Even when it is impossible to bring back the fresh flavors, there are several methods for you to salvage freezer-burned food: Either removing the burned portions or using herbs, sauce, and sugar. For some specific types of foods, rehydrating them is also an option.
Freezer burn happens when air exposure dehydrates the surface of frozen food. Although freezer burn is not harmful to health, it worsens the food taste.
Thus, to avoid wasting the food because of this minor problem, learning how to get rid of the freezer burn taste is of the utmost importance.
Related: The most popular types of meat you should know about
How To Get Rid Of Freezer Burn Taste
The first tip to take away freezer burn taste for fish or meat is to thaw them properly. Indeed, professionals advise not to use a microwave or warm water.
A microwave is always helpful if you want to defrost the food within a short amount of time. However, it may intensify off-odors. Hot water, similarly, can stimulate bacteria’s growth on freezer-burned meat or fish. Thus, the best way to unfreeze the food is to let them stay in ice water or the refrigerator.
If you use ice water, put a zip bag of meat or fish in the water. Don’t forget to change the water every 30 minutes to maintain the cool temperature. Unless you have to rush, lay food on a tray and leave it in the fridge for about 4 to 6 hours.
Though freezer-burned, meat should never be wasted. If there is some damage to the outer layer, you can trim those parts off. This cut will help to reduce some effects from the burn.
It would help if you also utilized brine as its salt can minimize moisture loss. In addition, gentle cooking methods or recipes with bold flavors such as barbecue, gumbo, and Thai curry, will disguise the odd taste.
Similarly, you can fix the freezer-burned taste of fish by cutting the affected area. Also, it is vital to choose a recipe that can partially eliminate its unwanted flavor. For example, a curry sauce that has a tang from celery can be a good choice.
Freezer-burned vegetables can be perfect ingredients for pureed soup. As everything is blended, it is no longer a big deal if these frozen vegetables’ colors are not as lively as the fresh ones. Moreover, the more you simmer the soup, the tastier these vegetables are.
Another trick to deal with these burned vegetables is making healthy snacks or smoothies. While smoothies have the power to cover any freezer flavor, a dehydrator will turn these vegetables into healthy snacks for your day.
Same as vegetables, these fruits can also be processed to become dry fruits or smoothies. Yet, if you want to make dry snacks, don’t forget to rinse off all the ice crystals on fruits before taking any further action.
It is not so challenging to revive freezer-burned bread. As this kind of bread is already hard, you can take advantage of this texture and alter it into bread crumbs. Bread crumbs are used to coat fried chicken or baked goods, making these dishes crispier.
What Does Freezer Burn Taste Like?
“Not good” is the best phrase to describe the taste of freezer burn. Of course, each person will have different feelings about this particular taste. However, as food has lost some moisture, it may become dry and flavorless.
What’s more, since food is burnt due to air exposure, in the worst case, you can experience the taste of some food stored next to them in the freezer. Hence, its aftertaste can be pretty weird.
Can You Reverse Freezer Burn?
Unfortunately, there is no way that you can reverse the burn. Therefore, it is necessary to remove all damaged areas so that you can salvage the taste by some means, as mentioned above.
How To Prevent Freezer Burn
There are some critical measures to take if you want to avoid the burn:
- Set the freezer at 0°F. At this temperature, it takes less time to freeze the food. Therefore, larger crystals that can alter the food quality will not be formed.
- Package the food adequately. Wrapping the food with freezer paper and putting it in a zip bag will limit the amount of oxygen approaching it.
- Remember to open the freezer only if necessary. Frequently opening this kitchen appliance will make the inner temperature fluctuate, which may cause larger ice crystals on the food.
- Consume the food as soon as possible. Never leave it in the freezer for over four months.
What Does Freezer Burn Look Like?
You can detect the burn on food by closely observing its appearance.
In the case of meats, seafood, and poultry, there may be some gray or dark spots on the surface. Also, the texture seems to be leathery.
Fruits and vegetables wither and become dry, while freezer-burned ice cream will have several tiny ice crystals, destroying its significant texture.
Freezer Burns In Ice Cream
If your ice cream experiences some burn, don’t worry. It remains safe to eat.
Unfortunately, the ice crystals within it force you to encounter undesirable crunchy coating. Thus, ice cream is no longer appetizing since it loses a bit of creamy texture.
Is Food Still Good If It Has Freezer Burn?
Indeed, freezer burn is not a food safety problem. It is a food-quality problem. Therefore, you should not throw freezer-burned food away or fear for its negative health impacts.
However, it is essential to emphasize that food with freezer burn may not be as tasty and fresh as you expect. Sometimes, they bring you awful flavor if you do not know how to deal with this problem.
Nevertheless, with all of these above suggestions on how to get rid of freezer burn taste, we believe you are already aware of the methods to handle food burned in a freezer.
Besides, as long as you pay a little more attention to food storage, there is a high likelihood that your food will remain unharmed in the freezer.
What causes freezer burn?
The cause of freezer burn is the formation of ice crystals on the food. These ice crystals can penetrate the food and cause it to dry out and lose its flavor. Freezer burn can also cause the food to spoil.
How to fix freezer burn?
If you have food that has been affected by freezer burn, you can try to revive it by cooking it. However, if the food is too dry or has lost its flavor, you may need to discard it.
As with most things in life, prevention is the best cure for freezer burn. Make sure to package your food properly before freezing it, and avoid overcrowding your freezer. This will help to ensure that the food doesn’t come into contact with the air and will reduce the chances of freezer burn.
What are the effects of freezer burn on food items?
Freezer burn can affect the taste, texture, and nutritional value of food items. It can cause the food to become dry and flavorless, and it may also reduce the number of nutrients that are available in the food.
Why does chicken get gray when frozen in a bag and thawed before cooking time is up?
The gray color that you see on chicken when it is frozen in a bag and then thawed is due to oxidation. When the chicken is exposed to air, the cells in the meat are damaged and they start to produce melanin, which is the pigment that gives meat its color. This process is accelerated by freezer burn, so you may see a more pronounced gray color on chicken that has been frozen and thawed multiple times.
Does freezing meat cause it to have an off-taste or texture?
Freezing meat can cause it to have an off-taste or texture, but this is usually not the case if the meat is properly packaged and frozen. Freezer burn can cause the meat to spoil faster and may lead to a sour or metallic taste, as well as a rubbery texture. However, if the meat has been properly packaged and frozen, these flavors should not be noticeable.
How can you eat freezer-burned food without getting sick?
Freezer-burned food is not safe to eat. The food has been damaged by the cold and may contain harmful bacteria.
You can avoid getting sick from eating freezer-burned food by cooking it thoroughly. Cook the food until it is hot all the way through, and no longer pink in the center. Do not eat any food that is still cold in the center.
If you do not want to cook the food, throw it away. Do not eat it.