If you’re a big diehard fan of seafood, especially prawns, you’ve probably asked yourself “Can you eat freezer burned shrimp?” After discovering the guy from the market didn’t correctly wrap your shrimp.
Freezer burn is a state that happens when your frozen food has been damaged by oxidation and dehydration, because of air getting to the food.
It is typically caused by not securely wrapping your food in air-tight packaging before placing it in the fridge.
Many home cooks are concerned about freezer burn since not everyone likes it when their seafood’s taste gets affected. Common questions such as: are it safe to consume freezer-burned food?
If so, how do you cook it? Will I get sick if I eat it? Will all be answered in this guide. So, if you want to learn everything about shrimps getting freezer burn, then read on!
Can You Eat Freezer Burned Shrimp?
Freezer burn in prawns is typically caused by many reasons such as shrimp not being sealed well. It could be that the shrimp was in the freezer for far too long, or it could even be something totally different!
For any cook, there is nothing worse than food getting freezer burned. And it seems like no matter how hard we try, it still affects our food and, and we’re left to handle the consequences.
Freezer burnt shrimp is just among the many problems. Even pork meat is ultimately challenging to prevent freezer burn.
However, there’s no need to worry! Everything you need to know is found here.
Is It Okay to Eat Shrimp With Freezer Burn?
This might come as a surprise to you, but one unique aspect about shrimps compared to other meat is that it doesn’t quickly get freezer burned.
The outer layer or the hard covering shell of shrimps protects the meat from getting deep freeze.
Shrimp placed in your freezer will generally have a layer of ice.
This layer doesn’t necessarily mean your prawn is freezer burnt. In fact, this ice coating on the shrimp can actually help keep your shrimp from acquiring a problem while being stored in the freezer.
However, if you notice your shrimp having an opaque color, single spots that appear discolored or dry, uneven coloring or even white discoloration, your frozen product must experience freezer burns.
But don’t panic and go throw out that bag of shrimps! Although it is freezer burnt, your shrimps are still safe and okay to consume.
There may just be a difference in the taste, texture and color, but it is still entirely safe to eat.
Can You Get Sick From Freezer Burnt Shrimp?
We all understand how terrifying it can be to think of consuming any product with some issues or problems.
With all the scary reported cases of severe food poisoning or salmonella, it’s just normal for home cooks to freak out since we don’t want to put ourselves and our loved ones in a tight situation.
Freezer burns can never be fully controlled, avoided or reversed even if you put in your best efforts. If your shrimp happens to have this issue, don’t feel down!
You can still utilize the product, and there are various dishes that will be ideal for this.
But before you get grossed out by the thought of using a shrimp of such state, you need to understand that you will NOT get sick from eating freezer burnt shrimp.
It may have some downsides such as dry meat, discoloration and lesser juices but consuming it won’t get you sick or give you any side effects; so that’s one less thing to worry about!
However, the first thing you must do if you notice your prawns have become freezer burned is to check the smell and color.
Natural shrimp will look a bit grayish but if the shrimp turns dull, develops a slimy texture and gives off an odd odor, then throw it out right away.
This won’t be safe to consume, and it will make you sick.
But If the color hasn’t altered much and the overriding smell is just salt water, then the prawn is likely to be adequate for eating without any chance of them making you ill.
Cooking Freezer Burnt Shrimp
If you have discovered your shrimps to be at a state where it has freezer burns, then don’t panic and throw it out because fortunately, it can still be saved!
However, there are just specific methods you need to implement when cooking your shrimp.
Among the most detectable changes in cold, burnt prawns is that the meat can become very dry because of the lack of moisture. Thus, making it more challenging to chew than usual.
That is why you need to avoid cooking the shrimps to be eaten on its own, as the changes that are now present can be unpleasant for the person who’s consuming it.
However, you can still use it in several other dishes and sauces that can hide these problems and make the shrimps ultimately edible again.
Among the most common yet undeniably delicious go-to dish for cold, burnt shrimps are the following:
Pad Thai, is a popular stir-fried rice noodle dish that’s usually served in street foods and at most restaurants found in Thailand.
However, because of its exquisite taste and health benefits, it has become quite popular in the western countries such as the US.
Shrimps that have been cold burnt are excellent for this dish since the recipe usually calls for prawns dry in texture.
Not only will you enjoy a healthy meal, but it’ll also cover up the issue!
Crispy Shrimp Tempura
Among the most popular dish you can make out of those shrimps of yours (regardless of freezer burns) is the Crispy Shrimp Tempura.
Not only is this a comfort food for many individuals, but it’s also pretty easy to make!
