From its unmistakable, creamy taste to its assortments of flavors and textures, there are many reasons why goat cheese is a favorite in so many kitchens. If you like to have goat cheese handy in the kitchen, you might be wondering if you can freeze goat cheese without it going bad?
You can freeze goat cheese, whether it’s in a solid log or in spreadable, creamy form. Freezing is an excellent method of preserving goat cheese. When frozen, Goat cheese can last up to three months past its expiration date.
In this article, I will explain more about frozen goat cheese, including how to freeze and thaw it correctly, how long it can be kept frozen, and how to tell when your goat cheese has gone bad.
How To Freeze Goat Cheese
Goat cheese comes mainly in two forms, which include a solid log or a spreadable cream cheese. Here are the steps to freezing goat cheese, depending on which type you have.
Freezing a Solid Log of Goat Cheese
Solid goat cheese adds flavor and body to just about everything, from pizzas and pasta to salads and soups. If you cook with goat cheese from time to time and are looking for a way to preserve it, here are the steps to freezing a solid log or block of goat cheese.
What You’ll Need To Freeze Solid Goat Cheese Logs
- A sharp knife or grater
- Foil, cheese paper, or plastic wrap
- A freezer bag or airtight plastic container
- A marker pen
Method For Freezing Goat Cheese Logs
- Divide the log into smaller portions. If you don’t plan to use the whole block at once, use the sharp knife to chop it into smaller portions of ½ to 1 lb (200 to 500 grams) each. Alternatively, you can use a grater to grate the block into batches of ½ to 1 lb each (200 to 500 grams).
- Wrap each portion. Use foil, cheese paper, or plastic wrap to wrap each portion individually.
- Place the portions in a freezer bag. When it comes to cold storage, freezer bags come in handy because they are freezer-safe, reusable, and washable. Alternatively, if you don’t have a freezer bag, you can use an airtight plastic container to store the portions.
- Remove the air from the freezer bag. Air exposure can taint the flavors of frozen foods. If you are using a freezer bag, remember to squeeze out as much air as possible to help maintain the freshness of the goat cheese.
- Seal the freezer bag or plastic container. Ensure the freezer bag is sealed tightly to prevent dry air from getting in and causing freezer burn. If you’ve gone the plastic container route, make sure that the lid is placed securely.
- Label the cheese. Use the marker pen to write the date of freezing on the freezer bag or plastic container. This will help you keep track of how long the goat cheese has been frozen.
- Store in the freezer. Store the goat cheese in the freezer once it is safely packed and labeled. Ensure that the freezer temperature is at least -9 °F (-23 °C).
Freezing Spreadable Goat Cheese
A soft, creamy goat cheese paste can be a tasty addition to snacks and food like crackers, celery, or sandwiches. Here are the steps to freezing a goat cheese spread correctly.
What You’ll Need To Freeze Spreadable Goat Cheese
- A freezer bag or airtight plastic container
- A marker pen
Method For Freezing Soft, Spreadable Goat Cheese
- Place the goat cheese spread in a freezer bag. Store-bought goat cheese spreads often come in plastic or glass containers. Do not scoop the cheese out of its original packaging, but rather, place the entire container in a freezer bag or airtight plastic container.
- Remove the air from the freezer bag. Removing as much air as possible from the freezer bag helps keep the spreadable goat cheese fresh. You can do this by either manually squeezing the air out and quickly closing the bag, or you can use a machine to do this.
- Seal the freezer bag or plastic container. Ensure that the freezer bag is sealed tightly to prevent dry air from entering. If you’re using a plastic container, make sure that the lid is placed securely.
- Indicate the date of freezing. Use the marker pen to write the date of freezing on the freezer bag or plastic container.
- Store in the freezer. Store the cheese in the freezer at -9 °F (-23 °C).
How Long Can You Freeze Goat Cheese?
