The Ben & Jerry's Hack To Save Your Ice Cream From Freezer Burn

Freezer burn is decidedly the worst. No one likes expecting to open some delicious frozen fruit or a pint of ice cream and being met with those horrible ice crystals that almost make everything inedible. But the iconic ice cream duo Ben and Jerry may have a solution that will solve all of your freezer-burnt ice cream woes — if you're willing to take a bit of a risk.

If you've been scooping straight from the pint and find that it's a little melted when it's time to put it away, Ben & Jerry's recommends flipping it upside down to avoid any freezer burn disasters (per Ben & Jerry's). Apparently, this hack allows the melted ice cream to run down to the lid, filling up the empty space and saving the more solidified ice cream from those pesky ice crystals. One important thing to keep in mind before trying this out in your freezer is to make sure your lid is on as tightly as possible. If you're really nervous about potential spillage, you could always put down some paper towels or napkins.

What else stops freezer burn?

One of the key ways to stop freezer burn is by keeping your freezer at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Fast freezing creates smaller ice crystals. These smaller crystals are not as likely to cause burn or change the way your food tastes as larger ones — so the colder your freezer is, the better. Because part of the way freezer burn occurs is via oxygenation, another way you can minimize the risk of burn is by making sure there is as little air as possible in your pints or bags of frozen veggies.

Getting all of the air out of a bag of frozen vegetables or fruit is a lot easier than it is when you're dealing with a pint of ice cream. Thankfully, Ben & Jerry have a trick for that as well. The brand recommends using wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap to cover the top of the ice cream before putting the lid back on and tossing the pint back in the freezer (via Ben & Jerry's). If you don't have any of those, the company also recommends putting the whole pint in an airtight bag to keep out those pesky burn-causing molecules.

What even is freezer burn?

Freezer burn happens because of the natural process of moisture loss that occurs when you put something in the freezer. When you freeze food, all of the water within it turns into ice crystals, which eventually undergo sublimation — kind of like evaporation, but when a solid (in this case, ice) turns into a gas. Eventually, the loss of water lets oxygen take its place in your food, and this is what ultimately impacts the flavor of freezer-burned items. Length of time matters here too because the longer something sits in the freezer, the more likely it is that you'll find it burned when you open the door next — just ask that bag of peas that's been lost in the depths of your freezer for years. 

While freezer-burned food may not look or taste its best, it is perfectly safe to eat. Your freezer should be cold enough that no bacteria or other illness-causing organisms can grow on your food, and food that gets freezer-burned is just as edible as its non-burned counterparts.