8 Cheeses That Can Be Frozen for Later
Can you Freeze Cheese Successfully?
Every cheese lover knows that cheese is best enjoyed fresh, but sometimes you can’t help but stock up. And then it’s a race against time to eat it all before it goes bad.
But what do you do if you can’t finish that big chunk of Swiss before it spoils?
Or if you have way too much Cheddar for your weekly cooking needs?
You Freeze it ! ( Well - Some Cheeses! )
Some Cheeses can be Frozen and still taste Delicious ! Let’s take a look at different types of cheese that can be frozen and how to do it.
How do I know which Cheeses Are Suitable
to Be Frozen for Later Use?
Water Content - It Makes a Difference.
The higher the water content in the cheese, the less likely it is to freeze well.
That is because water turns into small ice crystals that damage the structure of the product, and when you thaw it, the cheese will often be crumbly and not as flavorful.
So this helps you to recognize that HARD Cheeses and SEMI-HARD Cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss, and Edam do freeze well.
That's not to say that some softer cheeses like Goat Chevre and Cream Cheeses cant be frozen, but they will need extra care in packaging preparation for the freezer.
Now -- Really SOFT (wet) Cheeses like Brie
do not freeze well because they contain too much water.
8 Types of Cheese That Can Be Frozen
1. Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar is a hard, aged cheese with a sharp, tangy flavor. It freezes well, and you can store it in the freezer for up to three months without it losing any of its flavor or texture.
This includes Cheddar Cheese Specialty Bricks like
Habanero Jalapeno Cheddar
Blueberry White Cheddar
2. Pecorino Romano Cheese Another delicious hard cheese and a staple in most Italian dishes, Pecorino Romano, is
also one of the most freezer-friendly cheeses. It stays perfect in the freezer for up to six months. Pecorino Romano has a bold, pungent flavor and is a cheese to be eaten, not just grated.
This includes Grating Cheese Specialty Bricks like:
An excellent choice for making sandwiches, Italian provolone is a semi-hard cheese. It can stay in the freezer for up to four months and still be in the best condition.
This includes Stretch Cheese Specialty Bricks like:
This slightly sweet but nutty Dutch cheese is one of the most freezer-friendly ones. It has a semi-solid texture, so it can last for up to six months in the freezer.
This includes Semi-Solid Cheese Specialty Bricks like:
5. Mozzarella On average, mozzarella lasts for three to six months in the freezer. It all depends on the
type of mozzarella. Shredded mozzarella freezes best and can last for six months. Slices are also fine for freezing; however, if you have a big block, make sure you cut it into smaller pieces because it might become watery upon defrosting.
This includes Stretch Cheese Specialty Bricks like:
6. Colby Jack / Colby Cheddar
Both Colby and Colby Jack cheeses freeze well. They can last for more than six months if kept below 0°F.
This includes Colby and Jack Cheese Specialty Bricks like:
7. Monterey or Pepper Jack
Like Colby Jack, Monterey Jack is also a good candidate for freezing. Shredded Monterey jack can last for up to six months in the freezer.
This includes Colby and Jack Cheese Specialty Bricks.
8. Swiss Cheese
Swiss is a very distinctive cheese with a nutty, sweet flavor. It’s best frozen in thick slices or big blocks and lasts for six months in the freezer.
This includes other Swiss Cheese Specialty Bricks like:
4 Types of Cheese That Are "Ok" to Freeze -But Might Lose Quality
1. Blue Cheese Blue cheese is an umbrella term for various semi-soft, blue-veined cheeses.
They have a strong, pungent flavor and can be frozen to increase shelf life. But since it’s a fat-rich cheese, it starts to lose its flavor and texture over time, so use it within two months of freezing for best results.
2. Some Goat Cheeses Goat cheeses come in many different varieties, so it’s hard to generalize freezing instructions. But harder, drier goat cheeses freeze well. Just make sure to thaw them slowly in the fridge overnight.
3. Some Fetas Feta is a crumbly, salty cheese that becomes a tad bit drier when frozen. But a fresh, mold-free batch can last in the freezer for up to two months.
4. Cream Cheese Another soft cheese variety, cream cheese, can stay frozen in an airtight container for two to three months. But it will lose some texture and will / may be a little grainy and crumbly once thawed. You can give it a good whip after it is thawed to help reconstitute.
Best Way to Freeze Cheese?
A Complete Guide for Freezing Cheeses
Depending on the texture and types, there are several methods for preparing and packing cheese for freezing. And then proper thawing is key to avoiding any food safety issues. Let’s go over the complete method of freezing cheese below.
Preparation If you have big chunks of cheese, first CUT them down into smaller pieces. This makes a BIG Difference. Why?
Because smaller pieces give more space for water to crystalize, so the cheese can freeze more evenly. It also makes it simpler to defrost the quantity of cheese required for your occasion. Here are your Cutting Options:
1. Shred: Shredding is by far the most effective way to prepare cheese for freezing. Pre-shredded cheese is suitable for storage. It’s also great for melting since you can just add frozen shreds to your casserole, pasta, or whatever dish you’re preparing.
2. Cube: Cut the big block into one-inch cubes, at least. The smaller the pieces, the better. This is the best option for feta cheese and other crumbly types.
3. Slice: Slicing is another good option. Try to make slices thin, and separate each slice with parchment paper for storing. Packing
Packing is the most important part of keeping the cheese in good condition. You can either use zip lock bags or seal them with little to no air using a Vacuum Sealer..
First, if you have a large portion, divide it into small quarter-pound batches.
A vacuum sealer - place in designated sealing bag and vacuum air out.
No vacuum sealer? -- That's ok. Wrap each batch in the original packing or in a zip lock freezer bag, remove as much air as possible before zipping. Then cover it with a layer of cling wrap; or an aluminum foil is also good. Finally, put it all in another zip lock bag or container and label it, and your cheese is ready for the freezer.
Thawing Thawing makes a great difference to the end result; a properly packaged cheese can turn into a disaster if not thawed properly.
The KEY is to slowly and gradually thaw the cheese. The best way to do it is to move the frozen cheese into the fridge for twelve hours before using it. SIDE NOTE -- If you’re going to cook the cheese directly, for example, in a quesadilla, it’s fine to use frozen cheese without thawing it first. Shredded cheese is the best for this type of cooking. You will have to thaw it fully for other uses, like making a cheese sauce.
Fresh vs. Cooked: Can You Freeze Melted Cheese?
The answer is YES; you can Freeze Melted Cheese.
But it’s not ideal and not suitable for all types of cheese.
Once you have melted or cooked the cheese, it becomes a different product and is harder to freeze without affecting the taste or texture. Note that any added ingredients, like spices or sauces, will also affect the freezing process.
For Example: if you have some leftover macaroni and cheese,
you can freeze it in an airtight container. It may remain edible for a week, but the taste and texture won’t be the same as when it was freshly made.
So--- if you have to freeze cheese, try to do it while it’s still fresh and not yet melted.
Sunshine Farms of Paisley FL is a Florida Local Farm making some of the Best Artisian Cheeses available from Goat and Sheep milk. If you haven't had a chance to check them out in person - see their Website at www.sunshinefarmsonline,com
Just 2 of the Popular Cheeses this month at Sunshine Farms of Paisley, FL