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Freezer "burn" is caused by air getting into freezer containers. Unless you vacuum seal, there will be air in any container. Any small air space will cause freezer "burn". The longer the item is kept in the freezer, the more freezer "burn" there will be.
There are two ways to minimize freezer "burn" in any type of container. The idea is to cover the surface of the frozen food.
Before freezing completely cover the top of the food with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap into the top, smooth out top to eliminate any air. If it is a liquid such as soup, press plastic wrap into the liquid to cover. Cover with tight lid.
Or freeze the contents, this usually takes 12-24 hours. Remove from freezer and crumple plastic wrap and completely cover the frozen top. Cover with a tight lid.
Using plastic wrap as a cover will prevent air from coming in contact with the frozen food. If the lid is not tight enough, cover the top with more plastic wrap, this will tighten the seal.
By it's.only.me from NE PA
I love using zip lock bags for freezing meats and sauces, but do not like the expense. I also double the bags when freezing to prevent freezer burn.
So, I first put the sauce or meat into a recycled plastic or waxed bag, and close it with tape or twist tie. Then, I put the bagged food into the zip lock. By doing it this way, I'm able to reuse the zip lock over and over again.
By carla from Greensboro, NC
My friends and family frequently mention how successful I am at freezing cooked foods. Most of you probably know this already, but air is the enemy of food preservation. If I have a cake (iced or plain) or casserole to freeze, I cover it with stretch wrap. I then wrap it tightly with aluminum foil. After that I put it in a 2 gallon freezer bag, pushing out all of the air before sealing. Everything is triple wrapped, with as much air removed as possible.
Also, I don't place it against the freezer wall but allow some air space around it. I do stack items and sometimes put cardboard between the containers, especially if they're heavy.
Small items are simpler. I wrap tightly with stretch wrap, then a zip bag or aluminum foil, and another zip bag. I never allow aluminum foil to touch the food. I mark and date the item on the aluminum foil and re-use my bags.
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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.
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.
Freezer burned meat is not as delicious as meat that has been frozen properly. If you would like to avoid getting freezer burn on your meat you can use foil to prevent meat freezer burn.
There is nothing more disappointing than finding a carton of ice cream that shows signs of freezer burn. Learn the best way to store ice cream without freezer burn or other damage.
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I love using zip lock bags for freezing meats and sauces, but do not like the expense. I also double the bags when freezing to prevent freezer burn. So, I first put the sauce or meat into a recycled plastic or waxed bag, and close it with tape or twist tie. Then, I put the bagged food into the zip lock. By doing it this way, I'm able to reuse the zip lock over and over again.
By carla from Greensboro, NC
Great idea! One more use I can put all those plastic grocery bags to. Not to mention bread bags and cereal box wax paper. Thanks! (09/05/2009)
Just make sure the recycled bag has never contained any meat products before. Otherwise, you can risk getting food poisoning. Take it from one who knows, it's a lot cheaper to buy bags, than to pay for a trip to E.R. :-( (01/20/2010)