Originating from France, Bri is a soft cow's milk cheese that is often eaten with crackers or as an accompaniment to fruits.
Although Brie is tasty, as a soft cheese it has a short shelf life and once opened lasts for around 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
It’s a shame to see good food go to waste and as brie is a slightly more expensive cheese, before purchasing many often wonder whether it is suitable for freezing and the answer is yes!
When stored correctly in an airtight container, Brie can be frozen for 3 months. As with most cheeses, the texture is likely to differ slightly once defrosted however, it is likely to maintain the same great taste.
How to freeze brie cheese
If you intend on freezing your brie, this should be done as soon as possible as this is when the cheese is at its best. Try and freeze it soon after purchase but if you are unable to, it should be frozen before its expiry date.
You may choose to freeze your brie whole or in chunks. This is likely to depend on how it is going to be used and the quantity that you require. However, you choose to do so, the brie needs to be sealed, similarly to other cheeses, doing so helps to eliminate the risk of bacteria spreading.
When your brie has been cut how you would like, it now needs to be wrapped. This can be done in multiple ways. It can be left inside its original packaging or it can be wrapped twice in cling film.
You can also add a layer of foil if you wish. If possible try and store the brie with little air as this will help to prevent freezer burn; also known as damage caused by oxidation.
Once your brie has been frozen, it can then be placed inside airtight freezer bags or an airtight container.
Before putting the brie inside the free, label the bags or containers with the date so you know when it was frozen and how long it will last.
Your brie can last for 3 months in the freezer so long as it was wrapped and stored in the container or box correctly beforehand.
How to defrost brie cheese
Defrosting frozen brie is simple and can be done in the refrigerator. It is necessary to expect the texture to be a little different once the cheese has thawed. However, it is still going to taste delicious whilst retaining its shape.
The best but most time-consuming way to defrost brie is in the refrigerator. Remove the amount that you require from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator before allowing it 24 hours to defrost.
If your brie has been cut into larger chunks it may take a little longer to thaw. Ensure that you allow plenty of time for the brie to defrost before serving.
Despite being the most time consuming, defrosting the brie in the refrigerator is the best way if you want to maintain the texture and flavor.
If your brie is going to be used as an ingredient in soups, stews, or other cooked dishes it doesn’t need to be thawed beforehand. This is because it is likely to melt into the food following contact with the heat.
The size of the brie is going to influence how long it takes to melt; bigger chunks are likely to take a little longer.
However, as long as you allow for a few minutes extra for the brie to melt, this could be a viable option for those who are using brie in recipes and need a fast way of defrosting it.
Factors to consider before freezing brie cheese
Before freezing your brie there are some factors to consider. Brie is encased in a white rind and over time it is likely to dry out. As with most cheeses, freezing brie can cause it to lose its texture.
Consider how you are intending to use your brie, if it is going to be an addition to recipes or used for a snack this may not be a concern. However, if you are intending to use the brie as an accompaniment to a platter, it may be preferable to opt for fresh brie.
Brie should be tightly sealed to prevent the spread of bacteria. If you do intend on freezing your brie, ensure that you have freezer bags, cling film, foil, or an airtight container to hand.
As a soft cheese brie has a shorter shelf life and can spoil easily. If you aren’t intending to freeze the cheese it should be kept refrigerated. Although brie can last for up to 3 months in the freezer, once it has been defrosted it should be consumed within 2 days.
It is also important to note that once your brie has thawed it cannot be refrozen so ideally, you should only defrost the quantity that you require each time, rather than removing it from the freezer at once if you don’t need it all.
Although brie is one of the most popular cheeses available it is also one of the most expensive types. For this reason, it is beneficial to have alternative storage solutions available.
It is a shame to purchase your brie only to find that it goes to waste shortly after. Brie tends to appear darker in color with a peculiar smell when it has started to go off and so if this is the case it should be discarded.
Freezing your brie allows you to enjoy it over time. Lasting three months in the freezer your brie should then be eaten within two days of defrosting. It is also important to ensure that you avoid refreezing your brie after it has defrosted as this isn’t advised.
Freezing your cheese is a great way of prolonging the shelf life and although it may differ in texture when defrosted it certainly isn’t going to lack in flavor.