If you’re a Parmesan cheese fan, you should expect to eventually wonder if you can freeze it for later.
At Christmas, I always end with loads of leftover Parmesan, and I know I can’t eat it all! So I set out to find the most effective freezing methods.
Parmesan waste is over! Freezing has become my secret weapon for saving the final pieces of cheese that used to go to waste.
- Can you freeze Parmesan cheese without ruining it?
- What you need
- How to freeze Parmesan cheese
- How to store Parmigiano Reggiano
- How long can you freeze Parmesan Reggiano cheese?
- How do you defrost Parmesan cheese?
- Can you refreeze Parmesan cheese?
- How to store Parmesan cheese without fridge?
- Does grated Parmesan cheese need to be refrigerated?
Can you freeze Parmesan cheese without ruining it?
The answer to that is yes! You can freeze Parmesan cheese for up to six months.
In this article, I’ll provide the best tips for freezing Parmesan cheese and maintaining its distinctive qualities.
Let’s see how to freeze, thaw, and use this renowned Italian cheese.
What you need
You’ll need these items to store Parmesan cheese most effectively:
- Wax or parchment Paper: Use this to cover the exposed side of your Parmesan cheese. It prevents the cheese from drying out.
- Plastic wrap or aluminum foil: After covering the cheese in wax or parchment paper, you’ll need these items to keep air and aromas out.
- Cheese storage paper (optional): Use instead of wax or parchment paper so that the cheese can breathe without drying out.
- Vacuum sealer (optional): Parmesan cheese stays fresh longer when vacuum sealed.
- Refrigerator: Required to thaw your cheese at 35°F to 45°F (1.7°C to 7.2°C).
- Airtight container (for grated Parmesan): To preserve its flavor and avoid smells.
- Cool, dry place (for unopened Parmesan): A pantry or cabinet out of direct sunlight.
You can keep Parmesan cheese fresh and tasty with these things plus careful storage!
How to freeze Parmesan cheese
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Follow these steps to freeze Parmesan cheese properly:
- Cut the cheese
You won’t have to thaw a huge chunk of cheese before using it later if you cut it into smaller pieces or grate it.
- Wrap it tightly
Wrap Parmesan cheese chunks in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Avoid freezer burn by covering all exposed areas.
- Double bagging (optional)
To prevent freezer burn and smells, place wrapped cheese chunks in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Before sealing, squeeze out any air.
- Label and date
Use a pen or adhesive label to write the current date on the freezer bag. You can track the cheese’s freezer time this way.
- Freeze and store
Freeze the wrapped Parmesan cheese at or below 0°F (-18°C). The cheese can be stored there for months, but for maximum flavor and quality, use it within 6 to 8 months.
Remember that parmesan cheese can become grainy or less smooth after freezing. It works nicely in sauces, soups, and casseroles.
Grated Parmesan can be used straight from the freezer in melting recipes. I usually sprinkle it on top of dishes and bake everything in the oven.
How to store Parmigiano Reggiano
Parmigiano Reggiano should be kept in a cool, dry place. Some suggestions for preserving this type of cheese are below:
- Unopened: Store unopened Parmigiano Reggiano wheels or wedges in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight. A pantry or closet works great. Keep it in its original packaging until you need it.
- After opening: Parmigiano Reggiano must be stored properly to avoid drying out or absorbing undesired tastes. Here are some potential approaches:
a. Refrigerator: Wrap the cheese’s sliced side in wax or parchment paper, then plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This retains its moisture while preventing fridge smells. Place it in your refrigerator’s vegetable or cheese drawer.
b. Cheese storage paper: This paper lets the cheese breathe but keeps it from drying out.
c. Vacuum sealing (optional): Vacuum-seal Parmigiano Reggiano to keep it fresh.
- Temperature: Keep the fridge between 35°F and 45°F (1.7°C and 7.2°C).
- Expiration date: Despite the Parmesan’s lengthy shelf life, it’s best to use it before the expiration date.
- Grated Parmesan: Refrigerate leftover grated Parmesan in an airtight container. This prevents it from absorbing other foods’ tastes and scents.
Parmigiano Reggiano can be stored for months or even a year without losing its complex flavor or texture.
Can you freeze Parmesan cheese block?
Freezing Parmesan cheese is a good alternative if you have a large block or wish to keep it for a long time.
So yes, Parmesan cheese blocks can be frozen:
- Cut a big block of Parmesan cheese into blocks, wedges or smaller pieces. It will be simpler to defrost it this way.
