How To Freeze Dairy Products
How to Freeze Cheese
Freezing cheese is possible for many cheese varieties. Freezing cheese can help prevent a large block of cheese from going moldy before its finished and is a good way to store all those cheeses you snapped up in a sale.
Choose the right cheese.Hard, very hard and semi-hard cheese will freeze, although some cheeses will be crumbly after freezing (but will still taste good). On the other hand, soft cheese does not freeze well, such as cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and cream cheese, so don't freeze these varieties. Varieties include:
- Very hard cheese: Pecorino, Romano Parmesan
- Hard cheese: Cheddar, Swiss, Edam, Gouda and Colby
- Semi-hard/soft cheese: Havarti, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Brick, Camembert, Brie
- Soft cheese: Ricotta, feta, cottage cheese, cream cheese.
Freezing a Block of Cheese
Cheese frozen in this way can keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Select a suitable cheese.Hard and very hard cheese or a semi-hard cheese such as Brie or Camembert can be frozen as a whole.
Cut down large blocks, if necessary.The most cheese that should be frozen as a block is 1/2 pound/225g to 1 pound/500g.
Wrap the cheese block.Use wrapping that is moisture-proof and airtight. Some options include:
- Wrap in wax paper, then foil. Place inside a resealable bag or airtight container.
- Wrap in foil. Place inside a resealable bag or airtight container.
- Wrap in plastic food wrap. Then either wrap in foil or place straight into a resealable bag or airtight container.
- Leave in original packaging for Brie or Camembert. Add to resealable bag or airtight container.
Seal the bag or container.Label and date.
Place in the freezer.
Thaw slowly.Move from the freezer to the refrigerator for thawing. The more slowly the cheese thaws, the better, as this will help it to retain moisture.
- If the cheese has turned crumbly during freezing, use for cooking, adding to sauces or melting on bread/toppings, etc. Blue cheese is especially prone to crumbling.
Freezing Shredded or Grated Cheese
Shredded/grated cheese can be frozen for 3 to 6 months.
Choose a very hard or a hard cheese.These types will grate easily and freeze well in shredded form.
Shred or grate the cheese.This can either be done by hand using a stand-up shredder/grater or in a food processor that has a cheese shredding blade.
Fill a resealable bag with shredded or grated cheese.Leave about a half an inch/ centimeter (0.1 in) from the top of the bag.
Seal the bag.Press the bag flat as gently as you can to expel excess air before sealing. Label and date the bags.
Place in the freezer.
- If you have a lot of bags, arrange across a baking sheet first. Flatten the cheese inside as much as possible without damaging it. Then freeze. Once the bags are frozen, they can be stacked neatly one on top of the other.
Use as needed.Break off or shake out the amount of shredded or grated cheese needed for cooking.
- Shredded cheese can be placed on top of hot food to melt (such as pasta sauce) but it will also introduce a little moisture, so take this into account.
Freezing Sliced Cheese
Pasteurized slices of cheese can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Select hard variety sliced cheese.You can either purchase pre-sliced cheese packages or slice a block of cheese yourself. Slice a block using a cheese knife, sharp knife or special cheese wire cutters.
- If cutting your own cheese, keep the slices an even size.
- If you are using pre-sliced cheese, check it before freezing it. If is has any mold on it, it is not suitable for freezing and needs to be discarded.
Cut squares from parchment or sandwich wrap paper that match the slice sizes.These will separate the slices when frozen.
Create a layer of slices and paper pieces.Stack up to 10 slices at a time, alternating between one slice of cheese and one square of paper. Continue until the stack is formed.
Slide the stack into a resealable bag or a suitable freezer proof container.Label and date.
Place in the freezer.Leave it where it is easily accessible, so that household members can grab a slice or two when needed.
Use.To remove a slice or more, open the package or container and peel away from a paper layer under the first slice. Repeat for each slice needed. Discard the paper layer and use the cheese as usual.
- Frozen cheese slices can be packed straight into sandwiches for school or work. They'll have thawed by lunchtime.
- Frozen cheese slices can be added straight to bread for grilling/broiling or other heating methods.
- Frozen cheese slices can be added straight to dishes you're preparing, such as lasagna, pie, toppings, etc.
QuestionIs it possible to freeze gruyere cheese?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhen you freeze cheese, the moisture inside the cheese will crystallize and alter the microstructure of the cheese. Technically, it is possible to freeze gruyere cheese, but if the question is "Is it possible to freeze gruyere cheese and have it thaw out exactly like it was before," the answer is "no."Thanks!
QuestionWhat else can I use If I don't have parchment paper to put between the cheese slices?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse wax paper or plastic wrap between each slice.Thanks!
QuestionCan I freeze American sliced cheese?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWe do freeze American cheese typically when we buy a 5 lb block, however it will sometimes crumble after it is thawed in the fridge.Thanks!
QuestionCan I freeze shredded cheese I bought in a bag?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCheese freezes very well. Firm cheeses tend to crumble a lot more after they have thawed out and are being used, though. Shredded cheese in a bag, double or triple-wrapped, should freeze just fine. It is best to use it within two months of freezing, though.Thanks!
QuestionCan cheese be refrozen if it has been frozen before?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but it may affect the taste of the cheese.Thanks!
QuestionCan I freeze fresh mozzarella?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, just make sure to dehydrate it a little, as it will taste terrible if there's too much water in it.Thanks!
QuestionCan you freeze brie successfully?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but it won’t come out looking the way it did before you froze it. While it will still be edible and taste good, you might not want to serve it to guests. Soft cheeses are much more difficult to freeze than hard cheeses because of their higher water and fat content. When water freezes, it contracts. Then it expands upon thawing, changing the consistency of the cheese.Thanks!
QuestionCan farmer's cheese be frozen?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, farmer's cheese can be frozen as long as it's packaged properly.Thanks!
Can I freeze Colby jack bar cheese?
I am going to purchase a case (6/7oz. Packages) of Alsatian Munster. It's hard to get and quite expensive. Will I be able to freeze some of it for future use?
How long can you freeze sliced cheese?
How can I freeze cheese that has been cubed?
Can you freeze emmental cheese?
- Although it isn't possible to freeze soft cheeses on their own, it is fine to freeze them as part of a dish, such as a stew or casserole that contains them.
- Freezer wrap can be used on a block of cheese destined for freezing.
- If cream cheese has been frozen by accident, it can used as a dip or as icing/frosting.
- This article applies to commercially produced cheese. For homemade cheese, consult the relevant manual or guide you followed to make it, or your local food education center (often at universities or similar institutions) for sound advice relevant to the product you've manufactured at home.
- Whenever you take a part of the frozen product out of the container, use squeaky clean hands or a clean implement to do this, so as to avoid introducing germs to the package. Return the bag or container to the freezer quickly after you've taken out what you need.
Things You'll Need
Knife and cutting board
Cheese shredder/grater or food processor
Resealable bags or airtight freezer-proof containers
Marker for labels
Baking sheet (optional)
Weighing scales for weighing block of cheese
Sources and Citations
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