Blue cheese is celebrated for its distinct flavor, characterized by the blue-green veins formed by edible molds. These cheeses vary in taste, texture, and color, owing to their unique aroma of molds or cultivated bacteria.
However, freezing blue cheese can be tricky, and improper storage can lead to spoilage.
So Can You Freeze Blue Cheese, And If Yes Then How Do We Freeze It?
Yes, blue cheese can be frozen for up to six months. To do so, portion, wrap tightly, double-wrap in a freezer bag, label with the date, and store in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator for best results.
How To Freeze Blue Cheese?
Freezing blue cheese can extend its shelf life, but it’s important to do it right to preserve its flavor and texture. Here’s what you need to know about freezing blue cheese:
- Choose the Right Cheese: Start with high-quality blue cheese. Make sure it’s fresh and not nearing its expiration date.
- Portion Control: Cut the blue cheese into smaller portions or crumble it. This makes it easier to use and prevents you from thawing more than you need.
- Wrap It Well: Wrap the cheese tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Ensure there’s no exposure to air, as this can cause freezer burn.
- Place in an Airtight Container: Put the wrapped cheese into an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag to provide an extra layer of protection against freezer burn and odors.
- Thawing: When you’re ready to use it, transfer the cheese to the refrigerator. Slow thawing preserves the cheese’s texture and flavor. It may take a day or two to thaw completely.
While freezing blue cheese is possible, it may result in a slightly altered texture. Therefore, it’s best used for cooking or crumbled into salads and not as a standalone cheese platter option
How To Defrost Blue Cheese?
Thaw frozen blue cheese gradually in the refrigerator. DO NOT thaw at room temperature.
The safest way to defrost blue cheese is overnight in the fridge. This helps prevent moisture loss. Remove the cheese from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator 24-48 hours before needed. For faster defrosting, place the frozen cheese on a plate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. The outside will thaw while the center remains frozen.
Once thawed, use the cheese immediately. Avoid refreezing any cheese that has been completely defrosted.
The texture of the cheese will be more crumbly after freezing. Mix any crumbles into dips, sauces, or salad dressing rather than serving chunks straight.
How To Tell If Blue Cheese Gone Bad?
Here are some signs that indicate blue cheese has spoiled:
- Unusual spots or colors – excessive black, blue-green, pink or orange mold
- Hard, dried-out texture
- Strong unpleasant odors
- Extremely crumbly texture that falls apart when cut or handled
- Ammonia-like smell
- White film or crystals on the cheese
- Dark or slimy spots on the cheese
- Mold growing beyond the blue veining throughout the entire cheese
- Significantly darker blue veining compared to a fresh piece
As blue cheese ages, some mold growth is normal. But if the cheese is overly dried out, hard, or shows excessive mold, it should be discarded.
When in doubt, remember the old saying: “When in blue, toss it out!”
How To Use Frozen Blue Cheese?
Frozen blue cheese works great in cooked dishes or melted applications. The freezing process makes blue cheese crumblier. Here are some ways to use frozen blue cheese:
- Toss crumbles into pasta, risotto, soups, and sauces. The heat will soften the texture.
- Mix into dips like blue cheese dressing, buffalo chicken dip, or artichoke dip.
- Crumble over tacos, nachos, burgers, pizza, and other items before baking or broiling so the cheese can melt.
- Blend into compound butter. Mix with softened butter then roll into a log and freeze.
- Add crumbles into bread dough, biscuit dough, scones, etc. The baked goods will hide any textural changes.
- Stuff into chicken breasts or fish filets before baking. The cheese will ooze out nicely when heated.
Avoid eating frozen blue cheese raw in chunks or salads. The crumbly texture doesn’t work well uncooked.
How To Store Frozen Blue Cheese?
To keep frozen blue cheese in optimal condition:
- Store in airtight freezer bags or containers. Remove as much air as possible.
- Ensure the cheese is well wrapped. Use plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface.
- Place packs in the coldest section of the freezer, at 0°F or below. Avoid door shelves that experience more temperature fluctuations.
- Once thawed, do not refreeze. Use within 5-7 days.
- When freezing for over 3 months, rewrap the cheese in fresh plastic wrap every 1-2 months to prevent freezer burn.
- Label packs with cheese variety and freeze date so you know which one to use first.
With proper freezing and storage techniques, you can enjoy delicious blue cheese for months past its expiry date. Just remember to thaw slowly in the fridge, use within a week of thawing, and avoid refreezing.
Q1. What is the best way to freeze blue cheese?
A1. The best way is to freeze crumbled blue cheese in an airtight container, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 6 months.
Q2. Why can’t you freeze blue cheese?
A2. You can freeze blue cheese. Freezing prevents mold growth and preserves the flavor.
Q3. How long does blue cheese last in the refrigerator?
A3. Properly stored, blue cheese lasts up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator past the sell-by date.
Q4. What cheese Cannot be frozen?
A4. Soft cheeses like ricotta, cottage cheese, and cream cheese do not freeze well. Hard cheeses can be frozen.
Q5. How do you store a block of blue cheese?
A5. Wrap the block of blue cheese first in parchment, then foil or plastic wrap. Store in the warmest part of the fridge.
Q6. How do you store blue cheese long-term?
A6. For long-term storage, crumble blue cheese and freeze it in an airtight container for up to 6 months.