Brie is an extremely tasty export of France and one of the staples of a mouth-watering charcuterie board. For good reason, too! It’s one of the best types of cheese to eat with crackers, breads, jams and cold cuts. It’s also great on its own as either a snack or appetizer.
It’s quite easy to overdo it and buy more brie than you need. Especially if you’re having a party and you want to make sure you have enough to go around. Believe me, I’ve been there!
If you have bought a wheel (or more) of brie cheese but you didn’t manage to eat all of it then you may be wondering what you can do with all this cheese.
While I would probably just eat the rest all to myself in lieu of dinner, I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone else. The stomach ache and self-loathing just aren’t worth it in the end!
A common way to store brie is in the fridge. But what if you’re worried that you won’t eat it before it goes bad in the fridge? Can you freeze brie cheese? The great news is that yes, you can keep it fresh a bit longer in the freezer.
It’s not quite as simple as just popping it in the freezer and hoping for the best though.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about storing freezing brie to make sure it stays as fresh as possible.
- 1 How Long Does Brie Cheese Last?
- 2 Does Brie Cheese Freeze Well?
- 3 Pros and Cons of Freezing Brie Cheese
- 4 How to Freeze Brie Cheese
- 5 How to Defrost Brie Cheese
- 6 How to Tell if Brie Has Gone Bad
How Long Does Brie Cheese Last?
It’ can be tricky to determine exactly how long brie cheese lasts. This is because it’s not quite as simple as something like steak which has a very rigid schedule from processing to eating and when it’s bad.
Brie is a bit more complex because it takes some time for the cheese to mature or ripen. This can depend on when and where you bought the cheese.
A good rule of thumb however is to use the best-by date on the packaging – which can vary from a couple of weeks to almost 2 months. Cheese producers say that’s safe to eat it even slightly past that date, but there is some disagreement.
Some manufacturers say that it’s fine to eat up to 14 days after the best-by date, and some others say no more than 7 days after the best-by date.
I would recommend that you stay closer to the 7-day mark to be safe.
Does Brie Cheese Freeze Well?
One of the tenets of freezing food is that the more water that’s in a food when you freeze it, the more potential there is for the frozen water crystals to damage the food.
That is also quite true when it comes to cheese. Brie, unlike hard cheeses like cheddar or parmesan, has very high water content. This perhaps isn’t too surprising when you compare brie to a hard cheese.
As a result, the texture and flavor of the cheese will invariably change to some degree when you freeze it.
However, if you follow the best practices you can limit the impact that freezing has on brie cheese.
Baked vs Unbaked
You can freeze both baked and unbaked brie but the results will be different. When you bake brie you are changing the physical composition of the cheese.
When changing the state of the cheese from refrigerated, to melted, to frozen, there will be a considerable difference than if it’s unbaked.
However, while the results may not be as good as if it’s unbaked, it’s still possible to freeze baked brie.After all, it’s still better than having it all go to waste!
You should first allow baked brie to cool to room temperature before freezing it, however.
Can You Freeze Brie in Puff Pastry?
Yes! You definitely can freeze brie in a puff pastry.
You can also freeze brie in either an unbaked or baked puff pastry.
By freezing brie in a puff pastry, you can reduce the preparation and cook time later on. What’s more, if you freeze an already baked puff pastry, you can save even more time!
However, you shouldn’t freeze the pastry too far in advance. I recommend that you freeze it no more than a few days before you plan on baking it or reheating it.
Pros and Cons of Freezing Brie Cheese
As with most things in life, there are pros and cons of freezing brie cheese.
There are several good reasons for you to freeze brie cheese.
You can freeze brie cheese to prevent food waste if you have leftovers for whatever reason and you don’t want to throw them away.
You can extend the life of brie cheese by freezing it as soon as you buy it to allow it last weeks or months instead of just days.
Lastly, by freezing either an unbaked or baked puff pastry you can save yourself lots of time in the future by having it ready to be either baked or just reheated.
When it comes to freezing cheese, particularly soft cheese as I already mentioned, there are some negatives to consider.
The two primary cons of freezing brie cheese are that the taste and texture will change and that if you want to keep it better, longer (not drying out), it requires you to freeze the entire wheel of cheese.
