Brie cheese is an all-time favourite for many people. If you are one of them, we surely understand. Brie is just so delicious, so creamy, and so easy to use in a variety of ways. No wonder that this French delight has reached global popularity.
However, high-quality brie cheese does not come cheap. And it’s not always that easy to find either. That’s why, when many of us see great brie at a reasonable price, we want to stock up on it. But is that really an option? Will the frozen brie get spoiled in your fridge? What about putting it in the freezer? Will the cheese lose its delightful texture and will the taste change? Today, we are on a mission to answer all of these questions. Read on to find out about the best practices when freezing brie cheese (see also How To Freeze Gouda Cheese) that will allow you to enjoy it as long as possible.
Does Brie Cheese Freeze Well? (It Depends)
Can you freeze brie cheese? Well, of course you can. Technically, you can freeze literally any food. And most likely it will be safe to eat after thawing. But will it be the same as before? Well, that depends. The main thing to watch out for is the water content of certain foods. Foods that have lots of water inside will inevitably end up with a changed texture after freezing. Sometimes that can actually work quite well (think frozen berries), but other times the result can get quite disappointing.
Now, as brie is a cheese with a very soft texture (see also Can You Freeze Mascarpone Cheese), it might not be very surprising that the cheese can contain up to 50% water. When water gets frozen it expands ever so slightly, and this will inevitably change the texture of the cheese a little bit.
So what would happen if you froze your brie cheese (see also article titled ‘Can You Freeze Paneer?‘)? No, it wouldn’t get ruined, but it would not be as delicious. We think that brie from the freezer actually works quite well for baking and cooking – there is really not any noticeable difference when you use it this way. True, baked brie from the freezer might look a bit different in color from fresh brie baked on top of a pastry (see also ‘Can You Freeze Croissants?‘), but the taste is pretty much the same. However, if you’d like to eat fresh brie spread onto a slice of bread, you might be a bit disappointed with thawed brie.
So, should you freeze your brie cheese? First of all, we recommend checking the best before date. If you think you’ll be able to use up your cheese before this date, then we recommend you do so without freezing it. However, if you are risking the cheese going bad, thn go ahead and freeze it. And when you want to use it again, look for recipes that involve baking or cooking with brie. It really doesn’t have to be anything complicated. A simple slice of bread with brie on top baked in the oven for 10 minutes can make for a delightful meal or snack.
How to Freeze Brie Cheese
So, you’ve decided to freeze your brie cheese? Now it is time to discuss how to do it properly. While there are a few different methods for freezing your cheese, most of them come down to the same thing. Below, we will discuss all the options you have and go through the three phases of freezing cheese.
First things first, you’ll probably want to cut your brie into slices before freezing. Of course, you can also freeze a whole block of cheese, but freezing slices is much more convenient. Why is that? Well, first of all, you might not want to use up all of the cheese at the same time. If you’ve frozen a large block of cheese, then you’ll have to thaw all of it – and thawed brie doesn’t really keep that well.
Moreover, when baking with brie, for example, it’s completely fine to use frozen slices. You don’t have to wait for them to thaw at all. As you can see, freezing portioned cheese is much more convenient than doing the cutting afterwards. Now, the thickness of the slices is up to you – it all depends on how you like your cheese and how you plan to use it.
Once you’ve sliced up your cheese, it’s time to get it ready for the freezer. You’ll find many guides that will tell you to wrap each individual slice of cheese in plastic wrap. That’s certainly one option: it will keep the slices separated and protected from frostbites. However unless you use a huge amount of plastic wrap you’ll need to use an additional freezer bag or container to make the package airtight.
However, we have another option to propose to you: skip the plastic wrap. The method we will describe below involves only a single freezer bag. We prefer to freeze brie this way for 2 reasons. First of all, it actually takes way less time than wrapping each individual slice which can be quite time-consuming Second, we use less plastic. If, like us, you believe that single-used plastics are a thing of the past, you’ll be happy to ditch the plastic wrap!
So how do we freeze slices of cheese without plastic wrap? First of all, you’ll need a cookie sheet (or anything flat really, like a tray). You’ll want to place the freezer bag horizontally on the flat surface. Now, you’ll put the slices of brie inside the freezer bag and arrange them in a way so they don’t touch each other.
Next, you’ll close the freezer bag, but not completely – leave a small opening for the air to go out. Then, gently squeeze as much air as you can out of the baggie.
The next step is freezing and it’s really simple. What you’ll want to do is put your cookie sheet inside the freezer together with the cheese. This way, the slices will freeze in place and maintain their original shape. After a couple of hours, the slices will be frozen, and you can remove your cookie sheet.
Don’t forget to date your brie cheese package so you’ll know how long it’s been sitting in the freezer.
How Long Can Brie Stay in the Freezer?
The general recommendation is to use up your frozen brie within 6 months. Will it go bad after the 6-month mark? No, but just like most foods, it will start to lose quality.
How to Thaw Brie Cheese
There are a couple of different methods one can use to thaw brie cheese.
1. The Fridge Method
The first one is the obvious method. Just put your frozen cheese inside the fridge and wait for 12-24 hours for it to thaw. This method works for most foods, it’s super safe because the food still remains cold, and it doesn’t require any special effort. However, if you are not prepared to wait for so long, you might want to try the method no. 2.
2. The Cold Water Bath
If you don’t want to wait for your cheese to thaw in the fridge, you can try a cold water bath. It’s just what it sounds like. Take a large pot of cold water and throw you frozen cheese inside (together with the freezer bag, and make sure it’s properly closed – you don’t want your cheese actually swimming in water). The speed of thawing will depend on the thickness of the slices, but 3 hours in the cold water bath usually does the job.
3. Get Creative
Finally, you don’t have to thaw your brie at all. If you’ve frozen it in slices, you can use them immediately for baking, for example. The same goes for cheese soup, for example.
What is the Shelf Life of Thawed Brie?
In general, we’d recommend only thawing your brie if you are going to use it up immediately. Of course, if necessary, you can keep it for a couple of days thawed and if there are no weird smells or signs of mold, it’s safe to use. Re-freezing brie is something that we wouldn’t really recommend, although it’s probably safe. However, the flavor and the texture of the cheese will be completely destroyed after freezing it two times. This is the same for most types of cheese, including Goats Cheese.
A note of caution, if brie cheese gets moldy, it’s time to throw it away. You might have heard that with hard cheeses you can just cut off the moldy part, and that’s true. However, with soft cheeses (see also Freezing Cottage Cheese) the mold spreads much more quickly, so it’s best not to experiment with food safety.