According to Cook’s Illustrated, frozen cheeses can last up to two months when wrapped in parchment paper and aluminum foil, although they’re even better when vacuum-sealed. However, not all cheeses are created equal, and some are best left in the fridge. Real Simple explains that soft types, like Brie, have more fat and water than hard varieties and can turn into a watery mess when defrosted. Healthline further illustrates that while freezing doesn’t affect the nutrients in cheese, it allows ice crystals to form inside the block, which releases water when thawed and can completely alter the consistency. They list paneer, queso fresco, ricotta, and more as some of the worst types to freeze.
So what can you freeze? If your cheddar, Colby, or gouda blocks are about to go bad, you’re in luck, as hard varieties like these hold up fairly well once frozen. Also, according to Allrecipes, you’ll get the most out of frozen cheeses if you use them in recipes where they’re cooked, such as grilled cheese, as opposed to thawing them for a charcuterie board. There are optimal ways to freeze different types, too — Taste of Home recommends separating deli-sliced cheese with parchment paper and removing air from a plastic bag when using it for freshly-grated cheese. And when in doubt, buy this produce in small quantities so you can always consume it fresh at peak quality.