Can you freeze cream cheese? Cream cheese can be stored in the freezer to help extend the shelf life. It is important to understand that freezing cream cheese for long periods of time can change the texture and quality while potentially making it grainy.
It is best to freeze cream cheese only if you are using it on baked goods, sauces, casseroles, desserts as opposed to a spread on bagels or crackers.
If you have unopened cream cheese it can still be stored in a freezer in its original packaging without any negative effects. Doing this will help extend the shelf life and protect against freezer burn. Cream cheese can also be stored in an airtight container.
Can you freeze cream cheese? photo credit: iStock-Magone
What people don’t know is that freezing has been an ancient food preservation method for over 3000 years. It is one of the more effective ways to increase the shelf life of food, while eliminating waste and saving money.
The negative effect of freezing cheese is that small ice crystals form on the inside while disrupting the internal structure of cheese. Freezing doesn’t necessarily kill the microbes in cheese it inactivates the microbes such as mold and bacteria.
And the result from this is extending the shelf life while preventing it from going bad or spoiling.
Research studies have detailed what is the best and worst cheese to freeze.
The Best Cheese To Freeze
The Worst Cheese To Freeze
If you are trying to thaw frozen cheese it should be done in temperatures of 32 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 to 8 hours per 1 pound of cheese. If you want to freeze cheese it is better to do it at temperatures of 9-degree Fahrenheit. Cheese can be frozen indefinitely but for optimal quality it is better to use it within 6 to 9 months.
The Bottom Line is you can freeze cheese but the longer you do it the more it loses its quality and texture. For the best use it’s better to use it after 6 to 9 months.
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- Speck ML, Ray B. Effects of Freezing and Storage on Microorganisms in Frozen Foods: A Review. J Food Prot. 1977 May;40(5):333-336. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X-40.5.333. PMID: 30731593.
- Archer DL. Freezing: an underutilized food safety technology? Int J Food Microbiol. 2004 Jan 15;90(2):127-38. doi: 10.1016/s0168-1605(03)00215-0. PMID: 14698095.
- USDA- https://www.fsis.usda.gov/#19