No one wants to waste money on cheese that might go bad before they get to eat it. Is it possible that freezing cheese could help preserve it?
You can freeze cheese slices, although the methods for doing so are slightly different for each. Most cheese will keep its flavor for six to nine months. Freezing cheese is not only possible; it’s one of the best ways to ensure you preserve cheese that you won’t eat right away.
In this article, I’ll give you more information about the ins and outs of freezing cheese and tips for the best ways to store it and the best storage vessels to use. Along the way, I’ll also strive to answer any other questions you might have.
How Do You Freeze Cheese Slices?
Freezing cheese slices isn’t difficult, but the process is slightly different for pre-packaged cheese slices, such as Kraft American Singles and deli-sliced cheese that comes without packaging.
Let’s take a closer look at both of these methods.
How Do You Freeze Pre-Packaged Cheese Slices?
Pre-packed cheese slices are the easiest sliced cheese to freeze.
You can freeze pre-packaged cheese slices by sticking them in the freezer. However, for best results, you should cover the whole package of cheese in aluminum foil, then add it to a freezer bag.
I use Ziploc storage bags, like these, because they’re large enough and durable, but you can use whatever size and brand of freezer bags you like best. Be sure you write the date on the outside of the pack with an easy-to-read marker so that you’ll know how long it’s been in the freezer.
How Do You Freeze Deli-Sliced Cheese Slices?
Because deli-sliced cheese doesn’t come in any secure or vacuum-sealed packaging, the process for freezing it is a bit different:
- Start by adding small squares of parchment or wax paper between each slice of cheese.
- Wrap the entire block of stacked slices in the moisture-resistant freezer paper.
- Tape the paper so that it stays firmly wrapped in place.
- Place the whole block inside a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container.
- Again, be sure you add the date so that you’ll know when it went in the freezer and when you need to use it.
Can You Freeze Cheese That Isn’t in Slices?
You can freeze cheese that isn’t sliced. You can freeze a block of cheese that’s one pound (.45 kilograms) or less by wrapping the whole block in freezer paper and then taping it firmly closed. Then, place the paper-wrapped block in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
You may need to use a gallon-sized freezer bag depending on the size and shape of the cheese.
If the block is still in its original packaging, you can skip the freezer paper step and go right to adding it to the freezer bag or container. Either way, make sure you add a date.
How Do You Freeze Shredded Cheese?
Shredded cheese is probably the simplest type of cheese to freeze.
To freeze shredded cheese, add it to a freezer bag and get rid of as much air as possible before sealing the bag. If you have a way to vacuum-seal bags, that works best. Then place it in the freezer.
As with all the other cheeses, be sure to add a date to the bag.
How Do You Freeze a Wheel of Cheese?
How you freeze a wheel of cheese depends on the type as each will have different freezing techniques. For example, you can freeze brie whole, but other cheeses might need to be sliced or shredded before freezing.
Because it won’t hurt any cheese to be sliced or shredded, you might want to freeze cheese wheels this way. Slice them thinly, or use a grater or shredder to turn them into shredded cheese.
Then follow the freezing directions for deli-sliced cheese or shredded cheese found above.
Are There Any Types of Cheese You Can’t Freeze?
You can freeze any type of cheese. However, no matter its flavor, brand, or texture, it will lose some of its freshness after being frozen. Additionally, some don’t freeze well or can’t be frozen as long, so it is best to freeze cheese if you plan to use it in recipes rather than eating it alone.
Again, that doesn’t mean you can’t thaw out a block of cheese and eat it with some crackers. Just don’t be surprised if it feels or tastes slightly different than it did before you froze it.
Most cheese is still relatively tasty after six months in the freezer; some can last as long as nine months without losing too much flavor and texture. Others, though, like brie, can only last about three months or less before they become less than ideal.
Other cheeses that don’t freeze well include:
- Cottage cheese
- Velveeta and other processed cheese
- Queso fresco
These cheese varieties are all best enjoyed fresh whenever possible.
How Long Can You Freeze Cheese Slices For?
In theory, you can freeze cheese slices forever, but the cheese’s quality will degrade the longer you leave it in the freezer. With some cheeses, you can only freeze them for a few weeks before they start to lose their texture and flavor.
Others last a couple of months. On average, the types of cheese that do well in the freezer can last between six and nine months.
What Is the Best Way To Freeze Cheese?
