When you have so much cheese in the fridge that you’re afraid it will go bad before you use it, you may be tempted to freeze cheese. Is that a good idea, though, and how would you go about doing it? Let’s talk about what happens if you freeze cheese and the best methods to freeze different kinds of cheese.
Should You Freeze Cheese?
Typically speaking, it’s okay to freeze just about any type of cheese. What you ought to know, though, is that freezing will affect the texture and even the quality of the cheese. Knowing how to freeze cheese is one thing, but understanding the freezers effect on your cheese and working with that is another thing entirely.
With block cheese, what happens when you freeze the cheese is that it becomes very solid and a little hard to work with. You’ll need to thaw it out before you can slice it, though you could grate frozen block cheese if you needed to. The outer sides of the cheese won’t be as solid and hard as the interior of the cheese, so you can work the grater around the edges of the cheese to grate some off while it’s still frozen.
If you take frozen cheese and then thaw it out in the fridge, it won’t be the same as it was before it was frozen. It will become crumbly when cut, so it will be very difficult to get slices of cheese from your block cheese. Your results will vary from one type of cheese to another, but generally, it’s best to freeze cheese that’s already in the shape and size you want it. So, if you plan to take a block cheese and slice it at a later point, it’s better to slice it before you put it into the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Cheese?
It doesn’t take cheese very long to freeze- usually, just a few hours. Once it’s frozen, your cheese will probably never go bad. You could store it for as many years as you like, but for the best quality cheese with the freshest flavor and proper texture, you’ll want to use it within six to nine months.
If you wait longer than that to use the cheese, it may become even more brittle and may lose some of its flavor. It won’t be bad to eat and shouldn’t cause you any health issues, but it may not be the most pleasant, freshest tasting cheese.
How to Freeze Mozzarella Cheese
Freezing most types of block cheese is really simple. All you need to do is store the cheese in some kind of freezer safe container or freezer safe resealable plastic bag. If you’re using a plastic bag to store the cheese, make sure you get all the air out so that the cheese stays fresher for longer. Then, the cheese just needs to be stored in the freezer and kept at a consistent temperature.
You can keep the frozen mozzarella cheese in your freezer for as long as you like until you’re ready to use it. When you want to use the frozen cheese, just take it out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Do not try to defrost the cheese, and be careful about leaving it out at room temperature for very long. These tactics can spoil your cheese or make it difficult to work with. Once the cheese has thawed out enough, you can use it as normal. Its shelf life will then be identical to your typical refrigerated cheese.
In order to preserve the freshness of your cheese, it’s best to use the freezer’s quick freeze function, if your freezer has one.
How to Freeze Shredded Cheese
Freezing shredded cheese is pretty simple as well. You shouldn’t have any problem using shredded cheese after it’s frozen. It doesn’t even need to thaw out. You can store your shredded cheese in a container or plastic bag that’s designed for the freezer. You’ll want to be careful how you store about a bag of shredded cheese in the freezer initially, as it will be soft and easy to crush. Once the cheese has frozen completely, though, you can store it wherever you like in the freezer.
The only difficulty with frozen shredded cheese is that it can thaw easily, particularly compared to block cheese. You want to be careful about leaving it out of the freezer for very long or allowing it to experience any kind of temperature fluctuations. If frozen shredded cheese is not kept consistently very cold, it could spoil easily.
Frozen shredded cheese can often be used without thawing it out. You can put it on pizza, in mac and cheese, and other dishes that are supposed to be heated. The cheese will melt as it’s heated and won’t need to thaw ahead of time. If you’re going to put frozen shredded cheese onto a salad or sandwich or use it in some way where it wouldn’t be warmed before serving, you should allow it to thaw out in the fridge completely first.
How Long Can You Freeze Shredded Cheese?
Shredded cheese is good in the freezer for 6-9 months, though you can store it longer if you don’t care as much about freshness. How long you can get away with storing it really depends on what you plan to use it for. If you want that strong cheese flavor, use it within six months or so.
How to Freeze Cheese Slices
One thing to keep in mind when freezing sliced cheese is that it needs to be separated in order to be easy to use. You’ll probably only want to take a few slices out at a time rather than all of your frozen sliced cheese. To make that easier on you, keep the packaging on your pre-sliced cheese. If you slice the cheese yourself, you can put sheets of plastic or parchment paper between each slice to separate them and then store them in the freezer safe bag or container. Remember to push all the air out of the bag before sealing it shut. As with grated cheese, cheese slices can thaw quickly after they have been frozen, so make sure you keep their temperature consistent as much as possible.
