We wanted to know how various cheeses would fare when stashed in the freezer for six weeks. The results surprised us.
By wrapping hard and soft cheeses such as cheddar and Brie in parchment paper followed by a loose covering of aluminum foil, we’ve successfully stored them in the fridge for as long as a month. But we’ve always wondered whether cheese could last even longer in the freezer or whether the ice and fat crystals that form would rupture their protein network, leading to breakage and weeping upon thawing.
To find out, we wrapped a variety of cheeses (extra-sharp cheddar, Brie, fresh goat cheese, and Pecorino Romano) tightly in plastic wrap, sealed them in zipper-lock bags, and froze them for six weeks. Then we let them defrost overnight in the fridge (a 2½-hour rest on the counter also works). To our surprise, all samples were essentially identical to never-frozen controls. The frozen cheddar even melted properly. As long as you wrap the cheeses extremely well (or vacuum-seal them) to prevent freezer burn, it’s fine to freeze cheese for up to two months.