Freeze Your Mozzarella To Make Grating The Cheese A Breeze

If you find yourself struggling to shred hard mozzarella cheese without it quickly softening and becoming rubbery, there's an easy solution: Just pop the block of cheese in the freezer and grate it once it's frozen. While the freezing process may alter the texture and flavor of some cheeses, solid-block mozzarella is a perfect choice for this tip. Frozen mozzarella won't turn mushy and clog your grater as much as a slightly chilled or room-temperature block would. It will also produce nice, even strands. Worth noting, however, is that this trick only works for hard-block mozzarella, not the fresh, soft variety.

Wondering why you wouldn't just buy pre-shredded cheese? For one thing, it doesn't have nearly the same quality of flavor. Just like freshly cracked peppercorns are more flavorful than pre-ground black pepper, freshly shredded cheese will provide a tastier bite. Another factor to keep in mind is that pre-shredded cheese has a starch coating to prevent clumping, giving dishes an unpleasant, gritty texture. For these reasons, mozzarella that's been grated while frozen is far preferable.

Tips for freezing mozzarella cheese

Although mozzarella is ideal for freezing and grating, it's important to freeze this cheese the right way. First, the best way to preserve its flavor and texture is to keep it frozen for as little time as possible — even a few minutes in the freezer can make it easier to grate. If you want mozzarella that's ready to grate at all times, you can keep a block in the freezer for one month, or three months maximum to maintain the texture.

When freezing, put your block of cheese in a sealed plastic bag with all of the air squeezed out. If the cheese is unopened, you can leave it in its original airtight wrapper. This will keep oxygen and water from impacting the cheese during the process. Make sure you label and date the block so you know exactly how long it's been in the freezer.

When the time comes to use the cheese, don't let it thaw out. Instead, just take the block out of the freezer, grate as much as you need, and then return it to its sealed bag in the freezer for next time. If you accidentally grate more than you need, store the extra in the fridge if you plan to use it quickly, or in the freezer for longer-term storage. Just note that grated cheese will warm up quicker than a block, so avoid thawing, as cheese shouldn't be re-frozen.