Nothing beats the taste of Pepper Jack cheese with classic spicy sharp flavor with delicate buttery taste!
Pepper jack cheese is a derivative of Monterey jack cheese. It enhances the flavor of various dishes such as pizzas, casseroles, omelets, nachos, and many more.
If you are a fan of spicy cheeses, you might have a stock of Pepper jack cheese.
But did you know, can you freeze pepper jack cheese?
Then I would say, yes, you can freeze pepper jack cheese. It stays good for up to 6 months if freezes properly.
You’ll get to know here more about pepper jack cheese and its proper way of storage.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Pepper Jack Cheese?
- 2 What Kind of Cheese is Pepper Jack?
- 3 Does Pepper Jack Cheese Have to be Refrigerated?
- 4 Can You Freeze Pepper Jack Cheese?
- 5 How to Freeze Pepper Jack Cheese?
- 6 How to Thaw Pepper Jack Cheese?
- 7 How Long Does Pepper Jack Cheese Last?
- 8 What to Pair With Pepper Jack Cheese?
- 9 Final thoughts
What is Pepper Jack Cheese?
Pepper jack is a spicy original “American” cheese made by Mexican Franciscan friars of Monterey, California.
The pepper jack cheese flavored with sweet peppers, habanero chilies, garlic, and spicy jalapeños.
This semi-soft cheese and open textured cheese comes in cream color. The taste of the cheese is spicy with slightly delicate and buttery.
It is usually consumed with crackers, hamburgers, pickles vegetables, grapes, and olives, etc.
The Jalapenos, habanero peppers create heat to the cheese. The peppery flavor intensifies, as the cheese matures.
The pepper jack cheese is generally aged for a few months.
What Kind of Cheese is Pepper Jack?
Pepper jack is a derivative of the Monterey jack cheese. You can say, pepper jack cheese is from Monterey jack cheese family.
Pepper jack is Monterey Jack cheese, flavored with peppers, other vegetables, and spices.
The pepper is added to the cheese because adding peppers to cheese gives a great flavor contribution with just a little amount of heat. It also helps to make the cheese safe during aging.
This is a semi hard cheese spicy cheese with mouth melting buttery taste.
Does Pepper Jack Cheese Have to be Refrigerated?
Yes, Pepper jack cheese needs to be refrigerated.
If you want to maximize the shelf life of pepper jack cheese, wrap the cheese in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
For an even better final result, you can wrap it in wax paper or parchment paper.
Cover it with plastic wrap. Then keep it in the refrigerator.
Pepper Jack cheese will last for 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator if it is stored properly.
Can You Freeze Pepper Jack Cheese?
If you ask me, can pepper jack cheese be frozen?
Then I would say, Yes, you can freeze pepper jack cheese very well.
You cannot freeze soft cheese as soft cheese like cream cheese or brie don’t freeze well as they become gummy after the freezing process.
But the pepper jack is a semi-hard cheese, so you can freeze it.
Sometimes freezing cheese leads to a change in texture. It makes cheese crumblier after freezing.
So, you can use frozen cheese for cooking. But keep in mind, you need to grate it first.
The pepper jack cheese lasts for 6 months if freezes properly. But it will remain safe to consume beyond that time.
How to Freeze Pepper Jack Cheese?
You can extend the life of the pepper jack cheese by freezing it properly.
If it is store bought pepper jack cheese, you need to freeze it in the freezer before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has passed.
For freezing pepper jack cheese, you’ll need to follow the below procedure:
- Cut the pepper jack cheese into ½ pound each.
- Wrap the cheese with a plastic freezer wrap or a heavy-duty aluminum foil. Or you can use heavy-duty freezer bag for freezing the cheese.
- Make sure the cheese has been kept in the freezer at 0°F which helps to keep it safe for longer.
It will remain safe and good quality for 6 months if freezes properly.
How to Thaw Pepper Jack Cheese?
You can defrost pepper jack cheese in the fridge. You can keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days before using.
If you want to use it immediately, you can also thaw the pepper cheese in the microwave or in cold water.
After freezing the cheese, it may become crumbly and there is a possibility of losing flavor. So, the thawed cheese is good to use in cooked dishes like soups, sauces, etc.
How Long Does Pepper Jack Cheese Last?
The shelf life of the pepper jack cheese depends upon the storage condition.
The opened chunk of pepper Jack cheese still safe after the “best by date” on the package.
Generally, it will remain safe to use for 3 to 4 weeks, even after the “best by date” on the package if refrigerated properly.
You can also freeze pepper jack cheese for up to 6 months.
It means, if your cheese block goes beyond the best by date, it is still good to consume.
If you want to extend the life of pepper jack cheese, you can store it in the fridge or freezer in a proper way.
What to Pair With Pepper Jack Cheese?
Pepper jack cheese infuses spicy flavor into any dish. This cheese goes well with various dishes like Mexican foods, grilled cheese sandwiches, egg strata, hearty burgers.
It is often consumed with hamburgers, quesadillas, crackers, jalapeno peppers, melons, grapes, pickled vegetables, and olives.
You can also consume it as an appetizer. It can melt well over baked chicken and bacon. It also goes well with light beer.
Pepper Jack Cheese paired well with slightly sweet white wines like Moscato, Chardonnay, Riesling, or dessert wines. The sweetness of the wine balances the spiciness of the cheese.
Now, you know you can freeze the pepper jack cheese very well. It stays good for up to 6 months if freezes properly.
You need to refrigerate the opened pepper jack cheese so that it stays in good condition for longer.
Pepper jack cheese is versatile as it can be paired well with many dishes.
If you extend the life of pepper jack, freeze it in a proper way. When you want to consume it, you need to defrost it in the refrigerator or thaw in the microwave or in cold water and it is ready to use.