Kraft Singles are just one of those foods. The cheesy, melty, gooeyness of a Kraft Singles grilled cheese sandwich is worlds different from any generic brand, and the cheese itself is an American staple. Whether you want to stock up, have meal-prep plans, or just want to ensure you always have a fresh slice ready to go, you may be wondering if you can freeze Kraft Singles to prolong their life?
You can freeze Kraft Singles for up to six months in their original packaging. After freezing, you’ll need to thaw them for at least 24 hours and consume them as quickly as possible. Typically freezing, thawing, and then refreezing food has a negative effect on the texture of the food.
Below, we’ll discuss the composition of Kraft Singles and why freezing, though a safe way to prolong your cheese’s shelf life, often has a negative effect on your food’s flavor and texture. We’ll also go over general best practices for freezing and thawing cheese, as well as ways to know if your cheese has gone bad.
Can You Put Kraft Singles in Your Freezer?
Food storage is important, and we’ve all heard horror stories about someone getting a foodborne illness after eating expired broccoli or hotdogs from out of their freezer. Kraft Singles seem to last a long time, even in your fridge, but do they do the same in the freezer?
You can put Kraft Singles in your freezer. Freezing Kraft Singles will change the texture slightly, but it’s generally safe to do. After six months, look for signs of the kraft singles going bad before consuming.
As we’ll explain below, Kraft Singles is composed of cheddar cheese and a few processing ingredients, which makes them a safe cheese to store in your freezer.
The Composition of Kraft Singles
Kraft Singles, a unique American staple, is made of cheddar cheese, milk, whey, milk protein, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, and a few other ingredients. One of the key ingredients (though it contains less than 2%) is natamycin, a natural mold inhibitor.
Natamycin helps prevent food from getting moldy or growing any fungus.
General Rules for Freezing Cheese
When it comes to freezing cheese, moisture matters.
Think about it like this: Freezing cottage cheese, which is filled with liquid, will look a little different from freezing a hard block of parmesan. This is because there’s less moisture through its porous body, so less moisture will freeze up and damage the integrity of the cheese.
When it comes to Kraft Singles, the moisture is lower than soft cheeses and cottage cheeses but still higher than non-processed cheddar. As mentioned above, Kraft Singles are composed of cheddar cheese and then processed with other ingredients.
The book Fundamentals of Food Freezing cites that processed Cheddar cheese has a freezing point of around nineteen degrees and a moisture level of 38.8%.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation asserts that cheeses are usually kept better in the fridge because freezing them can make the cheese become mealy or crumbly. They also say that even though the texture is different, the flavor should keep.
You Can Freeze Kraft Singles
Freezing Kraft Singles in their original packaging is safe and a great way to preserve the food for longer periods. You can do so safely for up to six months, and even after that period, you just need to check for dryness, freezer burn, or signs of bad-aging in the Kraft singles.
Still, pay attention to the “best by” date. It’s also good practice to write the date you have frozen things on the food label before sticking them in the freezer.
While scientific study gives a general “yes” to freezing Kraft Singles and other cheeses, this may not be the same answer you get from chefs or foodies, as it’ll affect the texture of the food. A study done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that meltability is also affected by freezing cheese, which can be a huge factor when using Kraft Singles.
They found that thawing it out for a longer period helps with the meltability, though not necessarily the mealiness of the texture. So picky eaters and melted-cheese lovers, beware!
How Long Kraft Singles Can Stay Frozen
Sometimes, there’s a sale you just can’t pass up. Or, you come home to find that you already have some Kraft Singles in the fridge, so that packet you just bought might go to waste. Even if you have meal-prepped a bunch of frozen grilled cheeses, you may be wondering how long you can freeze those kraft singles.
Kraft Singles can be frozen for up to six months in their original packaging, and even afterward, it’s just important to look for signs that the cheese has gone bad.
Kraft Singles can be stored in the refrigerator until their “best by” date has passed.
They can be stored in the freezer beyond their “best by” date. The USDA agrees that as long as you have your Kraft Singles in their original packaging, you can freeze your Kraft Singles or other processed hard cheeses for around six months without seeing any big changes to the flavor.
After these six months, some flavor and texture changes might happen.
Even if you stored opened Kraft Singles in a sandwich bag for whatever reason, the biggest effects would be freezer burn and some loss of flavor. Bacteria can’t grow in the freezer, so you’ll just need to be cautious about any funky smells, looks, or tastes when you thaw out your Kraft Singles.
Typical Freezer Life of Cheese
There are numerous benefits to freezing food, and some scientists even think that freezing might be your secret weapon against foodborne pathogens.
Not all foods are made the same, so freezer life is different for your green beans than for fish. This concept extends to cheese, as there are dozens of different kinds of cheeses, and each is composed a little differently, such as:
- Soft cheeses like brie
- Crumble cheeses like blue cheese
- Creamy cheeses like goat cheese
- There are even levels of cheese hardness, with some aged parmesan being tough to cut through.
Even with cheeses and milk from sheep, which have high moisture, the biggest concern of freezing was moisture content. Like we mentioned above, it makes sense that high moisture cheeses would be more affected by freezing.
A slice of hard cheddar cheese will freeze differently than your bowl of mac and cheese, no matter how air-tight the container is.
The moisture when freezing affects the flavor and composition of the cheese texture-wise.
As we mentioned above, Kraft American Singles are composed of cheddar cheese, milk, a few other ingredients, and preservatives. Though the moisture content of Kraft Singles specifically isn’t available, we know that processed cheddar cheeses, which is a generic version of Kraft Singles, typically have a moisture rate of a little under 40%.
This moisture will cause the Kraft to be mealy and possibly less flavorful, depending on how long you store it.
Thawing Out Kraft Singles
Once you’re ready to remove your Kraft Singles from freezer storage, it’s time to thaw it out.
You should thaw out your Kraft Singles for at least 24 to 48 hours and consume it pretty quickly afterward if you’re already past the “best by” date. As we mentioned above, the amount of time you freeze and then thaw out your Kraft Singles may affect its overall meltiness, which is a big selling point for Kraft Singles in particular.
If you’re freezing food with Kraft Singles on it, like a sandwich or casserole you had frozen, you’ll want to thaw it out and then eat it right away. Being out of its original packaging affects the freshness and the “best by” date, just like most other foods.
How To Know if Frozen Cheese Has Gone Bad
Regardless of the best by date or even best practices for freezing food, you’ll want to know the signs of a cheese gone bad.
The USDA encourages you to check out freezer food thoroughly before eating it, especially if it’s been in your freezer for a while. Bacteria don’t grow in freezers, so extra bacteria isn’t necessarily the worry when taking food out of the freezer.
You should check for the texture of the cheese once it thaws out, and you should probably toss if it’s really dry and hard, which isn’t typical for Kraft Singles. However, if you see mold, it was already likely there before freezing if you find it once you pull it out of the freezer.
Storing Kraft Singles in your freezer will be a great way to preserve them for longer or take advantage of a great sale. Just know that it may affect the overall texture, meltability, and flavor of your Kraft Singles if you’re doing it long-term.
Additionally, follow best practices for thawing out your cheese and make sure to look for signs that the cheese has gone bad.