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.
How To Use Up Extra/Leftover Cheddar Cheese?
Cheddar cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. But what do you do when you have extra cheddar cheese? Here are five delicious ways to use up your leftover cheddar cheese:
- Make a grilled cheese sandwich – A grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect way to use up extra cheddar cheese. Just add some cheddar cheese to your favorite bread, and you’ll have a delicious and satisfying meal in no time.
- Add it to your scrambled eggs – Cheddar cheese makes a great addition to scrambled eggs. Just add it in with your other ingredients, and you’ll have a tasty breakfast in no time.
- Make a quesadilla – A quesadilla is a great way to use up extra cheddar cheese. Just add some cheddar cheese to a tortilla, and you’ll have a delicious and easy meal in no time.
- Make a macaroni and cheese – Macaroni and cheese is a classic dish that is always a hit. To make it, simply cook your macaroni according to package directions. Once it is cooked, mix in some cheddar cheese and milk. Pour the mixture into a baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Use it as a topping – Cheddar cheese can also be used as a topping on a variety of dishes. Try adding it to your favorite soup or chili, or use it as a topping on a baked potato.
So there you have it – five delicious ways to use up your leftover cheddar cheese. Next time you find yourself with extra cheese, try one of these recipes and enjoy!
Do you have any favorite recipes that use up leftover ingredients? Share them in the comments below!
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!
Yes, you can freeze cheddar cheese. You should cut it into smaller pieces and make sure the bag is airtight to avoid freezer burn or loss of flavor. Wrapping in parchment paper before freezing will also help with this issue. Which technique do you think would work best? Let us know what you ended up doing!