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Can you Freeze Cheese? An Experiment

Updated on September 24, 2012

Joined: 4 years agoFollowers: 755Articles: 148
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If you are like me, you probably wonder about the potential time-saving opportunities you are missing out on by not understanding all the foods that can freeze well. I love gathering berries in the summer so that I have fresh produce in the winter. You can freeze meats, herbs, and even some vegetables, but what about dairy?

Realizing I had no idea about the freeze-ability of cheese, I decided to do my own little experiment. I froze several different types of cheese:

  • Cheddar cheese block
  • Fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Aged fresh (and shredded) Parmesan cheese
  • Shredded bagged cheese

I did a simultaneously taste test, using the fresh cheese and then the frozen cheese. Here is what I found.

The subjects of my experiment
The subjects of my experiment | Source

Important considerations

  • I froze the cheese in a simple plastic baggy. No handy dandy plastic wrap or shrink wrap. I did suck the air out of the bag however.
  • I did not use a deep freezer. Just a regular old kitchen freezer (not on the door, in the back).
  • I defrosted it the "illegal" way- meaning I put it on the counter. The results might be slightly different if you slowly defrost it in the refrigerator instead.
  • All the cheeses I froze had already been in my fridge for several days. I compared them to the same bag or block they were cut from.

Why did I choose the types of cheese that I did?
Simply put, it is the kind I use all the time! These cheeses are on my weekly list and readily available in my fridge. I think it would also be safe to say that I experimented with a various mixture of textures and styles of cheese. Though you may want to do your own experiment, I think you can make the following assumptions about other cheeses not tested in this experiment.

  • Cheddar can be substituted for any cheese like monterey jack, havarti, gouda, swiss, or muenster.
  • Cream cheese can be substituted for another popular soft cheese like goat cheese.
  • The parmesan can be substituted for Asiago and other hard Italian cheeses.
  • The shredded combination can be substituted with almost any pre-packaged shredded cheese.
  • The fresh Mozzarella can possibly substitute a cheese like Brie or even Feta.

The results

Type of cheese
Texture
Taste
Condensation
Cheddar
A bit softer than the non-frozen block.
No change in taste
There was considerable condensation in the bag.
Freshly Shredded Parmesan
No change in texture
No change in taste
No condensation
Fresh Mozzarella
No change in texture
No change in taste
No condensation
Cream Cheese
No change in texture
No change in taste
Slight condensation
Bagged Shredded Cheese Combo
Slightly softer than the non-frozen bag.
No change in taste
No condensation

So what does it mean?

It means you can freeze cheese!

Now, I would be careful about the cheddar cheese freezing. I'm not sure why that cheese seemed to struggle during the defrosting process. I thought that fresh Mozzarella or the Cream Cheese would be the problem, but it wasn't.

So go ahead and wrap up that unused cheese and stick it in the freezer. For the condensation problem, I would defrost it in the fridge, to minimize this problem.

*A note about Ricotta cheese*
Though I did not use this cheese in my experiment, I have successfully frozen many a lasagna and stuffed shells filled with ricotta cheese. I imagine that freezing it as a whole (in a container) would not work out so well, so just freeze it when it is already prepared in a dish.

Happy freezing!

Source

About the author

Julie DeNeen is a freelance writer and no-nonsense mom that doesn't have any time for complicated meals. She wants fast and efficient! Her cheese experiment started after she bought way too many blocks of cheese that were on sale.

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    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 19 months ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I find that freezing cheddar does make it a little crumbly. It may be that the quality of the cheese plays a role. Even so, freezing cheddar for use in food is a very good idea.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

      I always remember my mom hand shred a big block of cheese (or she would have us kids do it) and then she would freeze the extra not used immediately. I've only done that a few time but have never tried to freeze a block so I'm glad you've done the experiment for us!

    • ThePelton profile image

      ThePelton 4 years ago from Martinsburg, WV USA

      Incidentally, I have frozen cheese. It's a great way to store a large amount away for later. The only thing is that you should slice it into pieces that are not too thick to easily freeze, and wrap them up to make them airtight so that you have no problem with freezer burn.

