We all know how cream cheese can be expensive to buy at times. If you want to buy the cream cheese in bulk packaging or for multiple servings, the question is: can you freeze cream cheese? The answer is a resounding “yes” to this question but there are specific steps that you must follow in order to get the best-tasting results.
Compared to other cheeses, cream cheese is one of the easiest to freeze overall. You can spread cream cheese and its’ very durable in texture.
Factors To Consider When Freezing Cream Cheese
The amount of fat content differs between the types of cream cheese. I would recommend choosing a type of cream cheese with a higher fat content. After freezing, cream cheese with higher fat content will often remain more of its taste and texture than a different cream cheese brand with less fat content. Processed cream cheese that is thicker will also freeze better than those all natural types of cream cheese that are thinner in content. Lastly, flavored cream cheese types also tend to freeze well. Overall, it’s important to remember that certain types of cream cheese will freeze better than others.
If you intend to use your cream cheese as spread and really like it creamy, then freezing it might not be the best option for you. This is because frozen cream cheese tends to change its texture somewhat, developing small lumps in some cases. Also, cream cheese tends to lose some of its creaminess when frozen so you should consider how much you need that too.
Freezing The Cream Cheese
In order to successfully freeze your cream cheese, you will want to abide by the following steps in order to achieve the best and tastiest results:
- Keep your cream cheese in its original package or container.
- You will then need to wrap the container or package in plastic wrap or freezer-friendly paper. Then, place the contents in a freezer bag.
- Make sure that you write the date of when the contents were first put into the freezer. This will allow you to remember just how long the cream cheese has been frozen. For the writing, make sure you use a permanent marker with black ink.
- Place the freezer bag of cream cheese on the medium or middle shelf of the freezer. This is to ensure that the entire contents of the cream cheese will freeze at an even temperature.
- You can store the cream cheese in the freezer for a period of time, up to five months in total. However, remember that the more amount of time the cream cheese spends in the freezer, the worse the results will be overall. I would recommend a freezing period of one to three months for the best tasting and texture outcome.
Tips For Freezing The Cream Cheese
You can regain the creaminess of your frozen cream cheese by microwaving it in defrost mode for a short period of time, after which you stir the solid cheese along with the water on it continuously until everything mixes again and the cheese has returned to its normal creamy state.
When using a mixer, you can add a very small amount of milk to the cheese. That will make it creamier much faster. Just make sure that you carefully watch the quantity of milk so that the consistency of the cheese doesn’t become thin and runny. Well, except that is how you like it.
Ensure that you cream your cheese before you add any other ingredients to it if you are using it in a recipe. If you do not, it will likely come out with lumps that you will not be able to break, no matter how hard you stir. You can easily do the creaming by just using a fork.
Thawing The Cream Cheese
When you remove the cream cheese from the freezer, make sure to take off the plastic wrap or foil that covers the contents during the freezing process. The cream cheese must then be moved from the freezer directly to the refrigerator, where the product will then cool off for a couple of hours. You must keep the cream cheese in the refrigerator until it thaws out and cools off completely. Be aware that during the freezing and thawing processes, the cream cheese may have separated its contents, unfortunately.
The fat content of the cream cheese may have separated itself from the creamy part. The cream cheese may appear to be grainy or watery after the freezing process. If this is the case, whip up the cream cheese with a hand blender in order to give it the creamy complexion again. It is important to remember to not drain the excess water from the cream cheese during the thawing process. If you drain the extra water, that will turn the texture of the cream into a texture / look that will be dry and crumbly. It is vitally important for your cream cheese to be wet and creamy after the thawing process or you will not achieve the taste or texture results that you were hoping for.
After whipping the cream cheese together again after freezing and thawing, your final product should be good enough to eat and enjoy. The texture may be a bit different when it was originally placed in the freezer but the taste should be the same as before. As for its uses, cream cheese is an excellent ingredient in baking. It goes well with making cheesecakes, muffins, pies, and regular cakes too. You can also use cream cheese for regular cooking purposes such as for adding it as an ingredient to soups, casseroles.
Most notably, cream cheese is an excellent topping to smear some of it on your bagels, bread, and sandwiches. If you’re worried that the change in texture with frozen cream cheese will impact its’ success as a food ingredient, you would be mistaken. Your recipe will not be negatively affected and neither will any other food for which cream cheese is used as an additive.
Lastly, remember that thawed cream cheese is best when its used two to three days after the thawing process has concluded. If you follow the steps correctly for freezing and thawing, your cream cheese will be delicious and will last you for a long time.
