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You can freeze parmesan cheese both in black or grated form for 6 to 12 months and still maintain high quality. Just package it in an airtight container or freezer bag, label it with a date and toss it in your freezer.
How to Freeze Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese originally made in Italy. It is commonly used in both graded and blocked form in various different dishes such as pastas, pizzas and soups to name a few.
Unlike soft or semi-soft cheeses such as feta cheese or blue cheese, parmesan cheese freezes exceptionally well due to its lack of moisture and naturally harder nature. It can last a very long time in the freezer 12 months or more without any texture changes.
There are two main ways to freeze Parmesan cheese: as a block or grated. The way to choose which method to use makes the first determine how you'll be using a cheese once it is thawed.
Freeze as a block
If you'll be using the cheese fast or in bulk then it's best to go ahead and freeze it as it block.
- Wrap it. In an effort to give the cheese a little more protection and help it maintain its texture and quality, go ahead and wrap your block in a single layer of plastic wrap.
- Package it. Next, place your wrapped cheese into an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Seal it. Place the lid on your container or zip your freezer bag closed. If you use a freezer bag, make sure to press out any air before closing it.
- Label it. Write the dates on your container or freezer bag.
- Freeze it. Popular container or bag into the freezer.
If you'll be using the cheese a little at a time or you know it will be used as grated cheese then it's best to do this before freezing.
- Prep it. If it's not already shredded or grated go ahead and do so.
- Flash freeze. To help prevent the individual shredded pieces from sticking together, you'll need to flash phrase it. Place it in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer until it is frozen solid.
- Package it. Remove the frozen shredded Parmesan from the freezer and place it into an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Seal it. Put the lid on your container or close your bag by zipping it shut. If you're using a freezer bag, make sure there is no extra air left in it when you close it.
- Label it. Use a pen or marker to write the date on the outside of the container or freezer bag.
- Freeze it. Place your container or freezer bag into your freezer.
Tips for successfully freezing
No matter which method you choose above here are few tips to make sure you get the highest quality Parmesan cheese when it defrosts.
- Do it fresh. If you know you're going to need to freeze it, make sure you do so as soon as possible so that the cheese is as fresh as possible.
- Plan your use. Best to decide how you'll use it when it's defrosted before you freeze it. This allows you to freeze it in the form you will ultimately be using it in as well as the correct portion size.
- Make it airtight. The more protection you can give your Parmesan cheese from exposure to the air the longer you'll maintain the best quality.
How to Defrost Parmesan Cheese
To defrost parmesan cheese, simply pull it out of the freezer and pop it into your refrigerator. It may take 12 to 24 hours to fully thaw depending on how big and thick the piece you frozen is.
If you're defrosting an entire bag of shredded or grated cheese, you can give it a shake before opening it to use it to help it unclump any pieces that are stuck together. If you froze it as a block, but want to use it grated, you can actually grate it before it is fully defrosted, like when freezing lime zest.
If you're planning to melt it on pastas, pizza or other dishes you can simply sprinkle the frozen cheese over your dish and then bake it.
Of note, you should use the defrosted cheese within a couple days so that it does not go bad.
How to Use Thawed Parmesan Cheese
Thawed parmesan cheese can be used basically in all the same ways that fresh Parmesan cheese can be. Here are a few ideas:
- melted on pastas
- added to pizza
- In soups
Freezing Parmesan Cheese FAQ
Should you grate parmesan before freezing?
It doesn't really matter if you grate the Parmesan before freezing. The only reason you should create it before freezing is if your ultimately going to want to use it is grated or shredded.
How long does parmesan cheese last in the freezer?
Parmesan cheese can last up to 12 months in the freezer. It lasts even longer and still stays safe to eat, but as time goes on the texture and quality will degrade some.
How long does parmesan cheese last in the fridge?
Parmesan cheese lasts for around 1 to 2 months in the fridge.
How to Freeze Parmesan Cheese
- airtight container
- marker or pen
- freezer bags
- plastic wrap
- aluminum foil
- cookie sheet
- Parmesan Cheese Block, slice or grated
- Grab your cheese and tear off a sheet of plastic wrap large enough to totally cover the whole block
- Lay the plastic wrap flat on the counter and place your wedge of cheese in the center of it.
- Wrap the plastic wrap completely and securely around the cheese.
- Optional: if you will be freezing it for a long time you can add a second layer of plastic wrap and/or a layer of aluminum foil.
- Pack the wrapped cheese up in a freezer bag or freezer safe container.
- Seal your package by placing the lid onto the top of the container. Or, by pushing all of the air from the bag and zipping it shut.
- Label the bag or container with the date and toss it into the freezer.
- Grate your cheese.
- Lay it in a single layer on a cookie sheet and pop it into the freezer for an hour or so to flash freeze it.
- Remove it from the freezer and dump it into a freezer bag or freezer safe container.
- Zip your bag up, after pressing any air out of the bag. Place the lid on your container.
- With a pen or marker, write the date on the bag or container and toss them into the freezer.