Can you freeze cheese? There are many types of cheese, you can find it in a variety of flavors and textures. Some of them are pretty expensive. Because of that, you probably wonder whether stocking up on it on sale and freezing most of it actually makes sense. The answer to the main question depends on how you plan to use the cheese and what kind of cheese is it. Of course you shouldn’t freeze cheese that is close to going bad. Let’s discuss this in detail.
Freezing cheese – what you need to know
As you probably expect, freezing affects cheese, no matter its flavor, texture or form. In general, freezing and thawing changes cheese’s texture – it becomes crumbly. Does the altered texture affect the taste and feel of the dish you’re preparing using the cheese? It depends on the dish itself. Usually crumbly cheese is fine as long as you use it in cooked dishes, like soups, casseroles or stews. Serving thawed cheese without treating it with heat isn’t a good idea, in most cases you won’t be satisfied with the results you’ll get.
There is another important fact about freezing cheese. The firmer the cheese, the less loss of texture and flavor after thawing. If you’re unsure whether freezing certain kind of cheese makes sense, I encourage you to freeze a small portion of it as a trial. If cheese’s taste and texture after freezing and thawing is fine, you can freely freeze it whenever you wish to.
Image used under Creative Commons from Jeremy Noble
Freezing cheese – how to do it
Firstly, you should cut the cheese into portions. In most cases portions shouldn’t be larger than half pound (about 225 grams). While cutting the cheese bear in mind that each portion should be consumed within three days after thawing. You can grate the cheese if you wish to. If you plan to use the cheese grated after thawing, it’s good to grate it before freezing. Now it’s time to package the product and put it into the freezer for the long term.
You can wrap cheese in aluminum wrapping or put it inside a freezer bag (consider using a zipper-type one). You might even consider wrapping it twice. Remember to push out all air from the package, it’ll prevent freezer burn. Date and label the bag. Now it’s ready to be put in the freezer. To preserve best quality, keep it in the freezer for no longer than half a year. Cheese should be thawed in the refrigerator, you can do this overnight.
As you should know by now, cheese can be frozen, but it works best for firmer kinds of cheese, like Gouda, Cheddar, Camembert or Edam. Use thawed cheeses in recipes where they’ll be melted. Most frozen and thawed cheeses will taste fine if you’ll add them to cooked dishes like soups, sauces or casseroles. There are many different opinions when it comes to freezing cheeses. Because of that, try freezing a tiny portion of cheese (of kind that you want to freeze in large amount) and check out if you’re satisfied with the results you’ll get.