A store of mozzarella in the freezer ensures you have enough cheese on hand to make your favorite pizza, top a pasta dish, or add flavor to any number of cooked dishes. Mozzarella becomes crumbly after freezing because it loses some of its moisture, so it is only suitable for recipes that still require cooking. Defrosting it slowly helps retain the remaining moisture so it can still melt evenly. You can store mozzarella in the freezer for up to three months with only minimal loss of texture and flavor.
Remove the mozzarella from the freezer the day before you need it, or at least 12 hours before use. If you are thawing shredded mozzarella, remove only the amount you need and place it in a sealed container to thaw.
Place the mozzarella in the refrigerator and maintain a temperature between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit during thawing. Thawing slowly at a low temperature prevents the cheese from drying out, which results in a better texture once it is fully defrosted. Temperatures below 40 F also prevent the growth of illness-causing bacteria.
Check block cheese after 6 hours, or when it has partially thawed. Cut off the amount you need from a partially frozen block of mozzarella and return the unused portion to the freezer, if desired. Allow the removed portion to finish defrosting in the refrigerator, which can take up to 24 hours. Use it within five to seven days.
- Shred or slice the mozzarella before you freeze it so you can defrost only the amount you need.
Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.
Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images