Perhaps one of the most famous cheeses in the world, if you haven’t heard of cheddar cheese, you should certainly reflect on your life choices.
Due to its worldwide fame, let’s say you bought a block of cheddar cheese. Now what? You have a ton of cheese, with not enough space in your stomach to consume it. You can either throw it away (don’t even think about it), or you can sensibly freeze this amazing delicacy for later use.
Confused about whether you can freeze cheddar cheese?
Well here’s your answer: Yes, you can freeze cheddar cheese for up to 2 – 3 months. But there the longer you freeze, the more quality loss there will be.
Read further to learn more.
What is Cheddar Cheese?
Cheddar cheese is said to have been discovered in the 12th century in a village called Cheddar village in Somerset, England. According to old myths, it was accidentally discovered when a milkmaid forgot a pail of milk inside one of the caves of Cheddar Village.
It is the most famous cheese in the world, in terms of recent worldwide sales.
Cheddar is a hard cheese that comes from cow’s milk. It is aged to 3-24 months, depending upon what kind it is.
A young cheddar tastes milky, creamy and smooth. An aged cheddar tastes more crumbly, sharp or nutty. The cheese picks up an acidic note to it as it ages.
Does Cheddar Freeze Well?
Being a semi-hard cheese, cheddar contains less moisture. This means similar to freezing parmesan it can be frozen without much damage to its texture. However, if frozen for more than its prescribed limit, it may succumb to freezer burn or even quality loss.
All cheeses do face a bit of texture change due to freezing, however, this can be combated by using cheddar in cooking. This means you can add it to concoctions like sauces or pastes, where the texture change is not noticeable.
How to Freeze Cheddar Cheese
Freezing cheddar cheese is, by no means, a difficult task. However, it does require some preparation and a handful of foresight. Follow these steps to ensure proper freezing of your precious cheddar.
Step 1 – Prepare
Assort the cheddar into the particular size and shape you want. This can include blocked, sliced, or grated cheddar.
Step 2 – Wrap it up
Wrap your blocked cheese with a double layer of plastic wrap or wax paper.
If it is in sliced form, you should separate each slice with a layer of wax paper, so they do not stick together.
Alternatively, if you prefer freezing cheese shredded or grated, then you should put it in an airtight freezer bag with some flour or cornstarch added to it to act as an anti-caking agent.
To ensure maximum longevity, you can even use a vacuum sealer to pump all the air out of the container.
Suitable vacuum sealers are available from $50. Here are some suggestions:
Step 3 – Label it
Label the package with the date and stick it inside a freezer.
That’s all you need to do to freeze cheddar cheese.
How Long Can You Freeze Cheddar Cheese
Frozen cheddar can be stored up to 2 – 3 months. After this time, it can lose even more quality.
As with freezing in general, the same is true here: The longer you keep your cheese in the freezer, the more it will affect the product.
How to Thaw Cheddar Cheese
Defrosting cheddar properly is vital to maintain its structure and smoothness. Follow these simple protocols to ensure maximum quality from your beloved cheddar.
This method is most efficient as it limits texture/taste loss.
Method 1 – Thaw slowly and preserve quality
Without removing the packaging, transfer the cheese from the freezer to the refrigerator.
Leave the cheese overnight to gradually soften and defrost. Large portions of cheddar will take longer to thaw as compared to shredded cheddar.
Another method can be followed for quicker defrosting.
Method 2 – Defrost faster
Transfer the cheese from the airtight container to an open bowl.
Place the bowl inside the microwave and defrost the cheddar in increments of 30-45 seconds.
Use the cheese without refreezing it, as this will cause further texture/taste loss.
What Can You Make With Cheddar Cheese?
An incredibly versatile cheese, cheddar can be used in a multitude of recipes.
Cheddar is most commonly known for its use in cheeseburgers. It adds a sharp, tangy flavor to the burger which makes it an excellent addition.
Macaroni and Cheese
While the mozzarella adds stringiness to the mac n’ cheese, the cheddar adds the flavor. These combine to make a mouth-watering dish that is an all-time favorite of many.
Cheddar cheese is layered between the lasagna sheets along with marinara sauce to produce a mouthwatering blend of flavor.
By the way, you can also freeze lasagna.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
A grilled cheddar cheese sandwich is a classic meal that can be prepared in little to no time and tastes incredible.
If you prefer a slightly healthier side dish, you can make a variety of salads such as coleslaw and top it off with some shredded cheddar cheese. Maybe an opportunity to test out your frozen coleslaw.
Chili Con Carne
Cheddar is also the perfect ingredient to add to your delicious chili con carne. Just sprinkle a few slices on top before serving and enjoy this great combination.
By the way, freezing chili con carne works also pretty well. So nothing to worry about when you’ve got some leftovers.
Other Tips and Answers about Cheddar Cheese
Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about cheddar cheese.
Should you store cheddar in the fridge?
It is preferable to keep hard cheeses like cheddar in the fridge to ensure longevity. However, it is not necessary for its safety.
Can you keep cheddar in Tupperware?
Yes, you can keep cheddar in Tupperware if you poke holes inside it. This is necessary as air intake is essential for the cheese.
Can cheddar be used in pizzas?
Cheddar is used in varieties of pizzas due to its sharp taste. However, it is used with different cheeses to ensure a blend of flavour.
Can cheddar cheese go bad?
Usually, cheddar does not go bad for months. However, it can accumulate harmful mold which may make you sick. To avoid this, cut the moldy part off before consuming the cheese.
Does cheddar cheese melt?
Cheddar cheese can be added to sauces, pastes or even pizzas due to its incredible ability to melt extremely well.
How to tell if cheddar cheese has gone bad
Cheddar cheese, once gone bad, develops a harder texture and will darken in color and mold may also appear. At this point, it is unsafe to consume and should be rid of.
However, if only mold appears, you can cut it off along with 1 inch of cheese in its surroundings, while taking special care not to touch the mold with your knife.
Can you get food poisoning from cheddar cheese?
There have been cases of food poisoning in schools, where the cheddar cheese was given to children in macaroni. These were caused by a high level of histamine present in the cheddar cheese.
Cheese does not produce harmful bacteria, so probably only external contamination can lead to food poisoning from it. Therefore, food poisoning from cheddar usually may not be a cause for concern. But I am not a specialist, so if in doubt don’t eat it.
Can you eat cheddar cheese after the expiration date?
Some change in the taste can be expected after a cheddar cheese has outlived its days in the Sun.
However, if you’re not bothered by its taste, you can consume the cheese for up to a month after its expiration date (if it has been opened). For unopened cheddar, you can consume the cheese for up to 6 months after.
But be careful: If mold has appeared on the cheese during this period, you may still consume the cheese if you cut the mold off along with 1 inch worth of cheese around it, without touching the mold with your knife.
Conclusion – is freezing cheddar worth it?
Cheddar cheese is one of the most widely consumed cheeses on the planet. Its worldwide fame is proportional to its elegant taste. Today, we looked at its characteristics and whether freezing it is a good idea.
Freezing cheddar is the best way to ensure the maximum longevity of the cheese while maintaining most of its flavor and texture.