String cheese is a lunchbox and snacking staple. But when you have leftovers, that packaged cheese can go bad quickly in the fridge. Freezing is an easy way to save those last few sticks and reduce wasted food. But can you really freeze string cheese successfully?
In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about freezing string cheese. You’ll learn how to freeze string cheese sticks, blocks, and shreds for maximum freshness. We’ll also discuss proper thawing methods, how long frozen string cheese lasts, and tips for the best results.
An Introduction to String Cheese
First, let’s start with an overview of what exactly string cheese is.
String cheese refers to mozzarella cheese that has been shaped and processed into a chewy, peelable snack. It’s called “string” cheese because when peeled, it separates into long, stringy strands.
Traditional mozzarella has a high moisture content that makes it tricky to freeze well. But string cheese is a low moisture version, specially formulated to turn into those satisfying, pull-apart strings.
String cheese is a fun and portable protein-packed snack, especially for kids’ lunchboxes. It comes pre-packaged as individually wrapped 1 ounce sticks. String cheese is also available shredded or in larger blocks.
With its low moisture content, string cheese is actually one of the few cheeses that freezes remarkably well. When frozen and thawed properly, it regains its stringy, pebable texture.
Can You Freeze String Cheese?
The short answer is yes, you absolutely can freeze string cheese for later use. In fact, freezing is an excellent way to save those last few sticks instead of having them go bad in the fridge.
String cheese holds its shape and texture quite well in the freezer compared to other cheeses. When frozen and thawed slowly, it will return to its normal stringy, peelable form. The freezer won’t affect the taste either.
Here are some of the benefits of freezing string cheese:
Saves Money – By freezing extras instead of throwing them out, you reduce wasted food and save on grocery costs.
Prevents Spoilage – Cheese can mold quickly in the fridge. Freezing stops spoilage so you can use up the entire package.
Allows Stocking Up – Buy string cheese in bulk when it’s on sale, and freeze extras to have on hand.
Extends Shelf Life – Frozen string cheese keeps for 2-6 months instead of 2 weeks in the fridge.
Retains Freshness – With proper freezing methods, string cheese does not suffer freeze damage or texture changes.
No Thawing Required – Frozen sticks can be packed in lunches and will thaw by lunchtime, ready to eat.
How to Freeze String Cheese Sticks
Freezing string cheese sticks is fast and easy. Here are some tips for best results:
- Leave Original Wrappers On – For individually wrapped string cheese sticks, leave the plastic wrapping on. This prevents freezer burn.
- Add Extra Layer – Wrap each stick again in plastic wrap, wax paper, or foil before bagging. This adds additional moisture protection.
- Stack Sticks in Freezer Bags – Place sticks standing up in a ziplock freezer bag to save space. Squeeze out excess air and seal.
- Label with Date – Write the freeze date on bags so you know how long sticks have been frozen.
- Freeze Immediately – For best texture, freeze sticks right after purchasing, rather than refrigerating first.
- Recommended Time – Individually wrapped, frozen sticks will last 2 months in the freezer before quality declines.
With these tips, individually wrapped string cheese sticks freeze beautifully. The original wrappers prevent freezer burn while the extra wrap adds extra insurance.
How to Freeze String Cheese Blocks
Large blocks of string cheese also freeze well, with a little extra preparation:
- Remove Original Wrappers – Unwrap any outer plastic from blocks before freezing. This prevents condensation issues.
- Tightly Wrap Block – Wrap block tightly in plastic wrap, pressing out all air. Make sure no part of the cheese is exposed.
- Add Foil Layer – Wrap the block again in foil as an extra moisture barrier. Eliminate air pockets.
- Vacuum Seal for Long Term – For storage beyond 2 months, vacuum seal blocks to remove oxygen.
- Portion Smaller Blocks – For quick thawing, divide large blocks into smaller 4-8 oz portions before wrapping.
- Label and Date – Mark wrapped blocks with contents, quantity, and freeze date.
With an airtight double wrap, string cheese blocks freeze beautifully for 2-4 months. For even longer freezer life, vacuum seal blocks.
Freezing Shredded String Cheese
You can also freeze shredded string cheese for later use in recipes like pizza, casseroles, pasta bakes, and more. Here are some tips:
- Lay Flat to Freeze – Spread shredded cheese in a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid.
