How to Store Cheese (hard, soft, blue, creamy +)

Despite being a widely popular and consumed product, the knowledge of its storage is not primarily known by the population, so today, I will teach you for free, and you will learn how to store cheese.

Cheese is considered a living product, so it must be kept cold. In the fridge, hard cheeses can be six months; soft cheeses between 1 and 4 weeks; Creamy cheeses between 1 and 2 weeks. You can also freeze the cheese with a shelf life of 4-6 months.

Store Cheese

To learn how to preserve cheese in all its forms, you just have to keep reading.

How to preserve hard cheeses?

Hard cheeses undergo curing and elaboration, usually taking a year or more, giving them flavor and hardness. 

In this category, we can find cheddar, swiss, and parmesan, for example.

Store hard cheese in the fridge

Although these cheeses can last a long time at room temperature (about 8 hours), they stay much longer in the fridge without affecting their flavor.

Hard cheeses usually come with plastic wrap, so if you did not remove the wrap and it also has no holes, store it in the fridge. This way, the hard cheese will last about six months refrigerated

But if the wrapper was removed, or has any tears,  refrigerate the hard cheese as follows:

  • Step 1: Wrap the cheese.

It is advisable to wrap the cheese with wax paper or parchment. If it has a strong odor, you can cover it again with plastic film but not too tight since you need to allow a bit of air. 

  • Step 2: Place the cheese in a container or bag.

You can put the cheese inside a container with a lid or even a plastic bag, but none should be airtight.

  • Step 3: Label the container.

You can refrigerate as hard cheese for a long time, so it is advisable to put a label with the storage date.

  • Step 4: Store the cheese in the refrigerator.

If you are a cheese lover, reserve one of the vegetable drawers to store them, as they provide the ideal environment for their conservation. And it wouldn’t be necessary to bag or put them inside a container.

You could preserve hard cheese for 3 or 4 weeks in the fridge. [1]

Freezing hard cheese

Can hard cheese be frozen? Yes, although it is not recommended much since it could change the consistency and flavor of the cheeses without extending their shelf life. So that this does not happen, you must follow these indications:

  • Step 1: Double-wrap the cheese.

First, with waxed paper or parchment, then with plastic film.

  • Step 2: Use an airtight bag or container.

To prevent the freezer from significantly changing the cheese, you should place it inside an airtight bag or container.

  • Step 3: Label the container.

Attach a label, or write the storage date on the bag or container.

  • Step 4: Store the hard cheese in the freezer.

This way, you can freeze the hard cheese for about six months.

How to preserve soft cheeses?

Within this category are a large number of cheeses. Among the most popular are Mozzarella, Brie, and White cheese (also known as curd).

Keep soft cheese in the fridge

Soft cheeses have the particularity of not being maintained for a long time compared to hard cheeses. For this reason, buying the right amount to consume in a week is recommended. 

  • Step 1: Wrap the cheese.

You can wrap this type of cheese with wax paper, parchment, or even special cheese paper, which is similar to gauze. 

In the case of fresh cheeses, it is advisable to leave them in the container where they came from or place them in a container with a lid, and the water is changed every two days.

  • Step 2: Place in a bag or container with a lid.

These do not have to be airtight since it is vital to let the cheese breathe.

  • Step 3: Store the soft cheese in the fridge.

Place the cheese in an area with a stable temperature. In this way, the soft cheese can be kept refrigerated for one week. [2]

How to freeze soft cheese

Can soft cheese be frozen? Yes, but like hard cheese, it is not recommended to do so. However, the freezer could be helpful if you want to extend the shelf life a little longer. 

Here is what you need to consider to freeze soft cheese:

  • Step 1: Double-Wrap the soft cheese.

First with waxed paper, then with plastic film but without tightening much.

  • Step 2: Place inside an airtight bag or container.

The container will prevent the cold from affecting them so much and avoid frost burns.

  • Step 3: Label the container.

Attach a label or write the container on the bag the day you stored the cheese.

  • Step 4: Store the soft cheese in the freezer.

In this way, you can freeze the soft cheese for six months. However, some may acquire a smoother consistency after thawing.

