Freezer Burnt Shrimp – Know How To Make Them Safe To Eat

Freezer burnt shrimp
Written by Robert

On a Sunday evening, I received a call from my sister. By her voice, I realized that she was in trouble.

I asked her, “What happened, dear?”

She replied, “Have you ever experienced freezer burned shrimp?”

Oh, God! Is it the reason why you become so tensed?

Just relax! Nothing to be bothered about!

After a few conversations, I made her calm down. And thereafter, I explained everything and helped her out of this troublesome situation.

What about you? Have you ever faced this similar problem? Want to know the ideal way out? In this article, I have come up with the solutions and tips on freezer burn shrimp.

Just read it completely and make yourself comfortable with the details!

Let’s start from the beginning-

What Is Freezer Burn?

At some point in time, you might notice frozen meats change its color. It happens when you keep it in the storage for a longer period and its appearance becomes darker.

Particularly, this effect of frozen items is called freezer burn.

You might query, “What Does Freezer Burn Shrimp Look Like?” Interestingly, they also change the usual color which is caused by dehydration and oxidation process inside the freezer.

By looking at the color of the stored item, you can easily recognize whether it is still good or not.

Though freezing raw shrimp is effective for maintaining the quality, it can give your shrimps’ freezer burn when the storage time extends more than usual.

Cause Of Freezer Burnt Shrimp

As we know, frozen food items begin to form ice crystals on their surface. It is actually the water molecules that come out from the food and accumulate to form ice crystals at low temperature.

If this process continues for a longer period of time, the food items will get dehydrated and change its color. In the end, it results in a shrimp with freezer burn.

Other than this, mishandling of the purchased shrimps can lead to freeze-thaw fish. This terribly impacts the shelf life and there is a greater chance of bacterial issues.

Improper wrapping and fluctuation in temperatures are other two causes of this problem.

Can You Eat Freezer Burnt Shrimp?

Yes, you can eat freezer burnt shrimps. But there are certain considerations that you should keep in mind before cooking.

Suppose you have semi-burnt shrimps, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t eat them. You need to look at its color depth (effect of change in color) and how it smells.

In case, there is a little change in its color and you notice saltwater smell out of the shrimps. It is probably ideal for eating them without having a second thought.

When the foods totally get discolored, it is recommended not to eat them. Though it is hard to tell about the safety issue, it won’t taste good at all.

If it is spoiled, you can notice strong ammonia or chlorine smell. So, just throw it right away!

Suppose you notice black spots on the shrimp, it indicates that they are spoiled.

Is Freezer Burn Bad To Eat?

As it only loses the color, texture and flavor over time, you might notice a slight difference in taste. If the shrimps are greatly affected, it doesn’t taste good at all.

There are certain people who don’t want to throw the bag or container of freezer-burn shrimps. In this case, it is advised not to store them again.

If you deliberately want to cook freezer-burn shrimps, you have to remove the portion of food that suffers. Discard them completely and prepare your dish with the remaining!

What Are The Food Options To Cook Or Use With Freezer Burnt Shrimp?

Certainly, there are many options of using your shrimps once you realize it is freezer burnt that includes-

  • You can try it with fish chowder recipe. This may change the taste slightly but won’t affect your entire dish.
  • You can make its paste and use it for preparing ground pork
  • You can marinate them using soy sauce, red pepper, garlic and oil. Then, prepare shrimp scampi recipe or steamed it with old bay.
  • Some even go for preparing shrimp fried rice in the comfort of their own kitchen
  • You might also love the taste of shrimp sausage

Or else, give it to your pet such as a dog. They can eat them without any trouble.

How To Prevent Freezer Burn?

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent your purchased items from getting freezer burnt again and again. Some of these precautionary measures include-

  • Ensure that food items are tightly sealed in an airtight container or vacuum seal it before storage
  • Purchase limited amount of food items every time
  • Label it and use them within the specified period of time
  • Never leave your freezer door open
  • Never store any hot items in the freezer
  • Check freezer temperature to make sure about fluctuation
  • Place a plastic container filled with water in the freezer to keep temperature stable

Final Words

Certainly, eating freezer burn shrimp is not harmful. But it is imperative to avoid such things.

If you follow the above-mentioned precautions, you can easily get rid of this problem. This gives you the ideal way of enjoying the taste and aroma of shrimps over time.

About the author


Robert is a food enthusiast and a critique. He works as a head chef in a popular food joint at Cherry Hills, NJ. In his free times he likes to visit popular food forums and also contribute for Food Gear magazine. In his articles he shares his experiences with us.

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