You can easily fix a certain percentage of freezer burn effects on food but you can not completely get rid of the damage it causes on the taste quality. There are however a few tricks that you can use to improve the taste of freezer burnt food.
To get rid of freezer burn taste, trim off the affected area and use the remaining part in stews or soups ensuring to simmer a little longer to rehydrate it then add spices and herbs to improve the flavor. For fruits, simply slice them into fairly thin sizes, dehydrate them completely and enjoy your fruit jerky.
What does freezer burn taste like?
Freezer burned foods tend to taste dry and almost flavorless due to the loss of water molecules containing much of the food’s flavor. They can also absorb flavors from strongly flavored foods near them hence altering their taste. Although the taste can be unpleasant, the food is usually edible but, you may need to discard those with severe freezer burns.
Here are some effects that freezer burn can cause on food:
- Discoloration: Freezer-burned food such as meat may have brown or grayish spots on the affected area due to oxidation caused by overexposure to air.
- Loss of flavor: Due to excessive loss of water, the food will have a dry (flavorless) taste and may also taste like the foods stored next to them especially if they were strongly flavored.
- Texture change: Affected food may become shriveled, tough, and have a leathery feel due to loss of water as if it were in a food dehydrator.
Can you reverse freezer burn?
While it is impossible to reverse freezer-burned food to its original taste, you can improve its taste by removing the freezer-burned portions and flavoring the dish with herbs and spices like basil, rosemary, cilantro, etc.
You can try pairing freezer-burned food with the right ingredients or pair it with the suitable meals that will camouflage the freezer burn taste.
How to Get Rid of Freezer Burn Taste
Since freezer burn does not ruin food, there are several ways to add flavor. Here’s a list of freezer burnt foods and how to get rid of the unpleasant taste;
1. Freezer-burned meat
To improve the taste in freezer-burned meat such as beef, chicken, or turkey, simply cut off the highly discolored parts and use the remaining part to make soups and sauces. You can also marinate it with spices and fresh herbs before cooking in aromatic vegetables to add flavor.
2. Freezer- Burned Fish
Freezer-burned fish can be dealt with the same way as meat. For fish that is just starting to discolor, you can prepare it in a curry sauce or seafood gumbo to mask the dryness and improve its flavor.
3. Freezer- Burned Vegetables
You can make puree from freezer-burned vegetables and use it in sauces or simply cook them in aromatic vegetables and mixed fresh herbs to improve the flavor.
4. Freezer- Burned Fruits
You can choose to completely dehydrate the affected fruit or simply make a puree to use in smoothies.
To dehydrate freezer burned fruit:
- Rinse off the ice crystals
- Slice into fairly thin slices
- Dehydrate them in the dehydrator or the oven
5. Freezer- Burned Bread
Since freezer-burned bread tends to be hard, you can easily make bread crumbs out of it and use them to coat fried or baked foods to make them crispy.
How to Prevent Freezer Burn
You can easily prevent freezer burn by:
- Squeezing out excess air before sealing packaged foods. You can use a straw to suck out air manually or invest in a vacuum sealer that sucks leaving no trace of air hence keeping your food free from freezer burn.
- preventing temperature fluctuation. Store perishables like meat at the back of the freezer where it’s coldest, to avoid temperature fluctuation whenever the door is opened. Also, avoid opening the freezer when the power goes off.
- Freezing foods at peak quality. If you intend to store any food for longer than a month, freeze them when they are still fresh to retain their quality better.
Signs of freezer-burned meat
You can use your senses to know to what extent your meat has a freezer burn.
- Freezer burned meat will have brown or grayish spots
- It will have a leathery feel upon touching
- It will have a plastic-like smell
- Store-bought meat will start to form ice crystals on the surface if stored past the labeled date.
What Does Freezer Burn Look Like?
Freezer burn looks like discoloration spots and patches of wrinkling on the affected food. For instance, vegetables will have white spots and wrinkling patches while poultry will have white spots and darkened bones. Freezer burn will also a pear to be brown-grayish spots on red meat.
Freezer burns in ice cream
When moisture evaporates from the ice cream and comes into contact with air, it forms ice crystals on its surface. This mostly happens on leftover ice cream where there is air inside the container. Although the crystals are harmless they tend to affect the taste quality of your ice cream.
To fix freezer burn in ice cream, simply scoop off the affected portion usually at the top or make a milkshake and add sweet fruits like bananas to improve the taste.
Now that you know how freezer burn form on ice cream you can easily prevent it from recurring. Once you open your ice cream, line the surface with a plastic wrap ensuring that the paper comes into contact with the surface of the ice cream leaving no room for air.
When purchasing food from the store, watch out for freezer- burn. For example, when picking vegetables if the inside feels clumped together in one large lump that could be an indication of freezer burn.
The good news is that you cannot get sick from freezer burn as Food is frozen at zero degrees where bacteria can not grow.