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 4 years ago from Cardiff

      We were always told not to freeze normal cheese, but that any cheese covered in wax can be frozen for up to 6 months. And we do it frequently! You often get offers on orders of Welsh Cheese brands at food markets if you buy more than 3 so we stock up and just freeze them all till we want one. Great helpful hub!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      This is something new to me and it is great to bookmark and share. We always have 4 blocks of Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses when they go on sale, but we consume it fast for sandwiches, homemade personal pizzas, additional toppings for pizza from the grocery, on salads, on pastas, garlic-cheese toasted breads, etc. plus cream cheese and Greek Feta, and we try each time not to waste it. If there will be a need for a longer shelf life, then, I won't hesitate to try freezing it. Thank you for the tips and congratulations for a wonderful hub!

    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      Congrats on HOTD. I have always wondered about cream cheese. I always want to buy a ton when it's on sale and now I will! Thanks for the info. Great hub!

    • ThePelton profile image

      ThePelton 4 years ago from Martinsburg, WV USA

      Mother used to freeze cheese. All it really did to cheddar was make it a little crumbly when you tried to slice it. In cooking, it was virtually the same.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

      I love the picture on the front as I love cheese , more into savoury snacks with a glass of wine , Congratulations on a great hub !

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Great experiment--very interesting! Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this well-done post.

    • summerberrie 4 years ago

      Nice hub! Love the personal touch at the end. Congrats on the HOTD!

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hey, I needed this info! I've been buying more stuff on sale lately to save money and a lot of it ends up in the freezer. But I have not frozen any cheese. I guess I've been a little nervous about it. Thanks for the info. You have given me the courage to give it a try. Voted up and useful on this HOTD.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      @tjdavis- yes I do. It's just something fun and personal to put at the end.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Yes...freezing cheese works well. My mother also used to freeze milk when she got it on sale. Of course a little space needs to be left at the top of the gallon jug for expansion so some must be poured out and used before freezing. Up and useful votes.

    • tjdavis profile image

      Teresa Davis 4 years ago from Moscow, Texas

      Julie I enjoyed this hub. I never actually thought about freezing cheese only because it does not last that long around my house..lol.

      I enjoyed your bio also. Is there a reason you add a bio? Do you do that all the time? Just curious..lol.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very useful! I love your picture of the little test baggies. So scientific! I am glad to know that freezing the cheese won't hurt it, because when the groceries were put up last week a block of mozzarella accidentally got placed in the freezer, and I was wondering whether or not it was ruined. I know you can freeze milk, so I was optimistic. Now I am relieved! Voting up and congrats on HOTD!

    • simplysmartmom profile image

      simplysmartmom 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Great experiment and hub!! I have also frozen cottage cheese before with no issues - I use it in my lasagna instead of ricotta. I love that you can freeze many types of cheese, so when it goes on sale you can stock up!!! Super article!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      HOTD changed in the past 2 hours at 3 p.m. EST. It was a totally different hub a couple of hours ago. Happy HOTD to you once again!

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I have to admit I had no idea you can freeze cheese so have wasted quite a bit.Congratulations on HOTD twice!!

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

      I have a 10-pound log of cheddar, but I must freeze it even though it will crumble after it is thawed. I do not want it to mold. When I add it to hot dishes, it tastes great enough.

      Thanks for the useful tips.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Julie,

      Congrats on HOTD - what a fascinating and interesting experiment you did!! Excellent info, I never knew you could freeze cheese! Wonder if Feta would freeze?? Great info here voted up +++ and shared on :-)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've always kept my block of baby Parmesan cheese in the freezer. When I need it to say grate onto a salad I grate it frozen. Have always found it grates easier that way. But it's good to know that all these other cheeses can be frozen as well.

