Tag: cheese

Dairy

Can You Freeze American Cheese?

American cheese is a type of processed cheese with so many uses. It’s a kitchen staple that’s best enjoyed in a sandwich but you can also use the cheese for cooking or as a quick snack.

But what if you bought American cheese by bulk, can you freeze American cheese?

Although freezing is not a recommended storage option for American cheese, it can be used to extend the shelf life of the product. American cheese is generally made from semi-soft, processed cheese. Since American cheese has low water content, flavor or texture changes are kept at a minimum. Still, there is a good chance that the cheese could turn brittle, tasteless, or crumbly when frozen.

Is Freezing a Good Idea?

As you know, freezing any type of dairy product is tricky because there’s a good chance that the texture and flavor will be altered after the product has been defrosted. The cheese could turn crumbly, dry, or tasteless if it’s not prepped properly prior to freezing.

Freezer burns are also a concern when freezing any type of cheese. If the product has been packed poorly, ice crystals will start forming on the surface and within the cheese, causing freezer burns. Freezer burns will alter the texture of the cheese.

Since American cheese is heavily processed, it should keep for weeks in the fridge with no problems at all. The preservatives will extend the shelf life of the cheese, which means freezing isn’t necessary. That being said, you can freeze American cheese if left with no choice. Do note, however, that the frozen cheese should be strictly used in cooking.  If you’re not planning to use the cheese for cooking, do not freeze it.

can you freeze American cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Jonathan Lin

How to Freeze American Cheese?

American cheese is often sold in individually packed slices, pre-sliced block to slabs. You can prep the cheese in different ways for optimal flavor:

Freezing American Cheese Slices

Freezing American cheese is easy because the product itself is packed in a freezer-safe packaging. In addition, the slices of cheese are packed individually so prepping the product for freezing is down to a minimum.

If you bought American cheese in bulk, leave the cheese that you’d like to freeze unopened for optimal freshness. Just place the packs of sliced American cheese in a freezer safe bag then squeeze as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If say, you are worried that the plastic wrapping will stick to the cheese slices after thawing, you could remove the packaging first prior to freezing. Just unwrap the cheese slices one by one and then layer them with a piece of waxed paper in between each slice. Place the cheese slices in a double layer of freezer-safe resealable plastic bags. Squeeze out the excess air then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Pre-Sliced American Cheese Blocks

Unopened packs of pre-sliced American cheese blocks are easy to freeze. Just place the product in a freezer-safe container, write the storage date then stick in the freezer. For leftover blocks of cheese, wrap the leftover cheese in aluminum foil then place the cheese in a double bag. Squeeze out the excess air, seal then write the storage date.

Freezing American Cheese Slabs

Unless you have a walk-in freezer, we recommend dividing the block of American cheese into manageable portions prior to freezing. This way, thawing the cheese won’t be as inconvenient.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cheese into smaller pieces (no larger than a ½ pound each), the size will depend on the capacity of your freezer. Wrap the pieces of cheese in cling wrap then placer them in a freezer safe double bag. Squeeze out the excess air, seal then write the storage date.

Freezing Grated American Cheese

Yes, you can grate blocks of cheese prior to freezing. This is a great option if you’d like to divide a large slab or block of cheese into manageable portions. We do, however, recommend consuming the grated cheese as soon as possible. Leaving the grated cheese in the freezer for months on end could cause the product to turn brittle due to the freezing temps.

Start by cutting the cheese block in two. Using a grater, grate the cheese by hand. Prepare a couple of freezer-safe resealable plastic bag and spoon the grated cheese into the bag. Squeeze the excess air then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

can you freeze American cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from opacity

Shelf Life, Thawing and Reheating Suggestions

Frozen American cheese will keep for 3 months and beyond in the freezer. However, we do not recommend waiting this long before consuming your supply. Use the cheese as soon as possible for optimal flavor. To reiterate, frozen and thawed American cheese should be strictly used for cooking. You can use the cheese for making soups, casseroles, and sauces.

To thaw the frozen American cheese, simply transfer the container to the fridge. Leave the cheese to thaw overnight. Once the cheese has been thawed completely, you can cut it into the desired portions and add to the dish directly, no reheating needed.

Summary

Can you freeze American cheese? It’s great to know that you can freeze American cheese with ease and avoid waste! Just keep these storage tips in mind to retain the taste and quality of the cheese!

Dairy

Can You Freeze String Cheese?

Can you freeze string cheese? String cheese is a popular snack made from mozzarella or mozzarella-cheddar cheese mix. Generally, string cheese can be frozen although there is no guarantee that the product will taste the same after it’s been thawed. That being said, freezing will not affect the stringiness of the cheese at all. Some cheese varieties tend to turn crumbly once they have been frozen.

