How can I prevent freezer burn on frozen vegetables?
By Cat from Florence, SC
The container should be air tight. There should be no open space around the product you have frozen. When I freeze single portions of food and put several into a ziplock bag, I wrap the portions in seram wrap before putting them into the ziplock.
Use butcher paper to wrap them in. It is the paper that all meats, etc. used to come in from butcher shops, and it is the best way to prevent freezer burn on all things. You don't have to buy "special' tape, almost any will do. What I normally use is a huge tape of Walmart's duct tape which is the cheapest. Mainstays, I think it is called. These can actually be cut in two strips they are so wide, and makes it even more economical.
I am single, but buy family packs of meat as it's cheaper. I tear off pieces of paper, get the tape ready and put one edge on the oven "door opener," then I package a bunch at one time, mark what it is with sharpie and date it, and off to the freezer it goes!
Put freezer wrapped articles in a brown paper sack in the freezer. It really does the trick for me.
Air is deadly to freezer foods, exposing surfaces to eventual burn. A relative takes the air out of her foods before freezing by inserting the opened plastic freezer bags in a sinkful of water. Keeping the top slightly open, squeeze out as much air as possible using the water presure to help. Without getting water into the top of the bag, seal, and dry the outside of the bag before freezing. Works like a charm, and no expensive/electrical sealing machines needed!
It helps to use good quality plastic bags designed for the freezer. Don't bother using cheap thin ones. Nothing helps those.
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Tips to help you prevent freezer burn. Post your ideas.
Save all the thin plastic bags that you bring home with produce in them. Then, when you freeze chicken or meat in ziplock bags, first put them in a produce bag and push out as much air as possible. Insert into your ziplock and seal it. This will serve two purposes. It will cut down on freezer burn, and it keeps the ziplock clean and reusable for additional freezing. Plus, you can put several packages into one ziplock.
I don't think using produce bags is such a good idea unless you wash the bags out first. We are trained to wash the produce before eating etc. There "could" be a residue of anything in those produce bags. Please rethink this answer. And I would hope that the ziploc bags were washed and dried. I like to use plastic bread size containers and use my plastic lids for separators etc. I fast freeze the items overnight and then put items in their containers. I do the same thing with some fruits. Zip lock bags are a waste. You can't recycle them. End product just has to go in garbage. (08/30/2005)
I agree with Harlean. Placing a plastic wrap or a thin plastic bag from the grocery store around the non frozen meat/item and then placing that into another bag, a ziploc bag for example, will create less freezer burn on the item than Eloise's suggestion for fast freezing the items and then later placing them into a container. Her way of doing things will leave the freezer air with the ability to "touch" the item, thereby causing freezer burn a lot sooner.
Eloise's idea of "residue" in the plastic bags is not something that I personally would worry about. The meat that I just froze in the plastic bag will be cooked and eaten later. There is too much to enjoy in this world without worrying about one little piece of "residue" in a reused plastic bag.
Items made with a sauce, soups, chilies, etc. are all items that will last for years in the freezer because air cannot get at the items. You can even put a layer of plastic wrap on the top of the soup/sauce before freezing to make it 100% air tight. (08/30/2005)
We used to buy the regular zip lock bags and use them to freeze everything. Only problem with the regular bags, they are too thin and will only prevent freezer burn for a short time.
Now we buy the zip lock bags specifically made for freezing. They are much thicker and do a better job.
If you are going to freeze items for a very long time, place the item in the freezer zip lock bag, press out all of the air, then place that bag into another freezer zip lock bag, again press out all of the air. We do this with everything and we never have any freezer burned items. (09/15/2005)