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What is freezer burn, and how do you prevent it?

Helping prevent freezer burn is easier than you might think

What causes freezer burn? The answer is fairly simple – when food is exposed to cold, dry air, the outer layers lose moisture. This leads to dry sections that can affect the look, taste and texture of meats, produce and other frozen products. Freezer burned foods are still safe to eat, but it may not be an appetizing experience.

To keep your favourite foods looking and tasting great, read these tips on how to help prevent freezer burn on meat, vegetables and other essentials.

1) Prepare your food for freezing

Since the cause of freezer burn is exposure to cold, dry air, it’s important to do all you can to keep food sealed tight. When freezing meat, preventing freezer burn starts with wrapping it in multiple layers of plastic wrap, wax paper or tin foil. Before freezing vegetables, you will need to blanch them – this keeps them fresher longer by inhibiting enzymes.

2) Use the right storage containers

After you’ve prepared your food for freezing, you’ll need to place it in the proper containers to protect it from accidental exposure. Depending on your budget and the type of food, you can use freezer bags, freezer-ready plastic containers, freezer-safe glass or a sealed vacuum bag.

Place your items into your preferred container and pack them down to help prevent excess air exposure. If you are using a bag, try to eliminate as much air from it as possible.

A freezer with an open door displaying food and ice.

3) Set freezers to the proper temperature

Preventing freezer burn is a priority, but that doesn’t mean you should risk food spoilage. Whenever you freeze food, make sure that your freezer is set to the proper temperature – zero or below.

While it’s tempting to think that a warmer freezer will help keep food from getting freezer burn, setting a freezer at a higher temperature could put food into a “danger zone” where it will be at risk of bacteria or mold contamination. Don’t chance it!

4) Rotate your foods to help prevent freezer burn

While there are plenty of ways to help prevent freezer burn in the short term, the fact of the matter is that all foods will eventually succumb if left in the freezer too long. That’s why it’s important to rotate food frequently and label all containers with the date that a food was frozen. That will make it easier to eat everything before freezer burn sets in.

An open freezer drawer filled with frozen pizza and other frozen prepared foods.

If you’re looking for refrigerators and freezers to keep family favourites fresh, you’ve come to the right place. Find the perfect refrigerator, freezer or ice maker for your home here.