Q. I sliced up a large amount of cheese for a cheese platter, but now I have a lot of sliced cheese left over in the fridge that I don’t know what to do with. I’ve put aside as much as I realistically think I can eat in the next little while, but still have extra cheese. Cheese is expensive, and it would be a waste of money to throw such a large amount away. The problem is, I’ve heard mixed messages about whether it’s safe to freeze sliced cheese. Can you freeze sliced cheese?
A. Yes, you can freeze sliced cheese, depending on the type of cheese you want to freeze and how you plan to use it. The best cheeses to freeze in slices are harder cheeses such as cheddar or Monterey Jack. Softer cheeses have more moisture in them, and are less likely to hold up after being frozen and then thawed again in slices. They are better frozen in larger pieces and then used in recipes at a later time. Hard cheeses are more likely to remain in slices, instead of becoming mushy and too soft.
How to Freeze Sliced Cheese?
The most important thing to make sure of when freezing cheese is that it is at its freshest. Check the slices for mold or discoloration, and discard any pieces that you find with either of these features. Next, don’t freeze any cheese that has been kept at room temperature for a long period of time. If a cheese has been sitting out at a party for several hours, it might be best to discard it.
Once you’ve selected fresh cheese that has been maintained at a safe temperature, it needs to be frozen so that the slices won’t stick together. To do that, place a piece of parchment paper in between each slice of cheese, creating a stack of cheese slices as you go. Some people also like to dust a little bit of flour on each slice to keep down the risk of clumping, but parchment paper alone should work well enough.
How to Thaw Sliced Cheese?
Place the stacked cheese in a freezer bag and remove the excess air. Seal the bag, then label and date it. Alternatively, place the cheese in a freezer safe container with a secure lid. Use frozen cheese within 4-6 months for best results. To thaw, remove desired amount from the freezer and place in the fridge until thawed.