Many types of cheese can be frozen for about 2-6 months without causing problems. Blocks, slices, or grated cheeses can be sealed in an airtight container before placing in the freezer. While it's not recommended to store moist cheese or specialty artisan varieties in the freezer, block cheese from a deli (prepared food store) freezes very well. Although the texture will be more gritty, the taste will remain the same. This is why it's a good idea to melt cheese in cooking dishes or use it as a topping instead of melting cheese slices for a snack.
Method 1 of 4: Preparing the Cheese Blocks for Freezing
Step 1. Cut large cheese blocks into 0.2 kg chunks
Try not to put the big cheese wheel right away in the freezer; first cut it into pieces that do not weigh more than 0.2 kg. Depending on how the cheese will be used, you can cut it into small cubes.
This will allow the cheese to freeze and melt completely
Step 2. Wrap the plastic wrap around the cheese block to make it airtight
Use plastic food wrap or zip-top containers (such as Tupperware), or food-safe airtight packaging to store cheese. Wrap the plastic tightly around the cheese block and remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn (food crystallizes and ice spots appear when frozen). Place the cheese wrapped in plastic in a freezer bag for added protection.
- Make sure you use moisture-proof packaging.
- If the cheese block weighs 0.2 kg or less, leave the cheese in its original packaging and place it in a freezer bag for added protection.
Step 3. Record the name and packaging date of the packaged cheese before storing it in the freezer
So that you can easily identify the type of cheese that was frozen and how long it has been in the freezer, write down the name of the product on the packaging with a permanent marker. Also include the expiration date and the date the cheese was packaged. Then, store it in a dry part of the freezer.
Keep the freezer door closed so the cheese can freeze quickly and thoroughly
Method 2 of 4: Freezing Slice or Grated Cheese
Step 1. Grate or slice the cheese for easy melting later
If you plan to use a block of cheese that is a little too firm for later cooking, cut it into small pieces before freezing. Use a cheese grater or a slicing knife in a food processor to turn the cheese blocks into fine slices. You can also cut the cheese into small slices with a knife.
Grated or prepackaged cheese slices can also be frozen easily. Just make sure the expiration date hasn't passed and doesn't look moldy
Step 2. Store the grated cheese in a sealable plastic bag
If you're grating the cheese yourself, put it all in a zip-top container. For manufacturer packaged cheese, make a small hole in the package. Squeeze the bag as finely as possible to remove as much air as possible, then seal it back tightly.
If needed, place the cheese packet in a second freezer bag to make it airtight
Step 3. Slide the parchment paper between the cheese slices before wrapping
When freezing pre-sliced or do-it-yourself cheese, cut a piece of parchment paper per slice of cheese you have. Cut the paper so that it is 1 cm larger than the size of the cheese slices to make it easier to separate when frozen. Then, slip a sheet of paper between each cheese slice so that it forms alternating piles of cheese and parchment paper.
- Once the cheese stack is complete, seal it in airtight packaging like a cheese block.
- When you take a few slices of cheese from the frozen pile, pull out the parchment paper to separate out as many slices of cheese as possible.
Step 4. Put the date and label on the package before freezing
Use a permanent marker to write down the type of cheese on the package. Also include the expiration date and the date the cheese was wrapped in before placing it in the freezer so you can know how long the cheese is still good. If the cheese bag is labeled, store it in the dry part of the freezer until it's time to use it.
Method 3 of 4: Defrosting the Frozen Cheese
Step 1. Use frozen cheese in 2-6 months
Try not to freeze naturally soft cheeses such as Gouda, Gruyère and Brie for more than 2 months. For processed and tougher cheeses, please store them for up to 6 months. Look at the date you noted on the package and throw away cheese that is not used more than 6 months
Keep in mind that grated cheeses and hollow cheeses such as Swiss or cracked cheeses such as blue cheese are more prone to freezer burn. Check your cheeses regularly to make sure they haven't gone stale
Step 2. Defrost the cheese in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours
Before consuming the cheese, you need to allow the ice crystals to melt and restore the cheese's moisture. Chill the grated or sliced cheese in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. For thick and block cheeses, wait about 2 days and allow the cheese to completely melt.
- Remove as much cheese as you plan to use over the next few days. If you're using grated cheese, open the bag and beat or break it according to the amount you want to use. You can also peel a few slices of cheese by pulling them from the parchment paper. Then, reseal the packaging and return the rest to the freezer.
- Frozen cheese blocks need to be completely thawed.
Step 3. Cook or eat thawed cheese within 2-3 days
Even if the expiration date is still far away, it's best to use freshly thawed cheese as soon as possible for best results. Use cheese for baked goods such as pizza, lasagna, or casserole, melt it over hamburgers or nachos, or use it as a sprinkling of lettuce for a cheesy flavor while avoiding the calories. Either way, make sure the cheese is used up within the next few days.
After 3 days, throw away any melted but unused cheese
Method 4 of 4: Determining Which Cheese Needs to Be Freeze
Step 1. Freeze processed cheese as slices, slices, or blocks
Processed cheeses purchased from the deli such as cheddar, provolone, low-moisture mozzarella, Colby Jack, and others are suitable for freezing. Whether you buy them straight from the deli or prepackaged, freeze these cheeses in blocks or small slices, or grated.
This form of cheese tends to melt more easily, so it's best to use it immediately after it's thawed
Step 2. Store hard, naturally aging cheeses in the freezer to make them brittle
Before you freeze hard, naturally aging cheeses, consider how long the cheese will be stored and how it will be consumed. Aging cheese varieties such as pecorino, asiago, parmesan, and blue cheese can be frozen grated or in small blocks. Once frozen and thawed, the cheese will become more crumbly so it can be used in cooking or as a topping.
- Since many aged cheeses can last up to 4 months in the refrigerator, these varieties usually don't need to be frozen.
- You can freeze blue cheese for 6 months before using it as a sprinkling of lettuce.
Step 3. Freeze the natural soft cheese if you want to use it in cooking
Naturally soft cheeses like Brie can be frozen, but are often coarse and have a runny consistency. So, it's best to only freeze soft cheese if you're going to melt it or cook it after it's thawed.
- If you want to spread the soft cheese on the biscuits, store them in the refrigerator to preserve the taste and texture.
- Usually, natural soft cheeses can be frozen as part of the cooking process as they will melt during cooking or reheating.
Step 4. Try not to freeze the damp cheese
Cheese varieties such as cottage cheese, ricotta, and cream cheese should be stored in the refrigerator and used before the expiration date on the package arrives. Similarly, cheeses that are normally kept in water such as fresh mozzarella balls or burrata should not be frozen.
- Freezing these cheeses will ruin the crumbly texture and flavor of the cheese. Depending on the type, the cheese will either dry out and be tough or mushy and runny after thawing.
- Usually these cheeses can be frozen once they are part of a dish, such as lasagna or casserole.
- Cheesecakes can be frozen because the cream cheese is already baked.