Can brie cheese be frozen? The best way to enjoy Brie is when it is fresh and ripe. But you can extend its shelf life by freezing it. Yes, the flavor and texture won't be near as good when it thaws; but used wisely, you would never know. As soon as someone mentions the word "cheese," I don't know about you, but my mind immediately springs to France, and the so-called Queen of Cheese - Brie.
Parents now even christen their daughters with the name, because it is just so beautiful; both the cheese itself and what the mere mention of the name conjures up - pale golden, creamy deliciousness. You have to admit that Brie Larson sounds more appealing than the fictional CIA operative, Monterey Jack Ryan.
The mild and rich French Brie flavor can be added to lots of different dishes to take them to another level. It works well on pizza, it's a great addition to a plate of soup, making dreamy mac and cheese.
My family loves it. It evens works in potato and cheese pierogi. They only downside to Brie is its price. It ain't cheap. But I guess nothing worth having is.
When my local supermarket had a sale on Brie, no way could I ignore it. I weighed in big time and bought a mountain of the stuff. It was only as I was going back home that I thought, "How the heck can I use it all before it goes bad?" It started me wondering about whether or not you can freeze the stuff, and guess what? You can!
So, if you ever come across a great deal on Brie - price-wise - jump right in there safe in the knowledge you won't have to throw any away if you follow some of the tips I am about to give you.
Can you freeze Brie cheese safely?
Yes, you can (according to Maxx Sherman from Marin French Cheese company) in theory, freeze most foods. But as a lot of us have already discovered, theory and fact are not the same things. You have to know what works and what doesn't. The soft and smooth texture of Brie is not great for freezing. However, when frozen, it still works well in many cooked dishes.
The best way to enjoy Brie is when it is fresh and ripe. It is absolutely scrummy, but there is only so much of the stuff that you can eat before it deteriorates. But you can extend its shelf life by freezing it. Yes, the flavor and texture won't be anywhere near as good when it thaws; but used wisely, you would never know.
The taste deteriorates when you freeze this cheese because it contains a lot of fat and water. When this freezes, it expands, and it messes with the cheese's structure and texture. As it thaws, it gets wetter, and this dilutes the taste.
But if you know what to do when you freeze it, you can minimize the damage and keep much more of its deliciousness.
Frozen in the right way, your Brie will not be so markedly different - even if you are a fussy eater.
Be careful - You can only keep Brie frozen for up to three months. Personally, I wouldn't push it beyond two months. I have heard of people freezing it for as long as six months. But in my book, that is pushing it too far. The longer it remains frozen, the more the taste and texture suffer.
Putting previously frozen Brie into a sandwich or eating it with a baguette will not be a great culinary experience.
But if you find recipes where you can bake or cook frozen Brie, you are onto a winner.
How to freeze Brie without ruining it
If you want to freeze Brie without overly detracting from its taste or texture, all you need to do is adhere to a few simple recommendations. Most people will never know it was frozen.
- Cut the Brie into smallish slices with a sharp knife or cheese cutter but keep the slices reasonably thick. You do this so that you can take out enough without overdoing it.
- When you know how you will be using it later, deciding how to cut it is easy. If, however, you don't, you have a few choices. You can either cut it into cubes, or larger pieces, grate it, slice it, or simply leave it as it is. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. If you are in doubt, cubing or slicing is best.
Either of these options gives you the possibility to freeze a smaller amount of cheese, so whatever you will be doing with it later, you are covered.
- Double wrap each piece of Brie either by using two plastic bags or double wrapping it in one. By doing this, you will stop it absorbing the flavors and smells of other foods you may have in your freezer, while at the same time also preventing the cheese from losing too much of its own flavor.
- Ensure you get as much air out of the plastic bag as possible, as this will help prevent the cheese from becoming freezer burned.
- Seal and label each bag and write the date on the label so that you know when it was frozen and whether or not it will still be safe to eat when the time comes.
- Find a place in the freezer where it is unlikely to be squashed as putting anything else of weight on top would ruin it.
- Slice the disc or wedge of Brie into portions. The size and the shape of the pieces, you can decide for yourself. Consider how you intend to use the cheese after you thaw it and cut it appropriately. If you don't want to think too far ahead, simply slice it.
- Take a resealable type of freezer bag plus a cookie sheet or a shallow casserole dish. Lay the bag out on top of the cookie sheet.
- Put the slices into the freezer bag in a single layer. Ensure there is a small gap around each piece of cheese. It's important as otherwise, they will stick together. Remove as much air out of the bag as possible and seal it.
- Put the cookie sheet into the freezer. Leave the cheese in the freezer until it has frozen.
- Once the cheese has frozen, remove the sheet. If you are concerned that the cheese may get squashed by other food in the freezer, place the bag into a rigid container for added protection.
Extra tip: If you are worried about freezer burn, or you run your freezer on a low setting, as an additional measure, wrap the Brie in foil as it will give it another layer of protection.
Okay, that has dealt with preparing your Brie for freezing. Let us now take a look at how best to thaw it without destroying its flavor.
How do you defrost brie cheese
As with any cheese that you freeze, the trigger to maintaining the food's best quality is not just in the freezing process, but how you defrost it too. If you just forge ahead without taking appropriate measures, the whole exercise will be pointless.
