Powdered cheese is a necessity in my kitchen. I absolutely adore cheese. I add it to any and everything food-related. So sprinkling some powdered cheese on top is an every-meal thing.
That’s why, I had to learn to make my own powdered cheese, because I don’t always have it ready at hand. So instead of having to buy powdered cheese every time, I thought about making my own.
Through this article I am going to share with you how to easily and successfully dry and powder your own cheese at the comfort of your own home.
How to make powdered cheese at home?
The first step to making powdered cheese is to dehydrate it. This usually requires a certain controlled cabinet where both the temperature and humidity is definite and suitable for the drying process and the long-term storage of your cheese.
And since cheese tends to lose most of its flavor and amazing texture when frozen for longer than 3 to 6 months, dehydrating it is a good alternative to extend its shelf life and retain its high quality and delicious taste for a long time.
I tried dehydrating the cheese for the first time once it became clear that there was no way that me and my family could consume the whole batch of cheese we made from the milk at our homestead.
Here is the step-by-step guide to dehydrating your cheese:
- After preparing you fresh cheese, start rubbing the outside of the cheese block using salt. This will soak up all the extra moisture in your cheese. Leave the cheese in your fridge for 12 hours and rotate it every 6 hours so that all its sides are dried by the salt.
- Once its water content is visibly less, remove the salt on the cheese surface using a paper towel, as well as the excess moisture on the surface, then place it in the fridge for 5 to 7 days to enhance its flavors and distribute its moisture content.
- Take your block of cheese from the fridge and start chopping it into ½-inch cubes or smaller according to your future use, then place the cubes in your dehydrator after aligning them in the tray. It should take 36 hours or so to fully dry. Place your dehydrator in a cool spot.
- Rotate the tray with the cheese in your dehydrator every 12 hours to evenly dehydrate. Check the process every 12 hours.
- You will know your cheese is ready once its color darkens a bit and it becomes solid and crunchy with a hard texture, instead of a rubber one. It might have an oily or butterfat layer on top. Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal.
- Allow your dehydrated cheese cubes to fully cool before you move them to a glass jar with a tightly sealable lid or a mason jar.
- Keep your cheese in a cool, dry place away from any heat.
The Microwave Method
Keep in mind, that microwave is only suitable with hard cheese or shredded cheese, not the soft one.
- Start by thinly slicing your hard cheese using a sharp knife and spreading the thin slices on a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave your cheese in 30-seconds intervals. You can also place a baking sheet with the cheese slices on top inside an oven. The results won’t differ much from using the microwave.
- Remove all the grease on top of the cheese every time you check it until the cheese completely dries. Pat the cheese with a clean paper towel to remove as much of the grease as you can. Fat separates from the cheese once it is exposed to the heat of the oven or the microwave.
- Once it completely dries, allow it to cool.
- Add it to a food processor to powder your cheese.
How long can dehydrated cheese last?
It can last for several months if stored inside an airtight container in a cool and dry place, and for even longer if it is vacuum sealed.
How to use your dehydrated cheese?
I prefer to grind the dehydrated cheese and make myself a tasty cheese powder. I use it on its own or add chives, parsley, and Himalayan salt to make a cheese spice mix.
You can also use the dehydrated cheese in:
- You can add it to the trail mix
- Sprinkle it on top of your casserole before putting it in the oven. It will make the best crunchy and tasty surface.
- Eat the cubes as a healthy snack with a high nutritional value.
- Add cheese cubes in your salad instead of croutons.
- Replace the feta cheese with dehydrated cheese when making Greek salad.
- When it cools down, add it to your granola.
- Add it to your white sauce when making mac n’ cheese. It will give you the perfect cheesy taste and cheese pull.
- Add the powdered cheese to your Caesar salad instead of parmesan cheese.
- The powdered cheese can also be added as a garnish on top of some popcorns, cheese biscuits, and pizza dough!
How long does powdered cheese last?
If it is a store-bought powdered cheese that is still sealed in its package, then expect it to last for 10 to 15 years, but once the package is opened, then it should last for about 12 months.
While if you make your own dried powdered cheese, it can vary from a few months up to a year. Using the microwave to dehydrate your cheese only makes it last for a month or so since it doesn’t completely dehydrate it.
What type of cheese is preferred when making powdered cheese?
It does require some experiments with trials and errors to determine the most suitable types of cheese for dehydration. This could be observed through the dehydration process and the end result.
Most types of cheeses like Cheddar, swiss, parmesan, brie, burrata, feta, and goat cheese work well with the food dehydrator. However, soft cheeses like ricotta and cottage cheese aren’t suitable for the oven or the microwave.
Other types of cheese that can be dried in a microwave or oven:
- Colby jack
- White Cheddar
Soft cheeses can be dried in a food dehydrator, but they will require to be left for a little longer in the food dehydrator. While if you attempt to dehydrate them using the microwave, I am afraid it won’t be that effective, they will just boil and won’t crisp.
How to tell if my dry cheese has gone bad?
If you notice any change in color, taste, or odor, then it is better to discard your cheese than to consume it. It might also become moldy with a different appearance. Expect any change in your dried cheese sooner, especially if you have dried it using the microwave method than the dehydrator method.
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