Who doesn’t have fond memories associated with pimento cheese?
Whether you liked it on your veggies or spread on a sandwich, we’re sure you have your own cheese-filled memories to recall.
While it isn’t unknown that pimento cheese can last long, not many people know how to preserve it for later use.
Don’t worry because, in this guide, you’ll have access to everything you ever needed to know about freezing and preserving pimento cheese.
Can You Freeze Pimento Cheese?
Yes, you certainly can, but the real question is, should you?
Ideally, it isn’t recommended because freezing can impact the flavor and texture of this cheese. Is there a way to preserve it?
However, before that, let’s dig deeper into how pimento cheese is eaten. Many people prefer using it for delicacies like crackers or sandwiches.
Made with mayonnaise, pimentos, and sharp cheddar, this cheese is now widely eaten in a diverse range of cuisines. Some people also like to add cream cheese to it as it smoothens the spread and adds more flavor.
Add peppers or other dressings over it; voila, you have your own version of pimento cheese ready.
How to Store Pimento Cheese
The best and most common way of storing cheese is to place it in a refrigerator.
Sealing it well will ensure that your cheese lasts for a good three weeks.
When you get it out, make sure to stir it well before using it. Yet, when it comes to freezing it, you may want to think twice.
It’s best to mix it into a recipe first because, without it, the texture won’t be the same as it was once.
Similarly, there are ways to recreate the texture by using a mixer, a blender, or a food processor.
While it may not work every time, it is still something you can consider doing once in a while.
Can Pimento Cheese Go Bad?
Unfortunately, yes, it can go bad.
As with everything else, you can’t possibly save it by storing it forever.
Even though you can’t protect your cheese from getting spoiled, you can keep yourself from consuming it.
The best way to determine whether it has gone bad is by doing a sniff test. If you notice a putrid smell, take it as a sign that it’s time to discard it. Since it’s a dairy product, you can easily tell when something about it doesn’t feel right.
Is Freezing It the Best Way to Store It?
Freezing your pimento cheese is possible but expecting great results from the practice isn’t quite possible.
Hence, the answer is yes but also no.
First of all, it’s essential to understand that the cheese and mayonnaise content in it doesn’t respond well to freezing.
The texture will not retain itself, and you will also not be able to use it as a spread or dip.
In short, it will appear far from appetizing.
Sure, you can whip it up or put it in a blender, but there’s no way your cheese will regain the same texture again.
The good news is that the flavor will still be the talk of the town. While it may not seem fresh, it will be almost similar to how you first tasted it. That’s the beauty of pimento cheese. It takes a lot to kill that wholesome flavor inside it completely.
Now, you might be thinking, is pimento cheese even worthy of being used again after freezing?
Well, yes. You can use it in recipes that don’t require much texture.
Tips to Freeze Pimento Cheese
If done right, your pimento cheese can last for a long time.
But, if done wrong, the same cheese can give you and your family food poisoning.
Here is all you need to keep in mind when freezing your cheese.
- Try buying the freshest cheese to keep it on the counter for as long as possible.
- Try freezing it before it loses that freshness. Freezing it right before you notice it getting bad won’t save it.
- Wrap it in plastic properly and ensure it is tight enough to prevent air particles from seeping in.
- You can divide it into slices or pieces to make the process easier.
- Once you’ve wrapped it properly, put it in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible.
- It is imperative to ensure that your cheese is airtight because if it isn’t, it will quickly go bad and become a health hazard for whoever consumes it.
- Make sure to put a date on the container or packaging. This way, you’ll know how long it has been since you last stored it.
- It’s best to store the cheese in your freezer for not more than three months. You can either finish it in the stated duration or dispose of it.
Can You Thaw It After Freezing It?
Thawing your pimento cheese properly is as important as freezing it safely.
Keep the following things in mind when you consider thawing it.
- Avoid thawing it at room temperature. Do it in the refrigerator instead.
- Even if it appears grainy and dry after staying in the refrigerator, don’t dispose of it because it’s a common reaction to being frozen.
- Defrost it properly before you cook it
- After thawing, you want to ensure that your pimento cheese is used quickly. Leaving it unused and then freezing it again will take away from its ability to last long.
- It isn’t recommended that you refreeze it after thawing it. Instead, you can use it for cooking something and then freezing the cooked meal for a few days or weeks.
What Can You Make With Frozen Pimento Cheese?
There are several simple dishes you can create with cheese that has been frozen and thawed. Some of them include but are not limited to:
- Cheese biscuits
- Mac and Cheese
- Cheese grits
- Loaded fries with cheese
- Grilled sandwiches with cheese
- Cheese Omelet
- Mashed potatoes with cheese
- Deviled eggs and cheese
- Tomato pie with cheese
- Cheese muffins
Homemade vs. Store-Bought Cheese
Nonetheless, pimento cheese is incredibly easy to make.
Whether you use it as a dip or a sandwich filling, there is no end to how you use it. The best part about making this type of cheese at home is that you can store it in the refrigerator for many weeks.
On the other hand, processed pimento cheese is also eligible for freezing, but you may want to look into the expiry date and ingredients beforehand (1).
Place it inside a freezer-safe container and once it is solid, put it in a plastic bag. This will allow you to enjoy your cheese for longer than before.
What Happens If You Eat Expired Or Bad Pimento Cheese?
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your cheese is bad or not is by checking it out for molds.
Most molds contain bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, and much more. All of these are known to cause food poisoning (2).
Some of the most common symptoms of this condition include diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. In some cases, if left untreated, it may even cause death (3).
Some molds are so dangerous that they end up producing mycotoxins. As a result, you may suffer from weak immunity and even cancer in the worst-case scenario.
Can you freeze pimento cheese?
Yes, but is it the ideal thing to do? No. With this type of cheese, you want to ensure you’re consuming it in time.
Due to its ingredients, pimento cheese doesn’t have the best shelf life.
However, freezing it can also bring with it a bunch of other problems.
For one, it may taste the same, but it will have an unappealing texture. Freezing it for a long time can also cause it to go bad.
One reason is that the longer you freeze it, the greater the chances of air particles seeping into the container or bag.
Nonetheless, no matter how you store it, you can eat pimento cheese in various ways. For example, you can use it as a dip or a main ingredient in your dishes. In a nutshell, the possibilities are endless.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pimentos have any benefits?
The best thing about pimentos is that you can blend them into anything.
Primarily used as a bell pepper substitute, you can make use of them in many ways.
How can you tell if your cheese has gone bad?
The best way to tell if any cheese has gone bad is by smelling it.
The spoiled smell becomes extremely apparent and signals that you should throw it away instantly. You can also tell by looking for unusual flavors and textures.
How long can you store pimento cheese?
Ideally, you shouldn’t freeze it but if you have to, make sure not to freeze it for more than three months.
It is the longest this type of cheese can survive. If you seal it properly, you can keep it in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.