From garnishing plates of pasta to blending into dips, life is enhanced by the presence of smooth, tangy goat cheese. Offering refined flavor and a velvet texture, goat cheese elevates cooking.
However, its creamy composition is short-lived. Without skilled freezing, goat cheese rapidly dries and molds.
So Can You Freeze Goat Freeze, And If Yes Then How Do We Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze goat cheese for up to three months. To maintain its quality, wrap it tightly, label it, and date it. Thaw slowly in the fridge and use it in cooking for best results.
How To Thaw Goat Cheese?
Thawing goat cheese properly ensures it retains the best texture and flavor. Here are some tips:
- Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This slowly brings the cheese back to temperature without affecting its texture.
- Leave the cheese wrapped while thawing. Unwrap only right before use. This prevents surface drying.
- Thaw soft goat cheese in the wrapper in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until thawed.
- Microwave hard goat cheese on the defrost setting based on package directions. Check often to prevent melting.
- Thaw cubes of hard cheese at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Turn cubes occasionally.
- Use thawed goat cheese within 5 days for best quality and food safety. Do not refreeze after thawing.
Avoid thawing soft goat cheese at room temperature or in warm water. This can cause oil separation and a grainy texture. Hard goat cheese may crumble if thawed too quickly.
For the best flavor and texture, use thawed goat cheese in cooking applications like pizza, pasta, and grilled cheese. The strong flavors will hide any imperfections.
How To Freeze Goat Cheese?
Freezing goat cheese is a fantastic way to extend its shelf life without sacrificing its creamy texture and tangy flavor. Here’s a simple guide to help you freeze goat cheese effectively:
- Choose Fresh Goat Cheese: Opt for fresh, unflavored goat cheese without added herbs or spices for the best results.
- Portion It: Divide the goat cheese into small portions or cubes. This allows for easier portion control and thawing later.
- Wrap in Plastic Wrap: Individually wrap each portion of goat cheese in plastic wrap, ensuring it’s tightly sealed to prevent air from getting in.
- Double Bagging: Place the wrapped portions in a resealable freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
- Label and Date: Don’t forget to label the bags with the date for reference.
- Freeze: Put the bags in the freezer. Goat cheese can stay good for up to 6 months when frozen properly.
- Thawing: When you’re ready to use it, transfer the desired portion to the refrigerator to thaw. This gradual thawing process helps preserve the texture and flavor.
How To Tell If Goat Cheese Has Gone Bad?
It can be tricky to tell if goat cheese has gone bad, but here are some common signs:
- Mold growth on the cheese that cannot be trimmed – more than 1⁄4 inch of mold means the cheese should be discarded
- Changes in color – goat cheese should be white or light yellow. Dark yellow, orange, or brown spots indicate spoilage
- Strong unpleasant odors – fresh goat cheese should smell tangy, even sharp, but not spoiled
- Textural changes – aged goat cheese becomes crumbly while soft cheeses may separate and feel watery or slimy
- Dryness or sliminess on the surface – properly stored goat cheese will feel creamy and smooth
- Bitter, sour, or “off” flavors – spoiled goat cheese will immediately taste rancid, bitter, or off
- Soft cheese weeping liquid – this indicates unwanted bacteria are breaking down the cheese
- Slimy film or fuzziness on cheese – this is early mold growth and means the cheese should be discarded
- Hard cheese feels unusually soft – this shows improper storage at too high a temperature
Remember, mold can contaminate cheese well beyond the visible spots, so it’s best to discard the entire package if more than 1⁄4 inch is moldy. When in doubt, remember the old adage “when in doubt, throw it out” applies to questionable dairy products.
How To Store Goat Cheese?
Here are some tips for proper goat cheese storage:
- Keep refrigerated at all times at 35-40°F. Do not leave goat cheese unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.
- Seal tightly in original cryovac packaging or wrap in plastic wrap, pressing out air. Prevent exposure to oxygen.
- Place soft cheese in a clean airtight container covered with a damp paper towel to maintain humidity and prevent drying out.
- Store different varieties separately and clearly label with name and date to prevent mix-ups. Use the oldest first.
- Wipe down containers before storing to prevent cross-contamination from other foods. Never place cheese in direct contact with raw meat or eggs.
- Cut away any moldy portions 1⁄4 inch around the spot. Rewrap and use within a few days.
- Freeze for longer storage up to 4-6 months. Wrap goat cheese well in plastic wrap and foil before freezing.
- Do not store cheese in the refrigerator door. Temperature fluctuations can accelerate spoilage.
Proper storage preserves freshness and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. Follow these guidelines for storing goat cheese safely.
How To Use Frozen Goat Cheese?
While fresh is best, frozen goat cheese can still be used in cooking. Here are some great ways to use thawed frozen goat cheese:
- In hot dishes – Add crumbled goat cheese to pan sauces, risottos, soups, and chilis at the end to melt and incorporate.
- Baked dishes – Fold into casseroles, lasagnas, egg bakes, pizza, and quiche to bake. The flavors will meld nicely.
- Spread on toast – Thaw overnight in the fridge, then spread on baguette slices. Broil to warm and lightly melt.
- Salad topper – Crumble thawed frozen goat cheese over greens, roasted veggies, or grains. The vinaigrette will soften it.
- Cheese plate – Thaw hard cheeses completely, then serve with fruit, nuts, and crackers at room temperature.
- Smoothie boost – Blend thawed soft goat cheese into fruit smoothies for a protein punch. Bananas, berries, and spinach are nice complements.
- Breakfast addition – Add thawed goat cheese crumbles into omelets, breakfast tacos, waffles, or grits bowls.
The tanginess of goat cheese pairs well with bold flavors. Use it thawed in cooked applications for the best results and flavor.
Does Freezing Goat Cheese Change Its Taste?
Freezing can slightly affect the flavor and texture of goat cheese. Here’s what to expect:
- Soft fresh goat cheese may turn grainy or watery when thawed due to moisture loss. The tangy flavor remains but the mouthfeel changes.
- The flavor of aged hard goat cheeses remains relatively unaffected. However, the texture may become slightly crumbly.
- Goat cheese can absorb freezer odors like fish and meats if stored uncovered. Always wrap goat cheese airtight before freezing.
- Thawed goat cheese tends to be more salty-tasting after freezing. The ice crystals formed during freezing effectively concentrate the saltiness.
- Soft goat cheese can develop a sour note or bitterness after prolonged freezing due to oxidation. Use frozen soft cheese within 2-3 months.
- The creamy, grassy flavors of fresh goat milk are muted in thawed cheeses. Some nuanced notes are lost.
While frozen goat cheese won’t taste exactly the same as fresh, it can be used successfully in most cooked dishes or spreads. For snacking or cheese boards, stick to fresh for ultimate quality.
Q1. How do you defrost frozen goat cheese?
A1. Defrost frozen goat cheese overnight in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving for the best texture.
Q2. How long will goat cheese last in the fridge?
A2. An unopened pasteurized goat cheese will last 2-3 weeks past its expiration date when properly refrigerated.
Q3. Can you freeze goat cheese and feta cheese?
A3. Yes, both soft goat cheese and feta can be frozen for up to 2 months with minimal texture changes when thawed slowly.
Q4. How do you store goat cheese long term?
A4. For long-term storage, wrap goat cheese portions well and freeze for up to 2 months. Refrigerate once opened.
Q5. Can goat cheese be frozen and used later?
A5. Goat cheese holds up well frozen for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using in recipes or eating.
Q6. Can unopened goat cheese be frozen?
A6. Unopened, packaged goat cheese can be frozen prior to its expiration date for prolonged freshness, then thawed in the fridge.