It’s better to freeze the cheese that you plan to use as ingredients in recipes. Cheese that you plan to eat by itself won’t taste exactly the same once you freeze it, but you won’t notice the change so much in cheese used in cooking.
The best method for freezing cheese is in wrapping it correctly. Individually wrapped slices should be wrapped in aluminum foil before freezing. Deli slices should be separated by wax paper, then wrapped and frozen. For shredded cheese, simply bag it and freeze it.
How Do You Defrost Sliced Cheese?
There are several ways to defrost sliced cheese.
To defrost sliced cheese, move it from the freezer to the fridge while still in its freezer-safe packaging. This process takes a couple of days, but it allows the cheese to retain moisture, which helps it stay creamy and fresh-tasting.
Other options include letting it sit on the counter, still wrapped in its freezer wrappings, somewhere out of the sun. It thaws faster this way, but it loses more of its texture than it would in the fridge.
Pro Tip: If you’re making something like pizza or lasagna, you don’t need to thaw the cheese before using it. Add it directly to the dish you’re cooking. As the food cooks in the oven, the cheese will defrost and melt like regular, unfrozen cheese.
Finally, you could microwave it, but it’s best to do this only if you’re going to use it right away as an ingredient in a recipe.
Can You Eat Two Year Old Frozen Cheese?
You can eat two-year-old frozen cheese. The typical freezer temperature is 0°F (-18°C), and food frozen at that temperature is safe to eat indefinitely. The longer something stays frozen, the more degraded its texture will be and the worse it will taste when you finally thaw it.
Plus, there’s a greater risk for freezer burn and all kinds of other stuff that makes food taste foul.
However, just because something is edible doesn’t mean you should eat it. Mackerel is edible – and enjoyed by plenty of people – but you won’t catch me eating it! The same is true of two-year-old cheese.
So, the short answer is yes, you can eat two-year-old frozen cheese, but no, you probably shouldn’t do it.
How Do You Keep Sliced Cheese From Molding?
In an interview that she did with The Guardian, Patricia Michelson, founder of one of London’s most famous cheese shops, gave the best advice on preventing moldy cheese.
The best way to keep cheese fresh is to put it in the refrigerator immediately after buying it. Then, once you open it, double-wrap it in wax or parchment paper and store it and a few sugar cubes in a plastic container lined with a dampened kitchen cloth. Freezing your cheese is another option.
Adding a damp kitchen towel to the plastic container helps the cheese retain its moisture. The sugar cubes, on the other hand, help keep it fresh and flavorful.
Using one of the methods listed above to freeze the cheese slices will also prevent molding. However, you should only freeze the cheese you plan to use as an ingredient later on, as it doesn’t taste or feel exactly the same once it’s frozen and thawed.
Can You Preserve Cheese for Long-Term Storage?
You can preserve cheese for long-term storage. As long as your freezer is set to the normal temperature of 0°F (-18°C), you should be able to freeze the cheese for at least six to nine months.
Technically, the cheese will last even longer if frozen, but it may not taste as fresh or feel as smooth if you keep it much longer than that length of time.
Storage Guide for Cheese Slices
We’ve already covered much of the necessary info about storing cheese, especially in the freezer, but the freezer is more about long-term storage. Let’s look at the best ways for storing cheese in the short term.
How To Wrap Cheese
According to an article on storing cheese on the Real Simple website, the type of paper used to wrap cheese depends on the specific type of cheese you’re covering.
Real Simple recommends the following storage options:
- For hard, aged cheeses, such as aged gouda and Parmigiano-Reggiano, wrap them in parchment or wax paper, then in plastic wrap.
- For semi-hard and hard cheeses, such as Gruyere, Swiss, and cheddar, use plastic wrap.
- For soft and semi-soft cheeses, such as brie and goat, use a resealable plastic container.
- When storing blue cheeses, such as gorgonzola and Roquefort, use plastic wrap.
- Stinky cheeses, such as Limburger, need to be stored in a resealable plastic container to prevent the rest of your food from picking up these odors.
- Fresh cheeses in water, such as Feta or mozzarella can be left in the original packaging. You’ll need to change the water every other day.
These wraps are ideal for refrigerator storage only, not freezer storage.
When To Freeze Cheese Slices
If you have several slices of deli-sliced cheese that you know you aren’t going to eat anytime soon, you might want to stick them in the freezer after their first week in the fridge.
Typically, sliced deli cheese lasts about two weeks in the refrigerator before it starts to get old.
