Can You Freeze Brie Cheese?
Brie cheese can be an expensive treat. If you’ve found it on a sale and stocked up, I don’t blame you. And if you’re like me, you were a bit overeager and bought too much.
Now that you realized that, you’re looking for ways to make this soft cheese last longer. And, like with other foods, freezing popped up as the top answer. Can you freeze brie? Let’s talk about freezing that white-mold cheese that originates from France.
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Technically speaking, you can freeze any food, but as we both know some foods freeze better than others. Brie, with its smooth semi-soft texture, doesn’t freeze particularly well, but it turns out good enough for cooked and baked recipes. When it comes to putting a thawed slice on a sandwich, you might be a bit disappointed.
That means that whenever you freeze brie, it’s best to find a dish that requires cooking or baking it. And it doesn’t need to be fancy. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. I decided to try out toasting bread with brie slices in the oven. The setup couldn’t be more simple:
I put the toasts in the oven for like 12 minutes, and here’s what I got:
They might not look the yummiest, but I found them delicious.
Of course, frozen and thawed brie is still edible without cooking it, but you might not be that fond of it. The best thing to do is to try eating it a single slice, and if you don’t quite enjoy it, toast the rest.
Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge and freeze brie? Check out its shelf life. You might be able to use it before it goes bad after all.
If you go through other guides out there, pretty much all of them suggest slicing the brie and wrapping each piece separately. I’m not a fan of that method for two reasons.
First, it asks you to use a whole lot of plastic in the form of freezer wrap. And as you probably know, we could all use less plastic and produce less waste. Second, wrapping each slice sounds like quite a lot of work. I don’t know about you, but I’m much more likely to follow through with a freezing routine that takes 3 minutes than one that takes 10. That said, here’s how I go about freezing brie:
- Slice the wheel or wedge of brie into portions. The size and shape are up to you. Think about how you’re going to use the cheese after thawing and cut it accordingly. If you don’t have a plan in place, go with slices.
- Grab a resealable freezer bag and a cookie sheet or a shallow casserole dish. Put the bag on its side on the sheet.
- Transfer the slices into that freezer bag and lay them out in a single layer. Make sure the pieces don’t touch each other. Squeeze as much air out of that bag as you can and seal it tightly.
- Transfer the cookie sheet into the freezer. Leave it there until the slices freeze.
- Remove the sheet from the freezer, as it’s no longer needed. If you’re worried that the cheese will get squashed by other food, put that freezer bag into a container for added safety.
As you can tell, the whole process is super simple (I use it for freezing Blue cheese too) and takes a couple of minutes. We still freeze the cheese with as little air as possible to avoid freezer burn and keep the quality of the cheese high. And you can easily grab a slice or two from the freezer bag without having to defrost the whole thing.
Frozen Brie Cheese retains good quality for up to 6 months (NCHFP, FKA). Like with all frozen food, the quality gradually degrades, so the earlier you use it, the better.
Brie won’t go bad or anything like that after those six months, so don’t dump it right away if it’s frozen for more than half a year. Thaw it in the fridge (for best results), and see how it comes out. If it turns out bad, discard it then.
When it comes to thawing frozen brie, there are a couple of options:
- Thaw it in the fridge. Thawing in the refrigerator takes time, but it’s the safest method, and it yields the best results. Throw the frozen pieces in the fridge in the evening, and they should be ready in the morning. If the slices are thick, it might take even more time.
- Use a cold water bath. If you can’t wait for another 12 hours until the semi-soft cheese defrosts in the fridge, transfer the bag into a pot filled with cold water. It should be ready within 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size and shape of the pieces.
- Use it frozen. If your brie goes into a soup, stew, or a baked dish, you should be able to get away with throwing it in frozen. It might take a couple more minutes for the dish to cook, but that’s about it.
Generally, it’s difficult to tell how long a thawed brie cheese will last. As usual, it’s best to eat it right after thawing. But if that’s not possible, or you have some leftovers, try to finish them within a day or two tops.
If you thawed your brie more than two or three days ago, discard it. That’s another reason why you should freeze it in pieces - with pieces you can defrost only as much as you need, so you don’t have any leftovers after thawing.
If you thawed the cheese in the fridge and know right away that you thawed too much, it should be safe to refreeze it.
Not sure if refreezing is a good idea, or have any other freezing questions? Visit our FAQ.
Brie lasts for about two to three weeks (FKA) once it gets to the fridge in the supermarket. There’s a best-by date on the label, and the cheese most often retains good quality for only a couple of days past that date, tops. So if the cheese is due tomorrow and you want to use it the day after tomorrow, it probably doesn’t make much sense to freeze it. Keep it and the fridge, and it should be fine.
If the brie is nearing its date, make sure to always check for spoilage before using it. Look for:
- Discolorations and mold not native to the cheese, e.g., blue or green mold.
- Ammonia-like or off smell (WIKI).
- Hardened texture.
If everything seems to be okay, taste the cheese. If it tastes off, discard it.
If brie gets mold, don’t just cut off the moldy part and use the rest. You can get away with that with hard cheeses like Parmesan, but brie is a soft cheese, and the mold quickly spreads in it. That means that even though the rest of the wedge doesn’t seem to be moldy, that’s not necessarily the case. Better safe than sorry.
Brie is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. Like many other kinds of cheese (e.g., Camembert) it’s named after the place it originated from. In this case, it’s the Brie region in France (WIKI).
Brie’s rind of white mould is produced by either one of the cheese fungi (Penicillium candidum, Penicillium camemberti), or bacterium Brevibacterium linens, and it takes at least 4 to 5 weeks to set in. Check out Wikipedia to read more about this popular dairy snack.