You will have tasted feta cheese if you love Greek cuisine because it is a critical ingredient in various Greek recipes. However, as you can use feta cheese in many ways, people tend to overbuy it. Besides, purchasing feta cheese in small quantities can be expensive.
Therefore, the question arises about how you can store feta cheese, especially as it is a dairy product. So, a better question would be, Can you freeze feta cheese?
Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?
Let us answer it in short. Feta cheese can be frozen, whichever type you buy. Freezing it the right way extends its lifespan considerably.
People can have misgivings about freezing feta cheese because it is a dairy product, and milk products do not have a good defrost record. So, before learning how to freeze feta cheese, let us discuss whether freezing feta cheese affects it.
Feta cheese can crumble and lose its richness and saltiness when frozen and defrosted. Besides, feta cheese tends to become drier after freezing and thawing. Though the changes might not be as noticeable as they are in cottage cheese, regular feta eaters can distinguish them easily.
However, these changes are impossible to notice in cooked dishes. Besides, adding a pinch of salt can help restore its saltiness.
So, let us see how to freeze feta cheese?
How Do You Freeze Feta Cheese?
You can freeze feta cheese in two ways, either as a whole block or in its crumbled form.
Freezing Crumbled Feta Cheese
Many people love crumbled feta cheese. Even if they buy it in blocks, they tend to use it crumbled. So, let us see how to freeze crumbled feta cheese.
Step 1 – Pre-Freeze Crumbled Feta Cheese
Spread the crumbled feta cheese in a single layer on a cookie sheet. It is better to line the sheet with a silicone mat or an aluminum foil to prevent the feta cheese crumbs from sticking to the sheet. Leave sufficient space between the crumbles to ensure they do not form clumps. It is also advisable to divide the crumbled feta cheese into easily consumable portions. Next, place the cookie sheet inside the freezer and wait until it freezes solid.
Step 2 – Transfer To An Airtight Container/Freezer Bag
Once the feta cheese pre-freezes, transfer them to a resealable freezer bag. An airtight container should also suffice. If the crumbled pieces tend to stick to each other, you can use a spatula to separate them.
Step 3 – Label The Bag And Freeze It
Labeling the bag enables you to track how long you kept the cheese frozen. Place the freezer bag gently into the freezer and let it freeze.
Freezing Feta Blocks
The method of freezing feta blocks is slightly different from that of freezing feta cheese crumbs.
Step 1 – Remove The Brine
If you have not opened the block yet, you should do so and rid it of brine. Pat the block gently with a paper towel to remove the brine. However, do not press hard as it can remove all the water from the feta cheese.
Step 2 – Cut The Block Into Small Portions
The best way is to cut the block into small cubes that allow you to use them in small portions.
Step 3 – Pre-Freeze The Cheese Blocks
Line up the cheese blocks on the cookie sheet as you had done for the cheese crumbs. In addition, you can line the sheet with a silicone mat or aluminum foil to prevent the cheese blocks from sticking to the sheet. Ensure that the cheese pieces do not adhere to each other. Place the cookie sheet inside the freezer for about two hours to let the cubes freeze. However, you can skip the pre-freezing step if you wish to freeze the entire block without cutting it.
Step 4 – Transfer The Cubes Into A Freezer Bag
Once pre-frozen, the feta cheese blocks do not stick to each other. You can pick them up individually and place them in a single container. Label the container and seal it after removing the air. Let the box freeze inside the freezer.
The feta cheese remains frozen for a considerable period.
How Long Does The Feta Cheese Remain Frozen Inside The Freezer?
Generally, feta cheese can remain frozen without losing its texture and taste for around three months. However, keeping it longer in the freezer can harm the product. Three months is an indicative figure. It is not as if the feta cheese turns terrible on the first day of the fourth month.
How Do You Defrost Feta Cheese?
You can defrost feta cheese in two ways.
Option 1 – Thawing In The Fridge
The time-tested mode of defrosting feta cheese is to transfer the freezer bag into the refrigerator compartment overnight. The frozen feta cheese defrosts in around six to eight hours.
Option 2 – Defrosting During Cooking
If you plan to use feta cheese in soups and stews, you can throw the frozen cubes directly into the pan. They defrost immediately.
However, defrosted feta cheese does not last for more than two days. So, it is recommended to consume them quickly.
Where Can You Use Thawed Feta Cheese?
Thawed feta cheese has multiple uses.
- You can melt feta cheese on your mashed potatoes or pasta.
- Add to cooked sauces and creamy soups to enhance their flavor.
- Feta cheese can add flavor to stews and casseroles.
Can You Refreeze Feta Cheese?
Refreezing feta cheese is not a viable option. It can result in feta cheese losing its texture and flavor.
How Can You Reintroduce The Saltiness?
You can submerge the feta cheese blocks or cubes in a saline solution for an hour.
How Do You Know If Feta Cheese Has Gone Bad?
The smell and taste change when the feta cheese gets spoiled. Besides, you can observe mold formation in rancid feta cheese.
Can You Vacuum Seal Feta Cheese?
Removing excess air from the freezer bag is crucial. Therefore, vacuum sealing the bag can prove helpful.
Can you freeze feta cheese? You can do so to preserve its freshness for three months. In addition, it allows you to store the feta cheese and consume it later.