Can You Freeze Pimento Cheese?
Generally, cheese is not spicy. But, people who love tangy cheese would indeed have tasted pimento cheese. Pimento cheese has its origin in Southern US but has spread to other parts of the country quickly. This spicy cheese concoction contains cheddar, mayonnaise, and pimentos (the ingredient that makes it spicy). You can spread it on your sandwiches with crackers or even veggies.
Suppose you have a bowl full of pimento cheese and would like to preserve it for another day. What would you do? Can you store pimento cheese on the kitchen shelf or in the refrigerator? Can you freeze pimento cheese? People frequently ask such questions. This article attempts to answer all these questions and much more about freezing and storing pimento cheese.
Can You Freeze Pimento Cheese?
You have some bad news because we do not recommend freezing pimento cheese. But, please do not get disheartened. Though we do not recommend freezing pimento cheese, you can freeze it. Then, we will discuss the precautions to take for freezing pimento cheese. Meanwhile, let us learn why we do not recommend freezing pimento cheese.
Pimento cheese contains mayonnaise, so we do not recommend freezing it. Mayonnaise does not freeze well and loses its texture when defrosting. However, you can freeze it by following these steps carefully.
How Do You Freeze Pimento Cheese?
These steps should help you to freeze pimento cheese successfully. We suggest mixing the ingredients well and chilling them in the refrigerator for a few hours to let them become cold. It prevents condensation as the pimento cheese freezes.
- Scoop the pimento cheese into plastic wrap and ensure to cover it from all sides without leaving any gap. You can use a dual-layer for added protection. The objective is not to expose the pimento cheese to air and moisture that can cause freezer burn.
- Take a freezer-safe airtight Tupperware container or a resealable freezer bag. Place the wrapped pimento cheese into them.
- Seal the bag after removing excess air from it. Please label the containers or the freezer bags before freezing them. It helps to identify the contents and know when you have frozen the pimento cheese.
- Keep the freezer bags or the airtight containers inside the freezer, allowing the pimento cheese to freeze.
While we have discussed freezing the entire bowl of pimento cheese, you can freeze it in individual consumable portions if necessary. The process is the same, but you need to use smaller zip lock bags for packing the cheese.
How Long Does The Frozen Pimento Cheese Remain Fresh?
Generally, frozen pimento cheese can retain its freshness for three months if you wrap it correctly. However, we suggest consuming the pimento cheese within two months because the longer you keep it frozen, the more the deterioration in texture.
Does Freezing Affect The Pimento Cheese?
Yes, freezing can affect the pimento cheese by altering its texture. The cheese emerges drier and grainy from the freezer rather than smooth and creamy. However, the best aspect is that freezing does not affect its flavor.
You can restore the pimento cheese consistency by stirring it well and mixing it with the recipes. It is also advisable to add some water and blend the cheese well until it appears smooth again.
How Do You Thaw Pimento Cheese?
The ideal thawing method is to defrost the cheese inside the fridge. However, the process can take seven to eight hours. Therefore, we suggest transferring the frozen cheese without removing the wrapper into the refrigerator and allowing it to defrost overnight.
Alternatively, you can cook the cheese at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes and let it defrost. However, we do not recommend microwaving or heating it on the stove. These activities can damage its texture further and cause the mayonnaise to separate. It could end up ruining the pimento cheese completely.
If you have frozen the entire bowl, you can remove small portions for defrosting and allow the rest to continue freezing in the freezer. But, it would need unwrapping the cheese. Therefore, we suggested initially portioning it into small zip lock bags before setting it to freeze.
Can You Heat Pimento Cheese?
You can heat the pimento cheese after defrosting. We suggest pan-frying it on low heat or using a double boiler to heat it.
Can You Freeze Pimento Cheese Leftovers?
You can freeze pimento cheese leftovers the way we have described them here. However, we suggest removing the food particles sticking to the pieces before freezing them.
Can You Refreeze Pimento Cheese?
You cannot refreeze pimento cheese because it will lose its texture and become inedible.
Can You Refrigerate Pimento Cheese?
You can refrigerate pimento cheese for a few hours. However, if you wrap it well, it can last for three weeks. Therefore, it is better to utilize the cheese and add it to your recipes rather than freeze or refrigerate it. However, if you wish to store it for long periods, you can freeze it after taking the precautions listed here.
Can You Freeze Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls?
You can freeze the pimento cheese sausage balls in an unbaked condition. You can always bake them later. It will not take more than a few minutes.
Can You Freeze Pimento Cheese Dip?
Pimento cheese dip is similar to pimento cheese. Hence, we suggest you take similar precautions before freezing pimento cheese dip.
Can You Freeze Pimento Cheese Sandwiches?
You can freeze pimento cheese sandwiches, provided you do not add the fillings like meat, eggs, or vegetables. Of course, it is possible to add them later. Freezing plain bread smeared with pimento cheese should not be an issue, provided you wrap them well with plastic wrap to prevent exposure to air.
Can you freeze Palmetto pimento cheese?
Palmetto pimento cheese is store-bought pimento cheese. You can freeze store-bought cheese the same way described here.
How Do You Store Opened Pimento Cheese?
You can keep the unused pimento cheese in an airtight container inside the fridge and maintain its freshness for two to three weeks.
Pimento cheese is excellent to have as a spread on sandwiches and other recipes. The spicy taste makes it different from other cheese. However, there can be issues storing pimento cheese because of mayonnaise. So, can you freeze pimento cheese?
We do not recommend freezing pimento cheese. But, you can freeze it if you wrap the cheese properly and take the necessary precautionary measures.
Image Credit : Mbeach1575, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons