Do you like mozzarella cheese? Can you freeze mozzarella cheese to keep it longer? Find the answer below.
Fresh, soft and creamy, mozzarella cheese is one of the most popular types of cheeses out there, as well as one of the most versatile.
Due to its flavor, which is noticeable without being overwhelming, and how well it can mix with other ingredients, mozzarella can be used in salads, sandwiches, all kinds of main dishes, pizzas and even some desserts.
Because of its versatility, it’s tempting to purchase large containers or straight up blocks from time to time to save money and have it readily available, but is this practical for the average household? Can you freeze mozzarella cheese to keep it from going bad?
Keep reading to find out!
Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
Mozzarella cheese is perfectly safe to freeze, as long as you don’t mind a slight change of texture.
When you freeze it, the whey gets separated from the cheese, resulting in a crumblier, slightly less flavorful cheese once thawed.
While mixing the whey and the cheese is a possibility, the texture still won’t be the same as with fresh mozzarella, so we recommend using mozzarella cheese for anything but cheese tasting, where the change in texture will be obvious.
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How to Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
While freezing mozzarella is fairly straightforward, there are a couple of things you need to do differently depending on what kind of mozzarella you’re freezing: Fresh, shredded or in blocks.
We’ll point out those differences when the time comes. In the meantime, this is what you need to do to freeze mozzarella cheese:
Step 1: Separate in Batches
Regardless of the type of mozzarella cheese you’re freezing, you should never freeze it all in one big chunk / block, unless you plan on using it in a single go.
Separate your mozzarella cheese in portions, either cutting it in same-size slices or by creating different-sized slices for different purposes.
The only exception to this rule is shredded mozzarella, which usually comes in a plastic bag. If you plan on using the whole thing, leave it like that. If not, separate in batches.
Step 2: Wrap with Foil or Plastic Wrap
Carefully wrap each portion with foil or plastic wrap, making sure to cover the cheese in its entirety.
If you’re freezing mozzarella cheese, make sure to get rid of any excess moisture beforehand. Don’t squeeze or try to force the liquid out of the cheese, simply let it sit on a clean paper towel so it absorbs the excess liquid before wrapping.
Step 3: Bag and Label
Once your cheese portions are securely wrapped, place them in freezer safe plastic bags or containers.
While one bag or container per portion is ideal, you can store various portions in a single bag as long as you double wrap them to make sure the portions don’t stick together.
Squeeze out all the air from the bags before placing them in the freezer. If you’re using a container, try to use containers where you can suck the air out.
Remember to label your containers / bags with the date you purchased the cheese, the date you froze the cheese and, preferably, the “best by” date for safety purposes.
Frozen mozzarella cheese should be able to stay in the freezer for up to 6 months without any issue, though homemade mozzarella cheese or fresh mozzarella cheese might last less.
How To Thaw Mozzarella Cheese?
When it’s time to thaw your mozzarella cheese, take out the portions you plan to use from the freezer and place them in the fridge so they can thaw overnight.
If you forget to do this for any reason, simply take your cheese out of the freezer and place it in the counter, away from any heat source or light. This should speed up the thawing process. However, if you’re doing this, remember to check on your cheese every couple of hours and never let it sit on the counter once it’s finally thawed.
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As we mentioned before, freezing mozzarella cheese will change its texture, which can change the flavor or consistency of the things you cook with it.
As a general rule:
- Fresh Mozzarella: Will be noticeably more crumbly, which makes it perfect for salads or pastas. You can also mix it with the leftover whey to give it a more cream-cheese texture, but it’ll never regain the soft texture mozzarella cheese is known for.
- Shredded Mozzarella: Will usually keep its texture fairly well, though you should mix it with a little cornstarch if you’re doing the shredding yourself. Once thawed, go ahead and use it straight away in any dish you want.
- Mozzarella Blocks: Will turn a little thicker and will crumble more easily, but will generally keep their shape relatively well.
So there you have it.
Freezing mozzarella cheese is not only easy and perfectly safe, but it’s also a fantastic way of enjoying this delicious cheese whenever you feel like it.