String cheese is an extremely popular type of cheese that you can find across all the US markets. There’s no doubt that string cheese goes with everything – pizza, lasagna, or even mac and cheese!
As the name suggests, string cheese has a stringy texture which works well with any dish that requires mozzarella.
Yet, people often have a question about whether string cheese melts or not. After all, this information is crucial for any recipe.
So, does string cheese melt? Yes, string cheese melts slightly under proper temperature conditions. It is possible with the help of a microwave or oven. However, string cheese doesn’t melt as much as other cheese varieties. It just becomes soft.
In this guide, we will help you understand whether string cheese melts or not, along with the various different methods. So, let’s dig into it!
What Is String Cheese?
String cheese is a thread-like and stretchy cheese prepared by aligning the proteins present in the mozzarella cheese.
During the manufacturing process, the manufacturers heat the mozzarella cheese around 140 °F and stretch it such that the proteins align together.
The proper alignment of the milk proteins in the cheese causes its stringy texture. Because of this, you can even peel off one string from a large stick of string cheese.
Now, you may wonder if string cheese and mozzarella cheese are the same.
Technically, yes they are as you can only prepare string cheese using mozzarella cheese. But the basic difference lies in the preparation method which makes string cheese stringy by aligning its inner protein content.
Does String Cheese Melt Well?
Originally, string cheese was never meant to be melted. With the right temperature and method, it may become soft but won’t melt entirely like other cheese varieties.
It is because of the following reasons:
Reason #1: Low Moisture Content
A cheese’s moisture content affects its ability to melt. For instance, cheese varieties that have high moisture content contain loosely-packed milk proteins. So, they melt easily when heated.
Cheese with low-moisture content has more tightly-packed and aligned proteins. They are harder to melt and take a lot of time.
As string cheese has an extremely low moisture content, it is harder to melt it than other moist cheese, such as Brie.
Reason #2: Fat Content
The amount of fats in a cheese determines its melting properties too. A cheese that is rich in fats melts easily and has a smooth texture.
Conversely, a cheese that is low in fats will turn somewhat stringy once heated. So, string cheese doesn’t melt well as it is low in fats.
There are other reasons, such as the manufacturing process too that cause the string cheese to not melt properly.
Does String Cheese Melt In The Microwave?
Yes, it is possible to melt string cheese in the microwave. However, don’t expect the cheese to melt completely, like parmesan or other cheeses. Instead, the string cheese will become softer and retain its stringy nature.
Melting String Cheese Without Wrapper
We recommend this method more as it is safer and doesn’t involve any use of plastic. This method is also ideal if you want to directly melt string cheese on top of pizza, soup, or other dishes.
So, let’s see how you can do it:
- Separate String Cheese: String cheese requires even temperature. Now, if you simply add a whole stick to the microwave, it may not work. Instead, separate threads from string cheese.
- Spread It Evenly On Dish: If you have a pizza, crackers, or another dish, spread the string cheese threads evenly on top of it.
- Put In The Microwave: Put the dish inside the microwave. Keep in mind that string cheese requires around 90°F temperature to melt.
- Remove The Dish: After about 1-1 1/2 minutes, remove the dish and you’ll see that the string cheese looks soft!
If you want to melt string cheese without other ingredients, you can get a microwave-friendly tray and place the string cheese threads evenly. Put the tray in the microwave and let it melt.
Melting String Cheese With Wrapper
Another way to soften string cheese without other ingredients is by melting it while it’s still in the wrapper. But, there are a few things you need to know before you try this out.
- Check if the wrapper is microwave-friendly. If it isn’t, don’t proceed with this method.
- Heating plastic with food, even if it’s microwave-friendly, may have certain health risks.
So, we don’t recommend this method of melting string cheese. Still, it works in the below-mentioned ways:
- Open The Wrapper From The Opening Side: It is essential that you open the wrapper slightly from the opening side. But, make sure that you don’t remove it entirely.
- Pop It In The Microwave: Then, put the string cheese with the wrapper inside the microwave. Heat it for about 1-1 1/2 minutes. The temperature should be around 90°F.
- Remove From Microwave: Once you feel that the string cheese has become soft, remove it from the microwave.
After removing it, you can either eat it raw or put it inside a sandwich or another dish.
Does String Cheese Melt In The Oven?
Just like a microwave, it is also possible to melt string cheese in the oven. Again, the oven won’t completely melt the cheese, it will soften it.
With an oven, you cannot use the wrapper method as most wrappers are microwave-friendly but not oven-friendly.
There is another method that you can try out. Let’s see how it is done!
- Separate The String Cheese: Once again, separate the string cheese threads so they can get even heat and melt.
- Spread Them Across Your Dish: Place the separated string cheese threads on top of your dish, such as pizza, lasagna, etc.
- Adjust The Oven Settings: Here, make sure that your oven is on the broiler setting. Set the temperature as per your dish but it should at least be around 90°F if you want the string cheese to melt.
- Let The String Cheese Soften: You can check whether the string cheese has softened on top or not. It would take less than 5 minutes. Once it feels soft, remove the dish from the oven. Enjoy your favorite meal with string cheese!
In this way, it is possible to melt or soften string cheese easily with the oven.
Additional Tips To Melt String Cheese
When you’re preparing to melt string cheese, keep in mind the below tips to avoid any mess:
Don’t Add Milk Or Other Ingredients With String Cheese
You may want to add string cheese to milk and melt it in the microwave to prepare the cheese sauce. But, wait, don’t do that!
As we mentioned above, string cheese doesn’t melt entirely. It just softens up a little. This may cause the cheese sauce to develop a lumpy texture which would eventually be a waste!
Don’t Forget To Slice The String Cheese
This hack is particularly useful if you want the string cheese to melt early.
String cheese requires an even temperature to melt. By slicing the string cheese, every string would get enough heat to soften.
Rotate For Whole Stick Of Cheese
If you don’t want to separate the string cheese while heating, don’t worry. There’s another way too.
When you put the string cheese stick in the microwave, rotate the plate or tray at regular intervals. This will ensure that every side receives an even temperature
Use Microwave-Friendly Tray Or Dish
This is a very basic tip for melting string cheese. Yet, many of us still forget to use microwave-friendly trays or dishes and end up with burnt plastic or metal dishes!
So, make sure that whichever tray or dish you use is microwave-friendly.
Can You Use String Cheese Instead Of Mozzarella?
If you have a stick of string cheese at home instead of mozzarella, you can definitely use it!
String cheese is basically a type of mozzarella cheese that was heated and stretched more to get its stringy texture. Hence, it will impart the same flavor to your dish.
There are just two things to remember here:
- String cheese is saltier than mozzarella. So, make sure that you use less salt in your dish.
- String cheese may have a slightly different texture after melting than mozzarella.
How Do You Use String Cheese?
A lot of people love to snack on string cheese due to its delicious flavor. Yet, if you don’t like it plain, you can use it in various dishes such as:
- Mozzarella sticks
- Pizza rolls
- Pasta or lasagna
All you need to do is find a great recipe and use string cheese in it to get a scrumptious snack.
String cheese is one of the favorite cheeses of people all over the world. Its unique stringy nature is not just delicious but fun to eat as well!
So, we hope this article helped you find out the different methods of melting string cheese and how you can use it!