Can You Freeze Dry Cheese?

Like most other dairy items, cheese is easy and practical to freeze dry. Freeze dried cheese makes for a great snack because it’s light, tasty, and has a tremendous shelf life, or it can be added as usual to another recipe.

When cooking, you don’t even need to rehydrate the cheese ahead of time, we like to add it to the other ingredients and let the cheese rehydrate from the moisture of everything else.


How Do You Freeze Dry Cheese at Home?

Cheese is simple to freeze dry, you’ll just want to slice it or grate it before placing it on the trays to go into the freeze dryer.

Like other items that come in larger sizes (like a potato), you’ll want to reduce the cheese from a larger block size to smaller with more surface area to allow for more even drying and a dryer, more uniform finished product.

Is Freeze Dried Cheese Healthy?

Freeze drying cheese does not make it any less healthy. In fact, freeze drying cheese is a best way to preserve the flavor, texture, nutrition, and probiotics that the cheese contains.

Moreover, freeze dried cheese rehydrates easily and will fully return to its normal texture. Cheese’s greatest versatility may come in cooking since it can be added to a recipe without being rehydrated and will absorb the moisture of the other ingredients as it cooks.

How Do I freeze Dry Cheese Without a Machine?

There are 2 main methods of freeze drying cheese at home without a freeze drying machine but none are ideal. The 2 methods for freeze drying without a machine are the freezer method and the dry ice method. Both methods can be used to freeze dry other foods but we will describe them with cheese below.

Method 1: The Freezer Method

  1. 24 hours prior to freeze-drying, turn your freezer to its lowest setting.
  2. Find trays that will fit flat in your freezer and line them with parchment paper.
  3. Cut or grate your cheese onto the parchment paper and place the trays into your freezer.
  4. After a week, place some cheese in a container at room temperature and check it after a couple of hours. If it doesn’t turn a different color (usually black) then it is fully dry. If the cheese does turn a darker color then the batch is not yet dry. If this is the case, leave the rest of the batch in the freezer and check every 24 hours until the test cheese keeps its color to signify the batch has dried.
  5. When complete, store the freeze dried cheese as usual, preferably away from light in an airtight container with an oxygen scavenger in a cool, dark place.

Method 2: The Dry Ice Method

  1. Cut or grate your cheese and put it in plastic zip freezer bags. Seal the bags.
  2. Crack open the bags and push out as much air from the bag as you can with a rolling pin. Seal the bag again.
  3. However many bags of cheese you have, you’ll need to find a container that’s only about half filled by the bags of cheese. It also needs to be well insulated. You’ll cut holes in the lid so choose your container accordingly. A thick Styrofoam container is our favorite choice.
  4. With thick gloves, cover the bottom of the container with dry ice. It usually comes in pellets so it should pour nicely. You’ll need the amount of dry ice that’s equal to the weight of the food (for example, 5 pounds of cheese will require 5 pounds of dry ice).
  5. Place a bag of cheese on the layer of dry ice, then another layer of dry ice, another bag of cheese, etc until all of the cheese is in the container. Add 1 final layer of dry ice on top of the final bag of cheese.
  6. Cut a few holes in the lid of the container (3 or 4 small holes is plenty).
  7. Place the container in your freezer for 24 hours.
  8. The process is finished when all of the dry ice has evaporated out of the container.
  9. Store the still-sealed freezer bags full of freeze dried cheese in a cool, dry place away from light.

How Long Will Freeze Dried Cheese Last?

Like most freeze dried foods, if stored properly, freeze dried cheese should last up to 25 years or more. The moisture in cheese will easily sublimate out on a standard solid food cycle. Get it into a sealed Mylar bag with an oxygen scavenger, keep it somewhere cool, and it will last almost indefinitely!

Why Do You Freeze Dry Cheese?

Freeze drying cheese is a great way to preserve it. Stored properly, freeze dried cheese can last for up to 25 years. Freeze drying your cheese will allow you to extend the shelf life almost indefinitely to avoid waste, buy in bulk at cheaper prices, and save refrigerator and freezer space.

Freeze dried cheese will obviously never get freezer burn and it can be added to most recipes without being dehydrated. For something you don’t hear much about, there’s probably not a better overall choice for freeze drying than cheese.

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