No More Freezer Burn
"Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice." — Robert Frost
So, you go to your freezer to reheat one of the beautiful bulk meals that you've so carefully planned, only to find that it resembles a strange crystal geode. If it's your first freezer-burn rodeo and you're filled with grim determination, you might give it a shot, anyway. What you discover is that your perfectly good dish has radically morphed. Its texture is dry and its flavor,"off". Freezer burn can cost you valuable time, effort and money. We hope the following tips help you avoid this common culinary pitfall.
Well, What Is It?
Myth: Freezer burn is caused by super-low freezer temperatures. The truth is that ice crystals form on foods through a process called sublimation. All foods contain water. Foods that contain the highest water content are the most vulnerable. During the freezing process, water molecules migrate to the surface allowing oxygen to desiccate and oxidize the food. This happens at different rates depending on initial water content, temperature fluctuations, storage time and surface area exposure.
The Goldilocks Zone
Myth: Your freezer should be set at 32° Fahrenheit (freezing). The ideal setting is 0° Fahrenheit. It's a good idea to place an appliance thermometer in your unit to make sure it's properly calibrated instead of relying on a "low" or "cold" setting. Variations in temperature can wreak havoc in a freezer. Try not to leave the door open and make sure to fully cool your meals in the fridge before freezing. Make sure that your freezer is never more than 3/4 full so that your vents aren't blocked.
The goal is to minimize your foods' exposure to oxygen. For instance, If you're storing soup in a Tupperware container, place plastic wrap slightly above the liquid and then seal it with the lid. The soup will expand as it freezes and the extra wrap will protect the exposed surface area from trapped air. You can use this double wrapping technique for just about every food you plan to store in your freezer-safe vessels. Never use "storage" or "sandwich" bags. Always look for bags specifically made for the freezer. This applies to containers, as well. They should be labeled "freezer-safe". While an extra layer of plastic wrap or foil provides an additional barrier to freezer burn, they should never be used on their own - only within a container. The more air you can get out of your storage bag or container, the longer the food will last. Air-sealing (CryoVac) is arguably the most effective method of reducing oxygen exposure.
Time Will Tell
All food, no matter how well-stored, will succumb, in time. That's why it's a good idea to date your items and to regularly consume and restock your meals. In other words, rotate the contents of your freezer using the old "FIFO" (first in, first out) method. Depending on the food and how you've stored it, your meals should last anywhere from 1 to 18 months, according to recommended freezer times.
All our delicious offerings are designed to last at least 3 months in your freezer. Our pies are shrink-wrapped in freezer-safe plastic and come in easily stackable, oven-ready paper containers. Explore our full range of inspired options!