Can You Freeze String Cheese?

Yes, string cheese can be frozen thanks to its low water content. Since it contains less water, string cheese could retain its original texture after it’s been thawed and frozen. This means the product will remain stringy once frozen and thawed. Individually packed string cheese and blocks of string cheese could be frozen with relative ease.

Image used under Creative Commons from Chris Hsia

How to freeze individually packed string cheese?

There’s no special preparation needed to freeze string cheese. You can put the product in the freezer, original packaging and all, and leave it to freeze. When you’re ready to thaw, just transfer the product to the fridge and leave it to thaw overnight. If you’re adding several individually packed string cheese sticks to your children’s packed lunch, just leave the frozen product in their lunch box. They should thaw within a couple of hours, just in time for recess.

How to freeze blocks of string cheese?

If you’re freezing blocks of string cheese, additional prep is needed to ensure even freezing. Start by wrapping the string cheese in a resealable plastic bag or placing the product in a freezer-safe container. Seal the container then write the storage date then freeze.  String cheese will keep in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Keep the temperature at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. When you’re ready to thaw, just transfer the product to the fridge and leave it to thaw overnight.

Will freezing change the texture of string cheese?

Foodies and chefs have varying opinions and recommendations when it comes to freezing any type of cheese, however. Still, string cheese it is less likely to turn crumbly or brittle once it’s been frozen and thawed. It will, however, take on a rubbery texture and a deeper yellow color if frozen for too long.

Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of string cheese although re-freezing is not recommended. You can only freeze string cheese once and never re-freeze otherwise; the texture and flavor may be altered.

How to tell if string cheese is no longer safe to eat?

It’s easy to tell if string cheese has gone bad. If you’re seeing mold or greenish gray specks all over the product, the string cheese is no longer safe to eat. If say, the string cheese has taken on a dry texture but there is no presence of mold, it is still safe to eat. However, dry string cheese is best used in cooking because of the different mouth feel.

Is it safe to freeze string cheese sold in plastic packs?

Some people are concerned about freezing any type of products sold in plastic packs. That’s because some packaging chemicals may seep into the product. In addition, certain types of plastic materials aren’t ideal for freezing.

Image used under Creative Commons from k.steudel

Unfortunately, most manufacturers do not disclose what type of plastic they used for the packaging. There is no way to say if the plastic packaging is safe to use in extremely cold temperature. To be on the safe side, consume your supply as soon as possible. You can always unwrap the string cheese and transfer them in a freezer-safe container if you’re really worried about the safety of the product’s original packaging while in a deep freeze.

Will freezing affect the nutritional value of string cheese?

String cheese is a popular snack among kids because it is high in essential vitamins such as calcium, vitamin A, and protein. Some brands even fortify their products with vitamin D and zinc. The good news is, freezing will not affect the nutritional value of string cheese.

Summary

Can you freeze string cheese? String cheese freezes wonderfully although there is a wrong way and a right way to do it. Just keep these freezing tips in mind to make the most out of your supply!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?

Can you freeze mozzarella cheese? Since mozzarella makes an outstanding topping people ask if they can purchase it in bulk amounts and freeze for later.

The answer to this question is yes and no. This is because a fresh handmade ball of mozzarella cheese does not freeze well. But a bag of store brand shredded mozzarella cheese does.

The reason behind that is that most store brand shredded mozzarella contain preservatives. Preservatives keep the cheese fresh. Fresh or shredded, this cheese is the perfect topping for baked tomato dishes, leafy green salads, fresh pasta and pizzas of all kinds.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t freeze fresh mozzarella balls because it will drastically change the texture and flavor of it. A mozzarella ball is always best fresh. That’s when it has the best flavor and texture.

Freezing shredded mozzarella cheese when you have too much on hand is perfectly okay. Shredded cheeses can, in fact, remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-months safely. That’s how you should keep it to keep the texture and true flavor of mozzarella cheese. Below is a simple guide on how can you freeze mozzarella cheese:

How to Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?

Freezing Unopened Mozzarella Cheese

If you buy bulk bags of shredded mozzarella cheese and do not plan to use it all up at once, freezing is the way to go. Take some of those unopened bags, place them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer this way. This will prevent frostbite and the cheese from drastically changing in texture and flavor.

Freezing Leftover Mozzarella Cheese

However, if you have an open, you can place the leftover shredded cheese into freezer bags and store the cheese in the freezer safely for up to 2-months. With that being said, the shredded cheese you freeze must be from a freshly open bag.

