Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?
Q. I love Parmesan cheese, but real Parmesan is so expensive! I’ve found a great cheese store that sells it by the piece at a much better rate than the grocery store, but the pieces are large. I don’t want the cheese to dry out and go hard, but it takes up a lot of room in the fridge. I want to grate some and keep some in pieces to eat with bread. I’m afraid that it will change texture and flavor if I freeze it, but I don’t know what other storage method would work best. What’s the best way to store it? Can you freeze Parmesan cheese?
A. Yes, you can freeze Parmesan cheese! Unlike soft cheeses that have high moisture contents and can change consistency when frozen, Parmesan cheese has a lower water and fat content. That makes it easier to freeze with great results. There is a risk of it drying out if not properly protected in the freezer though, so it’s important to take care to wrap it well before freezing.
How to freeze Parmesan Cheese?
To freeze Parmesan cheese in a solid piece, I recommend cutting a large piece of cheese into smaller chunks. That way, there will be less leftover upon thawing. Cut the cheese into the desired size, and then wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap. Ensure that none of the cheese is exposed to the air. Then, place the piece of cheese in a freezer bag. Squeeze out the excess air and then seal the bag. Label and date the bag. Frozen Parmesan will last for months in the freezer, but will slowly lose moisture and dry out the longer it remains frozen.
How to Defrost Parmesan Cheese?
To thaw Parmesan cheese, remove the cheese from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator. Leave the cheese wrapped while thawing to help seal in the moisture and avoid it drying out. Leave the cheese for several hours or overnight to allow it to thaw completely.
To freeze grated Parmesan cheese, place the grated cheese in a hard freezer-safe container with a lid. Fill the container with the grated cheese and then place a layer of plastic wrap over the top to protect it from air. Seal the container and then label and date it. This method is convenient because the cheese can be used straight from the freezer without the need to thaw it first.