When I say pasta, you say? Parmesan cheese, that’s right.
I love the nutty flavor of this great Italian cheese and it’s always a delicious treat to add it to my favorite pasta dishes.
Did you know it has been made in central Italy since the 13th century? Quite a long history, I’d say. But enough about that. What if you have leftovers that are about to go bad? How can you preserve your precious cheese?
Can you freeze parmesan cheese?
The short answer. Yes! As with most cheeses, Parmesan cheese freezes well. If you plan on using it within a month, then freezing may not be worth the effort. If you want to save for longer, freezing is a great way to go.
What happens when you freeze Parmesan Cheese
Freezing parmesan cheese is a good way to preserve it for a long time. But that comes at a price.
First, freezing parmesan cheese causes it to dry out and become more crumbly. This can be avoided if you freeze it grated.
Second, freezing parmesan cheese causes it to lose flavor, so freezing should only be done if the Parmesan cheese will not be eaten within a few months. Because it already keeps by itself relatively long, if you handle it correctly.
Third, freezing parmesan cheese causes it to absorb the flavors of other items in the freezer, so it is utterly important to store in an airtight container or bag.
Fourthly, freezing parmesan cheese changes the texture and color slightly, and sometimes forms a thin layer of ice crystals on it that can be removed if desired.
Freezing Parmesan cheese will allow you to keep it fresh and ready for the future. But freezing is not recommended when the cheese will only be used within a few weeks.
However, with the right approach, freezing should be a great way to keep your favorite cheese from spoiling quickly and significantly extend its shelf life.
How To Freeze Parmesan cheese
Depending on how you want to use the cheese after freezing, you have several options.
Be very careful when preparing the cheese so that it does not come into contact with anything that could lead to contamination. This is also true if you want to freeze other foods or cheeses, such as mozzarella or Velveeta cheese.
Because this can significantly reduce the shelf life despite freezing.
Freezing Whole Chunks of Parmesan Cheese
If you have a wheel or chunk of Parmesan that you will not use right away, freezing is a good option as well.
Here’s what the freezing process will look like:
1. Wrap the wheel or chunk of cheese in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag. Make sure that the bag is sealed as airtight as possible. Try to carefully squeeze out the residual air. If you have a vacuum sealer, that’s even better because it prevents air from getting in when freezing.
2. Put the bag in the freezer
Tip: If you have a large block of Parmesan to freeze, it’s best to pre-portion smaller pieces for freezing, so you only take out as much as you need from the freezer at a time. Freezing Parmesan a second time is not recommended.
Freezing Shredded Parmesan Cheese
This is an excellent method to use if you plan to use it shredded, anyway.
The process is pretty simple. Here are the steps:
- Grate the Parmesan cheese in the amount you want to freeze. To prevent clumping and more uniform freezing, you can spread the grated cheese, for example, first on a tray with cling film and freeze the tray so in the freezer.
- Once the Parmesan is frozen, you can then transfer it to a freezer bag or other airtight container.
If you don’t have enough space in the freezer so that Variation 1 works, you can also just pour the cheese directly into a bag or container. Just make sure that the Parmesan is always distributed as evenly as possible.
Note: Make sure that the grater is really clean and germ-free and avoid contamination.
How Long Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?
As you can see, freezing is a simple way to preserve Parmesan cheese for later use.
You can freeze it whole or shredded and either way will prevent your cheese from drying out. When it comes to how long you can freeze your parmesan, normally freezing for a shorter time is better.
Usually, parmesan cheese, in particular, can last between six months to one year when frozen properly. But it comes also down to how carefully you have prepared the parmesan. If it has been in contact with any impurities, it will go bad faster. So it always depends.
Other sources say you can freeze it for over a year, but keep in mind that the longer you freeze it, the more quality loss you will have.
How To Thaw Frozen Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese, like other cheeses, can be defrosted in the refrigerator. It is best to remove your Parmesan from the freezer the day before you intend to use it and let it defrost in the fridge.
Alternatively, you can put it in a bowl of lukewarm water and leave it there for a while.
Once defrosted, most varieties of Parmesan cheese will keep for up to three months if they are stored properly. All you have to do is keep your cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Please remember, both freezing and defrosting can cause mold to grow on Parmesan cheese, so use caution when consuming it after freezing or defrosting.
The Verdict: Freezing Parmesan Cheese Can be a Good Choice
Cheese freezing is a common practice to preserve the flavor and texture of many types of cheese. Parmesan cheese, in particular, can last between six months to one year when frozen properly.
It’s important to keep in mind that freezing changes the taste and texture. This effect increases the longer the cheese is frozen.
However, we hope that you now know how you can go about freezing parmesan cheese the right way.