Have you ever wondered if milk or cheese can be frozen? Here are the answers:
While pasteurized milk can be frozen, it may separate or be slightly grainy when thawed. Frozen milk works best for cooking, but you may find it's still okay for drinking. Freeze milk in small containers and leave some extra space at the top since milk expands during freezing. Plan to use frozen milk within a month for best quality. Thaw milk in the refrigerator. During thawing, the fat in milk may separate from the water in milk – stir or shake well before using.
Hard or semi-hard cheese can be frozen if cut in 1/2 to 1-pound blocks. Wrap in plastic wrap and then put in freezer bags. After freezing, cheese may become crumbly and mealy, but it will retain its flavor.
Freeze shredded cheese in its original package. Allow it to thaw for at least 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator. This will allow the moisture (which becomes frost when it is frozen) to go back into the cheese. Use thawed cheese as quickly as possible. Previously frozen cheese works best for cooking.
The cheeses that freeze best are:
Blue cheeses are more prone to becoming crumbly but they will keep their flavor. Cream cheese and cottage cheese do not freeze well.
This article was originally written by Alice Henneman, MS, RD. Updated and reviewed in 2020.
How long can you keep dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese in the refrigerator?, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Freezing Cheese, National Center for Home Food Preservation
Can You Freeze Cheese?, National Dairy Council
This article has been peer-reviewed.