Deli cheese is truly delicious. You can use it in sandwiches, salads, wraps, and more. It tastes significantly fresher than packaged cheese and comes in a variety of types.
There is one issue with deli cheese. It often has a short life, yet you usually have to buy it by the pound or half-pound. Unless you have a large family or eat a large amount of cheese, it can easily go bad before you get the chance to eat it all.
Since deli cheese is usually costlier than packaged cheese, it can really add up if you have to throw away a large portion.
But buying in bulk can also be cost-effective. You can often save money by buying bulk deli cheese instead of purchasing the individually-wrapped slices in a package.
The only trick is finding a way to keep it around longer. So if you’re looking to get the most out of your buck – and your cheese – you may be wondering if there is a way to freeze the cheese to use it beyond the expiration date.
Can you freeze deli cheese? Yes, you can freeze deli cheese, but there are a few challenges such as changes in texture once it is thawed. Using freezer bags and parchment paper can help you preserve the quality and texture of your cheese. Frozen cheese is often recommended for cooking.
Keep reading to learn more about how to freeze your deli cheese, how long it will last, and what types of cheese you can freeze.
The Best Way To Freeze Deli Cheese
How you freeze deli cheese will often depend on the type of cheese you are freezing and whether it has been sliced or grated.
The key is to use materials and containers that are formulated for freezer use: freezer-safe bags, containers, and paper. These products will go a long way in prolonging the lifespan and preserving the integrity of your cheese.
Freezing A Block Of Deli Cheese
If you want to freeze a block of cheese, you will want to make sure that you are freezing a portion that is less than 1 pound. Anything larger will not freeze well.
It is also a good idea to cut it into portion sizes that you will use at one time. You do not want to continue to thaw and refreeze a large block of cheese.
Once you have your cheese portioned into usable chunks, wrap it in cheese paper or aluminum foil. Seal it into an airtight freezer container or freezer bag and then freeze as quickly as possible.
If your freezer has a rapid freeze option, that is your best method to maintain your cheese’s quality.
Freezing Sliced Deli Cheese
Can sliced cheese be frozen and used later? Yes, many types of sliced cheese are suitable for freezing.
You will want to first insert a piece of parchment paper in between each slice of cheese for best results. After all, you don’t want all your pieces to stick together or there’s no point in having slices at all. Some delis will do this for you.
Next, wrap all of your cheese in freezer paper and place it in an airtight freezer container or freezer bag.
Freezing Shredded Deli Cheese
To freeze shredded deli cheese, place it in an airtight freezer bag and place it in the freezer.
If you plan to shred your cheese, it is best to do so before freezing rather than after freezing. It will be softer and easier to shred when not half-frozen.
Thawing Frozen Deli Cheese
When you are ready to thaw your cheese, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator for 7 to 9 hours. Do not let the cheese thaw on the counter or in warm water.
You also have the option of letting the frozen cheese ripen in the refrigerator for several days or a week to restore it to its best quality. If you’re planning meals ahead of time, this will be a simple and convenient solution.
If you have frozen shredded cheese that you plan to use for cooking, there is no need to thaw it. Just toss it into the dish.
How Long Does Deli Cheese Last In The Freezer?
Deli cheese can last up to 9 months in the freezer, depending on how hard it is and its moisture content.
If the cheese has been frozen for longer than 9 months, it is still probably safe to eat, but the quality may have suffered greatly. It is not a good idea to refreeze cheese.
Can You Freeze All Types Of Cheese?
In addition to wondering whether you can freeze deli cheese at all, you may also wonder which types of cheese are suitable for freezing.
You can freeze any type of cheese, but certain types of cheese will give you better results. You probably don’t want to freeze every type of cheese.
Freezing soft cheeses with high water content is not recommended. Soft cheeses like brie tend to separate once frozen and then thawed, making it practically inedible.
Hard cheeses are also not a good candidate for freezing. Freezing causes a loss of moisture, and these cheeses may get even harder and crumble upon thawing.
The best types of cheese to freeze are those that are semi-hard and have a low moisture content. Some examples include cheddar, swiss, parmesan, and mozzarella.
How Long Does Deli Cheese Last In The Refrigerator?
Several factors determine how long deli cheese can last in the refrigerator. Some types of cheese have a longer shelf life than others, such as semi-hard and hard cheeses.
The packaging is also important. Cheese packaged in airtight bags or containers will last longer.
The biggest determinant in how long does deli cheese last in the fridge is whether or not it’s been opened. Sealed cheese can last anywhere from 2-4 months. Once the cheese is opened, it will last around 6 weeks.
Can You Freeze Deli Meat And Cheese?
In addition to deli cheese, you can also freeze deli meats. Cured meats will hold up better, while other meats may be slightly wet upon thawing.
For best results, place parchment paper between slices and seal the meat in an airtight freezer bag.
Can you freeze deli meat and cheese? Yes, but for best results don’t store meat in the freezer for more than 2 months.
The answer to can you freeze deli cheese is yes – you absolutely can. Freezing can be useful in prolonging the life of your cheese and making sure you always have some on hand for cooking.
However, many types of cheese will lose some of its quality and texture once frozen. It is best to freeze harder cheese and cheese that will be used in cooked dishes.