Cheese Storage 101: How to Store Cheese Properly

store cheese properly

Proper cheese storage is crucial for maintaining flavour and freshness because it helps preserve the cheese’s original characteristics and prevents it from drying out, moulding, or absorbing flavours from other foods. The right storage conditions involve balancing temperature, humidity, and air circulation, slowing the ageing process, and keeping the cheese tasting its best for longer.

Did you know that different cheese varieties have specific storage needs that can significantly enhance their shelf life and taste?

Jones Family Farm is dedicated to producing quality sheep milk cheeses. So, this article will teach you the correct method to store our award-winning range.

Understanding the Basics of Cheese Storage

Different storage methods affect the taste, texture, and longevity of cheese. By learning the basics of cheese storage you’ll ensure your cheese remains fresh and flavoursome for as long as possible. Several factors are crucial to proper cheese storage, including temperature, humidity, air circulation, and packaging.

Temperature control is paramount, as storing cheese at the wrong temperature leads to spoilage and loss of flavour. Similarly, humidity levels must be balanced to prevent the cheese from drying out or becoming too moist. Adequate air circulation helps slow mould growth and the right packaging significantly impacts the cheese’s shelf-life. Typically, when stored correctly, the harder the cheese, the longer it will last.

Temperature Control

The ideal temperature range for storing most cheeses is between 4 and 10 degrees Celsius. Much like vegetables, most varieties prefer slightly higher temperatures and humidity than the rest of the food in your fridge. This makes the fridge veggie bin (aka the vegetable drawer ) the best place to keep it as it’s shielded from the colder circulating air.

When it comes to the freezing of cheese, it will likely ruin the original texture and maybe dull the flavour, but that’s not to say you should rule freezing out entirely! We’d only recommend freezing harder cheeses you plan to use in cooking or baking. Ensure you store frozen cheese in well-sealed, moisture-proof containers and defrost slowly in the fridge to minimise changes in texture.

When serving cheeses, experts recommend removing them from the fridge up to half an hour prior so they come up to room temperature. It’s also best to cut hard and semi-hard cheeses when still cool and cut soft cheeses at room temperature.

How to Store Cheese Properly

Plastic Bags or Cling Wrap

A resealable plastic bag or Gladwrap will do the job if that’s all you have on hand, but it’s not the best storage for your cheese. In fact, many cheese experts say that’s the worst way to store cheese because it can’t “breathe” or eliminate excess moisture.

cheese paper

Cheese Paper

Cheese paper, as its name suggests, is specifically made with cheese storage in mind. Typically, it’s a two-ply wax paper that lets cheese breathe and maintain optimal humidity, keeping it from drying out. It’s one of the best ways to store hard cheeses like our Pecorino, and semi-hard cheeses like our Gouda and Havarti range.

Formaticum makes a special biodegradable cheese paper out of wood-based cellulose that is easy to use and self-sealing. They also source their paper from certified sustainable forests, which aligns nicely with our sustainability values!

Standard baking paper is another cellulose-based composite that is a good choice for a material you likely already have in the kitchen – you’ll just need to seal it with something like Sellotape or string.

Beeswax wraps to store cheese properly

Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax wraps offer a fantastic eco-friendly alternative for cheese storage. Crafted from cotton and coated with beeswax (and sometimes other ingredients including pine resin and jojoba oil) these wraps are reusable for about a year or so, and biodegradable once worn out. They provide a natural barrier against moisture and air while allowing food to breathe, keeping it fresher for longer. Plus, they come in a variety of designs (this is my favourite part!) and sizes, making them both a practical and beautiful storage solution. You’ll find them at craft markets and in all good shops that sell sustainable, environmentally friendly products, or you can make your own!


Fresh or soft cheeses like Camembert and Brie are best stored in clean, airtight containers. With fresh cheeses such as mozzarella or Feta that come in brine (water), change the water in their container every two days.

When stored properly, fresh cheese can last one to two after opening, semi-hard cheeses two or three weeks, and hard cheeses four or so weeks. The hardest of cheeses can last months.

Minimising Waste

Leftover cheese offers an opportunity to add flavour to various dishes while reducing waste. One simple way to enjoy it is to assemble a cheese board with fruits, nuts, cold meats and crackers.

Alternatively, melting leftover cheese into a fondue creates a fun dining experience! You can use one type of cheese or mix multiple varieties. Serve with different vegetables and breads.

For everyday meals, grate small leftover pieces of cheese over pasta, salads, or baked potatoes. Or for the best comfort food ever, make a mac n cheese using assorted cheeses.

If your hard or semi-hard cheese does end up with some mould growing on it, don’t despair! Depending on the size of the piece, you don’t have to throw it all away. Because the mould doesn’t penetrate the cheese deeply, you can cut a few centimetres away, removing the mouldy spots and continue to enjoy. On the other hand, if your soft cheese (cottage, cream cheese, chèvre etc.) is mouldy, chuck it all out.

In Summary

The main factors that influence how to store cheese properly include temperature (cheese needs to be kept cool, but not too cold), humidity (maintaining the right level prevents your cheese from drying out), air circulation (achieving the right balance so that cheese breathes but won’t dry out), and packaging (with the best choices being cheese paper, cheese vaults, or beeswax wraps).

These factors, when carefully considered and properly managed, can significantly enhance the shelf life, taste, and overall quality of your cheese.

What tips do you have for cheese storage? Are there any products you’ve found that are worth sharing? Let us know in the comments below!

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