Caitlin Bensel

Bad things happen when you don't eat the whole pint. Here's how to stop them.

Let me just set the scene for you: it's 90 degrees outside, you're dying for something sweet, and when you finally get home and eagerly open the freezer to grab your precious pint of chocolate chip cookie dough you see the should-be creamy vanilla is completely covered in ice crystals. What fresh hell is this?

Freezer burn. Imagine a world without it! No more ruined movie nights, birthday parties, or sweaty summertime snacks. Finding your Rocky Road covered in crunchy chunks of ice is like the world telling you to just polish off the entire pint next time.

The good news is that freezer burn is an easy-to-fix issue. Here's how: simply store your partially-melted pint of ice cream upside down and in the very back of your freezer. Why? Because freezer burn is caused by water in your melty dessert evaporating and then refreezing on the ice cream's surface—this is what causes those unpleasant ice crystals to form. If you store your pint upside down before refreezing, the melted ice cream will drip into the lid and have less of a chance of ruining the "pure" part at the bottom that's still frozen. Just make sure the lid is super snug before you try this!

The back of the freezer is equally important—temperatures further from the door are much more stable over time. The further back, the harder it is for room-temperature air to invade (and tamper with) your ice cream. Whatever you do, don't store your frozen desserts in the door of your freezer.

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If you're in search of additional ways to prevent freezer burn, you can also try laying a piece of wax paper or parchment flat against your ice cream inside the container. This eliminates the extra air space inside, which will make it harder for moisture to evaporate (and unpleasantly refreeze) from the surface of your dessert. Or, if you prefer to make your own ice cream, these thin, shallow storage containers from Pampered Chef (2 for $25, pamperedchef.com) will keep your homemade treat freezer-burn free for weeks on end.

Final word: a solid starting place in the prevention of freezer burn is making sure that your freezer is actually (ahem) frozen. Try putting a freezer thermometer inside to make sure it's actually reading 0°F or below. If it isn't, we recommend turning down the dial until the internal temp is at or below 0°F.

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This Story Originally Appeared On Real Simple
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