Who can say no to a great deal especially if bags of grated cheese go on sale? But what if you bought too much cheese? Can you freeze grated cheese? Buying cheese in bulk will certainly save you a lot of money. However, there is always the risk of the cheese going bad once it’s been stored too long. The good news is, grated cheese can be frozen successfully. This is a useful storage method for cheese that’s been nearing its expiry date.
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The key to extending the shelf life of grated cheese is to protect the product from freezer burns and air exposure. Grated cheese tends to go crumbly once it’s been frozen and defrosted because the moisture level decreases. By sealing the grated cheese, the product is protected from icy temperature and freezer burns.
When kept in the fridge, an opened bag of grated cheese will last for only 5 to 7 days. But when kept in the freezer, grated cheese will last for 6 to 8 months. Now let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze grated cheese:
How to Freeze Grated Cheese?
Do note that although all types of cheese can be frozen, firmer cheese tends to freeze better than soft cheese. Cheddar, Gouda, and Swiss cheese are just some of the types of firmer cheese that will do well in the freezer.
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Prepping Blocks of Cheese for Grating
If say, you bought blocks of cheese and you’d like to grate them first before freezing, start by cutting the blocks into about ½ pound portions. Get a deep bowl and a cheese grater and start grating the cheese by hand. Sprinkle a little flour into the bowl of cheese and toss the cheese. The flour will prevent the cheese bits from clumping together.
Freezing Freshly Grated Cheese
Get several resealable plastic bags, the ones that come in a smaller size. This way, you can divide the grated cheese into manageable portions and make defrosting much easier. Spoon the grated cheese into each plastic bag, filling it halfway through. Squeeze out the air as you seal the plastic bag, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.
Freezing Unopened Bags of Grated Cheese
For unopened bags of grated cheese, there is no need to transfer the product into another container prior to freezing. You can simply stick the bags of grated cheese in the freezer – original packaging and all – and you’re done.
Freezing Leftover Bags of Grated Cheese
When it comes to leftovers, it’s best to use an airtight container to maintain the integrity of the cheese. Leftover cheese tends to be a little dried out compared to a newly opened pack of grated cheese. The airtight container helps retain the original texture of the cheese. It also prevents the cheese from absorbing freezer flavors.
Start by sprinkling a little flour on the grated cheese and tossing the cheese. Then, scoop the product into the container. Do not overfill the container. Once the container is halfway filled with grated cheese, cover it with cling wrap before closing the lid. Write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.
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How to Defrost Frozen Grated Cheese?
There is no need to defrost frozen grated cheese if it’ll be used in stews or soups. But as a topping, the cheese should be thawed. Frozen grated cheese is so easy to thaw, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the product to defrost for several hours to overnight then it’s ready to use.
Grated cheese can be used in adding richness to soups and stews. It can be used as a topping or filling for pizza, chili, and fajitas. It makes sense to keep any leftover for future cooking because life is better with cheese! Now that you know how can you freeze grated cheese, go ahead and buy cheese in bulk. Keep the rest in the freezer for future uses.