How to Freeze Dry Cheese

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We love cheese in our family. It’s got a great sweet, salty, and sometimes nutty flavor that makes food interesting. What we don’t like about it is that it needs to be in the fridge to last long. Now that we have our freeze dryer, we can have shelf-stable dairy that can last for years. Here’s how to freeze dry cheese so you can make it too.

Can You Freeze Dry Cheese?

A short, quick answer to that is yes, you can. Freeze-drying cheese is easy, especially when you have a Harvest Right freeze-dryer. Just put them on the trays, turn on the machine, and the unit will work for you.

What Kind Of Cheese Can You Freeze Dry?

You can freeze-dry almost any type of cheese that you want. Fresh block of cheese from your favorite dairy shop is great, especially if you want the best freeze-dried cheddar cheese or parmesan. Commercial, storebought diary is okay, but some brands added something to the grated product that kept them from sticking together but hard to freeze dry.

Cheese sauce also freeze dries well, as well as Velveeta. All it takes is a bit of preparation to make it easy for the machine to do its job.

How Do I Prepare For Freeze Drying Cheese?

To freeze-dry cheese effectively, you need to have as much surface area as possible. You can grate or slice whole blocks thinly and in small pieces.

For grated cheese, you don’t need to do a lot of prep work for it. You can dump the bag on the freeze-dryer trays and let the machine do its job.

different types of cheese blocks

Do I Pre Freeze the Cheese?

It’s an option, but it can help cut out significant hours on your freeze-drying time. It takes at least 7 hours to freeze 4 full trays of dairy. If you’ve got a deep freezer running, then use it to pre-freeze the dairy trays overnight.

Not only that, pre-freezing the trays helps maintain a stable chamber temperature. So your machine won’t have to work double time to freeze the trays for free-drying cheese.

How To Freeze Dry Cheese

Once you have ready your dairy trays, you can begin the freeze-drying.

  1. Turn on the unit and choose “START > NON-LIQUID > NOT FROZEN” for room-temp cheese.
  2. For pre-frozen dairy, let pre-cool the freeze dryer until it’s -8°F (-22 °C) or lower. This usually takes about 15-30 minutes. The goal is to make it as cold, if not colder, as your frozen food trays.
  3. Once the freeze dryer’s ready for your diary, it will tell you to close the drain valve before continuing. This helps build pressure inside the chamber for a proper freeze-drying environment.
  4. Load your trays, and close the chamber. Press “CONTINUE” and let the machine do its job.

How Long Does It Take To Freeze Dry Cheese?

Time is about 20-25 hours, depending on how much dairy you’re freeze-drying. Also, weather conditions like heat and humidity can influence the length of freeze-drying time.

How Do I Know The Dairy Is Done Freeze Drying?

The sliced cheese should be crispy and light and has the consistency of thin crisp crackers. The tray should be dry, with no cold spots. If some of the food feels cold, and soft, and doesn’t have that snappy texture, give the trays an extra dry time of 2-4 hours.

grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese on wooden board.

How Do I Store Freeze Dried Cheese?

Before you store the dairy for long-term storage, test them for moisture first. When you’re freeze-drying cheese, you’ll see some diary variants that didn’t freeze dry well. This simple moisture check can help you prevent spoiling a good batch of freeze-dried cheese.

  1. Put the freeze-dried cheese in a mason jar. Fill the jar 3/4 full so you’ll have space to check for condensation.
  2. Keep the jars in a cool, dry, dark place for a few days.
  3. If the jar has condensation, put the it back for freeze-drying. If the jars remain dry, you can now store them in two different ways

Mylar Bags

Everyone’s favorite when it comes to freeze-dried food storage. They’re lightweight, tested to keep away air and moisture, don’t take up a lot of space, and are easy to store. In addition, there are Mylar bags that have zipper tops and are gusseted for easy sealing and stability.

But heat sealing is still important even if you got one with a ziplock seal. This ensures air and moisture won’t get inside the bag and spoil your food.

Mason Jars

If you’re going to use freeze-dried cheese within a week, month or year, this is the best option. If you’ve got kids who like to snack on it (and they will snack on this even more), then this is the best container of choice. It also serves as a vessel for rehydrating when it’s time to use the dairy for your meals.

Whatever vessel you choose, remember to throw in oxygen absorbers. 300cc OAs are good and you can use 1-2 of them per gallon-size container.

How Do You Rehydrate Freeze Dried Cheese?

Rehydrating doesn’t need a lot of water like other freeze-dried food. Some use a quarter or half the volume of water to the amount of cheese they will use for their recipe. You can also spread the grated diary on a plate or tray and spritz it until it fully softens.

If you want more flavor in your dairy , you can use milk instead for reconstituting.

We hope we answered your questions about freeze-drying cheese. Please let us know in the comment section if you have any more questions.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more freeze-drying tips!


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