Mozzarella cheese is one of the most popular cheeses worldwide, and a staple at Italian restaurants around the world.
Because of its versatility, mozzarella cheese has been used as an ingredient in countless dishes, from pizza to lasagna, ravioli, and soup.
The freshness of mozzarella cheese makes it perfect for eating straight out of the package or melting on top of pasta.
But what if you’re not ready to use your mozzarella right away?
You might want to freeze some mozzarella cheese so that you have extra on hand when you need it.
But how do you know whether or not you should freeze your mozzarella cheese?
And what are the risks of doing so?
Keep reading to find out!
What are the best methods for freezing mozzarella cheese?
There are several ways to freeze your mozzarella cheese.
If you plan to freeze a block of mozzarella cheese, you can either wrap it in plastic wrap or put it into a resealable freezer bag.
If you don’t mind keeping individual slices of mozzarella cheese, you can freeze them individually.
Just take a single slice, lay it flat on a baking sheet, cover with another piece of parchment paper, and then place it in the freezer.
Once it’s frozen solid, transfer it to a resealable freezer bag.
You can also freeze pieces of mozzarella cheese by placing them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Then, place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the cheese is frozen.
After that, transfer the frozen mozzarella cheese to a container and keep it in the freezer.
How long does mozzarella cheese last in the freezer?
Most experts recommend keeping frozen mozzarella cheese in the freezer for no longer than six months.
That said, there are exceptions.
Some people say that you can freeze mozzarella cheese up to 12 months without any significant degradation in quality.
So, if you’re planning to make a large batch of mozzarella cheese, you can freeze it all at once and then use it over time.
However, if you’re only making a small amount of mozzarella cheese, you might want to consider freezing it in smaller batches.
What are the consequences of freezing mozzarella cheese?
The main risk of freezing mozzarella cheese is that the texture of the cheese will become slightly grainy.
This is because during the freezing process, ice crystals form inside the cheese.
These ice crystals break down the proteins in the cheese, resulting in a grittier texture.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t freeze your mozzarella cheese.
It just means that you should freeze it in smaller portions rather than a whole block.
Another potential consequence of freezing mozzarella cheese is that the fat content will decrease.
This is because fat molecules do not survive well in the cold environment of the freezer.
So, while you may have a lot of cheese left after freezing, the fat content will be lower than it was originally.
One final thing to note is that freezing mozzarella cheese will cause it to lose moisture.
This is because water vapor passes through the air and gets trapped in the ice crystals.
How do you thaw frozen mozzarella cheese?
When you need to defrost frozen mozzarella cheese, all you have to do is leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
This allows the water to gradually seep back out of the cheese.
Alternatively, you can microwave the cheese for 10 seconds per slice.
Just be careful that you don’t overcook the cheese, as it could dry out and get hard.
How does freezing mozzarella cheese affect its flavor?
Freezing changes the texture of mozzarella cheese, but it doesn’t change its flavor.
In fact, many experts claim that frozen mozzarella cheese actually tastes better than fresh mozzarella cheese.
This is due to the fact that the freezing process causes the water inside the cheese to turn to ice.
This makes the cheese much more dense, which results in a creamier texture.
Plus, the ice crystals that form during the freezing process give the cheese a crunchier texture that adds a nice contrast to the smoothness of the melted cheese.
Can you refreeze mozzarella cheese?
No, you cannot refreeze mozzarella cheese after it has been frozen.
This is because the ice crystals that formed in the cheese during the freezing process act like tiny knives, cutting the proteins and fats apart.
What is the best way to store mozzarella cheese?
While freezing is the best method for storing mozzarella cheese, it isn’t the only option.
You can also store it in the refrigerator, where it lasts for about three weeks.
However, this method is less ideal because the cheese will start to degrade after a few days.
In addition, you can try to store it in the freezer, but you should avoid using a regular freezer.
Instead, you should buy a special freezer designed to preserve food.
Finally, you can try to freeze it in a vacuum-sealed bag.
When stored properly, this method can last for up to two years.
How long does mozzarella cheese last in the fridge?
Mozzarella cheese can last for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
This depends on the kind of cheese you’ve purchased.
For example, mozzarella cheese sold in a brick or block will last longer than a single slice of mozzarella cheese.
So, if you bought a huge block of mozzarella cheese, you can keep it in the fridge for up to three weeks.
However, if you bought a single slice of mozzarella cheese, you can only keep it in the fridge for about a week.
What happens if you eat expired mozzarella cheese?
As mentioned above, freezing destroys the bacteria that lives inside mozzarella cheese, so you won’t have any problems with consuming expired cheese.
As long as you didn’t consume it within the first seven days of purchase, you should be fine.
However, if you did consume it within those seven days, you should throw it away immediately.
Even though the freezing process kills off the bacteria, the mold that grows inside the cheese can still harm you.
What happens if you eat spoiled mozzarella cheese?
Spoiled mozzarella cheese is even worse than expired mozzarella cheese.
Because the cheese hasn’t gone bad yet, it contains harmful bacteria that can make you sick.
Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
- 1 freezer
- 1 bowl
- 1 oven
- ¾ cup water divided
- 1/4 teaspoon rennet
- 1 ½ teaspoons citric acid
- 1 gallon milk
- 1 teaspoon salt Optional
- Combine 1/4 cup water and rennet in a small bowl; mix well.
- Combine remaining 1/2 cup water and citric acid in another small bowl; mix until dissolved.
- Pour milk into a large pot set over medium heat. Stir in citric acid mixture. Heat milk, stirring occasionally, until it registers 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.
- Remove milk from heat and stir in rennet mixture in a figure-8 motion for 30 seconds. Stir counterclockwise for 30 seconds to still the milk. Let stand, covered, until milk sets into curd, 5 to 10 minutes. Press edge of curd gently with a palette knife or the back of a spoon to check for firmness.
- Slice vertically into the pot to cut curd into 3/4-inch cubes with a palette knife. Stir curds gently, but leave cubes mostly intact.
- Return pot to the heat; cook over medium heat, stirring curds gently, until temperature reaches 109 degrees F (43 degrees C), about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Ladle curds into a colander set over a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Press curds gently to extract liquid whey. Pour drained whey back into the pot.
- Heat whey to 185 degrees F (85 degrees C), about 5 minutes. Wearing gloves, tear off a piece of curd and place on a slotted spoon. Dip curd into hot whey for 5 to 10 seconds. Stretch, fold, and knead curd. Repeat until mozzarella is smooth and elastic. Knead in salt and form curd into a ball. Repeat dipping and kneading process with remaining curd.
- Allow mozzarella to cool. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator.