Hello! I have several wedges of cheddar cheese and I’m unsure whether it’s safe to freeze cheese? Would you have any experience in this department? If I try to defrost it overnight and let it reach room temperature by morning, would it be safe to cook? What about consistency, flavor and food safety?
Freezing cheese might sound odd for some, but it is a common practice. There are numerous occasions that may warrant freezing cheese; one example is when you are buying the product in bulk.
Not all cheeses will freeze well. This would depend mostly on the type of cheese. Most hard, or semi–hard cheeses, like cheddar, can be frozen without sacrificing the flavor. Soft cheeses, on the other hand, can develop a watery and grainy consistency when defrosted. In some cases, freezing can also affect hard cheese by making it crumbly.
Can You Freeze Cheddar Cheese?
Due to the possible changes in the consistency, it is best to use frozen cheese for cooking. Another trick to address crumbling and grainy textures is to grate the cheese prior to freezing.
Make sure to seal the product in an airtight plastic bag. This protects the cheese from too much moisture that could enter the bag.
Also, never freeze blocks of cheddar cheese. Freezing in blocks results in drying, which causes cheese to become bland, hard and crumbly.
Another trick to keep the freshness is to wrap cheddar in parchment paper and then covering it loosely with aluminum foil. This technique will keep the cheese fresh for over a month.
When thawing your cheese, place it in the fridge with the wrapping intact. Allow the cheese to soften gradually. Do not remove or open the cover since this will facilitate loss of moisture.
Another alternative to extending the shelf life of cheese is by using vacuum packs. This process keeps air and moisture out, which prolongs freshness.
How to Freeze Cheddar Cheese
Cheese that has been frozen can lose its flavor and consistency over time. Therefore, it is recommended to slice the cheese into chunks or grate it. Also, prepping the cheese before freezing saves you the trouble of having to slice through a large chunk while its rock-hard. Here are a few helpful steps on how to freeze your cheese successfully.
- When freezing large quantities, make sure to prepare several pieces of airtight bags. Make sure that the bags are clean and dry.
- Depending on your preference, cut the cheddar into slices, chunks or shreds.
- Separte the cheese into half to one-pound bags. Never store your cheese together in one bag. Keeping frozen cheese in smaller bags avoids having to freeze and thaw the same bag repetitively. This ensures the cheese’s optimum flavor and texture.
- Label each bag. Be sure to place the date.
- At this stage, you may opt to use a vacuum pack to seal the bags or opt for a regular resealable freezer bag.
Cheddar Cheese Recipes
Apple and Cheddar Cheese Souffles
A fluffy and lightly baked savory dish made from beaten egg whites, yolks, caramelized granny apples and melted cheddar cheese.
Grilled Cheese Pizza
A simple and easy homemade rendition of a pizza made from brown bread, pizza sauce, melted cheese, olives and pepperoni.
Fried Cheddar Cheese Cubes
A quick and easy to prep appetizer dish made from cheddar cheese cubes covered in breadcrumbs and fried for a cheesy perfection!