      Congrats on your HOTD and 2 days in a row. You're on an HP roll :)

    • Ethan Green profile image

      Ethan Green 4 years ago from England

      wow what an unexpected bit of useful info! Thanks for this. Now I'm tempted to experiment also with some blue cheeses:-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I've been freezing cheese forever, even ricotta! I freeze just about anything. hey, didn't you get HOTD yesterday, too? Or am I dreaming? Nice hub.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      We used to get huge blocks of cheddar cheese direct from the farm dairy, my mum would chop it up in to 'week sized' portions and freeze it no problem at all - it always tasted good after defrosting.

    • v1p3r 4 years ago

      nice information

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      What an interesting experiment and glad to have these substitutions, as well. Congrats on winning Hub of the Day!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on HOTD Julie!

      Very smart of you to do this experiment, so now we don't have to worry about freezing cheese. I hadn't tried it, because I wondered how it would turn out! Voted up.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Congrats on the hub of the day. We have always froze cheese. It doesn't matter what kind we throw it in the freezer. Voted uP!

    • The Reminder profile image

      The Reminder 4 years ago from Canada

      Good to know! Congrats on the hub pf the day!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      OMG, this is AWESOME! I had no idea that this was an option, and I'll admit that the idea of cheese going unused really stresses me out. Thanks for doing the test and sharing your findings, Julie DeNeen!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

      Julie, you have no idea how many times I've wondered about freezing cheese! Thanks for the experiment. I now KNOW!

    • Southernmapart 4 years ago

      Nice report on your cheese experiment. About the cheddar, when I freeze cheddar, the unfrozen block of cheese tends to be crumbly. You mentioned thawing the cheddar in the bag and the resulting condensation. Perhaps the moisture left in the bag keeps your cheese from crumbling. I will try thawing in the bag the next time I freeze cheddar.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Yup, I freeze cheese all the time and I agree on your data, Julie. They all taste the same after thawing.

      Useful hub!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hey Julie - Good hub. I have always wondered about freezing cheese. (I try to freeze everything:) Thanks for doing the experiment and sharing the results. This information is great! Up and sharing.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      What a terrific job you didi figuring this out. Up and awesome.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great advice! I have never frozen cheese, but it's good to know that it's an option. Thanks for the detailed information.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      We have been freezing cheese for years! Good that others have found this works for them too! Well written article!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Ha! I really did always wonder if you could freeze cheese! I never have and I bet I throw away lots of change that way!

      I love cheese...did tou say Havarti? Hahaha

      Smart hub idea!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I had no idea you could freeze cheese! I can't wait to try this - thanks for experimenting on our behalf so that we can go ahead and safely try out some frozen cheese! ;)

    • Mandy M S profile image

      Mandy M S 4 years ago

      I've been freezing shredded for a long time but never thought about block cheese. Awesome!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Guess what makes this valuable. I shop at Safeway and Lucky. The time span between sale on cheeses necessitated me learning to freeze cheeses. Really.

    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 4 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      Many years ago, we bought lots of cheese from a supermarket going out of business. The different cheeses froze beautifully (cannot remember the types now). Of course, with our love of cheese, they did not hang around in the regular part of the refrigerator very long. Thanks for reminding me!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Your Hub reminds me of all the science fair projects my kids have done for school. I have frozen sliced cheese for a long time, but was never sure about the other types.

      Great Hub. I voted it UP and shared.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yep, you can freeze cheeze! I remember my mother doing that when I was a kid. Thanks for confirming. :) Nice job!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Julie - Interesting experiment. When I first saw your title, my immediate response was "Yes." I based this on all the cheese dishes you see in the frozen food departments of grocery stores. Then, after thinking about all the additives and such these contained, I questioned my answer. Great Job!

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great information and I am excited I can buy cheese in bulk when it goes on sale. Pinned and voted up!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Fascinating! Thanks for the easy to use table of information, too. I love cheese and have often wondered if it would freeze, but I could never bring myself to try out of fear it might not work.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      This my friend was brilliant and totally awesome as my 3 year old would say!! Thanks and now I can add something else to my list that can be bought on sale and frozen until I need to use. You are simply the best! Have voted, shared and tweeted too!!

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