Freezing cheese?

lucilleApril 12, 2013

One of my best investments in the last few years was buying a chest freezer. It saves $ by letting me take advantage of sales on frozen foods/meats, plus I make large batches of food and separate them into single servings and freeze them.
I was in a hurry one day about a week ago and put a bag of stuff in the freezer without noticing that there was a package of sliced Swiss cheese in there. It was frozen for a week prior to being discovered, but when I defrosted it, it was fine.
I had previously been under the impression that one should not freeze cheese?

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grainlady_ks

This is information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation with the link at the bottom. -Grainlady

Freezing
Cheese

Cheese keeps best in the refrigerator. If necessary, hard or semi-hard cheese can be frozen if cut in 1-1/2- to 1-pound sizes and packaged in moisture-vapor resistant material. This cheese may become crumbly and mealy when frozen, but will retain its flavor.

Cream cheese, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese do not freeze well. However, if combined with heavy cream, cream cheese can be frozen for later use in dips or as icing on frozen sandwich loaves.

Recommended freezer shelf life:

Hard cheese (such as cheddar and Swiss), 6 months
Soft cheese (such as Brie), 6 months

Here is a link that might be useful: NCFHFP - Freezing Cheese

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:43AM
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adellabedella_usa

I freeze cheese all of the time. You can't slice it after it has been frozen, but the shreds and crumbles are great for cooking and baking. I've never tried freezing the slices, but that would be great to keep on hand for sandwiches.

I only use cream cheese for dessert recipes. I usually keep it in the freezer so i have it on hand when i want it. It has always thawed well for me.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 12:37PM
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lucille

The sliced Swiss is exactly the same as pre-frozen, I had some in a sandwich today. No crumbling, no mealing, just sliced cheese.
I may experiment and try deliberately freezing some for a longer time and see what happens. If it does meal up, I can always use it in a baked recipe.
My refrigerator is small but the chest freezer is huge, so when possible I use the refrigerator for fresh veggies, sour cream, iced tea, and so on, and try to use the freezer for as much as I can.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 4:06PM
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azzalea

Let me specifically address freezing cream cheese. I ALWAYS have several pounds of it in the freezer. There's such a range of price for it (.89 on sale, up to 2.50 when it's not) that I buy loads when it's cheap, pop the boxes into ziplock bags and toss into the freezer until needed.

'They' say not to freeze it because when defrosted, it gets an odd, splintery texture. Here's the fix. Let the cream cheese (in the package) defrost completely to room temp. Put in your electric mixer and beat 5-10 minutes and it will smooth out beautifully. Alternatively, you can put the defrosted cheese in a microwave container, zap 1-2 minutes, then stir with a spoon. Either way, the cheese will taste and look perfectly fine. I use it in cheesecake, for dips, and as a spread.

And by freezing cream cheese, you can save many, many $$$ in the course of a year

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:22AM
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