The primary reason for storing or freezing food items is saving money and time. But, it is a never-ending and challenging process that needs strategic shopping. However, sometimes people might have noticed a layer of thick and hard ice coating on it while grabbing their Favorite food out of the freezer. That stubborn ice-covered coating is commonly called freezer burn & unfortunately, it happens frequently with frozen meat.
Freezer burn can change the texture, colour, and, flavour of the food items, especially meat, as the process of oxidation affects pigment and fat. In short, the colour will be unappealing; the flavour will be bad & texture will be mealy or dry.
What Causes Freezer Burn on Meat?
It is caused by exposure of air on meat which will result in dehydration. People should know that several different factors can cause freezer burn & the most important ones are not preserving the meat properly. As compared to meat that burns while cooking, freezer burn will not cause the meat to become charred or blackened. It will show signs of the freezer burn with different indicators & oxygen molecules should be held accountable.
- Dull appearance
- Leathery texture
- Brown or grey in colour
How to Prevent Freezer Burn on Meat?
The best practice to prevent freezer burn on meat is to reduce the exposure of it to cold air. Some other valuable strategies are as follows:
- At a grocery store, frozen meat is packaged carefully in order to keep it away from freezer burn. It is recommended to avoid purchasing meat with damaged or torn wrapping. Always check the expiration dates & buy the package of meat that feels moveable in hand in spite of being stuck together.
- For minimizing the direct contact among cold air and meat to prevent freezer burn on meat, try wrapping it in a secure & protective layer of foil, plastic, or even both. For storing meat, a high-quality vacuum sealer is considered as the best and effective way.
- Apart from plastic or foil, another great thing is to wrap meat in the butcher paper tightly for giving a secure and thick protective layer.
- For preventing freezer burn on meat, avoid fluctuation in the freezer’s temperature.
- If you purchase meat in bulk, then better consider buying a chest freezer. It is an especially designed freezer to maintain a low temperature to keep the meat fresh.
Timelines for Various Types of Meats
Even though people can keep meat forever if it is properly frozen but, for the sake of quality & health, it is advised to consider the suggested timelines when it comes to different types of meat. Here, it is vital to mention that never keep processed meat in the freezer for a longer time.
Moreover, pay special attention to handling, thawing, freezing, &, cooking the meat correctly.
- Hamburger meat- 4-5 months
- Hot dogs- 1-2 months
- Bacon-1 month
- Roasts-5-12 months
- Chops-5-6 months
- Steaks-7-12 months
- Whole turkey or chicken-1 year
- Turkey pieces and chicken-9 months
- It can be kept in the freezer for 3-6 months expect patties and chicken nuggets
In the end, it can be concluded that to prevent freezer burn on meat, package or wrap it well before freezing it & make sure the freezer remains cold enough. Try to use the meat in a timely manner to maintain quality.