Can you freeze parmesan cheese? If you don’t use Parmesan cheese frequently, it can take a few months to use up a small block. Because of this, you should consider freezing it to extend its shelf life. Here’s a look at how to freeze parmesan cheese and what to expect when you do.
While it’s safe to freeze Parmesan cheese, this isn’t typically a recommended method for storing cheese. When cheese is in the freezer, the moisture it contains freezes, forming tiny ice crystals. As water expands as it freezes, these crystals form tiny holes throughout the cheese.
While these holes are too small to be seen with the naked eye, they remain after the cheese has thawed. Its structural integrity is permanently altered. The cheese’s smooth, creamy texture becomes noticeably more crumbly.
Harder cheeses, like Parmesan, usually hold up better in the freezing process than softer cheeses. Freezing should not affect the flavor or color of the cheese. This will still make the cheese more crumbly, but depending on what you’re going to do with the Parmesan, this change in texture might not be a problem.
Parmesan has a shelf life of several months to a year when refrigerated loosely wrapped in wax paper. It depends on the specific variation and age of the cheese. Because parmesan is a cured cheese, it’s safe to eat as long as it doesn’t have mold on it. Placing parmesan cheese in the freezer will extend its shelf life by several months.
Below is a guide on how to freeze parmesan cheese:
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How do you freeze parmesan cheese?
When deciding whether to freeze parmesan cheese, first consider how often you will use it in cooking. Look at the size of your block.
If you use parmesan cheese semi-regularly and have a small block that you will be using for the next few months, store it in the fridge. Enjoy it fresh.
If you use parmesan only sporadically, or bought a large block that will last more than a few months, it may be best to freeze at least some of it.
When deciding whether it makes sense to freeze your block, you’ll also want to consider how you plan to use the parmesan cheese. The texture change that comes with freezing shouldn’t be an issue if you melt a small portion of it. Dishes such as creamy sauces or pasta fillings.
It’s not ideal to freeze the cheese if you plan to use it as an unmelted topping, such as in a Caesar salad.
You can freeze parmesan cheese in blocks or shredded. If you don’t want to thaw and refreeze the same block of cheese, cut the block into smaller portions before freezing.
When shredding the cheese, choose the finest grate possible. It will withstand the freezing process best.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll want to place the parmesan in an airtight container. It can be a plastic or glass bowl with a lid, or a plastic zippered bag. Be sure to leave plenty of headroom.
How do you thaw frozen parmesan cheese?
To thaw the parmesan, put it in the fridge and wait. You should do this at least 24 hours before the intended time of use. This will ensure it has enough time to thaw. Of course, larger blocks will thaw longer than smaller pieces or shredded cheese.
If you have shredded the cheese and want to let it melt, you can add it to your dish or sauce while it is still frozen. As your meal cooks, the cheese is thawed and melted.
While freezing isn’t the most ideal method of storing cheese, it works great to preserve the product’s integrity. Now that you know how to freeze parmesan cheese, you can avoid waste and store the cheese in the freezer until ready to use.