You’ve just finished holding your dinner party with a few of your close friends and see them all out the door as they leave. The moment you clean up you notice that there’s a huge platter of cheese that has been leftover. It would be a waste to just throw it out since you purchased the cheese just this morning for the party. Your family can’t finish it all in one go either, so would it be safe to freeze the cheese overnight and consume it throughout the week?
This kind of situation happens often, as cheese platters are a staple in dinner parties. Most of the time, these cheeses are expensive too, so freezing would likely be a good idea.
Luckily, cheese can be frozen depending on the kind of cheese it is. Given the varieties of cheese and their textures would mean that they have different methods and shelf lives in the freezer. For example, your mozzarella is sure to outlive your cream cheese in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Cheese?
The example given above is an explanation as to why those two types of cheese have different shelf lives in the freezer.
Hard cheeses will last for around one-fourth to one-third of a year while soft and spread cheese will go no longer than a month.
Another thing to note is that cheese will of course still age, just a lot slower if kept in the freezer. A month compared to the week cream cheese can stay in the fridge is still a lot of extra storage time.
Despite the longer shelf life, the cheese will change texture due to the freezing process. Even when thawed, the cheese will become crumbly and is likely to fall apart.
When frozen, moisture trapped in the cheese can lead to the formation of ice crystals. These formations, when thawed, are what cause the crumbling.
Due to this change in texture, one should keep in mind that frozen cheese is best used for recipes and dip and not for serving as is.
How to Freeze Cheese?
It simply won’t do to just toss the cheese in the fridge after your dinner party, as there are still specific steps to follow if you want to properly extend the shelf life of your cheese. If your cheese has been kept in the refrigerator for a while and you want to transfer it to the freezer:
- First, check to see if there are any unwanted molds on the cheese.
- If there are, then cut off portions of the cheese that have mold.
- Once your cheese is mold-free, cut the cheese into smaller pieces (cubes) or grate it before keeping it in an airtight container.
- Alternatively, you can also wrap the pieces in foil or separate the slices with wax paper to prevent sticking.
- If you cut it up into cubes or blocks, make sure that an individual piece weighs no more than half a pound or eight ounces.
Nacho cheese is an easy dip to make that goes perfectly with ground beef and some spices. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0ISihe4DfE
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A grilled ham and cheese sandwich recipe can be adjusted to include additional condiments like tomatoes, mayonnaise, and lettuce.
Yes, you can freeze cheese. Given the variety of cheeses and their textures, it is no wonder that they have different shelf lives in the freezer. Harder cheeses will last for around 3 to 4months while softer or spreadable cheeses should not be frozen at all due to mold concerns. One thing that remains true about freezing your cheese is that it changes texture as water becomes trapped inside ice crystals when frozen which leads to crumbling once thawed. The good news though is that if you plan on using your frozen cheese for recipes then this won’t matter much because those dishes are typically cooked before serving anyway!