Most individually wrapped cheese slices and other processed cheese products can last at least a month (sometimes longer) before you need to trash them. Additionally, unopened wax-coated cheeses last for up to six months, but once you’ve opened them, you need to eat them within three weeks to a month.
Depending on what type of cheese you have, you may need to consider freezing it when it’s a week old, while for other varieties, you may be able to wait several months.
Can You Store Cheese Slices at Room Temperature?
As a general rule, you shouldn’t store cheese slices at room temperature, and you should trash any uneaten cheese that’s been sitting at room temperature longer than a few hours.
However, certain cheeses – mostly hard, aged cheeses with wax coatings – can be left out on the countertop if you have a suitable storage container.
The Cheese Grotto allows you to store cheese on the counter in a controlled temperature environment. It’s convenient if you like to entertain often or if you’re a cheese connoisseur who frequently eats or serves cheese and doesn’t like to wait on it to sit out and warm up.
Best Storage Vessel for Sliced Cheese
Our final section in this Cheese Storage Guide will be about the five best options for cheese storage containers. Let’s look at each one in more detail.
Best Overall: CapaBunga Cheese Vault
Whether you’re storing cheese slices, blocks, or wheels, the CapaBunga Cheese Vault is a great place to do it. It’s made specifically for cheese and features an innovative design that allows the cheese to breathe and helps prevent excess moisture build-up that could lead to mold.
Even better, the box is washable, dishwasher-safe, and reusable, which means less plastic trash in the landfill.
It also comes with a removable insert, which allows you to turn the single, large compartment into two smaller ones. There’s also a spot for labeling the cheese, so you’ll know exactly how long it’s been in the fridge.
Best All-In-One Container: KitchenBe1 Cheese Grater With Container
If you’re the kind of person who likes to buy one tool that performs multiple functions, this is the cheese storage container for you.
It’s a safe, BPA-free storage container from Amazon.com with a rubber traction pad on the bottom to keep it from sliding around the fridge. You can store your cheese in it just like you would any other container.
However, you can also pop off the lid and exchange it with one of the two included graters.
Doing so allows you to grate your cheese, then dump it directly into the box for storage. There’s also an included vegetable peeler, which is just a nice touch.
The box features a simple, ergonomic shape that fits well in the fridge and doesn’t take up a lot of room. All the components are easy to clean, and there’s a satisfaction guarantee.
So if you don’t like it, you can always get your money back! It’s a win-win situation.
Best for Large Quantities of Cheese: Tupperware Cheesmart
There’s not a lot to say about this Tupperware cheese container from Amazon.com except that it works well.
It’s Tupperware, which in my mind, automatically translates to high-quality. It’s also big. It may not be the ideal storage container for cheese slices, but if you’re a real cheese hound who likes to buy all kinds of different cheeses, this would be pretty perfect for you.
Best for Small Quantities of Cheese: Home-X Cheese Storage Container
The Home-X Cheese Storage Container from Amazon.com is an inexpensive storage option for a single large block of cheese or two stacks of individually wrapped or deli-sliced cheese stacks. The lid snaps securely in place, locking in the moisture and locking out all the odors from your fridge.
It’s BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.
It’s also reusable, washable, environmentally friendly, and sized well. In addition to holding a block of cheese or two stacks of cheese slices, there’s also room if you decide to wrap the cheese in parchment or wax paper before storing it.
Best for Freezer Storage: 77L Food Storage Container (3-Pack)
If you want to store your cheese blocks, slices, or wheels in the freezer, these plastic freezer containers from Amazon.com with the snap-in-place lids are ideal. Each of the three containers is a different size, but they’re all stackable, meaning they’ll take up less room in your freezer.
They’re also multi-use containers.
You can use them in the freezer, fridge, or countertop, depending on what you’re storing in them. They’re environmentally friendly and dishwasher and microwave-safe (as long as you remove the lids).
Storing cheese in the freezer is relatively easy, though the process is different depending on what type of cheese you have. Some cheeses, such as hard, aged cheeses, keep longer and better in the freezer than soft and semi-soft cheeses.
For ultimate freshness, you’ll want to store your cheese slices in the fridge instead.
However, if you’re looking for a long-term storage option, the freezer is an excellent backup plan. Just be sure to add dates to everything, and don’t leave anything in there too long.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
For more, don’t miss 10 Best Types of Cheese to Put on Nachos.
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