Are you fond of the oozy, yummy mozzarella cheese? I am! Therefore, I stock mozzarella at home so that whenever I feel like baking, I got plenty of cheese to use. However, can you freeze mozzarella cheese?
I bet that the question caught the attention of cheese lovers, especially those who buy them in bulk. Do you have an idea on how to store a mozzarella cheese? Since the freezer is usually our best friend when it comes to saving leftovers, will it do the same for our mozzarella?
Let’s find out if it’s a yes, or a no!
The Different Types of Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella is a stretched curd cheese that originates in Italy. Nowadays, it’s already popular that products found in stores are mostly made from around the world. It is true that the fresher your cheese, the best tasting it is. If you know how to make one, then you must also know how to store it the right way.
There are plenty of mozzarella versions sold, but I would mention only the most commonly used for recipes and other applications. The different types of Mozzarella are:
1. Fresh or Soft mozzarella cheese
Fresh or Soft mozzarella cheese is mild flavored and creamy. The sooner you eat it, the better. Stores sell fresh or soft mozzarella cheese in diverse shapes, but the most common of all is the ball kind and is like a size of an orange, or smaller.
2. Mass Produced mozzarella cheese
Mass Produced mozzarella cheese are usually vacuum packed in a plastic wrap. It tastes a bit salty but mild. This comes sliced or shredded in your favorite supermarket. This type is what you use for pizza and lasagna.
3. Buffalo mozzarella
Buffalo mozzarella is the very first mozzarella cheese ever made. Currently, the mozzarella cheese circulating in the market are already from cows. If you found one, I am sure it is hard in texture and expensive. I believe that it’s sweet and more delicious than the others.
Can you freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
Just to avoid the inconvenience of baking and to try saving extra bucks, I tend to store a bulk of mozzarella cheese at home. How to make this work? Well, let me say that YES, you can freeze mozzarella cheese. You should know that this type of cheese is the best regarding consistency and taste even after freezing.
I urge you to know the different kinds of mozzarella. Keep in mind that freezing would not be possible for the soft type. Consume soft mozzarella (freshly made) while it is fresh.
If by chance you need to freeze it, expect that the texture will change from creamy to crumbly and it will not taste the same. I advise not freezing it longer than two months. Can you freeze mozzarella cheese? In this case, the answer is NO!
The soft cheese tastes best when eaten fresh. Other varieties of mozzarella cheese (solid) are at its best when frozen. Freezing is the clever and cheapest way to save your mozzarella cheese.
What is the shelf life of Mozzarella Cheese when Frozen?
Leftover mozzarella lasts around a week when stored properly in the fridge. However, when it’s frozen, it remains safe and fresh for up to two months. This shelf life applies to newly opened mozzarella package. Freezing leftover cheese that is more than a day old is already risky and imposes a health hazard.
For your solid mozzarellas that are not yet opened (when you buy in bulk), the frozen product will last longer for another month or so.
How to freeze Mozzarella Cheese the Right Way?
Freezing mozzarella cheese the right way is a significant factor in prolonging its shelf life. The method may vary depending on the kind of mozzarella cheese that you intend to freeze. Here are some tips that are useful for you.
- Shredded Mozzarella:
This is the best choice for cheese sticks, pizza, lasagna, and sauces. Do you know that among all types, shredded mozzarella is most recommendable for freezing? I shred the mozzarella myself before storing. I mix a bit of cornstarch or flour to the shredded mozzarella to help absorb the moisture while in the freezer thus avoiding clumping.
I suggest spreading the shredded mozzarella on a baking sheet and storing it in the fridge for a while before placing in the freezer. After a few minutes, wrap it (double wrap) in a plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it inside a freezer bag. It is better to fill in all the space in your sealed container or bag to prevent air from entering before placing it in the freezer.
- Sliced Mozzarella
Sliced mozzarella is suitable for sandwiches. If you plan to store and freeze them, don’t forget to place a wax paper in between the slices to stop them from sticking together. Then proceed to double wrapping it using plastic wraps or foil before sealing inside a freezer bag.
- Block of Mozzarella Cheese
The same method applies when freezing sliced type. However, a block of cheese is bigger. Hence, you need a large wax paper or foil and a freezer bag or container as well.
Storing/Freezing rules that you need to remember:
- Label each pack with the type of cheese and the storage date. This way, it’s easy for you to track the shelf life of the frozen cheese. Make sure to use permanent pens in doing so. Consume them in a first in first out (FIFO) basis.
- Never freeze the cheese again after thawing.
- Check the condition of the cheese before freezing. Freeze the cheese right away after opening the package.
- Check CircleCheese exposed in room temperature for hours is no longer suitable for freezing.
- Check CircleFor convenience, store it in small portions for easy retrieval. I save the amount of mozzarella that I think is good for one serving. It would be great if you already have a plan of how and when to use it. It helps in determining the number of portions you need to place in each bag.
Storing in small portions will also allow thawing a lot faster. Slicing or shredding it before freezing is an advantage when it comes to saving time and effort.
- Ensure that you pack the cheese properly to prevent freezer burn.
- Don’t thaw the cheese at room temperature. It will allow bacteria to thrive. You need to thaw Mozzarella cheese inside the fridge at least overnight.
- Use thawed cheese right away.
- Check CirclePress the bag to let the air out before sealing your cheese. Air can cause damage to the cheese. If air remains in the inside, it will create ice crystals that will make your cheese wet and soggy after thawing.
This does not impose a problem for the shredded type, but for the sliced ones, it may affect the texture. If you have access to vacuum packing, it’s useful for this purpose.
Read more: Can You Freeze Scrambled Eggs?
How to thaw your frozen mozzarella cheese?
When it’s time to use the frozen cheese, it’s best to thaw it the proper way. Keep in mind that thawing it in room temperature is a high risk of contaminating it to bacteria. I advise to get the needed amount of mozzarella and transfer it to the fridge beforehand.
I usually give it an overnight to provide ample thawing time. Some let it stay in the refrigerator for 24 hours. NEVER thaw your cheese using the microwave or submerging it in water. Otherwise, your mozzarella will end up gooey.
However, for frozen mozzarella cheese that you plan to use on soups and other recipes, there is no need for thawing. The heat of the cooked food will easily melt shredded mozzarella. You can use frozen mozzarella directly from the freezer then.
Take note: After thawing, mozzarella cheese would last a maximum of three days.
It is already my habit to store mozzarella at home in bulk to save money. Buying in batches will mean excess stock; therefore can you freeze mozzarella cheese?
You already know that the answer is YES, except of course of the soft kind of cheese. As long as you follow the correct process of freezing, mozzarella cheese would still taste the same after freezing.
I hope I have cleared all questions about freezing mozzarella. Have you tried it too?