It's so disappointing when you reach into the freezer for that bit of ice cream you've been saving as your reward for a long day and find a freezer-burned lump of a cold mess. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent this tragedy from ever happening.
All frozen food is at risk of freezer burn, which happens when moisture meets air and refreezes. Those crunchy ice crystals on the top of your ice cream are still technically safe to eat, but it's definitely not the premium ice cream experience you were hoping for.
Nobody knows more about keeping ice cream in top condition than the team at Ben & Jerry's. They've shared six tips to prevent freezer burn so that your ice cream stays in perfect shape. Read on for the best way to prevent freezer burn.
1. Keep it cold.
To stay in the best condition, ice cream needs to be kept cold. You might be saying, of course, because warm ice cream is basically just flavored milk, but we mean really cold. Below 0°F cold. To soften it up enough to get it out of the carton more easily, let it sit on the counter for a few minutes.
2. Keep it buried.
Every time you open your freezer, warm air swoops in. It's just what warm air does. But that warm air affects your ice cream, especially in an already-opened carton, so stick that pint in the coldest place in your freezer, which is usually in the back.
3. Cut, don't scoop.
When you open up ice cream to scoop it out, you get some melting. And then when you stick that pint back in the freezer, the melted ice cream refreezes, but in that little bit of time, it also does the moisture meets air thing, which results in ice crystals forming and causing freezer burn. An easy way to get your ice cream fast is to slice it instead of scooping. Cut the whole carton and then wrap up the rest tightly. Peel the carton off your slice and you're good to go.
4. Wrap it up.
The more air space you have in your ice cream carton, the more likely you are to have freezer burn. Once you scoop or cut your desired portion of ice cream, press a layer of wax paper, plastic wrap, or parchment paper against the surface of the ice cream. Then put the carton lid back on and stick it back in the deep freeze.
5. Flip it.
One trick to keeping air away from partially melted ice cream is to flip the carton upside down (double check to make sure the lid is firmly in place) so that the melted ice cream drips down onto the lid, keeping the still cold ice cream safe.
6. Eat the whole thing.
Really, there's only one way to truly protect your ice cream from freezer burn, and that's just to eat the whole thing at once. We're not saying you have to eat the whole thing by yourself; sharing is caring, after all.