Looking back at my childhood there are some foods that pretty much summarize growing up. They include orange slices at soccer games, juice packets and Lunchables for my school lunch, and of course, string cheese as an almost daily snack.
As I recall, I would make at least one daily pit stop to the kitchen to grab one. Since string cheese is a high-protein snack that’s much healthier than sugary alternatives and also super convenient to bring around, it’s no wonder that it’s a nearly ubiquitous snack amongst families across the country.
In my family, we always had a bulk package of string cheese in the fridge. And it would be gone before we knew it! However, my whole family was pretty much addicted to it, so maybe we went through those big packages quicker than most.
It’s understandable that probably most families don’t eat string cheese as much as we did. So, overstocking might be more of an issue for you. What if you have bought too much? Can string cheese be frozen? Yes, it can and it actually freezes quite well!
Read on to learn all about freezing string cheese to maximize its shelf life.
Can You Freeze String Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze string cheese!
High water content is usually what negatively impacts foods the most when they’re stored in the freezer. Since string cheese contains less water, it’s able to keep its original texture after being frozen and thawed. So, even if you freeze string cheese, it will still have the same taste and texture as when you first bought it.
If you’re wondering whether freezing string cheese has a negative effect on it, don’t worry. String cheese does not lose its nutritional value when frozen. You can get the same nutritional value out of frozen string cheese as you do out of fresh string cheese.
String cheese is abundant in calcium, vitamin A, and protein, among other vital vitamins and minerals. Some string cheese manufacturers also add zinc and vitamin D to their products, which isn’t lost throughout the freezing process.
How Does Freezing Impact String Cheese?
Generally, freezing doesn’t strongly impact string cheese. However, it depends. This is because there are so many different brands and types of cheese that are used in string cheese. These subtle differences can impact how well string cheese freezes.
Usually, a common trait amongst different brands of string cheese is the low water content. As I alluded to earlier, a lower water content allows the string cheese to be less affected in the freezing process.
Since string cheese isn’t likely to be strongly affected by freezing, most of the time you can expect the string cheese to keep its original taste and texture.
However, you may eventually try freezing a certain brand and end up with a crumbly or brittle cheese stick. Or perhaps, it’s rubbery or experiences a change in color to a deeper yellow.
A rubbery texture or color change usually signifies that the cheese has been stored in the freezer for too long. On the other hand, brittle and crumbly frozen cheese indicates a higher water content, meaning that it’s less suitable to freeze.
How to Freeze String Cheese
String cheese comes in a variety of packaging options. Packages with individually wrapped sticks are the most common. Buying string cheese in blocks is also another alternative, but a little less common in supermarkets. While both can be frozen, the second requires an extra step.
Either way, string cheese should be labeled for both purposes. It serves as a point of reference for keeping track of how long you’ve had the cheese in the freezer.
You may write on the bag with whiteboard markers or a similar marker. Stick-on labels or writing on a scrap piece of paper or cardboard and slipping it into the bag are also options. Let’s take a look at how you freeze packed string cheese and a bloc of string cheese, shall we?
Freezing Packed String Cheese
You don’t have to do any prep work with pre-packaged, individually wrapped string cheese. Packaged string cheese may be put straight into the freezer. However, I recommend putting the wrapped string cheese in a freezer bag for optimal results.
Like with other foods you put in the freezer, putting the string cheese into an extra container, in this case a freezer bag, will add an extra layer of protection against freezer burn.
So, you simply just need to place the desired amount of individually packed string cheese sticks into a freezer bag or airtight container, label it, and then place it in the freezer.
It’s also much easier adding a label to a freezer bag or container than to individual cheese sticks!
Freezing a Block of String Cheese
Freezing a block of string cheese isn’t much different, but you have to prepare the block to be frozen.
- First, cut the block of string cheese into sticks that are similarly sized as the ones that are individually wrapped.
- (Optional) Wrap each stick with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This can add significant time, however. To save a little bit of time but still add a bit more protection, you can wrap a small bundle together that you can defrost simultaneously.
- Then, put the string cheese into small freezer bags. I suggest portioning them into the number of sticks you plan on thawing (if not all at one time).
- Label the bag(s) with the date and place it in the freezer.
How Long Does String Cheese Last in the Freezer?
String cheese should only be frozen for up to two months and consumed within that time limit to maintain its optimum quality. It will be okay to consume after this stage, and it will be perfectly safe to do so; but, the quality may suffer.
This is why it’s crucial to mark the packaging in which you’re freezing the string cheese with the date of freezing, so you know when it’s best to consume it and when it’s past its “best quality” date.
How to Thaw Frozen String Cheese
The best way to defrost frozen string cheese is in the refrigerator or in your lunchbox.
Depending on when you’ll be eating lunch, you might be able to take the frozen cheese sticks out of the freezer in the morning and have it thawed in your lunchbox by midday.
You’ll have to try it out to see whether it works for you. If not, take the string cheese out of the freezer the night before you want to use it.
Can You Refreeze String Cheese?
Yes, you can refreeze thawed cheese after it’s been taken out of the fridge.
However, similar to other foods that technically can be frozen again after they’ve been thawed, you can expect the quality to suffer, especially if it’s done more than once.
So, while it’s possible, it’s not something I would recommend at all.