Can Cheese Be Frozen

What cheeses can you freeze?

31 March 2020 • Ed Clark

We get lots of questions about cheese here at TCG towers and pride ourselves in sharing our knowledge with the masses. One we keep coming across is the age-old question;

can cheese be frozen?

How freezing affects cheese

It may not be surprising to learn that freezing will affect different cheeses differently. The texture of a creamy goat’s cheese is in no way comparable to say an extra mature cheddar so clearly freezing will affect them in different ways.

At the cheese geek we’d always recommend eating before the need to freeze but we also understand overordering on the cheese front.

When you freeze cheese, small ice crystals form on the inside which affects its internal infrastructure. As such, when it thaws, water is released which can cause the cheese to dry out and potentially cause a mealy structure.

If you consider more ripened cheeses like blue cheese or camembert, live molds are deliberately added during the production of the cheese which produces the distinctive flavours that we know and love. The freezing process damages the microbes in the mould and can prevent these cheeses ripening properly when thawed. Yeesh.

Another negative for freezing cheese is that it can affect the way that cheese will melt. As an example, a frozen mozzarella will melt considerably less oozily than a fresh one (but still good to use).

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Cheeses That Can Stand Up to Freezing

While all cheese can technically be frozen, there are some that stand up to the test far greater than others.

Here’s a handy list for you;

best cheeses to freeze

  • Mozzarella
  • Cheddar
  • Colby
  • Edam
  • Gouda
  • Monterrey Jack
  • Limburger
  • Provolone
  • Swiss

worst cheeses to freeze

  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Parmesan
  • Romano
  • Processed cheese

As a rule, we wouldn’t recommend freezing a cheese that you intend to eat fresh. Rather, you should freeze cheeses that you intend to use in cooking.

Generally, harder cheeses like cheddar, swiss and some harder blues can work frozen however their texture will become much harder and more difficult to cut. It may be an idea to grate it before freezing.

Cream cheeses can be frozen however they will separate after thawing. If you whip them up it’ll return somewhat to normal.

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What not to Freeze

Under absolutely no circumstances will freezing parmesan end well for you or the parmesan. It’s a bad idea. Don’t do it. But DO refrigerate it, this can make parmesan live a long healthy life of up to twelve months. 

Artisan cheeses (the majority that we sell) don’t deal massively well with freezing. Without the chemicals contained in mass produced cheeses they tend to more dramatically lose their structure and are much harder to resuscitate once thawed.

If you have an artisan cheese overload (personally I’d just go for three meals a day but for those less cheese hardened than myself) there are tonnes of amazing recipes that can use up your excess cheese. Think rich blue cheese sauces (drool).

How to…

If you really must freeze your cheese, we suggest you do so in smaller chunks (or grated) in freezer bags. This way when it comes out of the freezer it’s ready to use.

Freezing in smaller chunks will also result in it becoming less crumbly so it’s just better all round.

Summary – small chunks, freezer bag.

FYI you should also use your frozen cheese within three months.

"I just like cheese. I'll hold a conversation at a gas station. It's not about the fame and fortune, I just like cheese"

 

That’s it from us for now. As the Cheese geeks we’re priding ourselves not just on selling the very best UK cheeses, but also having great cheese knowledge. If you have any questions about your cheese, get in touch with is on any of our social channels.

Happy Cheesing!