Freezing cheese is the best way to keep it good for longer. If you are someone frustrated by your cheese getting moldy before being able to eat it, then freezing is the solution for you. Frozen cheese takes some time to thaw, but the methods are simple so that anyone can do them.
There are several ways to thaw cheese, so it’s important to figure out which way works for you and the kind of cheese you’re thawing. You can thaw your cheese in the fridge, in cool water, or in the microwave.
Thawing in the Fridge
This is the easiest but most time-consuming way to thaw frozen cheese. However, this method preserves the cheese’s texture the best. If you have a creamier cheese that you need to thaw, this is the best method for that.
Step 1: Grab your cheese from the freezer and place it in your fridge.
Step 2: Wait a day for your cheese to thaw. Bigger blocks will take longer than cubes which could thaw overnight. Give it plenty of time as this is what makes or breaks the texture.
Step 3: Check to see if the cheese is still frozen. Cut the block through the middle. If still frozen, give it a few more hours.
Step 4: Once thawed, enjoy!
- Takes very little effort
- Thaws the cheese evenly, preserving its texture
- For some cheeses, thawing can be done overnight
- Takes the longest time of all the methods
Thaw In a Cool Water Bath
Using a cool water bath is typical for thawing foods where the texture can be severely changed with added heat. A cool water bath helps keep the cheese’s natural texture. This method works well with all kinds of cheeses, including creamier ones.
Step 1: Fill a bowl with cool water. Make sure the bowl is big enough to fit the cheese and leave room for an extra inch of water on top. The cheese has to be surrounded by water.
Step 2: Grab the cheese from the fridge and put it into the water.
Step 3: If thawing smaller amounts of cheese, check its progress at 30 minutes. If it is thawed, then removed. For bigger amounts of cheese, change the water at 30 minutes, refilling the bowl with fresh cool water.
Step 4: Bigger amounts of cheese will take 1-1.5 hours to thaw. Change water every 30 minutes and check progress by slicing the cheese in half and checking the middle.
Step 5: Once the cheese has thawed, dump out the water and enjoy.
- Relatively low effort
- Allows the cheese to thaw evenly
- Can preserve the texture of any kind of cheese
- Takes quite a bit of time
Thawing in the Microwave
You have to be careful with this method. If the cheese is microwaved for too long, it may start melting. This method shouldn’t be used with creamy cheeses and should only be used if you have to thaw cheese quickly.
Step 1: Remove cheese from packaging and wrap in a paper towel. Place the wrapped cheese onto a microwave-safe plate.
Step 2: Microwave for 10-second increments, checking after every increment.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 until the cheese has completely thawed.
- The quickest method
- Works great if you plan of melting the cheese for your recipe
- It can begin to melt your cheese
- It can and probably will change the texture
- Can only be used with harder cheeses (some cheeses will let you know if they can be microwaved)
- May not thaw the cheese evenly, requiring you to leave it to finish thawing in the fridge
Extra Tips for Thawing Cheese
For methods that take a long time, like the fridge method, there are ways to make your cheese thaw faster. There are also ways to thaw cheese that better preserves the texture.
- Cut your frozen cheese into slices or blocks. The added surface area will make the cheese thaw faster.
- You can also shred your cheese before thawing. This again adds surface area and shredded cheese thaws much faster than a block.
- Always check the cheese to see if it has fully thawed. Attempting to use cheese while the middle is still frozen will only make it harder to use. Besides, changing the rate of how the middle thaws (in room temperature) will make the texture inconsistent.
- The slower the temperature changes as it thaws, the more preserved the texture will be. (This is why the microwave changes the texture so much, the sudden temperature difference causes separation.)
It may be intimidating to put your cheese through the freezer and back again, especially if you have fancy cheese. When you thaw the cheese right, even the fancy cheeses will be restored to their high quality. Always use the thawing method that works best for your cheese and cooking method.
It’s important to note that thawed cheese should be used within 2 days of thawing. Also, never thaw your cheese on the counter. This will introduce bacteria growth.
Freezing cheese allows people to save money and when done right, people won’t even know the cheese ever went into the freezer.