Does Cream Cheese Go Bad?
Cream cheese is often used as a spread for many kinds of foods such as crackers, bagels, bread, cakes, cookies, etc. It is also a useful ingredient for a number of different food recipes. Since its’ such a versatile product, it’s no wonder why its’ often a staple item in the dairy section at the local supermarket. If you’re at the local market one day and you see a big dale on containers of cream cheese, what should you do? Would it be worth the potential savings in both time and money to buy a few extra containers of the product? Could you even store the cream cheese properly for the long-term without any issues? The ultimate question remains; does cream cheese go bad?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes, cream cheese can most certainly go bad. Similar to other dairy products, it does have a lifespan and will not stay fresh and delicious forever. Because of its’ wide variety of uses and its’ relative affordability, consumers often look to get the most out of the cream cheese and want to store it for the long-term. In order to do that successfully as well as learn about its’ shelf life and signs of going bad, read on through this article to find out more about the cream cheese product.
Storing The Cream Cheese
The most important thing to consider when storing cream cheese is the environment that you’re putting the product into. With cream cheese, it should always be stored in a place, which is cool, dark, and dry. When it comes to the overall ideal location for the cream cheese, you should look no further than the refrigerator. Regardless of whether you have opened up the cream cheese or not, it should always be stored in the refrigerator from the time where you initially purchase it to the time when you finally throw it away.
Another aspect to correctly storing the cream cheese is to always keep the container sealed tightly at all times when not in use. It’s important to not expose your cream cheese to any outside elements for a long period of time, as it will cause your product to go bad prematurely. These outside elements that must be avoided include heat, sunlight, water, and oxygen. Once your package or container of cream cheese has been opened once or more, be sure to seal it tightly and make sure that most of the air has escaped as well.
For the cream cheese that is sold in blocks instead of in spreadable form, you may be able to freeze the product without any problems. This is necessary in order to extend the shelf life for a longer period of time. In order to freeze the contents properly, it would be best to transfer the blocks of cream cheese into freezer-safe Ziploc bags or airtight containers. You should also want to use the frozen and thawed out cream cheese in food dishes that are going to be cooked. While the thawing and defrosting process is time consuming, it’s the best option if you plan on keeping your cream cheese for a while and want to ensure its’ good quality.
Shelf Life of Cream Cheese
Every container or case of cream cheese that is sold in stores comes with a “Use by” or “Best before” date. While this is often considered to be the expiration date, it should not be confused with the date in which the cream cheese will go bad. Instead, it is the day in which the quality of the product will begin its’ inevitable decline. Whether the cream cheese is in block form or can be spreadable, if the product hasn’t been opened yet, then the shelf life will be from three weeks up to one month total. This estimation comes with the fact that these three weeks to a month will begin after the “use by” or “best before” date passes by.
After the package is opened and the cream cheese is exposed a little bit to the elements, the shelf life shortens quite a bit. It is recommended that this product be used one to two weeks after opening in order to ensure good quality. After the two weeks passes, the cream cheese will lose its’ quality, flavor, and overall texture. If you decide to freeze the cream cheese in blocks, you’ll get the longest shelf life when compared to refrigerating it. Overall, the frozen cream cheese will maintain good quality for up to two months before it starts to go bad. You can freeze the cream cheese for longer than two months but the quality will suffer and it won’t be as tasty as usual.
Signs of Bad Cream Cheese
When it comes to looking for the signs of bad cream cheese, you have to start by examining its’ appearance. If it looks like the cream cheese has become discolored or is developing mold, then it’s important to throw out the product because it has definitely gone bad. Other ways you can tell about the status of the cream cheese is by opening up the container and smelling the product itself. If there’s a really off or strong, pungent odor emanating from the cream cheese, then you know that the product is not the same as it used to be.
Lastly, you can also measure the quality of the cream cheese by its’ taste. You can take a small spoonful of the cream cheese and taste it yourself. It won’t make you sick and it’s the most definitive way to tell whether or not the cream cheese is bad or not.
Cream cheese is a delicious and popular dairy product that can be found in many parts of the world. Cream cheese, when it is made fresh, is a slick combination that comes from a mixture of milk and cheese. Usually, cream cheese has a higher fat content but can come with low fat too depending on the brand. With its’ origins in England and France, cream cheese spread to the United States starting in the mid-18th century where it remains most popular. Cream cheese is widely available and not expensive to buy. It does go bad though so if you want it to last longer, it’s best to freeze it.