You stock up on steaks during a winter sale. You wait 4 months for grilling season. You eagerly extract the steaks from the freezer—only to find that they’re brown and shriveled. That, dear reader, is the heartbreak of freezer burn.

Freezer burn happens when water molecules escape from food and oxygen molecules seep in, creating patches that are dry and discolored. Although freezer-burned food is safe to eat, the texture and flavor of food can be degraded.  

Here’s how to save your food from freezer burn.

  1. Let cooked food cool in the refrigerator before moving it to the freezer.
  2. Double wrap foods, preferably in a freezer-quality wrap, to prevent exposure to air.
  3. If you use plastic storage containers, fill completely to leave no room for air.
  4. Remove as much air as possible from plastic storage bags before sealing.
  5. If you always store a lot of food in the freezer, consider investing in a vacuum sealer.
  6. Label each food container with the date you put it in the freezer and use older foods first.
  7. Set the temperature in the freezer to 0° or colder and keep the temperature as constant as possible.