So there’s a sale in the cheese aisle, and there’s a huge hunk of mozzarella cheese that has caught your eye. Unfortunately, your family is small and you couldn’t possibly consume all that cheese before it goes bad. But, you can’t afford not to capitalize on this huge savings. Which brings us to the question, can you freeze mozzarella cheese? You’re in luck because the answer to that question is a resounding yes.
Why Freeze This Cheese?
If you’re a regular buyer of mozzarella cheese, you would be aware that mozzarella cheese comes in large parcels sometimes weighing as much as 5 or 10 pounds. These block cheeses are usually more affordable than buying small packets for a single use. For the thrifty shopper, freezing comes in handy when you have a large amount of cheese to consume in a short time frame. With normal refrigeration, shredded or whole mozzarella cheese can last up to seven days. When frozen, the keeping time increases up to about three months.
How To Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
Food experts agree that mozzarella is one of the best cheeses for freezing, mainly because it has a low water content. Some people think that the taste actually improves after being frozen.
There are several ways in which you can freeze mozzarella cheese, and this generally depends on whether the cheese is in blocks or is shredded.
For shredded mozzarella, follow the steps below:
Toss a bit of cornstarch onto your shredded mozzarella and shake gently to have it distributed evenly throughout. This will keep the cheese from sticking together during freezing.
Wrap the shredded cheese in foil or plastic, making sure that no area of the cheese is left exposed. Exposure to air will cause freezer burn.
Place the wrapped mozzarella into a strong freezer bag and squeeze excess air from the bag. Store in the freezer until needed for use.
Blocks of mozzarella cheese can easily be kept longer than the 3 month mark, sometimes as long as six months after freezing. It might become crumbly after the three month mark however, which shouldn’t matter very much if the cheese will be melted. Follow the steps below for freezing blocks of mozzarella.
For large blocks of cheese in sizes such as 5 or 10 pounds, you will need to cut the cheese into smaller segments. One segment of cheese should be enough to make a complete meal.
Use wax paper to separate the cheese segments, or if time permits wrap each slice with plastic wrap. Secure all the cheese segments with plastic wrap or heavy duty foil.
Place the wrapped mozzarella slices into an airtight container or a large freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
Place the secured cheese into the freezer and store at a constant temperature, preferably 0° C.
Thawing the Frozen Cheese
Though the frozen cheese can be defrosted at room temperature, the texture is more consistent if the cheese is allowed to thaw in the refrigerator. For the sectioned blocks of cheese, defrosting is to be done overnight for best results. For shredded cheese, this can be used directly from the freezer for your favorite dishes such as pasta, pizza and lasagna.