Buying in bulk will always save you money. Except, maybe, when you buy things that are on offer because they are going out of date, and you really don’t want every meal to be the same because the offer spoke to your frugal nature.
But you don’t want to throw out all that cheese, and cheese can go off quickly and disastrously.
Luckily, you can freeze grated cheese, and this applies to very fresh cheese as well as those edging toward their best before date. The method is essentially the same when it comes to ready-grated cheese, too.
The biggest thing you need to consider when freezing grated cheese is freezer burn. Freezer burn is the biggest killer of texture and flavor when it comes to preserving your frozen food.
When grated, cheese will go crumbly after you defrost it, as the moisture level becomes unstable, being much lower than normal. There’s also a neat trick to help alleviate this, which we’ll explore.
If you seal it properly, you’ll prevent freezer burn and air from getting into the cheese and making it mushy.
If we look at how long grated cheese lasts in the fridge, this is usually a maximum of a week. Freezing it dramatically increases the shelf life to about 8 months in total, ensuring that you’re never without this dairy staple.
But how do you actually freeze it?
How Do You Freeze Grated Cheese?
It’s also worth looking at the type of cheese you’re trying to freeze, as some freeze much better than others.
It may not come as a surprise to learn that harder cheese freezes much better. Mozzarella, Colby and Edam cheese do so especially well.
Save Brie, Cottage cheese, Ricotta, and other soft cheeses for use as fresh cheese only.
How to Prepare Cheese For The Freezer
If you’ve bought whole blocks of cheese, and you want to save some prep time, it’s much easier to grate the cheese before you freeze it.
By the time you’ll come to use it, you’ll have already done the hard work needed, and making your dish will be that much easier!
You’ll need a decent cheese grater, and a large bowl. Cut the cheese into manageable chunks, and grate, keeping your fingers well away from the blade.
You can also put a handful of flour into the bowl, and mix it into the grated cheese, this will stop the cheese from clumping.
Freezing Cheese You’ve Just Grated
It’s best to portion your grated cheese to freeze it. That way, when you come to use it, it’s already divided into manageable chunks.
You don’t have to guess, you know exactly how much you have to work with.
If you can use smaller freezer bags which reseal, this will also help save on space in the freezer. Fill each bag halfway, and get out any excess air.
Write the date on the bag and the type of cheese (just in case), and freeze it.
How to Freeze Ready-Made Bags of Grated Cheese
For unopened bags of grated cheese, you can throw these straight into the freezer. No mess, no fuss. Perfect.
How to Freeze Leftover Grated Cheese
Leftover grated cheese needs to be kept in an airtight container, especially when you come to freeze it. It will have already lost some moisture, and keeping it sealed will stop the texture from altering in the freezer.
You should add a little flour to the grated cheese before you put it into the freezer, as this will stop it clumping together as it freezes.
You can also cover the cheese in cling film before you close the lid, to make sure it’s fully sealed. Write the date, and the type of cheese, and then freeze it.
How Do You Defrost Grated Cheese?
Well, it depends on what you’re going to use it for. If you’re using it to add flavor to cooked dishes, such as incorporating it into soup or stews, there’s no need to defrost it.
If you want to use the grated cheese as a topping, you’ll need to defrost it. Put the whole container into the fridge, preferably the night before you come to use it, and it will be ready the next day.
Grated cheese is a fantastic ingredient in most dishes, and being able to freeze it only adds to its versatility.
You can use it for so many things, and now you know how to freeze grated cheese, it’s there to use at any time you need, without the worry of it going off.
It will also save you a significant amount of money in the long run, as you’ll be able to buy cheese in bulk or take advantage of offers without having to have cheese-centered meals for the next week!