Can You Freeze Provolone Cheese?
Provolone cheese is a versatile Italian food that can be used in multiple ways. First, you can have them on Italian club sandwiches. The provolone cheese becomes creamy when melted. Hence, it is a perfect addition to soups and stews. Finally, you can use the grated provolone cheese on pizzas and burgers. Provolone cheese is relatively low in moisture, so it holds its texture well when stored in the refrigerator. So, if you have a packet or block of provolone cheese, refrigerating it is a desirable option.
Can You Freeze Provolone Cheese?
It is possible to freeze provolone cheese and consume it later without compromising its taste, texture, and flavor. Provolone cheese is semi-hard. Hence, there is a danger that its texture could crumble. But, it freezes well if you follow the proper procedure.
How Do You Freeze Provolone Cheese?
You can freeze the provolone cheese in multiple ways. The easiest method is to freeze the entire block of provolone cheese. You can slice it into consumable portions before freezing it. Similarly, you can grate or shred it into small pieces before freezing it. Let us discuss all the methods and see which is the most suitable.
Freezing Block Of Provolone Cheese
Freezing provolone cheese blocks is easy, but we advise limiting the block size to around half a pound.
- Wrap the provolone cheese block with plastic wrap or aluminum foil tightly. Please protect against exposing any cheese portion to air as moisture can spoil it.
- Place the wrapped cheese in airtight freezer bags. Vacuum sealing the bags is an excellent way of removing excess air. Alternatively, gently press the ziplock bags to remove all air from them. Seal the bags airtight.
- Affix the label containing the contents and the freezing date on the bags and place them inside the freezer for freezing.
Freezing Provolone Cheese Slices
You can freeze provolone cheese slices and use them in sandwiches and other recipes. So, we recommend slicing the provolone cheese block into appropriately-sized pieces.
- We suggest wrapping each slice with a plastic wrap or aluminum foil before freezing. Then, grabbing a few pieces when you use provolone cheese in the recipe becomes easy. Alternatively, you can wrap multiple slices together. The choice is left to the individual.
- Place the wrapped slices in a freezer bag or an airtight container. The objective is to remove as much air as possible from the containers before sealing them. The air inside the freezer bags can interfere with the freezing process.
- Label the bags and place them inside the freezer to continue the freezing process.
Freezing Grated Or Shredded Provolone Cheese
It is also possible to freeze grated and shred provolone cheese if that is how you prefer to use them.
- We advise grating the provolone cheese directly into an airtight freezer-safe ziplock bag. Alternatively, you can flash freeze the grated cheese on a baking tray before transferring them to the ziplock bag. Both the methods are excellent. However, some people use cornstarch along with grated cheese. Though it does not affect the freezing process, it can cause clumps inside the freezer bag.
- Please expel all the excess air from the freezer bag before sealing it. The presence of air inside the bag can cause freezer burn.
- Stick the date label and freeze the provolone cheese inside the freezer.
How Long Does Frozen Provolone Cheese Remain Fresh And Edible In The Freezer?
Experts say that if appropriately frozen, provolone cheese can remain frozen for one year or even more. However, we do not advise waiting that long to consume the cheese. Instead, finishing the provolone cheese within eight months of freezing is better.
Provolone cheese can become crumbly when frozen. In addition, it could become less smooth than when it was fresh. However, these flaws do not matter much because they will not be noticeable after defrosting.
How Do You Defrost Provolone Cheese?
The frozen provolone cheese can take to defrost, especially those frozen in blocks. The process can take up to 24 hours. Please remove the frozen provolone cheese from the freezer and transfer them to the fridge compartment. The temperature difference allows natural defrosting. The sliced and grated cheese takes less time to defrost. The provolone cheese defrosted this way should be consumed within four days. Otherwise, the cheese can become stale.
Alternatively, you can defrost provolone cheese on the counter. However, we suggest using the provolone cheese immediately. Besides, the room temperature should be between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, we advise transferring the defrosted provolone cheese from the kitchen counter to the fridge as soon as it defrosts.
Can You Refreeze Provolone Cheese?
It is not advisable to refreeze provolone cheese because it can lose its texture completely and become unpalatable.
How Long Can You Keep The Provolone Cheese Fresh Inside The Refrigerator?
Provolone cheese can remain fresh in the refrigerator for three to four days. Freezing the provolone cheese is the right option if you require extended storage.
Can You Freeze Deli-Sliced Provolone Cheese?
It is possible to freeze deli-sliced provolone cheese. But, it is not advisable to slice the cheese too thin. The cheese can crumble during the freezing process.
Can You Freeze Packaged Provolone Cheese?
Freeing packaged provolone cheese for six weeks to two months is possible under proper conditions.
Can You Freeze Aged Provolone Cheese?
It depends on how old the cheese is. If it is still not past its expiry date, you can free aged provolone cheese.
Can You Freeze Store-Bought Provolone Cheese?
It is possible to freeze store-bought provolone cheese, provided you wrap it well with plastic and aluminum foil before freezing them in freezer-safe bags. However, they do not last as long as homemade cheese in frozen form.
Can You Freeze Homemade Provolone Cheese Sauce?
Freezing homemade provolone cheese sauce is possible in the freezer for six months. However, we advise stirring the cheese sauce well when reheating to avoid the cheese from curdling.
Provolone is an excellent cheese that tastes delicious when had with sandwiches, pizzas, and burgers. It is also among the cheese that freezes well. Though it can sometimes become crumbly, provolone cheese freezes well when done correctly. So, can you freeze provolone? Yes, you can.
Image Source : Lenore Edman from Sunnyvale, CA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons