Can you freeze cheese? You can freeze cheese, but the variety decides. A slight loss of aroma getting lost when frozen. If possible, freezing fresh cheese is the best option.
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The correct storage of cheese is essential for its taste, especially when it comes to freezing. Opinions differ, because not every cheese is suitable for freezing.
The cheese develops from the beginning of production to the moment it is getting eaten. If cheese is frozen, this process is interrupted because above 2 °C, the lactic acid bacteria in cheese are deactivated.
It also affects the taste and structure of the cheese, as several texture changes are indispensable during freezing. But don’t worry, if some cheese is left over, some types can be getting frozen with little effect.
What happens when you freeze cheese?
Hard cheese, such as Emmental, Gruyère, Cheddar, or Comté, has low water content and is best frozen in pieces, slices or grated.
Like all cheeses, hard cheese also loses water during freezing. It usually makes it crumbly after thawing. It does not look so lovely on the cheeseboard.
Soft cheeses, such as Camembert, Brie, or Géramont, have relatively high water content. During freezing, many crystals are getting formed, which makes the cheese greasy and unsightly after thawing.
Semi-hard cheeses, such as Gouda, Edam, Tilsiter, or Appenzeller, have a water content of between 50 and 64 percent. Semi-hard cheese behaves in a similar way to hard cheese.
Fresh cheese, such as cottage cheese, quark, ricotta or mozzarella, has the highest water content of around 73 percent. It’s not suitable for freezing, because after thawing it usually flocculates and looks very unappetizing.
Freezing Raclette Cheese
Especially with raclette, the cheese should not run out! That’s why people often buy a little too much of it. And what about the leftovers?
They are particularly suitable for freezing — pack raclette cheese as airtight as possible and separate individual slices with foil. Please put them in the fridge to defrost.
Since the quality of raclette cheese slightly decreases when it is frozen, we recommend that you use leftovers in other recipes, if possible.
Freezing semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda and Edam
Semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, Tilsiter, and Co. are just as suitable for freezing as raclette.
They are stored in the freezer with as little air inclusion as possible because the cheese is then ideal for gratinating after careful thawing.
For a tasty cheese sandwich, however, it is better to use fresh cheese.
Freezing Parmesan and other hard cheeses
Hard cheeses like Parmesan, Grana Padano, Cheddar, Emmental, or Appenzeller start to crumble easily in the freezer. Therefore, it is best to freeze them directly and ready grated in freezer bags or cans.
This way, you always have cheese to hand for deliciously refining heavenly gratins and casseroles.
Freezing Camembert and other soft and cream cheeses
Cheeses such as soft and cream cheese are unsuitable for freezing due to their high water content. Instead, we recommend these Camembert recipes or cream cheese dips so that you can still make good use of leftovers.
Tips for freezing cheese
- Frozen cheese is particularly suitable for cooking or gratinating. For example, to make a delicious cheese sauce or gratinating casseroles or gratins.
- If you want to use the cheese for a cheese platter, it is better to use the fresh variety.
- Like all defrosted foods, cheese should be getting devoured after defrosting.
- The cheese should be frozen as long as possible before its MHD for better results.
- Cheese in pieces is better suited for freezing than cheese cut into slices.
- When freezing sliced cheese, it should always be separated with baking or sandwich paper so that the slices do not stick together.
Practical tips for freezing cheese
- Cheese in pieces remains much fresher when frozen than when sliced.
- Cheese keeps for 2-4 months when frozen.
- Always defrost frozen cheese slowly in the fridge.
- Cheese is best getting frozen in airtight packaging in freezer bags, cling film, or plastic tins.
- It is best to separate individual slices of cheese before freezing. Use sandwich paper or foil because it prevents them from sticking together.
Defrosting frozen cheese
- Cheese that you want to use for cooking or baking does not necessarily have to be getting defrosted. If the cheese portions are the right size, you can put the frozen cheese in the pot, or you can set the frozen cheese slices on the casserole.
- Fresh cheese that you want to use for baking or cooking should always be defrosted in the refrigerator, as it is particularly perishable.
- Never defrost frozen cheese in the microwave.
- The slower the cheese thaws, the less fluid it loses. It is best to defrost frozen cheese in the refrigerator. Place it in its package in the fridge in the vegetable compartment and give it a day to defrost.
- If defrosting has to be quick because you need the frozen cheese for cooking or baking on the same day, let it defrost outside the fridge at room temperature. In summer temperatures, however, this can cause it to sweat on the outside while it is still getting frozen at the core.
These cheeses are allowed in the freezer:
- Hard cheeses like Parmesan, for example. However, this should be frozen grated. Otherwise, it will crumble.
- Hard cheeses such as Emmental, Cheddar, or Comté can also be frozen. It is best to freeze these varieties in pieces, slices or grated.
- Blue cheese with high-fat content and no rind, like Saint Agur or Roquefort.
- Semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, Tilsiter, Raclette cheese, or Appenzeller; however, they become somewhat stickier when defrosted.
These cheeses should not be frozen:
- Cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, quark, or mozzarella.
- These types lose their consistency when frozen because they contain a lot of water and flake when they are getting thawed. Feta cheese is, therefore, also only suitable for freezing to a limited extent.
- Cheese with mold rind.
- The mold looks unappetizing after freezing, and it can also lead to changes in taste.
- Soft cheeses like Camembert, Brie, or Géramont should not be frozen.
- These varieties have high water content. When the cheese is frozen, ice crystals form, which ensures that the cheese often looks greasy and no longer appetizing after freezing.
How long does frozen cheese last?
Frozen cheese keeps for two to three months in the freezer. It should not be frozen for longer than this, as it will lose too much of its flavor.
How do you defrost cheese?
It is best to defrost the cheese slowly in the fridge; in this way, it loses the least liquid. At room temperature, the cheese will warm up too quickly. Important: Do not defrost the cheese in the microwave.
How should the cheese be packed when it is frozen?
Appropriate attention should be paid to hygiene when freezing. Use a clean knife and only touch the rind of the cheese, not the cut surface. To avoid freezer burn, pack the cheese airtight, for example, in a plastic box or freezer bag. Both should be marked with a date when the cheese was frozen.
When freezing, you have to decide from one type of cheese to another, whether freezing makes sense at all.
We have therefore put together ten practical tips for storing and freezing cheese:
Buy cheese in pieces and not in slices, the rind is the optimal “packaging.” It does not dry out so quickly.
Freshly grated cheese must be processed immediately. It dries out very quickly during any storage, whether in the refrigerator or freezer and loses a lot of its aroma.
Fresh cheese becomes “grilled” and flocculates after thawing. It’s not getting recommended.
Soft cheese (Brie, Camembert) becomes mushy. It’s not getting recommended.
Fat-rich hard cheeses such as Parmesan or semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda are the types of cheese that survive freezing best. But please in one piece and not grated.
By the way, the part can be grated best when frozen. But hard cheeses can also be kept for many weeks in the refrigerator if stored correctly.
Wrap the piece in parchment paper/cheese-paper and place it in the vegetable drawer and place a slightly damp cloth inside.
Wrap the cheese in freezer bags or tins for freezing. If you have a vacuum machine, all the better. The more airtight, the better.
Separate the raclette cheese with sandwich paper between the slices and wrap in foil.
Hygiene is the priority: When portioning cheese, make sure you don’t touch the slices, only use the rind and a clean knife. It applies to storage in the refrigerator as well as in the freezer compartment.
How long can you freeze cheese? Do not freeze for more than two months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight instead of shock.
Hard and semi-hard cheeses keep the best in the whole loaf. At the right temperature and appropriate storage conditions, they can be getting kept for many months.
Smaller quantities can also be frozen.
Soft and cream cheeses should always be stored in the refrigerator and consumed according to their best before date. They are not well suited for freezing.
FAQ Freezing Cheese
How long can cheese be kept?
Cheese shelf life at a glance: Once opened, fresh cheese should be getting consumed within seven days, provided it is kept clean and hermetically sealed. Sliced cheese - whether from the loaf or the packaging - keeps for about ten days in the freezer when wrapped in cling film.
How long does cheese keep in the refrigerator?
The shelf life of cheese varies from variety to variety. Soft cheese stays fresh for about two weeks, hard cheese up to three weeks in the refrigerator. Raw milk cheese, on the other hand, should only be stored for one week. With blue cheese, the typical mold can spread without the cheese spoiling.
Can you freeze cheese twice?
If you freeze and thaw other foods twice, there is no acute health risk. However, the taste and consistency of fish, ready meals, a potato pan, or vegetables are affected by repeated freezing and thawing. Nutrients can also be getting lost in the process.
When should you stop eating cheese?
As long as cheese smells and looks healthy, it is okay. It does not matter whether the package has already been getting opened. A clear sign that a piece of cheese is no longer functional is mold stains. If the packaging looks bloated, the cheese should no longer be getting eaten.
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