How to Freeze Cream Cheese
Freezing cream cheese is as simple as putting the package straight into the freezer and leaving it there until you’re ready to use it.
If you have used some of the cream cheese and want to know how to freeze the remnant, you can close back its packaging and then place that inside of a freezer safe container or resealable plastic bag that’s designed for freezer use.
If you’re wanting to take some of the frozen cream cheese to use and thaw it out, you may not want to thaw it all at once. You can slice off some of it and just thaw that portion, or you can leave the cream cheese out at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then scrape off the outer edges. Those will be softer, and you can put the still frozen core of the cream cheese block back into the freezer to save for later.
How Long Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese won’t retain its freshness for as long as block cheese, sliced cheese or shredded cheese. It’s best to only leave it in the freezer for about two months or less, if you still want it to be fresh when you’re ready to use it.
It may still be safe to eat after it’s been in the freezer longer than two months, but it won’t taste as fresh as it should.
How to Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting
Is it possible to store cream cheese frosting in the freezer? Yes, when stored in an airtight, freezer safe container, it can last in the freezer for up to three months. Don’t try to use frozen cream cheese, though. Let it thaw in the refrigerator for several hours before trying to use it. It can also thaw out at room temperature, but don’t let it stay at room temperature for too long, or it could spoil. Frozen cream cheese, once thawed, should not be frozen again.
To help it get back its fluffy texture, you may want to whip it once it has thawed completely.
What Cheese Can You Not Freeze?
There are some types of cheeses you really shouldn’t try to freeze. Putting them in the freezer can change their texture so much that they won’t seem like the same cheese anymore. I wouldn’t advise you to freeze most kinds of soft cheese, like brie, camembert, cottage cheese or ricotta. Cream cheese is really the only kind of soft cheese that is suitable for freezing, if you are concerned about keeping the flavor, texture, and freshness of your cheese when freezing it.
How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese
I know I just said not to freeze ricotta cheese, but you can if you have to. I know this cheese has a short shelf life, so freezing it seems tempting and like a good way to keep it from spoiling before you are ready to use it. When you put this cheese in the freezer, you will affect its consistency and texture. It won’t work well as a dip, though it can still be used in lasagna and you probably won’t know the difference. Just store the entire container of ricotta cheese in the freezer as it is and use it before three months. After that point, it’s flavor won’t really be the same.
Why Can’t You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?
I have come across this question before, and this is one of those cheeses you hear conflicting information on. Some people say that you shouldn’t be freezing parmesan cheese, but my experience with it is that it freezes just fine. From those who do freeze it regularly, the recommendation is to use it within nine months.
You can store parmesan cheese in your freezer in its original packaging, and there’s no need to put it into a freezer safe container. The only issue with freezing parmesan cheese is that you can’t really use it straight from the freezer. It will need to thaw at least a little bit before you can use it. So, when you’re ready to use the parmesan cheese, store it in the fridge overnight or for a few hours, or you can store it at room temperature for about an hour before it’s ready to be used.
How to Freeze Mac and Cheese
A lot of different cheese dishes can be stored in the freezer, and the main concern there is the kind of dish you store them in. Some glassware is not suitable for freezer storage. How to freeze macaroni and cheese? Place it into a freezer safe container and keep it in the fridge for up to two months. When you’re ready to use the mac and cheese, place it into the refrigerator overnight to allow it to thaw out fully. Once it has thawed, it will have a shelf life of only a few days. It should not be put back into the freezer after it has thawed.
Before you put mac and cheese into the freezer, though, it should be allowed to cool completely. It’s not a good idea to put hot items into the freezer. Letting them cool down ensures they store better and prevents condensation buildup.
How to Thaw Cheese
Most types of cheese can be easily thought by placing them into the fridge overnight. That should be long enough for the cheese to thaw out completely and be usable. Just remember that whatever the shelf life of the refrigerated cheese was before it was frozen, it will continue from there once it is thawed out. Freezing the cheese doesn’t extend the refrigerator shelf life of this food. It only stops the cheese from spoiling while it is in the freezer.