How to preserve creamy cheeses?

Among these creamy cheeses, we can find Ricottacream cheese (Philadelphia), Cottage cheeseand Quark, among others. Unfortunately, they usually freeze poorly because they have a consistency similar to a cream. 

For this reason, you can only keep it inside the refrigerator. It is common to find this kind of cheese in plastic containers with lids, which keeps them perfectly. Therefore, it should only be covered well and refrigerated. 

In the case of cream cheese, it is sometimes wrapped in layers of aluminum foil or waxed paper, such as butter bars, so after uncovering, you should put it inside a bag or airtight container.

In this way, cottage cheese can last a week in the fridge, while cream cheese can last two weeks refrigerated. [3]

How to preserve blue cheese?

This type of cheese is soft, practically spreadable, and has a strong flavor and smell. They acquire these shades due to the microfungi used in their preparation, the Penicillium.

To store blue cheese, follow these directions:

  • Step 1: Wrap the blue cheese.

It is convenient to wrap using a double layer, first with waxed paper, then with plastic foil.

  • Step 2: Put the blue cheese inside a bowl.

The container must be airtight, which can be a plastic or an airtight bag, since, unlike soft cheese that needs to breathe, its strong smell will contaminate the entire fridge. Therefore, it is best to keep it somewhat isolated, especially if it is going to freeze.

  • Step 3: Write down the storage date.

Remember to put the date you stored the blue cheese.

  • Step 4: Store the blue cheese in the fridge or freezer.

This way, the blue cheese could be kept refrigerated for one or two months and frozen for about six months.

How to preserve grated cheese?

Grated cheese usually comes in plastic containers that keep well even at room temperature, although it is advisable to keep it refrigerated all the time

If not in this container, you can transfer the grated cheese to an airtight plastic or glass container. Grated cheese lasts appropriately one month in the fridge and 3 to 4 months in the freezer[4]

How do you know if the cheese got bad?

One of the ways to know if a cheese has been spoiled is because of the smell. If the cheese smells stale or rotten, it has already expired and should not be eaten.

Another way to determine if it is in poor condition is by tasting it. If it tastes terrible, it should be thrown away to avoid poisoning.

When mold appears, unlike other foods, there is no need to waste all the cheese; it is worth cutting the affected part and throwing it away

Remember that fungi and bacteria are used to prepare cheeses, so the appearance of these does not necessarily imply that everything has been spoiled.

Why does cheese spoil?

In particular, cheese spoils when it reaches the maximum of its shelf life. Being a “living” food, it is perishable and dependent on the type, to a greater or lesser extent.

Apart from that, it can spoil quickly if you do not keep it in a favorable environment for its conservation.

Humidity is usually a factor to consider, although fresh cheeses need it to maintain it well. But in the rest of the cheeses, it would accelerate the proliferation of bacteria that could be harmful to consumers.

On the other hand, when the cheese is left too long at room temperature (about 4 hours in soft cheeses and 8 hours in hard cheeses), it will begin to dry, apart from insects or vermin would be attracted to it. 

How long does the cheese last?

Hard cheese in the fridge (unopened)6 months
Hard cheese in the fridge (opened)3 – 4 weeks
Hard cheese frozen6 months
Chilled soft cheese1 week
Frozen soft cheese6 months
Chilled creamy cheeses1 – 2 weeks
Chilled blue cheese1 – 2 months
Frozen blue cheese6 months
Chilled sliced cheese1 month
Refrigerated grated cheese1 month
Frozen grated cheese3 – 4 months

What is the best way to store cheese?

The best way to preserve cheeses is to keep them inside the fridge because it keeps their texture and flavor intact, unlike freezing.

You cannot keep any cheese the same way, so you must consider its implications. For example, hard cheeses may be at room temperature longer, and freezing does not affect them as much as soft or creamy cheeses.

The grated cheeses, as time goes by, lose flavor. Although this also happens with the rest of the cheeses but slowly. 

If you are interested in knowing how to store foods, you can find an extensive list of topics with this kind of information on Keep and Store





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