If you’re familiar with parmesan cheese, you know that it can be incredibly versatile but you probably also know that a little bit goes a long way. Your parmesan cheese might just last you forever – or at least a really long time.
But it’s always a good idea to research exactly how to store your food for the best results. The scenarios might differ depending on whether you have a block of parmesan or perhaps even have sliced, grated, or shredded parmesan cheese.
Can you freeze parmesan cheese? Yes you can freeze parmesan cheese, however it may become more crumbly once thawed. It lasts up to 18 months in the freezer.
However, there are some best practices for freezing parmesan cheese to preserve its texture and taste.
In this guide, we will share with you all of the details to know about freezing parmesan cheese. We will talk about the best way to freeze it and whether or not you can or should freeze the different varieties of parmesan as well.
Keep reading to learn how to freeze parmesan cheese and more!
Freezing Parmesan Cheese – A Complete Guide
Things like cheese and dairy typically get a bad reputation for not freezing well. The freezer sometimes affects their texture negatively and results in a lower quality flavor.
Dairy, particularly cheese in this case, has a high fat content and that is where the problem comes in with freezing.
The good news is that parmesan cheese really has a pretty low water content, so the freezer won’t negatively affect it like it might some other types of cheese.
With that in mind, you can still freeze many different types of cheese, including parmesan. However, when you freeze it you need to know what the limitations might be and what you can expect from the freezing process as well.
The quick answer to whether or not you can freeze parmesan cheese is that you can freeze it and you can expect it to last a considerable amount of time.
That applies to the freezer but even out of the freezer it lasts quite some time as well. Let’s start by talking about how to freeze parmesan cheese.
How To Freeze Parmesan Cheese
The biggest thing that you need to know about freezing parmesan cheese is that you want the cheese to be absolutely airtight.
That might mean double or even triple layering to protect it, but the best way to keep it fresh is to make sure no air is getting to that cheese!
Here’s the thing. You can freeze your parmesan, and it freezes well, but the cheese you take out of the freezer will be more prone to crumbling.
You may not notice a change in texture, but the crumbling might make it harder to shred or grate.
Most experts recommend using it mostly for cooking purposes after it’s been frozen but you can use it for other things too. It will be up to your preference.
Here’s how to freeze parmesan cheese:
- Separate it into portions. Cut it if necessary, but dividing into portions helps to make sure you don’t need to re-freeze or anything like that. You can just grab your portion and go.
- You can pre-grate or pre-shred the cheese if you think grated or shredded will be the way you want to use it. Remember, it might be crumbly after coming out of the freezer and that will make it hard to grate or shred after the fact.
- Place your portions into freezer-safe plastic wrap. Use enough plastic wrap to cover the portion entirely; you can even double up around it to be sure.
- Place your wrapped cheese into either an airtight container or a freezer storage bag.
- Label and date the outer packaging of the cheese.
- Seal tightly and place in freezer for up to 18 months.
Parmesan cheese can last in the freezer for a really long time. In fact, you probably only need to freeze it if you have a bulk amount because it can also last in the fridge much longer compared to other foods.
Parmesan cheese is aged before you even get it, so aging it more in your fridge won’t hurt it as long as it’s properly stored.
Of course, there are still limitations on just how long it can stay there, so the freezer makes another great alternative for storage of your parmesan cheese safely.
Can You Freeze Grated Parmesan Cheese?
The good news is that you can definitely freeze grated parmesan cheese. In fact, you might be better off freezing it grated or shredded than freezing it as a whole block or in slices.
This is just because if it’s grated, it’s prepped and pretty much ready to use for just about anything.
The steps for freezing grated parmesan cheese do not change from what we shared above in the steps.
The nice thing about freezing grated parmesan cheese is you won’t have to worry about the crumbling that can happen with parmesan cheese when it has been frozen.
Grated parmesan cheese can be used on just about anything you might need, so if you can freeze it and put it to work for you, then you might as well do so right? The biggest thing to remember is that you will want to make sure it is airtight.
Whatever you do, we recommend at least 2 different layers to really protect the cheese from the freezer so you know it won’t end up freezer burnt or tasting funny.
If you have an unopened bag of grated parmesan, you can typically freeze it in that bag, but it also wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and put that in another bag.
Can You Freeze Shredded Parmesan Cheese?
Shredded parmesan cheese is pretty similar to grated parmesan cheese. They often are thought of as the same, but grated cheese is actually much finer and smaller than shredded cheese.
They do resemble each other, but grated is fine and shredded is usually thick shreds, if that is at all helpful to you.
You can freeze shredded parmesan cheese much the same way that you freeze grated parmesan cheese. The same rules and techniques apply.
Since this is shredded, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about it being crumbly, although you may notice it slightly since these are bigger pieces than grated cheese.
Shredded cheese won’t change that much since it is already shredded, which means you can use it cold and fresh or you can use it hot and cooked into or onto a dish – whatever you prefer!
Can You Freeze A Parmesan Cheese Block?
If you haven’t quite figured it out, you can freeze any type of parmesan cheese, including a full cheese block.
Here’s where our answer changes a bit though. While you can freeze a full cheese block, we recommend cutting, slicing, shredding, or grating it first.
Freezing it will not harm it, but the freezer does have a tendency to make parmesan cheese a little crumbly to the touch.
If you freeze the whole block, it may be harder to handle and use it after it’s been frozen, so this is just something to be mindful of. Now, if you just want to crumble off a chunk here and there, then this won’t be a problem for you at all!
Here is what we recommend. Take a few minutes before you freeze it and just go ahead and portion it out.
You can slice some of it, grate some, and shred some so you have a variety of options from the cheese block without actually just freezing it as a whole cheese block.
The extra few minutes it will take to prepare the cheese in this way will be well worth it when you are ready to use the cheese.
However, the choice is totally up to you. We just want you to be aware that a full cheese block may be crumbly and hard to use for different purposes after it’s been frozen.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what you do, the parmesan cheese needs to be completely airtight! Whether this means 2 or 3 layers or something else, just make sure the air will never reach it.
Why Do People Freeze Parmesan Rind?
The rind of a parmesan block or wheel is inedible, right? People don’t really eat that part, so why would you keep it or freeze it?
It is true that you don’t eat the rind. A lot of people would not think twice about it and just toss it out. However, if you freeze it, it might actually serve a good purpose for you.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to use every last bit and not waste any valuable pieces, you can put that rind to use!
While you can’t eat the rind, you can use it for flavor. It’s a great tool for making things like soups or even stews.
You know how there are some foods you use whole bay leaves for but you never leave them in there to eat? It’s the same concept with parmesan rind.
It’s a cooking tool that adds flavor and it is oh-so-good in soups or stews, adding a rich, savory, almost umami, and slightly salty flavor to your dish.
So you can use the rind when it’s fresh or you can bag it up and toss it in the freezer. It’s really easy to freeze; you can just put it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Be sure to label it so you know what it is and when you froze it later.
When you’re ready to use it, you don’t even have to thaw it out. Just pull it out of the freezer and plop it in the soup you’re cooking. You won’t regret it. Just remember to take it back out before serving!
How To Use Parmesan After Freezing
If you froze your parmesan cheese and now you’re ready to use it, let’s talk just a little bit about that process.
Parmesan is pretty easy because when you pull it out of the freezer, it will defrost pretty quickly. However, what we want to point out is that you don’t want to try to force the thawing process or manually speed it up.
Since the cheese can get a little bit crumbly, you want to let it defrost on its own so you might need to plan ahead a day or so just to be on the safe side.
We recommend that you pull your parmesan cheese out of the freezer the day before you need it, if you can remember to do so.
If you like to plan or prep meals a week at a time, you can put it in the fridge for several days after freezing it and it will be just fine, so pull it out when you think about needing it for the week.
If you did freeze a whole block of parmesan, you may need to leave some extra thawing time, as this will probably take longer to defrost. This is another great reason to split it up before freezing it!
We have to mention that you should never refreeze your parmesan, as this will not only ruin it but allow harmful bacteria to grow.
We hope that you find this guide to freezing parmesan cheese to be a helpful resource. Parmesan cheese freezes really well and does pretty good after it’s been frozen if you know the tips and tricks for it.
We invite you to take a look at these common questions and answers for a bit more information.
Can You Refreeze Parmesan Cheese?
We don’t recommend refreezing the cheese after it has been fully defrosted.
Freezing it does change it, and while parmesan typically does work well the first time, the integrity of the cheese will be compromised trying to freeze it again and it may not work so well.
Not only that, but refreezing anything invites harmful bacteria to wreak havoc on you and your food.
Can You Freeze Parmesan Crisps?
If you like a great snack, parmesan crisps can be that for you. If you want to make them in bulk, you can definitely freeze them as well.
The texture might change just slightly from the freezer but you probably won’t notice much difference!
We do recommend making sure you get them packed up to be completely airtight for freezing, as this will make a difference in the quality later.
Does Parmesan Freeze Well?
Cheese tends to be challenging to freeze, but we believe that if you are going to freeze cheese, parmesan is a good one to try. Hard cheeses freeze the best and parmesan does fall into that category.
In the end, the biggest negative is that your cheese may be a little bit crumbly when you decide to use it after freezing it. Other than that, you really shouldn’t have any freezing issues.
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