There are few things that will ruin your meal as quickly as pulling a bag out of the freezer only to find that freezer burn has taken place. Not only does freezer burn alter the taste of your food, but it could also change its nutritional value and make it exceptionally difficult to cook. If you have recently purchased a vacuum sealer, and want to keep your food as fresh as possible, keep these storage tips in mind that will help you prevent freezer burn.
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What Is Freezer Burn?
In order to prevent freezer burn, everyone should understand exactly what it is and why it takes place. Freezer burn is the catch-all term that is used when water crystals form on the outside of frozen food. This can take place in foods ranging from steaks and hot dogs to ice cream and vegetables. Freezer burn typically happens when all of the moisture has been pulled out of the food. While freezer burn is not necessarily dangerous, it can drastically alter the taste and aroma of the food as well as how well it can be cooked.
Toss Older Food
A vacuum sealer will dramatically improve the lifespan of your frozen foods, but everything is going to expire at some point. This is especially true of fresh foods such as vegetables that have not been treated with preservatives or additives. In many homes, it is going to be the older food that has long since lost its flavor that is going to develop freezer burn. Be sure to label and date all of your frozen food and then cook or clear out food well before it expires.
Keep Your Freezer at a Consistent Temperature
Any major fluctuations in the freezer’s temperature will increase the risk of freezer burn. This means that everyone in your home should do everything possible to keep the freezer at a steady temperature. First, freezers should be kept closed as much as possible as even a minute or two of leaving it open to put away food could lead to some sanitation problems. You also want to refrain from putting any hot foods in the freezer as it could contaminate all nearby foods. Finally, consider putting some bags of water in the freezer which will freeze and help maintain the temperature.
Limit the Food’s Contact With Air
Using a vacuum sealer is one of the best ways to prevent freezer burn, but you should also take every opportunity to limit how much air your food is exposed to. If you plan on sealing and freezing food that you are preparing, lay out everything you will need so that you can get the food into the freezer as quickly as possible. When you are not using a vacuum sealer with frozen foods, attempt to get as much air out of the package as possible. Foods like juices will store best if there is little or no air in the container.