What is the way to store cheese at home?

Proper cheese storage is crucial for preserving the flavor and texture of your favorite cheeses. With some basic guidelines, you can easily store cheese at home for optimal freshness and enjoyment.

How should you store cheese?

The main factors to consider when storing cheese are temperature, humidity, air exposure and packaging. Here are some quick tips:

  • Store cheese in the warmest section of your refrigerator, typically the deli drawer (40-45°F). Do not freeze cheese.
  • Wrap cheese first in parchment or waxed paper, then in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. This protects against odor transfer, drying out and mold growth.
  • Place cheese in an airtight container, or at minimum a loosely closed plastic bag. Limit air exposure.
  • High moisture cheeses like brie should be stored in their original containers until ready to eat. Once cut, wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Hard cheeses like cheddar will last longer when kept cooler, around 35°F.
  • Soft-ripened bloomy cheeses like camembert are best kept in their retail boxes until ready to eat.
  • Blue cheeses require wrapping in foil or an airtight container due to their strong odor.

How long does cheese last in the fridge?

Refrigeration extends the shelf life of cheese considerably. Here are some general guidelines for maximum fridge storage times:

Cheese Type Fridge Life
Fresh mozzarella 1 week
Soft goat cheese 2 weeks
Hard cheeses (cheddar, parmesan) 3 to 6 months
Blue cheese 2 months
Soft-ripened (brie, camembert) 2 weeks uncut, 1 week cut

Keep in mind, these times are for cheese stored optimally at the ideal humidity and temperature. Proper wrapping is key.

What is the best way to wrap cheese?

Wrapping cheese prior to refrigerated storage serves multiple purposes:

  • Prevents surface drying, mold growth and rind hardening
  • Retains texture and softness
  • Minimizes odor absorption from other foods
  • Blocks light exposure which accelerates spoilage

Here are some wrapping tips for common cheese types:

Hard Cheeses

For hard cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss, first wrap tightly in parchment paper or waxed paper. The paper helps absorb condensation and prevent mold growth. Next wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Soft Cheeses

Soft cheeses require more breathable wrapping to prevent excessive moisture buildup. Wrap first in cheese paper or paper towels. Then use plastic wrap, leaving it slightly loose around the cheese.

Blue Cheeses

Due to their pungent aroma, it’s important to fully seal blue cheeses like Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Stilton. First wrap in foil or an airtight plastic container, then place inside a sealed plastic bag.

Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella stored in water should remain in its original container or sealed plastic bag until ready to eat. Once cut, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, squeezing out excess moisture.

Soft-Ripened Cheeses

Bloomy rind cheeses like Camembert require humidity. Leave these cheeses in their original wood or cardboard containers until serving time. Once cut, tightly wrap cut pieces in plastic wrap.

What are the best containers for cheese storage?

In addition to proper wrapping, storing cheese in suitable containers helps control humidity and extend shelf life. Recommended containers include:

  • Original retail packaging – Leave soft cheeses and those with natural rinds in their commercial boxes until ready to eat. This maintains ideal humidity.
  • Plastic wrap – Stretchable plastic wrap conforms tightly to cheeses for a solid seal.
  • Plastic bags – Seal harder cheeses in plastic bags, squeezing out excess air.
  • Aluminum foil – Works well for strongly scented or mold-prone cheeses. Keeps out light and contains odors.
  • Plastic containers – Airtight plasticware provides rigid protection and stacks neatly in the fridge.
  • Waxed paper – Wrapping in cheese paper or parchment before plastic creates ideal humidity.

What is the best temperature for cheese storage?

To maximize freshness, cheeses should be stored at the proper refrigerator temperature:

  • Hard cheeses: 35° to 40°F
  • Soft cheeses: 40° to 45°F
  • Blue cheese: 45° to 50°F

Some tips for achieving optimal cheese temps:

  • Store hard grating cheeses like Parmesan in the bottom, coldest part of the fridge.
  • Keep soft cheeses like Brie towards the top where temps are warmer.
  • Allow strongly flavored blues to mellow at around 45°F.
  • Adjust the temp dial if your fridge runs cold. The ideal overall temp is 38° to 42°F.

Avoid freezing cheeses whenever possible. Freezing can damage texture and change flavors. However, grated hard cheeses like Parmesan can be frozen for a few months.

How can you identify spoiled cheese?

Check cheeses regularly for any signs of spoilage or mold. Here’s what to look for:

  • Mold – Check rinds and cut surfaces for fuzzy mold growth. Small spots can be trimmed, but discard extensively moldy cheese.
  • Drying – Cheese should not appear dried out or feel overly hard. A dried, shriveled rind indicates excessive aging.
  • Odor – Cheese should smell pleasant, not sour or unpleasantly sharp. Strong ammonia odors signify overripening.
  • Flavor – Discard cheese that tastes unpleasantly tangy, bitter or chalky.
  • Sliminess – Soft cheeses that become excessively runny signal spoilage.
  • Color – White or blue mold and unnatural discoloring are red flags.

Remember, higher moisture cheeses like blue, soft-ripened and fresh cheeses have shorter shelf lives. Consume these within 2 weeks. Hard cheeses lasting months require less frequent monitoring.

How should you store cheese for the long term?

With certain cheeses like Parmesan and cheddar, longer aging can enhance flavor. Follow these tips for storing hard cheeses for several months or more:

  • Wrap tightly in cheese paper, then foil, sealing out excess air.
  • Opt for a smaller intact wedge over pre-grated cheese.
  • Place cheese in the coldest section of the refrigerator, 30° to 32°F.
  • Check periodically and discard if mold develops.
  • Consider using a vacuum-sealed storage bag to minimize oxygen exposure.
  • Allow a natural rind to develop, trimming mold if needed.
  • Rotate the cheese from time to time so all surfaces get exposure to air.

With the right temperature, humidity and protection, many hard cheeses can maintain quality for 6 months to a year. Well-kept Parmesan can last up to 2 years.

What are some common cheese storage mistakes?

It’s easy to make storage errors that negatively impact cheese shelf life. Be mindful of these pitfalls:

  • Storing cheese improperly wrapped in just plastic bags or foil, risking drying out.
  • Leaving cheese in its original packaging too long once opened.
  • Failing to discard moldy portions of hard cheeses.
  • Wrapping soft cheese too tightly in plastic wrap, causing condensation.
  • Storing different cheeses together without enough separation.
  • Keeping cheeses in the refrigerator door, where the temperature fluctuates.
  • Leaving cheeses in the light, accelerating food spoilage.
  • Allowing cheese to sit at room temperature more than 2 hours before refrigerating.

Avoiding these simple mistakes helps cheeses retain their texture, flavor and appeal.


Proper storage is key to enjoying cheese at the peak of quality and freshness. Follow these guidelines for refrigeration temperature, packaging, containment, humidity control and monitoring cheese condition. With the right techniques, your favorite cheeses will maintain their delightful flavors and textures for you to savor.

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