- Use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to tightly wrap each part or the entire block. Avoid freezer burn and preserve cheese quality by covering all exposed parts.
- (Optional) Place the wrapped Parmesan cheese block in a resealable plastic freezer bag for further protection. Squeeze out any air before sealing.
- Write the freezer bag’s date using a pen or label. It’s easy to track the cheese’s freezer time.
- Place the wrapped Parmesan cheese block in the coldest region of your freezer, ideally below 0°F (-18°C).
- If you need some cheese from the freezer, you can take it out and let it defrost in the fridge. Avoid room temperature thawing.
Can you freeze Parmesan cheese grated?
Yes, you can freeze grated or shredded Parmesan cheese. It helps extend its shelf life so that you can use it in numerous ways whenever needed.
How to freeze grated Parmesan:
- If you have a lot of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, split it into smaller amounts dependent on how much you need in recipes.
- Store it in airtight containers or plastic freezer bags. Remove any extra air before sealing.
- Use a marker or adhesive label to data your containers or bags.
- Store grated Parmesan cheese below 0°F (-18°C).
- When you’re ready to use it, remove some frozen cheese from the freezer and add it to sauces and soups without thawing. It will dissolve during cooking.
When used in recipes, properly frozen grated Parmesan cheese should preserve its taste and texture.
Check grated Parmesan cheese for deterioration before using it in meals. If the cheese smells, tastes, or feels strange, throw it out.
Can you freeze a Parmesan cheese wheel?
Parmesan cheese wheels can be frozen, although it’s easier to chop them up first.
Thawing a whole wheel takes time and adds spoilage risk.
How long can you freeze Parmesan Reggiano cheese?
Grated or block Parmesan cheese freezes differently depending on how well it’s packaged and sealed.
Here’s what you need to know about storage time:
- Grated Parmesan cheese — 4 to 6 months. Stored in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. The quality can degrade beyond this period, but it’s still safe to consume.
- Parmesan cheese block — 6 to 12 months. Firmly wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and placed in a resealable freezer bag.
It’s crucial to remember that cheese freezing doesn’t dramatically influence its safety, although it can slightly change the texture. It’s common for grated Parmesan to become crumbly or less smooth.
I divide Parmesan cheese into smaller portions if I have a lot left. This way, I don’t have to thaw the entire block every time I need some cheese.
How do you defrost Parmesan cheese?
You should use the refrigerator method to defrost your Parmesan cheese in the safest way:
- Remove the frozen Parmesan cheese from the freezer.
- To preserve water content and avoid contamination, thaw the cheese in a sealed container or bag.
- Put the container or bag in the fridge on a plate or dish to collect any drips.
- Thaw the cheese in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, depending on its size and thickness. Grated cheese can melt faster than blocks.
- Use your thawed Parmesan cheese as desired.
I don’t always defrost my cheese before using it in recipes. It usually melts well and mixes with other ingredients even when still frozen.
I like using it as an alternative to white cheddar in recipes like mac and cheese. That crunchy parmesan topping gets me every time!
Avoid defrosting Parmesan cheese at room temperature or in warm water, since this might speed up bacterial development and compromise its quality and safety.
Can you refreeze Parmesan cheese?
Refreezing thawed Parmesan cheese is not advised.
When Parmesan cheese freezes, ice crystals can harm its structure. Thawing the cheese can also cause moisture loss and texture changes, making it crumblier or less smooth.
Refreezing Parmesan cheese after thawing and air exposure can worsen these textural changes and alter its flavor. Bacteria and food deterioration rise with each freeze-thaw cycle.
Grating the Parmesan cheese and setting it aside in little amounts has worked wonderfully for me. This way, I can quickly grab the right amount for my recipes without refreezing.
Does Parmesan cheese freeze well?
Parmesan cheese freezes well, especially compared to other cheeses. It keeps its flavor, quality, and safety in the freezer.
Grated Parmesan cheese freezes better than a whole block since it has a wider surface area and is easier to distribute.
Here are some essential details to keep in mind:
- Texture changes: The freezing and thawing process can affect its texture. It can become slightly crumbly or less smooth after freezing.
- Taste: Parmesan cheese’s taste usually survives freezing. It adds a particular salty flavor to many foods.
- Pre-portioning: This way, you can defrost only what you need for each usage, minimizing waste and refreezing.
- Proper wrapping: Wrap Parmesan cheese firmly in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or resealable freezer bags to minimize freezer burn and odor absorption.
- Storage duration: Parmesan cheese can be frozen for a long time, but for optimal flavor and quality, consume it within 6 to 8 months.
