Q. I bought a large block of cheddar cheese on sale, with the intention of freezing a large portion of it for later use. However, I’m now concerned that freezing it may not be such a good idea. My neighbour told me that cheddar cheese can’t be frozen because freezing any type of cheese will ruin it. My mother agrees and says that cheese goes all crumbly and dry after being frozen. I’m a bit worried because now I have a huge hunk of cheese that I can’t eat in time and no way to preserve it. So I’m hoping you can settle this for me. Can you freeze cheddar cheese?
A. Actually, cheddar cheese freezes better than some other types of cheese, so you’re in luck! It’s true that soft cheeses often lose much of their texture after having been frozen. However, harder and aged cheeses freeze better because of their lower moisture content. Cheddar isn’t an aged cheese like Parmesan, but it is sturdy enough to stand up to freezing. Your mother is right about one thing though- cheese does tend to have a crumblier texture after having been frozen, so you probably won’t be using previously frozen cheddar cheese on a cheese tray. It will be better used in recipes where it can be shredded, crumbled, or melted. The taste and quality of the cheese shouldn’t be affected by freezing if the cheese is eaten within 2-3 months of being frozen.
How to Freeze Cheddar Cheese?
To freeze cheddar cheese, cut the amount of cheese you want to freeze. It may be a good idea to freeze it in smaller pieces so that less goes to waste upon thawing. To freeze a block of cheese, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap to keep as much of its moisture intact as possible. Then place the wrapped piece of cheese in a freezer bag. Squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag.
How to Defrost Cheddar Cheese?
If you’re planning on using the cheddar cheese grated or melted in recipes, then use a cheese grater to grate the cheese into a bowl. Toss the cheese with a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch to absorb moisture and stop the cheese from clumping together upon freezing. Place the shredded cheese in a freezer bag and distribute so that the bag can lay flat in the freezer. This also helps to protect against clumping. To thaw, place cheese in the refrigerator until thawed, or simply toss grated cheese into recipes directly from the freezer.