Can you Freeze cream cheese this might be the question for many of us? Cream cheese is one of those dairy products that doesn’t have a long shelf life. But what if you want to buy more when your favorite is on sale, or you want to have it on hand all the time?
Can you freeze cream cheese? You can freeze cream cheese. The texture will suffer as frozen and thawed cheese becomes slightly grainy or crumbly. It is also less creamy, so it’s preferable to use cream cheese in a frozen format for baked goods or dishes where the cheese will melt. The key parts of this process are wrapping the cheese tightly before putting it in the freezer and thawing it in the fridge before using it.
Read this article for the ultimate guide to freezing cream cheese, as well as some tips on how to improve your results.
Can you Freeze Cream cheese? – Does It Work?
Luckily, cream cheese is no exception. If you’ve bought a few packets of cream cheese planning to make cheesecake but then changed your mind, don’t throw them away. There is a great chance of saving cream cheese by putting it in the freezer.
Freezing cream cheese works. If you do everything right, that is, freeze and thaw the cheese correctly, the cheese will undergo very little changes.
Even if you are not able to make a frozen cream cheese cheesecake, you will surely save it for another dish and save your money.
What happens when cream cheese is frozen?
Freezing cream cheese affects the texture of the product. It becomes more grain and somewhat crumbly. And this happens to almost any dairy product.
If you like to spread your bagels with cream cheese just because of the creamy and smooth texture of this product, you may not like to freeze the cream cheese.
However, it should be mentioned that these changes are nothing that a little effort cannot fix.
Why does it become grainy?
Changes in the texture of cream cheese are the result of its high water content.
When we thaw the cheese, the water in the thawed crystals does not emulsify with the cheese curd. That is why the thawed cheese is grainy and separated.
How to freeze cream cheese
If your favorite cream cheese was for sale and you accidentally grabbed more than you could eat before its expiration date, putting them in the freezer is the best idea.
Depending on whether or not the cream cheese opens, you may have to go the extra mile to properly freeze the cheese.
Unopened cream cheese in its original container will keep well in the freezer. Whether in foil or cardboard wrap, cream cheese is well protected against freezer burn.
In case you didn’t know, freezer burns can result from any product that is exposed to air. It happens whenever the food is not well wrapped with adhesive paper or the container in which the food is kept is not airtight.
If you are concerned that unopened cream cheese packaging is not secure enough, we recommend wrapping it in plastic wrap.
Alternatively, you can remove the paper packaging and leave just the aluminum foil. Put the cheese in a sealable vacuum bag. The aluminum foil effectively protects the product against freezer burn.
You should freeze the cream cheese in its original container for the best results. However, if you’ve already used some of the cream cheese, this is how you should freeze it.
- Keep the cream cheese in a plastic bag that is sealed or in a container.
- If you are using a container, wrap it in cling paper for an extra layer of protection.
- To keep things in order don’t forget to mention the label date on the cheese
- Store it in a corner of the freezer where the cheese is out of the way.
You can also freeze flavored cream cheese. Doing so will work the same way as freezing and thawing regular cream cheese.
For How long you can keep cream cheese in the freezer
Putting cream cheese in the cold room will significantly extend its shelf life.
For example, opened cream cheese will last about 10 days in the fridge. An unopened brick of cream cheese is said to be good to eat for 1 month after its expiration date. If you don’t trust this statement, feel free to put it in the freezer before it stays in the fridge too long.
If you stock up on cream cheese with the intention of freezing it, don’t put it in the fridge. Put it in the cold room immediately. …..
How to defrost cream cheese
To defrost cream cheese so that the texture and flavor suffer as little as possible, you must follow a few simple rules.
First, transfer the cheese from the freezer directly to room temperature. If you plan to use it in a recipe, transfer it to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and only then use it in the kitchen.
If you let the cheese thaw at room temperature it will end up with a more grainy texture. Cheese can also be watery as a result of drastic temperature changes.
If you defrost the cheese incorrectly, the taste of this delicate dairy product will suffer.
How to Make Thawed Cream Cheese Creamy Again
There are a few methods you can use to make thawed cream cheese creamy again. You can’t expect it to get as smooth and creamy as it was initially. However, you can try to reintegrate the ingredients together to some extent.
If you have a whisk handy, you can use it to mix the cheese to improve the consistency of the crumbs.
If you’re willing to spend the extra time and effort to get the most out of your frozen cream cheese, there are two methods to choose from.
Method 1: Use the microwave
Microwave thawed cream cheese is an effective way to make it creamier and less grainy. This is how you do it.
- Thaw froze cream cheese into the fridge for about 1 Day.
- Once the cheese has completely thawed, transfer it to a microwave-safe container.
- Heat the cheese in the microwave for 10 seconds.
- Stir in the cream cheese making sure to collect it all from the sides of the bowl.
- Repeat until the cheese reaches a creamy consistency that you are satisfied with.
Method 2: Use the stove
If you are one of those people who do not like microwave things, using the stove is the method you should use.
Here’s how to make thawed cream cheese creamy again.
- Put a medium-sized saucepan on the stove and fill it with a little water.
- Place a smaller glass bowl on top of the saucepan making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the saucepan or the water.
- Put the thawed cream cheese in the bowl.
- Beat gently or stir until cream cheese is smooth.
The key step in using this method is to make sure the bowl with the cheese does not touch the bottom of the pan or the water. If so, you will apply direct heat to the cream cheese. The latter is something to avoid.
It should be noted that using the stove instead of the microwave has some benefits. You don’t get dry cheese around the edges which are then crumbled into the enhanced cheese.
In addition, you observe the process and control the heat. Therefore, there is less risk of it spoiling.
How to use Thawed Cream Cheese
Thawed cream cheese is not the best spread on bagels or eaten with crackers. If you want to eat it, there are no health problems involved. The problem is the consistency change.
Since frozen and thawed cream cheese is not as creamy anymore, it does not spread well. Therefore, you may not enjoy the experience as much.
So you’ve extended the life of a few packets of cream cheese. What’s Next? What can you do with it?
Thawed cream cheese will work well in baked dishes. You can use it in recipes where the alterations in the texture are not so noticeable and do not affect the dish.
As long as thawed cream cheese is used in a melting plate, there is no noticeable difference between using frozen or refrigerated cream cheese.
Here’s what you can do with thawed cream cheese:
- Cream cheese cookies
- Cream cheesecake
- Chicken casserole with cream cheese
- Baked spaghetti casserole with cheese sauce
- Baked cream cheese dip
How to spot spoiled cream cheese
Even if you have frozen the cheese following the rules and maintaining the proper conditions, it is always good to know when the product has spoiled.
If you notice that the cream cheese is unusually slimy, smells bad, or has discoloration, do not freeze or use it.