We do not expect any food in the freezer to be burnt while freezing it, but that could happen depending on the kind of food or how we set them in the food container or wraps before freezing it.
There are times when some food got burnt by freezing them for quite some time like shrimps for example.
Can shrimp be freezer burnt? Yes, it very possible especially when we did not prepare it in the right container for freezing it properly.
So, what can I do if shrimps were burnt from freezing it? Well, burnt shrimp due to freezing may not look good but can still make sumptuous dishes. You just need to know how to prepare them and that is what we want to share with you in this blog.
Your Guide to Shrimp and Freezer Burn
Our intention when freezing food is to prolong their shelf life and as much as possible retain its freshness or quality while being stored in the freezer for our consumption.
Meat, veggies, and other food items that we want frozen can get freezer burnt when not stored properly before placing them in the freezer.
However, freezer burnt food are not difficult to handle and be made into your favorite dishes like shrimps.
Let us know more about shrimps that were burnt from freezing.
Freezer Burn Explained
You might ask what is freezer burnt or frozen cooked, and how do I know if my frozen food is already burnt from freezing?
Freezer burnt food is due to the air sipping in from the food packaging or containers while the food is in your freezer. Air makes the food dry thus changing the texture or color of the food, and makes it looks unappealing. Food may be freezer burnt but it does not mean it is already spoiled.
Remember that when we store food in the freezer it is always recommended to use food containers or vacuum-sealed plastic bags to store food. This is to avoid the oxidation of food when air sip in the food container, and to prevent food from getting dry because if the container is properly sealed moisture are retained in the food.
Different kinds of frozen food show different signs of being freezer burnt. For example, frozen steaks may discolor, or meats may have dark or grayish spots on them but that does not mean they are already spoiled.
The best way so that food stored in your freezer will not get burnt is to put them in airtight containers or vacuum sealed plastic bags.
Recognizing Freezer Burn on Shrimp
I took out the shrimp from the freezer and saw it covered with ice, is that freezer burnt? Basically, any item in your freezer may have thin ice covering but it does not mean they are already burnt from freezing.
In fact, the ice covering the shrimp is preventing it from getting burnt while inside your freezer. It will retain its moist and will still be tender when cooked. Of course, you need to thaw it before cooking.
So, how do you know if it is already burnt? Check the shrimp if it appears hard, thick, and discolored.
Do not worry if the shrimp were burnt from freezing as it does not mean they are already spoiled. Its look and texture might be different, but it is still safe to eat and preparing your favorite dish with it will subdue the color or texture problem.
Cooking Shrimp with Freezer Burn
Sometimes even if we packaged our food cautiously to be stored, we cannot prevent it from being burnt while in the freezer and that can happen to shrimps too.
Shrimps that were burnt by freezing tend to be dry and dense, but it tastes the same and is still safe to eat. They can be cooked into different dishes that you will never suspect it was freezer burnt shrimps. You just need recipes that will overpower the texture and will make it soft and juicy.
Here is a list of recipes you can do with freezer burnt shrimp.
- Shrimp Chowder or Soup
- Jambalaya with Shrimp
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Parmesan Shrimp Pasta
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Shrimp Broccoli Stir-Fry
- Shrimp Dumplings
- Shrimp Alfredo
- Shrimp Enchiladas
These are just some great dishes you can make with frozen cooked shrimp and you can even make your own recipe for cooking it to suit your delicate taste.
The Shelf Life of Frozen Shrimp
As I have said earlier in this article, we can do our best to freeze shrimps when we need to store them but be sure to pack it in airtight containers or vacuum sealed food bags to prevent oxidation.
We can only do our best to preserve it but since everything has natural life span, even when stored properly and frozen, shrimps can be safe from being frozen cooked for 3 to 6 months. If they will stay longer than 6 months in your freezer, chances are you will have them frozen cooked or freezer burnt.
Tips for Preventing Freezer Burn
It is often said that the way we pack our food before storing them affects the food’s shelf life and its quality and this is very true.
We may believe that how the stores pack them are the best way to keep them fresh and edible, but it is not true all the time.
To be sure that your shrimp will be safe from being frozen cooked and will have a longer shelf life if you need to freeze them, it is better to package them yourself and be sure to package it well.
We recommend this storage method to help prevent frozen cooked shrimp.
- Wrap up shrimps in plastic wraps or retain the store packaging if its already sealed well.
- Put wrapped shrimps in airtight food container or sealable freezer bags. This will be the outer packaging of the shrimps that will help prevent air form sipping in.
- Label your packaging with date so you will be reminded of its shelf life.
- Remember that you can prevent it from being frozen cooked for less than 6 months. The longer it stays in your freezer, the higher risk it will be frozen cooked.
Note that using double packaging method for shrimps to be frozen is the best way to prevent it from being freezer burnt.
It is best to use sealable freezer bags, airtight food containers or if you can have them vacuum sealed would be perfect.
We wanted to give you the best ideas on how to package shrimp and prevent it from being frozen cooked that is why we wrote this article. We also suggested some recipes you can make with frozen cooked shrimps to make a sumptuous meal, but we do not limit you from here as could be other ways and more recipes you can do with freezer burnt shrimps.
Will Freezer Food Make Your Shrimp Bad?
When shrimps are freezer burnt, the texture becomes tough, it looks dense, it may also have dull color, but it is not spoiled. It is still safe to eat though preparing them as the sole dish may give you somewhat dry shrimps and gummy.
Frozen cooked shrimps are best prepared with recipes that can overcome their frozen cooked quality and make it juicy and tender to eat.
How Can You “Cut Off” Freezer Burn from Shrimp?
Since frozen cooked shrimps are safe to eat, it is not necessary to remove the burnt part. Also, because they usually come in a bite size, it would be difficult to single out the burnt part of the shrimp and cut it. It would also be very tedious to do, so if you truly wanted to rid of those burnt parts you might ended up discarding the shrimp as it is.
What Temperature is Shrimp Frozen at?
Like most food, shrimp are frozen at 0 Degree Fahrenheit so if you want to freeze it for longer period, retain your freezer at that temperature however it will be susceptible to be frozen cooked.
How do I know if the Frozen Shrimp has turned bad or spoiled?
Before cooking frozen shrimp, you will need to thaw them for a few minutes to rid of its ice coating. Check if the texture has become slimy, there could be dark or gray spots and if the odor turned a bit sour. If you can observe these signs, then you just need to discard the shrimps.
Are there types of shrimps I can freeze?
Fresh shrimps or shrimps on its shell can be best when frozen up to 9 months while if it is unshelled can be best till 12 months. Home cooked shrimp can also last up to 9 months in the freezer but shrimps from canned goods can be best up to 12 months. Canned shrimps should be removed from the can and packaged properly before freezing them.