- Thawing: Defrost frozen Parmesan cheese in the refrigerator to avoid bacterial development. Don’t defrost at room temperature or in warm water.
As long as it’s been stored correctly, frozen Parmesan cheese has never gone bad on me.
My frozen Parmesan cheese always impresses my dinner guests. They can’t believe it’s been in my freezer for months!
You can serve it as an accompaniment to Machengo cheese and other types of cheese on your cheese platter.
Does frozen Parmesan cheese taste good?
The flavor of Parmesan cheese depends on how it was frozen and thawed.
While judging frozen Parmesan cheese’s flavor, consider these factors:
- Texture: It can crumble more than fresh cheese. While this may not be a huge issue in cooked dishes, I find it noticeable in salads.
- Flavor retention: Parmesan’s nutty and tangy flavor should remain in meals.
- Storage time: The flavor of frozen Parmesan cheese can change with time. It’s best to use it within 6-8 months for optimal taste.
- Proper thawing: Refrigerator-thawing frozen Parmesan cheese preserves taste and safety.
- Use in recipes: Frozen Parmesan blends well with other ingredients in sauces, soups, and casseroles that melt the cheese.
Frozen Parmesan cheese can taste delicious and provide a sharp nutty flavor to your cheesy dishes, despite certain physical alterations.
How to store Parmesan cheese without fridge?
Parmesan cheese is perishable and needs a refrigerator to avoid deterioration and bacterial development. If you don’t have access to a fridge, here are some tips:
- Cool and dry place: Choose a spot in your home away from direct sunshine and heat sources. Possibly a pantry or cabinet in the shadow.
- Wrap it properly: To keep air and contaminants out of a whole block of cheese, wrap it snugly in wax or parchment paper. Wrap it again with a clean towel or cheesecloth for further protection.
- Avoid plastic wrap: Plastic wrap can create a damp atmosphere and promote mold growth.
- Regularly check: Mold, smells, and texture changes indicate deterioration in cheese. Discard the cheese if you see any of these indicators to avoid foodborne disease.
It’s important to remember that keeping Parmesan cheese without a refrigerator is risky. Without adequate temperature management, it can deteriorate fast and becomes dangerous to consume.
Therefore, if refrigeration is unavailable, consume fresh Parmesan cheese as soon as possible or seek other short-term preservation methods.
Does grated Parmesan cheese need to be refrigerated?
Grated Parmesan cheese must be refrigerated to ensure quality and safety.
If kept at room temperature, it can degrade fast due to high moisture content and spoilage bacteria similar to other dairy products.
Does grated Parmesan cheese go bad if not refrigerated?
Yes, Parmesan cheese, like other dairy products, goes bad when kept at room temperature.
Unrefrigerated grated Parmesan cheese is easily infected with harmful bacteria and mold.
Mold, odd scents, or an unusual texture are all signs of bad cheese. Discard it immediately if you see any of these indicators.
How long does grated Parmesan cheese last unrefrigerated?
Temperature, humidity, and air exposure affect the shelf life of grated Parmesan cheese.
Avoid keeping grated Parmesan cheese out for longer than two hours. Bacteria and spoilage rise dramatically after this time.
After using grated Parmesan cheese, refrigerate it right away to maintain its quality and safety.
I hope you got all the answers on how to freeze Parmesan cheese. Don’t hesitate to test it in your favorite pasta dishes, soups and casseroles and tell me about it!
How to freeze Parmesan cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Prepare the Cheese: To make future use more convenient, either cut the Parmesan cheese into smaller pieces or grate it. This avoids the need to thaw a large portion later.
- Wrap Securely: Wrap the Parmesan cheese chunks tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Ensure complete coverage to prevent freezer burn.
- Optional Double Bagging: For added protection against freezer burn and unwanted odors, consider placing the wrapped cheese in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Before sealing it, expel any air.
- Label and Date: Use a pen or adhesive label to mark the current date on the freezer bag. This helps you keep track of how long the cheese has been in the freezer.
- Freeze and Store: Freeze the properly wrapped Parmesan cheese at or below 0°F (-18°C). While it can be stored for several months, it's best to use it within 6 to 8 months for optimal flavor and quality.
- Parmesan cheese may develop a slightly grainy or less smooth texture after freezing. However, this texture change is less noticeable when used in sauces, soups, and casseroles.
- If you have grated Parmesan, you can use it directly from the freezer in recipes that involve melting. Sprinkling it on top of dishes and baking them in the oven is a convenient way to incorporate the frozen cheese.