When you freeze the whole wheel it means that you’ll have to use the whole thing at once as it’s not safe, nor desirable for the flavor and texture to refreeze the defrosted brie.
How to Freeze Brie Cheese
I previously referenced that you can freeze an entire wheel of brie for it to stay the driest.
However you can also freeze it in individual slices that allow you to use it portion by portion, instead of all at once. If you take the proper steps, you can also help to maintain the quality near that of when it’s frozen whole.
One thing to keep in mind no matter the form of the brie, it’s best to freeze the brie as soon as you can to retain as much of the quality as possible. Here is how you can freeze brie in various forms.
Freezing Unbaked Brie
There are a couple of ways to freeze unbaked brie. You can freeze it whole, which is the most desirable to keep it from drying out, or you can freeze it in individual slices.
Wheel of Brie
- Wrap the entire wheel of cheese in either plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent extra moisture from entering the cheese.
- Next, put the cheese in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. By putting it into a container, however, you can protect it from getting squished since brie is quite soft after all.
- Mark the date on the container and put it in the freezer.
Remember that if you freeze an entire wheel of brie you’ll need to use it all at once after defrosting. You shouldn’t refreeze brie for safety and overall quality reasons.
Slices of Brie
- Cut the brie into pieces of the desired size. If you plan on melting it then this doesn’t matter so much, so keep in mind the reasons that you may use the brie in the future.
- Wrap each of the individual pieces of brie with food wrap. Make sure that you take your time and cover every part of every piece of cheese. If there is any hole that can allow for air to come in then the quality of the thawed brie won’t be as good. If the sizes are small this may take some time.
- Then, put the individually wrapped pieces into a freezer-safe bag or container and seal it. Again, it’s ideal if you have a vacuum sealer to allow for the least amount of air possible.
- Label with the date and place the cheese in the freezer.
Freezing Baked Brie
- To freeze baked brie you first need to allow for the brie to return to room temperature.
- Wrap the cheese in aluminum foil and then place in a freezer-safe bag. Press out as much air as possible. If you have a vacuum sealer then that would be ideal.
- Mark the date and put it in the freezer.
Freezing Brie Cheese in Puff Pastry
If you plan on incorporating a brie puff pastry then I would highly recommend making it ahead of time – although not too much ahead of time – to save you time.
To freeze brie cheese in an unbaked puff pastry all you need to do is to prepare the puff pastry as you would, by wrapping the brie in the pastry dough.
Then, simply cover it with a few layers of plastic wrap to prevent excess air from getting into it and then put it in the freezer. Be careful when you put it in the freezer and make sure that nothing will fall on top of it as the dough is very fragile before it freezes completely. You can also put it in a freezer bag or a container for extra protection if you like.
To freeze a baked puff pastry, prepare the brie by wrapping it in the dough and then brush the pastry with a beaten egg, and then bake the puff pastry as you normally would.
After it’s done, take it out of the oven and allow for it to fully cool down. If it’s still warm at all it will produce excess moisture and harm the quality of the pastry. It will also warm your freezer which may have a negative impact on other foods in the freezer.
How Long Can Brie Be Kept in the Freezer?
If it’s been stored using the aforementioned methods then frozen brie cheese can stay in decent quality for up to 3 months.
Whilst technically it will be safe to eat indefinitely, the longer that it stays in the freezer, the more the quality will deteriorate.
How to Defrost Brie Cheese
It’s very simple to defrost frozen brie cheese, you just need to give yourself enough time beforehand.
- Remove the frozen cheese from the freezer and place it in the fridge. Do this at least 12 hours before you plan on using it as it will need time to properly thaw all the way through. Note that the larger the slices or wheel, the longer it will take.
- When you place it in the fridge put it on paper towels, or on a plate, or in a container to prevent water from dripping into the fridge.
- Lastly, to serve it, take it out of the fridge an hour before so it can rise to room temperature – the ideal temperature for it to be eaten.
How to Tell if Brie Has Gone Bad
If brie has gone bad it will generally develop a hard texture on the edges and darken in color. It will also produce a foul smell and may develop mold. If there is any mold on the cheese it should be discarded as mold spores can travel easily through soft cheese like brie.
Hopefully, it doesn’t come to this and the expensive and tasty brie cheese can be thoroughly enoyed!