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Freezer burn does not make food unsafe, merely dry in spots. It appears as grayish-brown leathery spots and is caused by air reaching the surface of the food. Simply cut these portions away either before or after cooking.
By Ron from Cortez, CO
I ran across a method using Cool Whip topping to slather on frozen freezer burned meat. I have only tried this on some Rib Eye and T Bone steaks. With such high dollar meat, I really didn't want to throw them out. I placed the steaks on a spread layer of the Cool Whip on a tray. I slathered more all over the top and sides. No meat was showing through the Cool Whip. I left it to defrost, for several hours at room temperature. I have also done this by placing the meat into the refrigerator. Results were surprising. I could not detect freezer burn at all. My wife, who will not eat anything freezer burned(I've tried using it in a stew), to her credit tried the steak, and couldn't detect the bad freezer burn flavor. It was gone. We both enjoyed the steaks. The only drawback is if you are used to using a flavored marinade, you won't be able to using this method. We usually only put pepper on ours anyways. Try this on your freezer burned steak. The information I saw on this said it was something to do with the non dairy aspect of Cool Whip. I don't have an explanation, but now I always buy Cool whip for just such emergencies., not just for desert.
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When meat has freezer burn, is it safe to simmer it down for a soup stock or should I throw it out?
By Sandra from PA
If the meat is not badly freezer burned, trim the burned areas and use it. I have done so with no ill effects. If badly burned, or if you decide not to use it, you could offer the frozen meat on Freecycle. People who feed their animals a raw diet would love to have it. I've done this too. (05/18/2010)
By jean leiner
Do not eat it. Federal safe food guidelines say no. (05/18/2010)
As long as you originally froze it by the original "sell by date" and it has not been thawed even once since then it is completely safe to eat according to the FDA and simply won't be as tasty. I am not sure if you would want to use it to make soup stock though because the flavor is degraded once freezer burned, but you can use it to bulk up soup or skillet recipes. Please be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator though. (05/18/2010)
The trouble with anything that's freezer-burnt is that a lot of times it has a bad taste to it. (05/20/2010)
Is there any way to marinade, cook, etc. meat that is freezer burned?
By Sherri Lile
I suggest not to cook or eat freezer burned meat, good luck. (01/25/2010)
I found this on an educational website which is listed below, the info is on freezer burned meat. I have used freezer burned boneless skinless chicken breast. I just cut off the freezer burn pieces and cooked the rest. No problem.
Here is the info:
Question 3: Is it safe to eat food that has "freezer burn"?
Answer: "Freezer burn", a condition in which the surface of food appears light-colored and dried out, occurs when moisture on the surface evaporates. Proper cooling, air removal, moisture-vapor-resistant packaging, a tight seal and an appropriate length of storage help prevent freezer burn. Keep your freezer at 0 F or lower.
While a food with freezer burn is safe to eat, the quality is lower. You can cut away freezer burn spots either before or after cooking. If a food is heavily freezer-burned, it may be desirable to discard it for quality reasons.
For more information about how to freeze food to help prevent freezer burn, check these links:
Containers for Freezing
National Center for Home Food Preservation
Packaging and Labeling Foods
National Center for Home Food Preservation
I recently found a three year old chuck steak in my freezer. It appeared badly freezer burned, but had been frozen solid the whole time, so I felt it was safe to eat. I cut it into small cubes, browned it on the stovetop, then put it in the crock pot with sauteed onions and bell peppers, and a mixture of barbecue sauce and ketchup. It turned out fine, and I had no ill effects. (01/27/2010)