe container with virtually no air. This is why food vacuum sealers can boast such great food storage statistics. If you have an open bag of frozen food, use a rubber band to seal it closed to keep the remaining food safe.
Does your food get freezer burned often?
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