Freezing cheese is safe and can stretch your food budget more than you can imagine. And it requires very little time and minimal effort. Hard cheeses freeze the best, while soft cheeses, such ricotta and cream cheese may suffer considerably in texture and taste. Similarly, after freezing cheese, the shelf life (or time it can sit in refrigerator) will be reduced almost in half. Just like meat, purchasing cheese in large quantities can save a great deal of money! Taking the same care and consideration when freezing cheese as you would meat is key to getting the most out of it! Next time you see a deal to score a bunch of cheese on a dime, feel free to stock up! Now you know it can be frozen!
How to Freeze Cheese:
- First, decide how the cheese will be used. If it will be used for a sauce or topping, then grate the cheese first and freeze it in a plastic storage bag. It is wise to invest in strong, high quality freezer bags for this. Any freezer burn will ruin the cheese.
- As the shredded cheese freezes, remove it from the freezer a few times and shake it hard. This way the cheese doesn’t stick together as it freezes and makes it easier to grab cheese whenever it is needed. When storing large slices or chunks, wrap the cheese well in foil or plastic wrap. Wrapping as tightly as possible will prevent air from reaching the cheese.
- If it will be frozen in blocks or chunks the cheese will change texture slightly. It will still be ideal for grilled cheese, but not as good for cheese and crackers. It is best to use for cooking rather than in uncooked appetizers.
- Place in a plastic freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Well-wrapped cheese will stay good for up to three months but will be best if used within one month. Also, remember to freeze cheese that is nearing its expiration date so it can be used later.
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