Say what you want about American cheese, but we love it nonetheless! It’s cheap, it’s convenient, and best of all–it’s delicious on a mean grilled cheese.
However, American cheese gets a bad rap for having a lot of preservatives. But that’s what makes it last longer than other types of cheeses!
In the fridge, American cheese can last for up to 3 weeks with no problem. But can you freeze American cheese to make it last way longer than that?
As you have probably guessed by now, yes, you can freeze American cheese.
So, whether you’re preparing for the next barbecue or stocking up for a nuclear war, here’s everything you need to know about freezing American cheese:
Can You Freeze American Cheese?
Absolutely. And unlike fresh cheeses, American cheese freezes without losing much of its taste and texture.
If you’re a cheese hound, we have even more good news for you: you can keep American cheese in the freezer for up to 6 months. Although it might last longer than that, 6 months is the most amount of time American cheese retains its quality. (*)
No more buying a pack of American cheese every week. To stock up on American cheese in the freezer, here’s what to do:
How Do You Freeze American Cheese?
Freezing American cheese is super easy. Since it already comes in individual, pre-packaged slices, you can put it directly into the freezer with no problem.
But if you bought your American cheese in the form of a block, here’s the freezing method we recommend:
- Slice the cheese into your desired thickness. We suggest slicing your cheese thinly so that it is easier to thaw. But if you prefer your slices thick, that’s okay, too.
- Arrange your cheese slices on a baking sheet. Separate each slice with wax paper to prevent your cheese from sticking together.
- Pop the baking sheet into the freezer and wait for a few hours for the cheese to become solid.
- Transfer the slices to an airtight container or freezer bag. Make sure not to put too many slices in one bag to avoid ending up with a solid block of frozen cheese.
- Label your container with today’s date and put it in the freezer, making sure it’s on top of other items so that your cheese doesn’t become deformed. Store for up to 6 months.
And that’s all you need to do! For best results, we recommend freezing cheese as soon as you take it home from the store.
Important Tip: Buy American cheese 2 or 3 weeks before its sell-by or best-by date. This will ensure that you get the longest possible lifespan when you freeze your cheese.
When you’re ready to make grilled cheese or fire up the grill for some cheeseburgers, here’s what to do next:
How Do You Thaw Frozen American Cheese?
If you are cooking or baking with your frozen cheese, you don’t have to worry about thawing it. Simply put it on top of your other ingredients and it will melt quickly.
Fact: American cheese has a very low melting point due to the liquids added to it. It will start to melt at 150 degrees Fahrenheit and should only take about 15 seconds.
If you’re using the cheese for burgers or sandwiches, the best way to defrost is to put your cheese in the refrigerator overnight. By the next day, your cheese should be soft to the touch and ready to use.
After you thaw your American cheese, it should be good to use for up to 3 to 4 days. For optimum quality, we suggest using your cheese as soon as it is thawed out completely.
How Do You Use American Cheese?
There are so many ways you can use American cheese. Sandwiches, burgers, pasta, casseroles, fries–the possibilities are endless!
But as we all know by now, American cheese can’t hold a candle to “real” cheese. So, if your recipe calls for real cheese like mozzarella, sharp cheddar, or brie, we don’t recommend using American cheese as a substitute.
1. Can You Refreeze American Cheese?
As long as you have kept it in the fridge, yes, you can refreeze American cheese. However, it might not last as long as cheese that has been kept in the freezer the whole time.
But if you have left out your cheese at room temperature for longer than two hours, you can no longer refreeze it. Doing so can increase the risk of food poisoning as food that has been left out at room temp will have started growing bacteria as soon as it reaches the danger zone (between 40 °F and 140 °F).
2. Is American Cheese Good For You?
American cheese contains high amounts of saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Too much consumption of it can lead to a variety of health issues, including obesity and high blood pressure. (*)
That said, we recommend eating American cheese in moderation. If you’re a cheese fan, opt for healthier, less processed cheeses.
3. Can You Freeze a Whole Block of American Cheese?
Yes, you can. But take note that it will take longer to thaw out a whole block of cheese compared to slices.
Keep it in the original packing, if possible. Otherwise, wrap your cheese in cling wrap then place it in a freezer bag before popping it into the freezer.
So, can you freeze American cheese? Yes, and it freezes well.
If you are freezing individually wrapped cheese slices, you can put them directly into the freezer. But if you have a whole block of cheese, slice it, separate the slices with wax paper, pre-freeze, then put it in an airtight container before freezing.
Either way, it’s super easy. Now, you’re ready for any impromptu grill parties or those late-night cheese cravings!
To learn more about neat kitchen tips like this, be sure to check out our blog. We have informative guides on all sorts of food, as well as articles on nutrition, cooking, food safety, and so much more!