Can You Freeze Cheese?
Cheese is one of the favorite comfort foods for most of us. Cheese lovers literally ‘live for cheese’. While some may prefer cheese slices over melted cheese, some may prefer grated cheese over cheese blocks, whatever the form, it’s cheese after all!
Cheese is definitely every cheese lover’s paradise. But you know that you cannot store cheese for long in the fridge. What can you do then? Can you freeze cheese? Yes, you can freeze cheese to store them for later use.
But how long can you freeze cheese? What is the best way to freeze cheese? Which cheese cannot be frozen? Well, you might be having a lot of questions. Do not worry, because we have answers to all your query! Read on to know more!
How Long Does Cheese Last In The Freezer?
The shelf life of cheese in the freezer depends on the variety and type of cheese you are freezing. Well, not all types of cheese can be frozen, but the ones that you can freeze can last for up to 4-6 months in the freezer.
Every variety of cheese available is primarily made up of three main ingredients- milk, salt, and microbial cultures. The taste, smell, and texture are what distinguishes each type from the other. Therefore, you need to be aware of your cheese type before you freeze it for later use.
Additionally, hard cheese such as Parmesan and cheddar will last longer in the freezer as compared to semihard cheese such as Gouda and Gruyère. You can also store your cheese in the fridge and freeze it within a week.
Effective Ways To Freeze Cheese!
Check out the following ways to freeze your cheese effectively:
- Wrap your cheese blocks adequately in parchment or cling film. You can also use wax paper to wrap your cheese.
- It is best if you use several layers of wrapping for your cheese. This will protect the cheese from freezing temperatures.
- If you have grated cheese, you can put them in ziplock bags because they cannot be wrapped.
- Adequate wrapping will also protect the cheese from strong odors in the freezer, such as raw fish or meats.
- Transfer the wrapped cheese into airtight bags before freezing it. Only wrapping is not enough for some kinds of cheese.
- Place the wrapped cheese away from the edges of the freezer to protect it from unnecessary freezer burns.
What Happens To Cheese After Being Frozen?
Not every type of cheese reacts the same way to cold temperatures. Even if all can be frozen, some will do it more efficiently than others. In the freezer, cheese can be kept for up to six months.
The main motive for freezing cheese is to store it for later use. However, if you keep the cheese for too long in the freezer, it is very likely that the natural moisture will dry out thus making the cheese dry and grainy.
Therefore, it is best advised that you use your frozen cheese as early as possible for the best results. Also, wrap your cheese adequately before freezing to retain the maximum flavor and quality.
How To Defrost The Frozen Cheese?
Even though you might be concerned about the quality of the cheese deteriorating during the process, defrosting cheese is actually rather simple. The only thing you must remember is to strictly follow the defrosting guidelines.
Consider the following points to defrost the frozen cheese effectively:
- Take out the wrapped cheese from the freezer.
- Place the frozen cheese in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to thaw slowly.
- Unwrap the cheese after thawing, and let it acquire to normal room temperature.
- Transfer the cheese to airtight containers as this will prevent bacterial growth.
- Your cheese is ready to be eaten or cooked further.
However, there are other ways to defrost cheese, such as on the countertop or in the microwave, but defrosting in the refrigerator could bring you the best results. Also, make sure you keep the frozen cheese away from direct heat and light.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that you cannot refreeze the defrosted cheese. You can always keep it in the refrigerator for about 14-21 days (depending on the type of cheese) if you are not using it all at once.
What Types Of Cheese Cannot Be Frozen?
Cheeses can be broadly classified into three specific categories, namely hard cheese, semihard or semisoft cheese, and soft cheese. Out of these three types, you cannot freeze the soft cheese in the freezer.
The freezer is not a very good place for soft cheese types, such as cream cheese, ricotta, Chevre, brie, and more as they will react to the freezing temperatures and worsen the quality of the cheese. The texture and flavor will deteriorate, thus making the cheese unsuitable for eating.
Now you know that the soft cheese types do not freeze well, so never attempt to store them in the freezer. It is always better to finish the soft cheese within 3-5 days of buying them for best results. On the other hand, as mentioned earlier in this article, freezing hard or semihard cheese is always the best idea to store it for longer.