Frying the shrimps with the spices will cover up the taste. Plus, you can also create a dip to ensure the taste and texture is fully masked.
Shrimp In Pasta
Now, who doesn’t love a pasta-shrimp combo? You don’t have to dwell on your cold, burnt prawns since putting them in a pasta dish will surely save your day!
Pasta such as Alfredo or Carbonara will cover the taste of your shrimps, especially when they have a rich and creamy sauce that would make the person who’s eating it heart skip a beat.
Furthermore, cutting the prawns in half will allow the pasta to overcome the unpleasant texture making the situation a total win-win!
Reminder: There’s nothing special you need to do when cooking your cold burnt shrimp in these recipes.
You just need to keep in mind that overpowering the shrimp’s taste and texture is the key to saving your prawns and still making them useful despite the issue.
Precautions You Can Take When Storing Shrimps in The Freezer
If you want to try the best precautions when storing your prawns in your freezer to avoid cold burns, then proper packaging is the key! Frozen shrimp can last for months if you put in some effort to store it properly.
Store packaging can be fail-safe when it comes to preserving our meat, that is why we need to take matters into our own hands.
The wisest thing you can do is to repackage your prawns and ensure that it is well-sealed and air-tight.
Although there is no guarantee that your shrimps won’t get freezer burned, this method below has had the best success rate, and many people can attest to that.
Then again, it’s better to do something than not do anything at all, right?
The Process on How to Properly Seal your Shrimps
Begin by taking your shrimp to your kitchen counter to have ample space to establish the method.
Once you’ve set them, get the shrimps out of their store-packaging, or you can skip this step and just wrap them right away with a plastic wrap. Ensure that you are able to cover all sides.
After checking that all sides have been covered, wrap the second layer of foil on the sealed prawns.
Doing so will block out any air that finds its way through your freezer. Ensure the prawns are fully covered.
Once done, transfer the shrimps to a heavy-duty freezer container or bag to give it a secured layer of protection.
Label the packaging and put on the date then place in your freezer until usage.
You can still use your shrimp even after 6-months. However, the point here is to be aware that 6 months is the maximum recommended time to enjoy the best tasting shrimp.
It’s just basically a best-by suggestion, but the shrimps will really last indefinitely in the freezer if you take needed precautions in storing it properly.
Remember, the longer your shrimps stay in your freezer, the more chances to obtain freezer burn despite the best efforts you’ve given.
How Do You Tell if Frozen Shrimp Has Gone Bad?
There’s a massive difference between a shrimp that has freezer burns and shrimp that has gone bad.
A sour shrimp can lead to a dish that doesn’t taste really good. But frequently, bad shrimp can cause dangerous food poisoning, which can lead you running for your life, looking for the restroom in no time.
Either way, it’s crucial to determine all of the signs of spoiled seafood, so you can throw them in the garbage can before you throw them in your mouth.
Although checking the expiry date would help you determine if the shellfish is terrible, taking note of these following aspects could also make the task easier!
The first thing you can determine is that the prawns are already spoiled when they give out an unpleasant smell. Raw prawns should not give off a strong smell, or they can only smell slightly of salt like the ocean.
If they give off an odor of intensely “fishy,” you might have to dispose of them.
If they also smell like bleach or ammonia, then that’s definitely rotten, and you must absolutely toss them out: That’s a sign of dangerous bacteria growing on them.
A raw prawn that is safe to eat must be firm when touched and not all goey or mushy. They must all have firm and unbroken shells.
However, If the prawn’s shells are soggy and broken, or perhaps the shrimp is slimy (wet is safe)), play it safe and throw out the bad meat away – and then make sure you wash your hands thoroughly to avoid contamination!
A shrimp’s shell must be colorless, while the meat inside it should be pink/peach and white. On the other hand, bad prawns have block spotting on the tail or shell. This is likely deteriorating, and the shrimp is now aging.
However, if you find white patches on the meat, these are then likely freezer burn – it may not be dangerous to consume, but the prawns might not taste as great as you expect them to.
If the prawns still have their heads intact, you can check the shellfish’s eyes to determine their freshness.
Also, if they have glossy and moist eyes, they’re most likely fresh. If they are shrunken, dry or missing, the shrimp may be old and must be disposed of.
“Can you eat freezer burned shrimp?” Is now a question that has been fully answered in this guide (along with many other things).
Indeed, Knowing everything about cold, burnt prawns will not only help you to get the best out of your expense, but it also enables you to be flexible when dealing with problems in the kitchen.
The next time you suspect your shrimps having some issues, be sure to recheck this guide!