American cheese is a processed type of cheese with so many uses. It’s a kitchen staple, best enjoyed in a sandwich, but you can also use the cheese in cooking or as a quick snack.
But what if you buy bulk American cheese, can you freeze American cheese?
Although freezing is not a recommended storage option for American cheese, it can be used to extend the product’s shelf life. American cheese is generally made from semi-hard processed cheese. Because American cheese has a low water content, changes in flavor or texture are kept to a minimum. Still, there’s a good chance the cheese will become brittle, tasteless, or crumbly when frozen.
Is Freezing a Good Idea?
As you know, freezing any type of dairy product is tricky as there is a high chance that the texture and flavor will change once the product is thawed. Cheese could become brittle, dry, or flavorless if not properly prepared before freezing.
Freezer burn is also a problem with freezing any type of cheese. If the product has been poorly packaged, ice crystals will form on the surface and inside of the cheese, causing freeze burns. Freezer burn changes the texture of the cheese.
Because American cheese is heavily processed, it should keep in the fridge for weeks without issue. The preservatives extend the shelf life of the cheese, so freezing is not necessary. That being said, you can freeze American cheese if you have no other choice. Note, however, that the frozen cheese should definitely be used for cooking. Unless you plan to use the cheese for cooking, do not freeze it.
Read Also: Can you freeze feta cheese?
How do you freeze American cheese?
American cheese is often sold in individually wrapped slices, pre-cut from block to slab. You can prepare the cheese in different ways for optimal taste:
Freezing American Cheese Slices
Freezing American cheese is easy because the product itself is packaged in freezer-safe packaging. In addition, the cheese slices are individually wrapped, so preparing the product for freezing is kept to a minimum.
If you bought American cheese in bulk, leave the cheese you plan to freeze unopened for optimal freshness. Simply place packs of sliced American cheese in a freezer safe bag and squeeze as much air as possible before sealing. Write down the storage date, then stick them in the freezer.
For example, if you’re concerned that the plastic wrapper will stick to the cheese slices after thawing, you could remove the wrapper before freezing. Simply unwrap the cheese slices one at a time, then layer them with a piece of wax paper between each slice. Place the cheese slices in a double layer of freezer-safe, resealable plastic bags. Squeeze out the excess air and then seal. Write down the storage date and stick the cheese slices in the freezer.
Freezing pre-sliced blocks of American cheese
Unopened packages of pre-cut American cheese blocks freeze easily. Simply place the product in a freezer safe container, write down the storage date and stick in the freezer. For blocks of leftover cheese, wrap the leftover cheese in aluminum foil, then place the cheese in a double bag. Squeeze out the excess air, seal the bag, and then write the storage date.
Freezing American Cheese Bars
Unless you have a walk-in freezer, we recommend dividing the block of American cheese into manageable portions before freezing. That way, thawing the cheese won’t be as awkward.
Using a sharp knife, cut the cheese into smaller pieces (no larger than ½ pound each), size will depend on the capacity of your freezer. Wrap the cheese pieces in cling film, then place in a freezer-safe double bag. Squeeze out the excess air, seal, and then write the storage date.
Freezing shredded American cheese
Yes, you can grate blocks of cheese before freezing. This is a great option when you want to divide a large platter or block of cheese into manageable portions. However, we recommend consuming the grated cheese as soon as possible. If you leave the shredded cheese in the freezer for months, the product could become brittle due to the freezing temperatures.
Start by slicing the block of cheese in two. Grate the cheese with a grater by hand. Prepare some freezer-safe, resealable plastic bags and spoon the shredded cheese into the bag. Squeeze the excess air and seal the bag. Write down the storage date and stick the cheese in the freezer.
Shelf life, thawing and reheating suggestions
Frozen American cheese has a shelf life of 3 months or more in the freezer. However, we don’t recommend waiting that long before using up your supply. Use the cheese as soon as possible for optimal flavor. To reiterate, frozen and thawed American cheese should definitely be used in cooking. You can use the cheese to prepare soups, casseroles and sauces.
To thaw frozen American cheese, simply place the container in the refrigerator. Let the cheese thaw overnight. Once the cheese is completely thawed, you can cut it into desired portions and add them directly to the dish without having to reheat them.
Can you freeze American cheese? It’s great to know that you can freeze American cheese with ease and avoid waste! Just remember these storage tips to preserve the flavor and quality of the cheese!