Goat cheese can last up to three months past its sell-by date when kept in a freezer at the proper temperature. However, if you seal the cheese in a few layers, it can stay in the freezer for much longer.
Both solid and spreadable goat cheese freeze well, meaning they don’t lose much of their flavor when frozen. While they wouldn’t last long in the refrigerator, freezing is a reliable way to extend their shelf life. Once it’s unsealed, goat cheese can only keep for two to three weeks if refrigerated.
Can You Eat Goat Cheese Past Its Expiration Date?
You can eat goat cheese past its expiration date if it’s been frozen the entire time. Goat cheese can last in a freezer for up to three months past its expiration date without spoiling. However, refrigerated goat cheese can only last up to three weeks if its packaging is unsealed.
Soft cheese, like goat cheese, should always be stored at cold temperatures as a food safety precaution.
How To Defrost Frozen Goat Cheese
Defrosting frozen goat cheese takes a little bit of planning ahead.
Goat cheese needs enough time to thaw properly, so be prepared to wait at least 8 hours before use. To avoid waste, only defrost the amount of goat cheese that you are certain you will need. This is because, like most foods, cheese that has been defrosted should not be put back into the freezer.
Here are the steps to thawing goat cheese correctly:
- Remove the quantity of cheese that you need from the freezer.
- Place the cheese in the refrigerator. Allow the cheese to thaw in the fridge at a temperature of 32 °F – 34 °F (0 °C – 1 °C) for 7-8 hours. To improve the quality, you can leave the cheese in the refrigerator for a few days to let it ripen a little.
- Once the cheese has thawed, and you are ready to use it, you may want to remove some of it from the refrigerator and leave it out for 30 minutes to an hour until it reaches room temperature.
You might notice a few changes in the texture of defrosted cheese. Goat cheese that’s been frozen in blocks becomes soft and crumbly once it’s thawed.
Spreadable goat cheese is often mixed with olive oil for extra flavor and spreadability. It gets watery as it thaws, and the oil separates from the cheese. Once it’s defrosted, stir the cheese with a spoon or fork to mix it back together and return it to its creamy texture.
How To Tell if Goat Cheese Has Gone Bad
While freezing is a reliable way to preserve goat cheese, you might still doubt if it’s really safe to eat after months of being in the freezer. Here are a few ways to tell if your cheese has gone bad.
Some cheeses, including goat cheese, often have a distinctively sharp scent that’s easy to mistake as a sign of going bad. For this reason, the smell might not always be a decisive way of determining if your goat cheese has gone bad.
A reliable cheesemonger should let you sample a cheese before you buy it.
Take note of the taste and smell of the cheese when it’s fresh so that you can later identify what might be a “bad” smell. Ask your cheesemonger what changes you can expect should you decide to freeze the goat cheese for some time.
Look Out for Mold
For most foods, mold is usually an indicator that it’s time to throw them out. However, when it comes to cheese, the addition of mold is a normal part of the manufacturing process that helps with “ripening” and flavor enhancement.
The key is to look out for what isn’t normal.
Mold added to cheese during manufacture is safe to eat, but the mold that typically grows on the exterior should be avoided. This mold can spread through soft cheeses like goat cheese quite easily.
For this reason, you should throw out any goat cheese that has signs of mold on the exterior.
Look Out for Cracks and Hardness
When buying goat cheese, make sure to select one that’s smooth and relatively soft. Avoid any goat cheese that has cracks or feels hard to the touch, as these are often signs that it is not fresh. Freezer burn can also make frozen goat cheese unusable, so make sure to package your cheese correctly before freezing.
Freezing is a useful way to preserve goat cheese for up to three months past its sell-by date. Unless it’s in a spreadable form, it’s best to freeze goat cheese in portions of ½ to 1 lb (200 to 500 grams) each.
Goat cheese that has been thawed may sometimes have a different texture, but its flavor remains the same. To make sure that goat cheese is safe to eat, watch for signs of spoilage such as mold, cracks, or hardness.