You know that the best way to store a slice of heaven cheese is to wrap it in parchment paper and place it in the warmest part of your fridge. But what should you do on those rare occasions when you have too much cheese and too little time? (Hey, maybe you’re going away on vacation or perhaps there was a sale on your favorite Manchego and you went a little crazy.) Can you freeze it? The answer is yes (with a few caveats).
Here’s how to freeze cheese: Cut your cheese into ½ pound blocks or smaller, says the National Dairy Council (grating it works, too). Next, fold cheese tightly in plastic wrap, then seal it in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn and any weird flavor transfers. For best results, keep cheese in the freezer for no more than six months and make sure to thaw it in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours before using.
How to use your previously frozen cheese: Freezing can change the texture of the cheese, making it slightly crumbly (but still delicious). That’s why it’s best to freeze cheese for cooking purposes (like in this roasted cauliflower macaroni and cheese or these savory cheese waffles) and not for a cheese board.
Anything else? This technique works best with hard or semi-hard cheeses (think: cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss). Soft cheeses, on the other hand, might become grainy or watery when frozen, so you’re better off eating that triple cream Brie right away. Got it? Gouda luck. (Sorry.)