The short answer to this question is: Yes. Cheese contains moisture, which causes it to spoil. Once the moisture content is removed, cheese becomes dry, and it can be stored long term in the refrigerator or pantry. The goal of this post is to show you how to do it.
Parmesan cheese can be dried and ground into powder for adding it to pasta dishes. For popcorn topping, you can use powdered cheese. Dry shredded cheese is also a good choice for backpacking and camping.
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Important things to know
You need a climate controlled cabinet to store cheese without refrigeration. This cabinet controls both humidity and temperature. When you are still in the preparation phase, make sure the cheese is not within the reach of children.
The extra butter, sour cream and cheese can be stored in your freezer. But when in the freezer, your cheese will change texture and become crumbly. Remember, cheese has a high fat content and that is why you should not expect it to last for more than 6 months in the freezer.
Even if it does not get spoilt, it will have a “freezer” taste. Chances are that you will not like the taste and eventually give the cheese to your dog. Can you dehydrate cheese? Yes you can, but you have to do it in the right way. You also need the right tool.
Choosing a food dehydrator
In order to dehydrate cheese, you need a food dehydrator. But choosing a food dehydrator is not as easy as it sounds. There are many types of food dehydrators, and you must choose one that is suitable for your tasks.
Food dehydrators are mainly of two types: vertical flow food dehydrators and horizontal flow food dehydrators. They do almost the same thing, but horizontal flow food dehydrators tend to be a bit more expensive. Can you dehydrate cheese? Yes you can, if you choose the right food dehydrator.
What factors should you consider when choosing a food dehydrator? a few factors should be considered such as air flow and heat distribution, ease of use, size and capacity, price, thermostat, timer, auto shutoff, and noise.
Keep in mind that a very high quality, fancy food dehydrator is not necessary for dehydrating cheese. As long as you follow the instructions properly, you will complete the tasks nicely.
The following instructions will help you dehydrate cheese properly. Reading the instructions is not enough. You have to take actions. Once you dive into action, you will face unique problems, and you have to resolve the issues to dehydrate cheese.
You can use the same instructions to make some cheese powder and store it for long periods of time. Cheese powder is suitable for long-term storage. You can add dehydrate cheese to muffins, breads, casseroles and soups. You can sprinkle it over popcorn.
If you love satisfying your gustatory feelings, dry cheese will add some joy to your life. There are many food items that can be better enjoyed with some dry cheese.
Here are the instructions:
Use paper towel to remove moisture from the exterior of the cheese. The moisture can not be completely removed, but remove as much as you can. Use cheesecloth to drain and strain cottage cheese. This is a safe and easy way to remove excess water content.
Now use a food processor or box grater to shred the cheese. But if you are working with cottage cheese, you do not need any food processor or box grater. The reason is that cottage cheese is composed of small pieces.
Can you dehydrate cheese without shredding the cheese? Yes. But for this, blocks of cheese should be cut into thin slices. A knife is enough. Use a sharp knife to do it.
Take paper towels and line them with the trays of your food dehydrator. This is an optional step, but do not skip it if you are working with cottage cheese or any other wet cheese. If the pieces are small and oily, you have to be extra careful.
For cottage cheese and grated cheese curds, the cheese should be spread on the paper towels. Make sure the layer is thin. If you choose to make slices, place the slices in a single layer and keep some space between the pieces.
Now you have to put the trays back in the food dehydrator. Set the temperature at around 130 degrees F. Make sure the temperature is not higher than 140 F, because with such a high temperature you will end up cooking rather than dehydrating your cheese.
Then you have to place the cheese in the dehydrator and heat it for about 10 hours. Cottage cheese takes more time than hard cheese to dry. Can you dehydrate cheese without rotating the trays? Not really. Rotate the trays every couple of hours. Top trays should be moved to the bottom and bottom trays should be moved to the top.
Now you have to take the dry cheese out of the dehydrator and let it cool. Use a coffee grinder to grind the cheese. For this purpose, you can also use a blender or a food processor. Before you grind the cheese, you can keep it in the freezer for 20 minutes. However, that is not necessary.
Do not waste your cheese
We have already clarified that you can dehydrate cheese. But can it be any kind of cheese? This is an important question. If you use cheese made from goat’s milk and store the dehydrated cheese in the freezer, the cheese will go funky in a short period of time. Can you dehydrate cheese made from goat milk? You can, but you may not like the taste.
If you are using feta cheese, keep it in the fridge while it develops flavors. The result will amaze you. It will add vitamins, minerals and protein in your diet. Like other things, dehydrating cheese depends on practice. The most cheese you dehydrate the better you will get at it.
Uses of dehydrated cheese
- Dehydrated cheese can be added to granola
- It can replace croutons and be used in tossed salad
- You can dehydrate cheese and add it to trail mix
- The cubes can be put in Greek salad
- It makes a quick and easy dehydrated snack
- It can top a casserole in the same way as bread crumbs
- Use powdered cheese with Himalayan salt and parsley to make different types of foods.
- It can be used to season popcorn
- Add powdered cheese to pizza dough and cheese biscuits
Moisture is the main enemy of dehydrated cheese. Never leave it exposed to moisture. If, in any way, the cheese gets moist, do what you can to discard it. You can rehydrate dehydrated cheese by soaking in water.
Leave it overnight in water. You can get the same result by simmering the cheese in water for about 40 minutes. If you want to learn more about the process, you can do your own research.
But that may not be necessary. Can you dehydrate cheese without knowing the ins and outs of the process? The answer is: Yes. You don’t need to be an expert to dive into action.
By now you know how you can dehydrate cheese. We encourage you to dive into action and follow the instructions carefully. Hopefully the instructions will help you prepare some dehydrated cheese and enjoy it with your near and dear ones.