The Simple Method To Prevent Freezer Burned Meat

Your freezer is meant to be a safe space in the hectic heat of an active kitchen. A sort of pause button for ingredients and a place to keep your foods protected. But, there are actually some risks associated with putting your meat in the freezer.

Freezer burn sounds dramatic, but the name is not technically accurate as there's no actual burning involved. According to WebMD, freezer burn happens when meats and other foods placed in the freezer for too long begin to lose their moisture, through sublimation — the process by which crystals turn into gaseous form and move to the chilliest parts of your freezer (via Healthline). This will cause the meat to change color and reduce in size in addition to a heavy build-up of ice crystals on the surface of your meat. Freezer-burned meat will also appear different when thawed and will most likely lose its taste. Although it does change the quality of the meat, safety-wise there's really nothing to worry about. Freezer-burned meat is technically safe to consume, if significantly worse-tasting.

Keeping the freezer burn at bay

For food to become freezer-burned it usually has to remain in your freezer for an extended period of time, so one of the best ways to counteract this effect is to keep an accurate and up-to-date inventory of your freezer. Kitchn points out that freezer burn starts to set in around the three-month mark. So, It's important to make sure the inhabitants of your freezer don't overstay their welcome.

Healthline explains that the size of the ice crystals frozen in your food affects the quality of the goods. And, the quicker a substance freezes the smaller the crystals will be, therefore the outlet recommends keeping your freezer at zero degrees Fahrenheit or below, as this is the temperature at which food freezes. 

Reducing your frozen goodie's contact with oxygen is also a safe bet in reducing the likelihood of freezer burn. The Rachel Ray Show suggests you wrap your meat in saran wrap, then cover it with tin foil, then put it into a plastic bag, and finally (and most importantly) write the date and contents on the bag before placing the whole thing in the freezer. This will reduce moisture loss and also remind you what's in your freezer and when you put it in there.