What is Freezer Burn? | PCRichard.com
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What is Freezer Burn?

Berries with Freezer BurnFreezer burn: the oxymoron that's a menace to frozen foods everywhere. Freezer burn is the term for the dry patches that appear on foods left in the freezer for too long, most often seen in the form of white blotches of ice crystals. Whether it's a carton of ice cream, some uncooked chicken, or the bulk-buy veggies that you promised yourself you'd eventually eat, discovering freezer burn's ravage on your food is never a nice surprise. Knowing how freezer burn happens is important in preventing it in the future, so here's a quick roundup of the most common freezer-burn questions and answers!

What causes freezer burn?

"Sublime" is probably not an adjective you'd use to describe freezer burn, but its root cause is a process called sublimation. That's when a substance changes from a solid directly into a gas without passing through the liquid stage. For instance, have you ever noticed that ice cubes start to shrink if they go unused in the freezer? This is because the surrounding cold, dry air gradually draws their moisture out and the frozen water sublimes into vapor. If a food item isn't properly covered while in storage, sublimation causes it to become terribly dry.

What does freezer burn look like?

Freezer burn appears in the form of white, sharp ice crystals forming on the actual surface of the food. Frost on the packaging isn't necessarily a deal breaker, but ice crystals on the food's surface are a major red flag. You may also notice discoloration and wrinkling on the food surface.

Can you eat freezer-burned food?

You certainly can, but it's not recommended! Freezer-burned foods will have an awful taste, an off-putting texture, and a diminished nutritional value, but they are perfectly safe to eat. There's no mold or bacteria involved in freezer burn – just dehydration. If you're looking for instructions on how to get rid of the freezer-burn taste, your best bet is to just cut off the freezer-burnt parts.

Can freezer burn be reversed?

Unfortunately not. Once freezer burn has happened, it cannot be undone. As we said earlier, freezer-burned parts of foods can be cut off, but it's much easier to just not have to deal with it in the first place. Take the proper preventative measures before freezer burn even has a chance!

Berries Sealed in Freezer BagHow can I prevent freezer burn?

Wrap it up! If you want to know how to avoid freezer burn, minimizing contact between air and food is the key. Ideally, you'll want to use a vacuum sealer to pack your freezer-bound foods in an airtight closure. If a vacuum sealer isn't readily available, tightly-bundled plastic wrap can be very effective too. Resealable freezer bags can be a good option, but you'll need to drain as much air from it as possible before storing it, which some find tricky. No matter which method you use, any barrier helps!


Now that you know how to get the most mileage out of your frozen goods, why not expand your home's available freezer space? At P.C. Richard & Son, we've got a freezer selection that includes chest freezers as well as upright models to suit every space consideration and budget. For the best freezers at the guaranteed lowest prices, shop P.C. Richard & Son today!

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