All my life, I've wrapped food in aluminum foil before putting it in the freezer. This is the way that grandma and mom did it, so of course it's the way that I do it now.
However, last week we ran out of aluminum foil, and I found that I couldn't figure out how to wrap anything tightly enough to avoid dread of freezer burn without it. Result - three new rolls of aluminum foil - (buy three for price of one) BUT also, a question - what happens if the aluminum foil runs out in some sort of wild aluminum foil store-clearing buying frenzy? (Or I just don't want to use it?)
How do people freeze stuff without the shiny paper?
Vera, we use butcher paper to wrap all our meats and the like for the freezer. It is much better than aluminum foil for keeping the freezer burn off of items that manage to hide out in a stray corner. Another option we have been looking at is to go the pressure canning route. This isn't the ordinary water bath that so many folks have used for some foods, but a high pressure canning. Properly done you can do just about everything that would go into the freezer, to include meats.
To me, this is a great option for areas prone to power loss and, of course, that whole "crazy run on the shiny paper" thing.
What is freezer paper?
Freezer paper is thick paper with a plastic or wax coating on one side. It differs from parchment, which has no coating, and wax paper, which has a coating on both sides.
What is freezer paper used for?
Freezer paper was traditionally used to wrap up meats for freezing. The meats would be wrapped against the waxy side to protect the surface and color of the meat, as well as to help prevent moisture loss, but the paper on the outside meant that it was a surface that could be written on for labeling purposes.
Freezer paper is similar, and sometimes the same kind, of paper used at the meat or seafood counter. This type of paper is preferred because the plastic side prevents the juices from meat and seafood from soaking and leaking through.
If moisture from the food item is doing the freezer burn, it seems sealing the product in an air tight bag would be a good idea.
I remember now that once in an earlier "out of foil" moment, I wrapped some meat in waxed paper. That...didn't end up well...but then, it may have been in the freezer for months, and could have turned into a freezer burned lump anyway.
So, I should see if I can find butcher/freezer paper?
Once and awhile I get meat from a fancy shop that wraps it in butcher paper...but would it be safe to re-use it?
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
Vera, I wouldn't reuse butcher paper/freezer wrap. Not worth the risk of contamination.
You can buy the wrap on line or a lot of grocery stores will have it. It is much cheaper to buy in bulk from a restaurant/butcher supply store or even on line. I did cursory on line search with my google-fu and found it to be much cheaper to buy a big roll on line. Go with the width you are most comfortable with, pick up some freezer tape which lasts far longer than masking tape and go to town. A marking pen to put contents and date on and you are in the money.
500 square feet of aluminum foil goes for around $20 while 1500 square feet of freezer wrap goes for $25 - so significant savings right there.
until I came to this side of the big pond I did not know anybody,
who warpped things in aluminum foil to freeze them
back in the day we'd air-seal in plastic bags or use Tupperware,
you remember, the real stuff!
nowadays I use all kinds of air tight containers and when I run out, zippered plastic bags