When it comes to eating nacho chips while watching the big game, you can’t go far wrong with having a decent dip on the side. If you prefer to have just plain salted tortillas, then a great complement to that would be a creamy cheese dip.
If you and a few friends are getting together to watch the game or having a movie night, you can’t go far wrong with nachos and cheese! However, no matter how many people there are, more often than not you’ll find yourself with some leftover cheese dip.
For the environmentally-conscious among you, this might throw you into a certain ethical quandary: how best to store your cheese dip? With movie nights being few and far between, you might not know the next time you’ll be wheeling out your dip for you and your friends.
Most people might think that putting cheese dip in the freezer is tantamount to sacrilege. People will tell you that because cheese contains dairy, it is entirely unsuitable for being frozen for long periods.
Cheese dip tends to lose its potent flavor and texture once it's been frozen and defrosted a few times.
However, this is not strictly true. Cheese dip can indeed be frozen and retain a lot of its flavor and texture - as long as it’s prepared in the appropriate manner.
But how best to prepare cheese dip before storing it in the freezer? How long can you keep a cheese dip in the freezer before it starts to lose its potency? Are there other methods of preparing cheese dip that make it easier to store in the freezer?
Well, don’t fret cheese-fans, because we’ve got a few tips and tricks for helping you to store cheese dips in your freezer in a way that will retain the maximum amount of flavor without experiencing freeze burn or a hard, cracked texture.
What Is Cheese Dip?
Delving into the rich and creamy history of cheese dip, there are many different claimants to its origin, one of whom is a man called Blackie Donnely, who was the original owner of Mexico Chiquito restaurants.
This chain of restaurants was first established in 1935 in Arkansas and although there is some dispute about whether this was indeed the very first cheese dip, there is no doubt that it was their cheese dip that put them on the map.
According to the World Cheese Dip Championships, cheese dip is defined as a dip made primarily of cheese or processed cheese product with or without additional ingredients, not limited to meats, vegetables, or dairy additives, served warm or hot and eaten primarily by dipping hard tortilla into the said product.
Yup, that sounds like cheese dip to us!
Popular cheese dip brands such as Kraft are made from processed cheese and contain chili sauce, but there are thousands of different recipes that range from being both sweet and even dairy-free!
How Can You Freeze Cheese Dip?
The best way to freeze cheese dip is by removing the bits of nacho that have embedded themselves in the cheese. Although if you are making your cheese dip from scratch, you will need to wait for the cheese to cool completely before attempting to put it in the freezer.
When your cheese dip has cooled, you can start preparing it. First, divide the cheese into smaller portions, so that when it comes to defrosting it, you can do it serving by serving, rather than waiting for longer for a larger portion to thaw.
If you decide to defrost the dip repeatedly, then you will reduce the flavor and texture every time you do so.
Then take some resealable plastic bags and place the cheese dip into manageable segments. If you are using hard plastic containers, then make sure that you leave half an inch on the top, as cheese dip will expand upon freezing.
Make sure to label your cheese dip with a freeze date, so that you can remove it before it goes past being edible.
How To Defrost Cheese Dip
To thaw a cheese dip out of the freezer, all you have to do is take the container out of the freezer and put it in the fridge.
The cheese will take several hours to thaw. If you have spooned the cheese dip into individual containers, take as much as you need out to defrost. As explained earlier, defrosting a large batch of cheese dip will take upwards of half a day.
It is normal for some of the cheese dip ingredients to have separated from others and become watery. Don't worry though, the consistency of your original cheese dip will return through reheating.
When reheating the dip, pour it into a small frying pan or skillet and heat on a low setting. Stir the frozen dip gently so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and it reheats evenly throughout.
After you have simmered the cheese dip for around 15 to 20 minutes, it should be ready to serve.
You can also use a microwave to reheat your cheese by placing it on a high setting for 20 seconds before removing and stirring, then replacing it in the microwave if it still isn’t warm enough.