In this article, we’re going to discuss freezing cheese and answer the question, “Does frozen cheese go bad?” You’ll learn exactly what happens to cheese when it’s frozen and whether or not you can eat it after 1-year, 2-years, and beyond!
According to the USDA, some cheeses can be frozen for up to 6-months and remain edible, although there are other sources that claim certain cheeses can be frozen indefinitely. It’s generally agreed upon, however, that the longer you keep cheese frozen, the less flavor and aroma it will retain.
Stick around and read on below as we answer all of your questions regarding the cheese-freezing process and comment on the best ways for home cooks to thaw and consume frozen cheese.
Does Frozen Cheese Go Bad?
You can freeze some cheeses to extend their shelf life. However, doing so may come at a cost.
Certain cheeses are capable of preservation through freezing, but not all varieties do well in icy conditions.
For a complete list of the cheeses that can be frozen, consult the table below:
What types of cheese can you freeze?
|Cheeses That Freeze Well
|Cheeses that Don’t Freeze Well
Keeping leftover cheeses frozen is a much better and healthier way to extend their shelf life. When stored in the freezer, your cheese would stay fresh and edible for many months.
A Handy Tip: Cheese’s response to freezing depends on the type of cheese. Some cheese freezes better than others. Make sure you check the recommendations on the particular variety of cheese you plan to freeze before doing so for best results.
How long can you freeze cheese?
According to the USDA, you can freeze some cheeses for up to 6-months. The University of Florida‘s Institute of Food and Agricultural Studies concurs with this recommendation, adding that both soft and hard cheeses should have a freezer shelf-life of 6 months.
Beyond 6 months, the texture and flavor of the cheese will begin to break down, leaving you with a bland, crumbly mess. You will also have to deal with potential freezer burn.
This effect will be more prominent in more watery cheeses. When frozen, the moisture content that’s within the cheese turns into ice crystals. These ice crystals affect the flavor and texture of your cheese over time. When thawed, the moisture will cause the cheese to crumble and lose its flavor.
A Handy Tip: Soft cheeses’ texture can become grainy when frozen. But keep in mind that this problem isn’t particular to soft cheeses alone. Even hard cheeses such as cheddar can become crumbly when you don’t store them properly.
How long does frozen cheese last after expiration date?
Some cheeses (hard and semi-hard) can last for 6 to 8 months past their noted expiration date. It doesn’t matter whether the cheese has been opened or not.
Bad cheese can be rather easy to identify. Simply look for mold spores on the outside of the cheese, then cut a slice and see if you find any mold growth there. If not, the cheese should be edible regardless of the expiration date.
Even hard cheeses with some mold growth may be salvageable. Simply cut off the affected area and consume the parts that aren’t moldy.
On the contrary, discard the entire cheese if you find mold growing on soft cheese. Even if you cut off the mold, the cheese is still unsafe. Why? There’s a chance the mold has spread to other areas but isn’t yet visible.
Does Cheese Expire If Unopened?
Yes, it does. While unsealed cheese may still last a surprisingly long time, unopened cheese will be better preserved. If you’ve already opened a block of cheese and you want to preserve it, just store the cheese in the refrigerator or freezer.
You also have to observe your cheese for any visible sign of spoilage once it has past the expiration date.
Can you eat 2-year-old frozen cheese?
Freezing foods help to extend their shelf lives. Why? The cold environment created by the appliance helps inhibit bacterial growth, preventing the spoilage of foods.
So, your frozen cheese can last for months when stored properly. But like every other food, the frozen cheese’s quality will deteriorate over time.
When you thaw and use frozen cheese that has deteriorated, you won’t enjoy it. So it’s advisable to only consume cheese a few months after storage. Please avoid storing frozen cheese for 2 years. As stated above, the USDA recommends a time limit of 6 months for freezing cheese.
You can decipher when your hard cheese has spoilt by noticing that it has started giving off a sour taste or odor. Consuming expired cheese can really mess with your stomach. It’s best to avoid doing so if possible.
How long can shredded cheese be frozen?
Shredded cheese freezes well. Just ensure you put the cheese into an airtight container before freezing.
Shredded cheese can last in the freezer for 6 months when appropriately prepared before freezing.
A Handy Tip: Make sure you squeeze all excess air out of your bag of shredded cheese before freezing it. Trapped air can cause the cheese to go bad more quickly.
How Do You Store Cheese in The Freezer?
Storing cheese in the freezer is a pretty simple task.
Follow the method steps below to preserve your cheese for up to 6 months!
1: Prepare the cheese
How do you plan to store your cheeses in the freezer? Do you prefer the cheeses sliced and grated, or would you rather keep them in blocks for bulk storage?
Whatever your decision is, remember to store your cheeses in smaller portions. Why? This will help you ensure you don’t thaw a larger amount of cheese that you might not finish at once. Once you thaw the cheese, there’s no going back. Make sure you only thaw a portion size that you’ll actually use.
Also, remember to put parchment paper between cheese slices to ensure they don’t stick together once frozen.
2: Wrap your cheese
It’s time to start wrapping your cheese since you know the size of each portion. Wrap them with foil or cling wrap before putting them in the airtight container or bag.
Remember to squeeze out the air in the bag before placing the cheese in the freezer.
3: Label the package
Remember to label each package before freezing. Note the type of cheese, date of storage, and other vital information you feel are valuable to you.
Can You Freeze Cheese in Its Original Packaging?
Yes, you can. If the cheese in question is a tiny portion, go ahead and freeze it. There’s no point in opening the original package. Just ensure the package is well-sealed.
Finally, remember to store it in an airtight container or freezer bag, as it’s the best way to keep the cheese for an extended period.
How Do You Defrost Cheese?
Thawing cheese is easy and you can defrost cheese with ease. Just remove the quantity of cheese you want from the freezer and put the cheese on a plate.
Leave the cheese in the fridge to defrost overnight. A 500g cheese would defrost in approximately 8 hours. But keep in mind that sliced cheese would take a bit longer to defrost than grated cheese.
Does frozen cheese go bad? You can store frozen cheese indefinitely at zero degrees Fahrenheit. But remember, the quality would deteriorate over time.
Furthermore, many regulatory groups don’t recommend consuming cheese that’s been stored in any way past 6 months. This is to ensure it retains its best quality and is safe for consumption.
You have also to remember that you can’t freeze all types of cheeses. Hard cheeses freeze well, but softer ones don’t. You’re better off finishing your leftover soft cheese than freezing it.
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