For best results, it is recommended that you thaw your Brie gradually rather than quickly. When it is thawed too fast, the texture will be destroyed, and it will end up being overly crumbly.
To avoid that happening, you should defrost it in your fringe.
Because of this, it will take approximately 24 hours to defrost properly, so you need to plan well ahead before using it.
Knowing my family the way I do, I prefer to secrete my Brie in a part of the fridge where my husband and children are less likely to see it. If they do spot it, they could be tempted to eat it before it has completely thawed. It could make them ill.
Options when thawing Brie from the freezer.
Thawing it in the fridge.
As discussed above briefly, thawing it in the refrigerator is the safest method, but it does take a little longer. However, it's well worth the wait. If you leave it in the fridge overnight, it will probably be ready in the morning. However, bear in mind that the bigger the slices or pieces, the longer it will take to thaw out completely.
Put it in a cold water bath.
If you haven't got time to allow it to completely thaw in your fridge, transfer the cheese (still in its packing) into a bowl of cold water. It should thaw in around 2 to 3 hours, again dependent on shape and size.
Using it frozen.
If you are going to be putting the Brie into a baked dish or a soup or stew, there is no real reason to have to thaw it. You can use it straight from the freezer. It might slow your dish's cooking process down a little, but that shouldn't present any problem.
Should your Brie turn out too crumbly or watery, don't get too upset. It will still be perfect to use in casseroles, sauces, and soups, and no one will ever know. It will even add that delicious creaminess for which you were looking.
Once your Brie has completely thawed out, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it between 30 minutes and an hour to get to room temperature before you serve it or use it in some dishes.
If you're not going to use it immediately, that is not a problem. However, you ought to make sure that you use it within two days of it being thawed. Any later than that and it should be thrown away.
What you should never do
Never refreeze Brie. Not only will it completely ruin the product, but you could also give yourself or others a nasty dose of food poisoning if you or they eat cheese that has been refrozen.
I have heard of some people thawing frozen Brie in a microwave. It is not something I would personally recommend. It will lose too much of its taste and texture.
But if you will be melting it into a cooked dish, you might get away with it.
How long can you store frozen Brie?
Properly packaged, frozen Brie will retain a decent quality for as long as six months (NCHFP, FKA). However, bearing in mind that like all frozen foods, the quality will gradually deteriorate with time, so the earlier you use it, the better.
Brie will not necessarily be inedible after freezing for six months, so before you throw it in the bin, check it out first. Thaw it in your fridge, and only throw it away if it doesn't meet expectations.
How long does thawed Brie last?
It's impossible to predict exactly how long a piece of thawed Brie will last. Generally speaking, it is better if you eat it as soon as it has thawed through. However, if that's not feasible or you find that you have some leftovers, as long as you eat it within a day or two at the outside, you should be okay.
Using thawed Brie within a day or two of defrosting is another good reason why it pays to freeze it in smaller pieces. It means you only have to thaw as much as you intend to use or eat. No leftovers - no problem.
If you thaw cheese in your refrigerator and you decide to refreeze it, according to the Washington Department State of Health, you should be able to refreeze it as long as it has never been taken out of the fridge.
How long does Brie last?
Ordinarily, Brie should last for about 2 to 3 weeks (FKA), providing you refrigerate it as soon as you get it home from the supermarket. There ought to be a "best-by" date on the label, and you should be able to rely on any cheese retaining decent quality for one, or two days as a maximum, past that date.
In other words, if the best-by date is tomorrow, but you are not going to be using it until the day after, you don't really need to freeze it. Leave it in the fridge, and it should be okay to use as long as you do so no later than the day after tomorrow.
When Brie is nearing or just past its best-by date, It's always a good idea to check for any spoilage signs before using it.
Here's what to look for:
- Keep an eye open for any discoloration or mold appearing that isn't a part of the cheese's character.
- Sniff it to see if there is any ammonia-like or other unpleasant smell.
- Test it to see that the texture hasn't hardened.
- If all seems well, taste a tiny bit. If it tastes okay, carry on - if it doesn't, throw it away.
If the Brie develops mold, don't be tempted to cut away the molded section and use the rest. You can do this with hard cheeses such as Parmesan, but not with soft cheeses like Brie. The mold spreads too quickly, even if it is not immediately apparent. Stay on the safe side and throw it away.
What is Brie cheese?
Brie is a soft cheese that is made from the milk of cows. As with many other types of French cheese (e.g., Camembert), the cheese is given the name from where it originated geographically. In other words, Brie comes from the Brie region in France (WIKI).
The rind that encases Brie is produced by one of three cheese fungi - Penicillium Candidum, Penicillium Camembert, or Brevibacterium Linens. It takes approximately 4 to 5 weeks to develop. Why not check out Wikipedia to find out more about this delicious, French dairy cheese?
I hope now that you know all about freezing Brie cheese but without losing too much of its original taste and texture as you do so.
It's pretty much the same as freezing any type of cheese.
However, suppose you carefully follow the instructions I've given you above. In that case, you will be able to minimize any loss to the point that anyone who doesn't know that it's been frozen, will notice any difference.
So, if you see a good deal, even if you have to buy a lot, you can now do so without fear of wastage.