Trying to freeze shredded cheese that is even a couple days old is risky. You do not want the overgrowth of bacteria to occur on the cheese before freezing it. If that’s the case, you might end up with food poisoning from eating it because it spoiled.

can you freeze mozzarella cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Aka Hige

How to Defrost Frozen Mozzarella Cheese?

Here’s the best way to defrost mozzarella safely. Take a bag of the frozen shredded mozzarella from the freezer and place it into the refrigerator. It will need at least 8 to 12-hours to defrost.

Don’t try to defrost shredded cheese on the countertop, in a bowl of water or in the microwave. That will cause the cheese to mush, change in texture and in flavor.

Once the cheese has defrosted in the refrigerator it will be ready to sprinkle on or into any dish you plan to make. Best of all, the mozzarella cheese will still have its same gooey smoky flavor and texture that makes it so desirable good.

Summary

Who doesn’t love a mozzarella cheese? If you love cheese then it’s important to know the right way to preserve the product. Now that you know how can you freeze mozzarella cheese, there is no need to worry about the cheese spoilage as it nears its expiry date. Just stick the mozzarella cheese in the freezer and it will keep fresh for weeks.

 

Dairy

Can You Freeze Blue Cheese?

Even though blue cheese isn’t one of dairy products that go bad after a few days, the question can you freeze blue cheese? shows up every so often. If you’re one of the people asking this question, freezing is a good way preserve it fresh for longer.

You could also take advantage of promotions and buy more cheese at cheaper prices. Furthermore, you can store a little more of it if you do not have time to go shopping in the next few days. But what about freezing, can you freeze blue cheese?

Blue cheese can freeze successfully if you plan to use it in cooking. Blue cheese has added flavors and bacteria that give it a characteristic flavor. Its versatility and flavor get better as it ages and gets laden with molds. Besides, it freezes quite well and you can use it anytime you need it.

Expect that there will be a little change in texture, and the cheese might crumble after it thaws. However, it remains safe to consume without requiring any additions. You shouldn’t use frozen blue cheese in dishes that depend on its flavor and texture. You can use in salad dressings, soups, sauces, and casseroles, though.

Different varieties of blue cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Smabs Sputzer

How to Freeze Blue Cheese?

There are several ways that you can freeze blue cheese. Blue cheese can spend up to six months in the freezer and remain safe to use. Unfortunately, it slowly loses its flavor after about two months. Thus, use the cheese within two months of use for the best results.

Freezing Blue Cheese Slices

Start by removing the cheese from its original packaging. Make small slices of the block, each about a half a pound in size. Then wrap each slice tightly in a plastic freezer wrap. That helps avoid freezer burn and prevents it from taking other flavors in the freezer.

You can use frozen slices straight into sandwiches for work or school. They will be thawed by lunchtime. You also add these straight to bread to grill or broil the bread. You can also add it right from the freezer to other dishes as toppings, pie, and lasagna.

Freezing Blue Cheese Blocks

The second method involves freezing cheese small block rather than slices. You can freeze blue cheese in blocks of about half a kilogram. Take the blocks and wrap them in a moisture-proof, airtight plastic bag.

For better results, you may wrap it in an aluminum foil before putting it in an airtight wrap. You may place several wrapped blocks in a plastic container then cover it with a lid. This saves space and makes it more accessible by members of the family.

Freezing Grated or Shredded Blue Cheese

The third method involves grating or shredding the cheese blocks into pieces. You can do it using a hand grater or by placing the cheese in a food processor that has a shredding blade.

Pick a resealable bag and fill it with pieces of grated cheese. Leave some space near the seal of about half a centimeter. When the cheese freezes, it will cling together and to the bag, thus, if filled to the top, the seal may open. Also, you should press the bags flat gently to get rid of any air that might be trapped inside the bag.

How to Defrost Frozen Blue Cheese?

To thaw a piece of the blue cheese, remove it from the deep freezer and place overnight in the refrigerator. If you need to use the cheese on the same day, remove it from the freeze and thaw on the counter.

 

Barkham Blue Cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Jessica Spengler

Please note that the slower the cheese thaws, the better the quality in the end. Once thawed, place it on a table at room temperature for about half an hour. In this period, it develops the flavor and texture. There will be some discoloration on the cheese and it might crumble on thawing. The texture and taste will also be slightly distorted.

Store any leftovers in the fridge and consume within two days. You should never refreeze thawed blue cheese. If the frozen cheese tastes rancid or emits an odd odor, please discard the cheese. Furthermore, if it has any not-natural mold, toss it out.

Summary

Blue cheese has a long shelf life but it’s great to know that you can extend its shelf life even more by freezing. After all, blue cheese isn’t cheap. Now that you know how can you freeze blue cheese, go ahead and freeze your leftovers for later use!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Cheese?

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.

 

Cheese
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.

Summary

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.