- Portion into Bags – Transfer frozen shreds into portion sizes in freezer bags or containers. Exclude air.
- Add Anti-sticking Agents – Mix in a little cornstarch or potato starch before freezing to keep shreds from clumping.
- Press Out Air – Squeeze bags gently to remove air pockets. The less air, the better it freezes.
- Use Within 3 Months – Properly frozen, shredded string cheese will stay fresh for 2-3 months.
With just a little prep, shredded string cheese freezes easily. It’s great to have on hand for quick weeknight meals.
What is the Best Way to Thaw Frozen String Cheese?
Thawing is an important step to bring frozen string cheese back to its fresh, flexible state. Here are some tips:
- Refrigerator Thaw – For best results, thaw frozen string cheese slowly in the refrigerator.
- Time to Thaw – Most standard string cheese takes 8-12 hours to thaw in the fridge, depending on size. Large blocks may take up to 24 hours to thaw completely.
- Use Immediately – For maximum quality and food safety, use thawed string cheese within 1-2 days.
- Do Not Refreeze – Avoid refreezing string cheese once it has been thawed. Refreezing causes texture changes.
Gradual thawing in the fridge helps frozen string cheese reabsorb moisture evenly. Thawed cheese will regain its signature strings and flexibility.
How Long Does String Cheese Last in the Freezer?
When stored properly at 0°F, string cheese can be frozen for the following timelines:
- Individually wrapped sticks – 2 months
- Blocks double wrapped in plastic/foil – 2-4 months
- Vacuum sealed blocks – 6 months
- Shredded cheese – 2-3 months
The freezer life depends on how well wrapped and sealed the string cheese is to prevent freezer burn. Use frozen string cheese within these time frames for best flavor and texture.
Tips for Freezing String Cheese Successfully
Follow these tips when freezing string cheese:
- Double wrap blocks in plastic wrap and foil.
- Use freezer-safe bags or airtight containers.
- Remove as much air as possible from packages.
- Label bags with contents and freeze date.
- Freeze new packages immediately after opening.
- Once thawed, use string cheese within 1-2 days.
- When in doubt, throw it out! Don’t risk eating string cheese that has been frozen too long.
What Can I Make with Frozen String Cheese?
Frozen string cheese is great to have on hand for quick snacks, appetizers, or to add cheesy flavor to meals.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Thaw sticks for snacking or packing in lunches
- Shred onto pizzas, salads, pasta, baked potatoes
- Mix into dips and spreads
- Add to casseroles, lasagnas, and bakes
- Use in omelets, frittatas, and breakfast burritos
- Top tacos, quesadillas, and nachos
- Fill with chilled food for a fun “cheese stick” appetizer
Frozen string cheese is endlessly versatile. Keep it stocked in the freezer for last-minute recipe additions!
Can Frozen String Cheese Be Refrozen?
It’s best to avoid refreezing any thawed string cheese. Refreezing after thawing causes texture changes and moisture loss. The string cheese is unlikely to regain its former stringy consistency.
For highest quality, thaw only the amount of frozen string cheese you plan to consume within 1-2 days. Keep the remaining packages frozen until needed.
If you do end up with thawed string cheese you can’t use right away, try shredding or melting it into another recipe rather than refreezing.
Key Takeaways on Freezing String Cheese
Freezing is an excellent way to save leftovers and reduce food waste when you have extra string cheese. To recap:
- Thanks to its low moisture, string cheese freezes well for 2-6 months.
- Individually wrap sticks and tightly seal blocks in plastic wrap and foil before freezing.
- Allow cheese to thaw slowly in the refrigerator before using within 1-2 days.
- Do not refreeze thawed string cheese.
- With proper methods, frozen string cheese retains its taste and texture.
Don’t throw out those last few sticks or shreds! Pop them in the freezer instead so you can enjoy every last bite.
I hope this complete guide gives you the confidence to start freezing your extra string cheese. With the right techniques, you can enjoy tasty and texturally perfect string cheese even after freezing.
Freezing is a great way to reduce food waste and get the most value out of your string cheese purchase. The next time you have leftovers, freeze them for later use in snacks, school lunches, or cheesy recipes.
So go on and stock up on string cheese when it’s on sale! With freezing, you can keep a supply handy for snacking anytime.
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.