Have you ever pulled something out of your freezer, only to find it dried out and covered in a hard coating of ice? That’s freezer burn, and it can easily happen to meats and food products that aren’t stored correctly.
When storing and transporting food products, not only is the right temperature important, but so too is the way you package and seal them.
Freezer burn happens often with meats (but it can happen to all food products) when they aren’t sealed tightly enough and become exposed to the frosty air in freezer.
It works like this: as the temperatures dips below freezing, water sometimes evaporates out of the meat, and when it hits the air and freezes, it results in ice crystals. Where the evaporated water once was, there are now small cavities or pockets, ultmately exposing the meat to more air.
So not only does it coat the meat in hard ice crystals, but it dries it out inside too, alters the flavour, and makes the colour unappetising. That’s not what you want if you have to serve the meat to the public, say if you’re a small business owner or restaurant, or even if you’re cooking for your friends and family.
What to do
Don’t worry, it’s entirely preventable. All you need to do is follow these steps for the best ways to prevent freezer burn:
- If you have large amounts of meats or food products, it might help to package pieces individually or in smaller amounts, reducing the air around them.
- Always seal products in air-tight packaging. Squeeze as much air out of the bags or packaging as possible.
- If you can, use vacuum sealed packaging to ensure its air-tight.
- Store meats and foods for their recommended length of time. Storing them for longer can increase the chances of freezer burn.