Is there anything worse than freezer burned ice cream? You go to the freezer to grab a pint of your favorite flavor, anticipating a creamy, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth treat, and instead you find something that's not quite right. If you're among the thousands around the world affected by freezer burn, you've probably had countless ice cream moments ruined – movie nights, birthday parties, midnight snacks, even breakfast for a creative few – by this blight. And yet, freezer burn is a problem that’s highly fixable.
Lucky for us, Ben & Jerry’s has an elite team of Freezer Burnologists (aka Flavor Gurus) dedicated to ending this tragedy once and for all. Read on for six ways to maintain your ice cream stash in all its glory.
First Of All, What Is Freezer Burn?
Over time, ice evaporates. As the moisture leaves the ice cream and joins forces with moist ambient air, it refreezes on the ice cream’s surface, creating the tell-tale crystals that indicate freezer burn. What you’re left with is a concoction that’s icy, crunchy and kinda yucky. Sure, it’s edible and safe to eat, but who wants that?! Try one of these 6 easy ways to prevent freezer burned ice cream:
The Colder The Better
For starters, know that ice cream is happiest when stored below 0°F. A freezer thermometer makes this easy to monitor, otherwise set your freezer dial to the coldest setting possible. Keeping ice cream really cold at all times until it is served is key. If you want your pint to soften up a bit before eating, leave it on the counter for a few minutes rather than using the microwave, which zaps the ice cream’s delicate structure.
Bury Your Treasure
To help keep your stash colder, store it in the back of your freezer, behind those petrified Thanksgiving leftovers. This makes it harder for warm air to invade your ice cream every time you open the door.
Trade Your Scooper For A Sword
When you re-freeze partially melted ice cream, it fuels freezer burn and causes the crystals to re-grow in a bigger, crunchier, and even more diabolical form. To serve your ice cream fast and with minimal melt-time, trade your scooper for a large serrated knife, carefully cutting the pint with the ice cream still inside. Then, simply peel the pint container off, or use it as a bowl.
Wrap It Up
Air space is ice cream’s worst enemy. After cutting or scooping the portion you’re serving, flatten a layer of wax paper against the ice cream’s surface. Plastic wrap or parchment paper works, too. Then replace the lid tightly and return it to the deepest, coldest corner of your freezer.
This trick is a little risky (and potentially messy), so ensure you have a tightly fitting lid before attempting. Ok, ready? Flip your partially melted pint upside down before refreezing. This causes the melted ice cream to drip onto the lid where it has less chance of ruining the still-cold portion.
Eat It All!
No matter how dedicated you are to the tips mentioned above, prolonged freezer storage will slowly ruin even the best ice cream. Therefore, the surefire solution is to eat it all in one sitting! If needed, finding a friend to help you with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s shouldn’t be an issue.
And there you have it—more info than you ever bargained for about an issue that’s plaguing your pint stash. Now go check your freezer’s temperature already!