COMMUNITY

Dive in and explore what's happening in our community!

We all love Tillamook Cheese and we’ll do just about anything to make it last forever, but does this mean you should freeze the cheese you don’t plan on using right away? This is a question I get a lot from our consumers, and the answer is different depending on your needs.

First and foremost, Tillamook Cheddar Cheese does not need to be frozen in order to prolong the life of the cheese. Cheddar cheese is naturally aged, so if you keep it in the original package in the coldest part of your fridge it should stay fresh long past the expiration date if it hasn’t yet been opened. In fact, the cheese will just continue to take on a sharper cheddar flavor the longer you let it sit.

Because Tillamook Cheddar Cheese stays fresh for so long in the fridge, we don’t recommend freezing your cheese. Cheese that has been frozen often takes on a more crumbly texture and can lose some of its flavor when thawed. However, if you’re set on freezing your cheese, here are a few helpful hints to keep in mind before you throw that Baby Loaf in the freezer.

1. Freezing cheddar significantly slows mold growth, but it also stops the cheese from aging. If you freeze your cheese it will not take on a sharper taste no matter how long you keep it buried under the frozen peas and ice cubes!

2. It works best to freeze cheese in one pound portions or smaller, so divide up your 2 pound loaf before freezing.

3. Pieces of cheese should be wrapped in moisture-proof material like plastic wrap or resealable freezer bags. That way, you can maintain optimum flavor and texture.

4. When you are ready to thaw your cheese, place the cheese in the refrigerator with the wrapper on to prevent loss of moisture, and then eat it as soon as possible.

5. Frozen cheese shreds very easily, but it can be difficult to slice. If you need sliced cheese, it’s best to slice it before you put it in the freezer.

If you’re trying to decide if you should freeze your cheese, keep in mind what you need from the cheese in the end. Do you want to shred it or are you trying to prevent the cheese from aging? Then freezing could be the right answer! If you simply want to keep your cheddar for a long period of time, consider keeping it unopened in the fridge instead.

15 comments

Keith

I love your 2-yr Vintage White Cheddar best of all. What's the minimum fridge storage time for additional aging to make a difference?

July 31st, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Christina in Cleveland

I miss the GREAT Tillamook cheese!! Loved the tour.
BEST. CHEESE. EVER.
Thank you for the tips!

November 13th, 2014 at 3:44 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Christina,
Thanks for your comment! I'm so happy you were able to join us for a tour, and am glad you're such a Tillamook fan! Enthusiastic fans like you are what make our jobs so fun!

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

November 17th, 2014 at 11:13 am

Julia

I kept my Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar in my fridge well after its 2012 expiration date. I bought two one pound blocks at the cheese factory and just opened them 11/25/14. It seemed to have a dry white film on it but otherwise OK. Made some awesome cheese wafers.

Did not ever seem to have time to make my special wafers and did not want to use that particular cheese for anything else. (Actually, they are cheese straws but not everyone seems to know what that is.) Now I have about 1/2 pound of shredded cheese left over and am considering freezing it tightly wrapped in several layers of plastic. I do not want to risk having this very special cheese mold before I can use it.

November 26th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Julia,
That sounds like some pretty sharp cheddar you've got! The white film you've spotted sounds to me like calcium lactate, which is perfectly safe to eat. Here's a little more information on calcium lactate in case it's helpful. As for those cheese straws, that sounds like a delicious use for your cheddar! Sounds like you've got a recipe you like already, but I thought you might like to see the one we shared on our blog a while back! Here's a link: www.tillamook.com/community/blog/cheese-straws/
Thanks for taking the time to write to us here on the Tillamook blog!

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

December 4th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Susie

Can I ship Tillamook cheese without refridgeration?

December 13th, 2014 at 9:59 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Susie,
Thanks for reaching out to us with your question! Tillamook Cheese is a perishable product that requires constant refrigeration. Although our little loafs would love to travel the world and experience exotic places, we don’t recommend that you ship our cheese very far. If you do decide to ship it, we recommend that you include a gel ice pack and send it using no longer than USPS 2nd day mail.
I hope this helps!

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

December 15th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Paul

Does the your monterey pepper jack 2 lb block also continue to age appropriately past the expiration date, or does that cheese age differently than the cheddar. Or do I need to freeze or use before the exp date? Thanks.

March 7th, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Jocelyn

I just bought a 20 cup bag of shredded cheddar from Costco. I measured out 2 cups each into separate freezer bags and put them in the freezer, because after I opened the bag I noticed it said to use within 3-5 days. It will probably take me about 3 or 4 months to go thru it all. I hope it will be ok?

March 9th, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Paul,
Thanks for reaching out to us with your question, I'm glad you decided to check with us! Since Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack are a "stirred curd cheeses," they actually don't age the same way that our cheddars do. I recommend eating those cheeses before their expiration date.
I hope this helps! Please reach out if you have other questions.

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

March 10th, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Jocelyn,
Thanks for your question. While we don’t recommend it, according to the USDA Cheese Guide, cheese may be frozen for as long as 6 months. So the good news is, your cheese should be ok! It may be more crumbly and could lose some of its flavor the longer you wait, but if you're using it in recipes, you should still be able to enjoy it after 3-4 months. I hope this helps.

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

March 10th, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Winters

Hi! I just opened a huge block of cheese, cut off half for the fridge and put the other half in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. I just read your article. I already opened the cheese so if I won't get to the last half for a couple months, should I freeze it after opening the package? If you think two months is no problem and I should not freeze it, considering I already put it in the freezer overnight... Should I take it out today or should I just leave it frozen now since it already is. Please help. Thanks!

May 7th, 2015 at 9:29 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Winters,

Thanks for asking! If the cheese is cheddar, I would take it out of the freezer and move to the fridge, since two months in the fridge should be fine as long as it is wrapped tightly and not exposed to any air. If the cheese is anything other than cheddar, it's probably best to leave it in the freezer if it will expire before you think you'll eat it. Hope this helps!

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

May 13th, 2015 at 8:48 am

will

I have some cubed cheese leftover from last weekend, May 30th, canI just store it in a refrigerator that measures at 34 degress till the 4th 0f July in vacum sealed bags, or do I need to freeze it?

June 1st, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Will,
Depending on the type of cheese you have, it should be ok to save until then. I suggest keeping an eye out for any mold sightings, just in case, before serving again. The cheese should be fine as long as the baggie is air tight and it stays cold. You can also freeze the cheese, but that will change the texture. Here's a link to more information on how freezing will affect your cheese.

Hope this helps!
All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

June 8th, 2015 at 1:29 pm
Add your comment

Keep Exploring Blog Posts