Learn how to make freeze dried cheese to give it a 25 year shelf life! Boost your long term food security by getting cheese on the pantry.
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Over the past decade learning how to preserve food has been a priority in our home. Canning, freezing, dehydrating, and fermenting have been integral in building up homesteading skills and our long term food storage pantry. Two years ago, we purchased our first freeze dryer to give that a try too! I was looking for another way to save the bounty from the garden and freeze drying seemed promising.
I didn’t know that I would be using it to put up all kinds of food, like cheese! My favorite foods to freeze dry are whole meals, but having staples by themselves on the pantry is important for meal prep later. We use cheese in our rosemary parmesan bread, flaky cheddar and garlic scape biscuits, parmesan kale chips, and even our spring onion and garlic scape quiche! So having cheese in the pantry was important in the event of a power outage.
Supplies you’ll need
- A Freeze Dryer (Here is the home Freeze Dryer we like)
- Cheese grater
- Sharp knife
- Mylar bags
- Oxygen absorbers
Ingredients you’ll need
If you are planning on freeze drying cheese all on it’s own, all you will need is cheese! Here are some common types of cheese that freeze dry well:
How to make freeze dried cheese
- Cool down the freeze drying chamber while you prepare the cheese. This will take about 15 minutes.
- While the freeze dryer is cooling down, grate or slice the cheese in however you want to use it. The smaller the pieces of cheese, the faster it will freeze dry.
- Lay the cheese on each tray in one even layer, being careful not to overfill each tray.
- When the chamber is cool, load the trays into the freeze dryer, close the valve and start the press start.
- Let the freeze dryer run one entire cycle.
- Check to see if the cheese is completely dry. It should be completely crisp. If you are unsure or there is still moisture add more time.
- Once the cheese is dry package it into Mylar Bags with an oxygen absorber.
Tips for making freeze dried cheese
- Make sure the cheese is cut into fairly uniform pieces before freeze drying so that it freeze dries evenly. Grated goes the fastest since it is in such small pieces.
- Try different types of cheese to see which is you favorite!
- Make sure the cheese is fully dry before packaging. If there is any moisture left, the cheese could spoil while in storage. If you are unsure whether the cheese is dry you can always add a little more time.
- If you want to cheese to last as long as possible, package into Mylar Bags with an oxygen absorber. If you are using the cheese within one year, you can put into a jar before putting on a shelf.
How does freeze dried cheese taste?
Freeze dried cheese taste just like fresh. The flavor of freeze dried cheese can be a little stronger simply because there is no water, so it is more concentrated. The overall taste of is no different than fresh cheese.
- Eat by itself as a chip!
- Use it in casseroles
- Add to quiche or eggs
- Make baked goods like flaky cheddar garlic scape biscuits
- Melt into pastas like macaroni and cheese
How to reconstitute freeze dried cheese
You can reconstitute it by soaking it in room temperature or warm water for just a few minutes. Drain well and add it to whatever you making that needs cheese.
Commonly asked questions
How do I freeze dry cheese?
- Cool down the freeze drying chamber.
- Grate or slice the cheese in however you want to use it.
- Lay the cheese on each tray in one even layer.
- Load the trays into the freeze dryer.
- Let the freeze dryer run one entire cycle.
- Check to see if the cheese is completely dry.
- Package it into mylar Bags with an oxygen absorber.
How do I freeze dry cheese without a machine?
Unfortunately, you will need a home freeze dryer to safely freeze dry cheese. We wrote an honest review on the freeze dryer company that we use here.
Does freeze dried cheese melt?
Yes, freeze dried cheese will melt if added to hot recipes. You will need to add it to a dish that has some moisture or reconstitute it first before it will melt.
Can you freeze dry Velveeta cheese?
Yes. Velveeta has a pretty long shelf life, so you won’t need to, but you can make freeze dried Velveeta to extend it’s naturally long shelf life. The best way to freeze dry Velveeta is to freeze the block and then shred it. Spread it out on the tray and freeze dry it overnight.
How long does freeze dried cheese last?
Freeze dried cheese will last up to 25 years if stored in Mylar Bags with oxygen absorbers.
Does freeze dried cheese freeze well?
Yes. Freeze dried cheese does not need to go into the freezer since it is shelf stable. You can store it in the freezer, although it isn’t necessary.
Can you freeze dry cheese sauce?
Yes. Cheese sauce can be freeze dried. It has a slightly different texture when reconstituted, but it can be freeze dried just fine.
Is freeze dried cheese healthy?
Cheese has the same health statistics as fresh cheese.
How long does it take to freeze dry cheese?
Freeze dried cheese takes about 24-36 hours to process in the freeze dryer.
How long does freeze dried cheese stay good?
Freeze dried cheese lasts on the shelf for up to 25 years if stored properly.