What is freezer burn? How to spot it on my food?
Freezer burn happens when the frozen food is dehydrated. This occurs as the liquid inside the frozen food begins to evaporate, leaving dry spots or icy crystals behind. This results your food having dry, rubbery texture and lacking flavour.
Freezer burn situation differs for different food and to different degrees. Generally, when you see ice crystals on your frozen food or grey and dark spot on the texture. Currently, several factors are established that cause freezer burn such as excess air in packaging and fluctuating freezer temperature.
Why does freezer burn happen?
2 main categories of causes that allow freeze burn to occur, broken freezer and user error. Unless your freezer is broken, most of the time freezer burn is caused by user ourselves.
- Opening the freezer too often
- Setting temperature too low
- Packaging the food with too much air
- Packaging the food with non-airtight bag
How to tell if it was your freezer that is broken then? There are simple telltale signs of malfunction freezer such as:
- Freezer gasket has become hard, less flexible or loose
- Freezer makes abnormal loud noises while working
- Freezer fails to maintain internal temperature consistently
- Condenser freezes with icy crystal
Not all malfunctions are easy to spot or tell. Thus, it is wise to call a technician for equipment check-up every six months or annually.
How to prevent freezer burn?
1. Vacuum the air out
Air is the main reason causing freezer burn. Eliminating the opportunity for moisture to evaporate helps drastically in preventing freezer burn.
Vacuum sealing machine is highly recommended as it gives you the best result especially when you are storing frozen food in bulk. Otherwise, if you are looking for a less pricey option, freezer-safe bags are also available. Pressing all the air out of the bag before freezing.
2. Cool them before freezing them
Never add hot food into the freezer. It generates extra moisture evaporation as the steam evaporates, turn into icy crystals. Thus, always cool your food completely to room temperature or in a chiller until cool then store in the freezer. Ideally, you want the food to be frozen within 2 hours.