In this brief guide, we will be answering the question, “can you freeze cream cheese.” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how you can freeze cream cheese and what are the uses and ideal storage practices to prolong the shelf life of your cream cheese.
Can you freeze cream cheese?
Yes, you can freeze cream cheese. We have all been there where we bought cream cheese for a small recipe and now the rest is just extra. What to do with that remaining cream cheese? Waste it?
Why waste it when you can store it for next time you are craving cheese by putting in the freezer. Freezing extends the shelf life of cream cheese up to six (6) months but it can also limit its uses after thawing. It can be used only in recipes of cooked dishes, and is not preferable for uncooked dishes or dishes that require fresh cheese taste.
This mainly due to loss of the creamy texture of cheese when you take it out of the freezer. Cream cheese contains a lot of water, which makes it sensitive to the thawing and freezing process. The water in the cheese crystallizes to form ice when frozen, which results in dry and crumbly texture. When ice crystals form and melt, some of the water separates out from the cheese curds, which turns normally smooth and creamy cream cheese grainy.
Now let’s be real about this, there is no way you can keep the cheese as fresh as it was when you first opened it. That is just inevitable.
How to freeze Cream Cheese?
It is preferable to wrap the cream cheese with the extra layer before freezing it to protect it from freeze burn. You can use foil warping of resealable plastic bags for this purpose, just remove extra air before sealing the bag. It is always a good idea to freeze items in small portions so that you don’t open and expose unnecessary items to the environment. You can use different sized containers to store different portion sizes and use them as per your ease.
Unopened cream cheese:
You can store unopened cream cheese in the freezer in its original packaging. The foil wrapping and cardboard box provide more than enough protection from freezer burn.
Opened cream cheese:
If you have used your cream cheese in a dish and are now concerned about the small amount that’s left, you can simply freeze it. Just transfer the remaining cheese into an airtight container before freezing and you’re good to go.
How to thaw frozen cream cheese
There are various ways you can do this. Keep in mind that thawing is an important process when it comes to dairy products like cream cheese. If thawing is not done in a proper manner, the cream cheese may lose its consistency and the texture will change altogether rendering the cream cheese unfavourable to consume.
The best method to thaw sour cream is to do it overnight in a fridge. This is the safest method because drastic changes in temperature can affect the texture and taste of the cream cheese if not done under controlled conditions.
How to make defrosted cream cheese creamy again
You cannot expect cream cheese to become as smooth and creamy as it was when fresh, but you can improve its consistency after thawing. You can whisk it by hand as the water from cheese gets separated or you can place the cream cheese in the microwave of the stove, it will help to make your cream cheese creamier and less grainy.
How to use frozen sour cream?
There are various recipes where you can use frozen cream cheese. It is important to note that frozen cream cheese, even after thawing properly should not be used as a dip or to pour on top for dressing. You may also not want to use it on a bagel because freezing does indeed change the texture.
Take an example of a cheesecake, which is everyone’s favourite. Frozen cream cheese is not best suited to prepare it as the end product will have a grainy texture.
If you’re okay with the texture and care about the taste, then it shouldn’t be a problem for you. It is all a matter of personal preferences. You can try to thaw a small portion (that is why small portion sizes are always advised), whisk it properly before using it as a dip and then decide for yourself.
However, you can use the frozen cream cheese in dishes that involve cooking and baking.
Here are some dishes where you can use frozen cream cheese
- Cream cheese cookies
- Cream cheese pound cake
- Chicken casserole with cream cheese
- Cream cheese waffles
- Chocolate chip cream cheese rolls
- Salami rolls
You can read more about these recipes here
In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “can you freeze cream cheese.” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how you can freeze cream cheese and what are the uses and ideal storage practices to prolong the shelf life of your cream cheese.