We all understand that most dairy products have a short shelf life, and cream cheese is one of them. Maybe your favorite type is on a great sale, thus pushes you to buy more. Or, you decide to purchase cream cheese for a certain recipe seen online, but change your thoughts later.
It ends up languishing in the fridge. Being a dairy product that expires in no time, you have to look for an alternative to preserve and make it useful. So, can cream cheese be frozen? If so, how well does it freeze? Please stay on this page to find out can you freeze cream cheese or not?
Can you freeze cream cheese?
Yes, cream cheese can be preserved by freezing. However, its texture risks suffering. It’s because frozen cheese transforms into becoming grainy and crumbly. Another disadvantage is that it becomes less creamy.
For that reason, it’s recommended that you use it for other recipes such as in baking so the cream melts. The entire freezing process involves wrapping the cheese properly, then place it in the freezer and later, thaw it for use.
Does freezing cream cheese work?
If you need an efficient technique to help extend almost every food’s shelf life, think about freezing. That tells us we can’t exempt cream cheese from the long list. Suppose you bought too much cream cheese intending to bake, but later thought of another thing, please don’t discard. You’ve got an opportunity to save the cheese by freezing it. Cream cheese freezing works.
It only happens when everything during the process is done properly. For instance, freezing and thawing the cheese as supposed, you’ll realize very slight changes at the end. You may not use the frozen cream cheese in making cheesecakes, but it can be saved for use on another dish. This helps you save money.
What happens to cream cheese after freezing?
As mentioned earlier, frozen cream cheese has a changed texture. It changes to be more crumbly and grainy, something that occurs in almost all frozen dairy products. Sincerely speaking, lovers of bagels spread with cream cheese will forever have a second thought when it comes to freezing it.
Let’s now discuss the change in texture. Why does it become grainy? Well, the cheese texture changes due to its high water content previously. Cream cheese composes of around 33% of fat and more than 55% of moisture. That’s why when placed to freeze, the water forms ice crystals. Thawing the defrosted crystal doesn’t emulsify back the cheese curds, leading to a grainy texture.
How to freeze cream cheese
Maybe you found your favorite cream cheese on offer and chose to buy more than you’d be able to finish before it expires, the freezer is an option to save its life. A little effort will be required for proper freezing no matter its condition, whether opened or not.
If it’s unopened and well-stocked in its original package, it’ll be better in the freezer. It’s well protected against freezer burns when wrapped with foil or cardboard. Did you know that freezer burns happen to any products exposed to air in the freezer? It mainly occurs when foo is poorly wrapped or lacks keeping the container used airtight. For this reason, if unsure about how tight unopened cream cheese is, it’s best to wrap it with a plastic wrap layer. An alternative could be removing the paper package and use the foil wrapping alone.
Have the cheese freeze from a sealable vacuum carrier, it’d be safer from freezer burns due to the foil’s protection.
The best results in freezing cream cheese are obtained if the package is unopened. However, if you opened and used some of it, the following steps can help to freeze it better;
- Pack all the cream cheese in a sealable plastic container.
- Fold the container with cling wrap to provide an extra protection layer.
- Remember to label the date on the cheese container.
- Place the freezer’s corner where it’ll stay out of the way to avoid interruptions.
How long can the cheese stay in the freezer?
Cold storage can extend the shelf life of cream cheese. If put in the fridge, it can stay up to 10days. But when unopened and preserved, it can go up to one month after its expiry date. In case you dismiss this claim, try freezing your cheese before letting it stay longer in the fridge.
A freezer will further extend the shelf life by around six months. But the best advice would be not to put your cream cheese in the fridge if you intend to freeze it later.
Defrosting cream cheese
Cream cheese can be defrosted in a better way to make the taste and texture suffer just a little bit, by;
Moving the cream cheese directly from the freezer to room temperature. In case you intend to use it for a recipe like in baking, let it stay in the fridge for one day, then you can proceed to cook with it.
Thawing the cheese by using room temperature gives it a grainier texture. Again, it may be watery due to a drastic temperature change. Incorrect thawing may lead to a damaged flavor.
Detecting spoiled cream cheese
Our body health is very crucial. Therefore, we should be careful with anything that gets inside, especially food. You may have used all the correct techniques and freezing rules with the right conditions in place, but please confirm that your frozen and thawed cheese is safe for consumption.
You can check by looking at its appearance. For example, if it’s unusually slimy and discolored or has a bad odor, avoid using it.
As a tasty snack, cream cheese can be useful for baking and making other recipes. Nevertheless, it never takes longer in the fridge before expiring. The good news is that you can freeze it and extend its shelf life.
It may not retain its flavor and creaminess, but can be meaningful in making cheesecakes, dough frosting, among other recipes you’ll adore.