Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
One of the most common questions that beginning home cooks and ordinary people ask is can cheese be frozen? The very short answer to this is, yes. There are several methods of doing it. This is especially true in the case of mozzarella that often comes in different forms. Here’s how.
Freezing Mozzarella Cheese
Can you freeze mozzarella cheese? Yes, definitely. However, one has to prepare them in such a way that their freshness and delicate characteristics are preserved. This will help make sure that you will still enjoy the cheese when you use it in the future.
Mozza is available in different forms. This is important because the forms of this dairy product will determine how you need to store them. Also, not all of these forms will freeze that well. Some of them will lose a little bit of their unique characteristics. What we are most familiar with are the shredded, block, and fresh ball forms.
- Shredded Mozza
This dairy product often contains preservatives to help keep it fresh. It has a pretty decent shelf life. All products have a best-before label. It is wise to check this information prior to purchasing the product. Choose one with a farther best-before date. For instance, if product A is good until February 2020 and product B will last until March 2020, then you should pick product B.
There is another reason why people love buying the shredded form. They can consume it before the best-before date. If not, there is no need to worry since this type freezes quite well.
Can you freeze shredded mozzarella cheese? Yes, you can. The secret here is to make a plan on what dishes you are going to use the dairy product in. You will need plenty of it to make pizza. If it is only to add to your other dishes as toppings, then you may only need a little amount.
Freezing this type of shredded dairy product requires you to divide them into portions. You can use ½ cup portions and place each one into a food-safe freezer bag. Make sure to label the bag. Include the date of portioning. If a dish calls for a cup of this food, then you need to thaw two portions.
This product will retain its high-quality characteristics for up to 4 months.
- Mozza Blocks
There are some people who prefer blocks of dairy products than their shredded forms. It lasts as long as shredded varieties. One very interesting fact about this form of dairy product is that it freezes very fast. Three to five minutes are all it takes for it to freeze.
There is one minor concern, though. Once you thaw it, they crumble very easily. It is for this reason that freezing such a type of dairy product requires a very different preparation.
Cut the blocks into smaller slices or smaller blocks. It will help if you have an idea of the different dishes that you are going to use this food in. It is important to prepare them for freezing. Place a freezer bag on a large cookie sheet. Arrange the blocks inside the freezer bag so that they will not touch one another. If you are freezing slices, you can stack them on top of each other. However, it is crucial that you “group” these slices according to the needs of your recipes.
Remove as much air from the freezer bag before sealing. It would help if you have a vacuum sealer for this. Label the bag before putting it in the freezer. Once the food is already frozen, you can remove the cookie sheet.
If you do not mind getting crumbly mozza after thawing, you can put the whole block of dairy product into the freezer without cutting it.
Frozen mozza blocks can last up to 5 to 6 months.
- Fresh Mozza Balls
Can you freeze fresh mozzarella balls? There are those who say that you can. There are also people who advise against it. What you need to know is that freezing this form of mozza can alter its texture. It can also have a negative effect on its taste. It can turn crumbly and dry; no longer smooth and soft.
Such a characteristic will not be good on your breakfast sandwich. However, you can go around this “flaw” by using the product only on dishes that call for melted cheese. You need to use this frozen type of dairy product on cooked dishes.
Freezing fresh mozza balls require the removal of the liquid from this food item. You do not want to form ice crystals when you put the food in the freezer. Use paper towels to pat the mozza as dry as you can. Make sure to cut the balls into serving portions, too.
Wrap each serving portion in a plastic wrap if you intend to freeze them for up to 2 months. Place the plastic wrapped mozza balls in a freezer bag. Vacuum the bag and seal. Label the bag and put it in the freezer.
If you were able to remove as much moisture from the mozza as possible, you can get to enjoy this product for at least 12 weeks. It is important to keep in mind that there will be a slight difference in the texture.
Thawing Mozzarella Cheese
There are three ways you can thaw frozen mozza. The first is to remove them from the freezer and put them in the refrigerator overnight.
The second method is by submerging the freezer bag that contains the frozen dairy product in cold water. This should take about 1 to 1.5 hours. Do not use hot or warm water to hasten the process. You want a gradual increase in temperature.
The third method is by putting the frozen mozza straight into your dish. This no longer requires thawing. It works well if you portioned the dairy product prior to freezing. Make sure to add 2 to 3 minutes of cooking time to account for the defrosting and warming of the frozen cheese.
Can mozzarella cheese be frozen? Yes, it can. However, the different forms of this dairy product require different methods of preparation for freezing.
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