Q. I bought two cheese balls for a holiday party and only ended up serving one of them. The other one is still sitting unopened in my fridge. I’m not personally a huge fan of cheese balls, and only use them for large family gatherings, since everyone else really enjoys them. I would like to keep the extra one for the next family get-together, but that won’t be for a few months. I don’t want to throw it out and have to buy a new one, but I don’t know if it will dry out and go crumbly after freezing. Can you freeze cheese balls?
A. Yes you can freeze cheese balls, with some caution. Cheese does have a tendency to dry out after having been frozen, but that doesn’t mean your frozen cheese ball will be a fail. It is important to freeze it carefully to avoid freezer burn, and then to allow enough time to let it thaw before serving.
How to freeze cheese balls?
To freeze cheese balls, first make sure that there are no dry spots on the cheese ball. Then, wrap the entire cheese ball tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap. Double check to make sure that no part of the cheese ball is exposed to the air, as this will cause freezer burn once in the freezer. Place the cheese ball into a freezer safe bag. Seal the bag, and then label and date it. If you are worried about the cheese ball getting squished accidentally in the freezer, place the bag in a hard-sided freezer safe container.
To use the frozen cheese ball, remove it from the freezer 1-2 days before you plan to use it. Cheese balls cannot be thawed on the counter due to their milk content, and cannot be microwaved or they will lose their shape. They must be thawed in the refrigerator so that the temperature remains stable. This can take several hours or more, depending on the size of the cheese ball. Thaw the cheese ball in the plastic wrap to keep as much moisture in the cheese ball as possible.
To check if the cheese ball is completely thawed, unwrap it and insert a toothpick into the center. It should go through the cheese ball without any resistance. Once thawed, it can be placed at room temperature for up to an hour before serving. It the outside of the cheese ball isn’t even, it can be rolled in herbs or crushed nuts before serving.