Dehydrating cheese at home may seem like a lot of work, but it can be a fun hobby and adventure. Plus, who wouldn’t want some extra cheese lying around? Cheese is one of those foods that go well with just about anything.
Before you get started, make sure you pick the right cheese. What are you looking for? Is it protein? Flavor? Age? All cheese is different, and it will make a difference when you dehydrate it. Dehydrated cheese is better when you use a cheese that has been aging for at least a few days.
To make the best dry cheese, you will also need a good food dehydrator. This process takes a while, so you should be patient and plan to spend at least 12 hours drying your cheese.
Why start dehydrating cheese at home?
There are various reasons why you would want to dehydrate cheese. For one, it saves you money because you will be using the leftover cheese that could go bad from one day to the next. You can also make a healthy snack that goes well in many things, including popcorn, trail mix, salads, and more. As if that wasn’t enough, dehydrated cheese is a great ingredient to have handy when you are cooking, as it can add flavor, thickness, and crunch.
If you haven’t made dehydrated cheese at home, you may think it is a complex process. In reality, though, the dehydration itself is easy. You may have to check on your cheese every so often, but the dehydrator does most of the work on its own. You can start dehydrating any time, while you clean the house, on a lazy Sunday, or overnight.
Once your cheese is ready, you should let it cool down, but you can keep it safe in a cool, dry place. It will last for months if you keep it at a normal temperature and with an airtight container.
What are you waiting for? Dehydrating cheese is easier than it seems, and it truly is a fun experience. Try dehydrating your favorite cheese, using it later on in whatever recipe you want, or as a quick but healthy snack. And why not gift some dehydrated cheese? You will be surprised at how tasty this cheese is and how much your friends and family will like it.
Enjoy your dehydrated cheese any time, any day, and without the worry about cost or spoilage.
If you love making cheese at home, you’ll surely love dehydrating cheese at home. What better snack is there than cheese and nuts? Or how about cheese that can be used year-round?
You can use homemade cheese and dehydrate it for preservation. While store-bought cheese may work, we’re basing this guide on using homemade cheese for superior results.
Dehydrating Cheese at Home Is Now Easier Than Ever
Let’s talk about making cheese at home first
Why would you go through the tedious process of making cheese? Well, for starters, there is more to cheese than you might realize.
You can use cheese in salads, trail mix, charcuterie boards, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and more. Cheese is a high-protein food that can replace meat entirely.
Another reason to make cheese is to use all that leftover milk or dairy products. Instead of letting it go to waste, use it appropriately, and make delicious cheese for your family.
Reduce your waste with a good, fun hobby, which can then be preserved even longer.
Now that we’ve covered why you should make cheese, let’s dig deep into the 6 steps for dehydrating cheese at home:
Step #1: Make sure your cheese has aged in the fridge first
Using fresh cheese for dehydrating is not a good idea. Instead, allow your chosen cheese to age for around 5-8 days in the refrigerator.
This process allows the cheese to lose some moisture, but also for the flavors to settle.
Step #2: Check for extra moisture
One step that people sometimes skip is removing excess water. It is a key part of the process for your cheese to be able to dry appropriately and evenly.
If the cheese seems too moist after the 8 days, rub the outside of the cheese with some salt, and allow it to absorb the excess water. This will happen in about 12 hours.
In the middle, though, at 6 hours, you need to rotate the cheese so that both sides dry evenly.
After this time, wipe the salt from the cheese and also any other extra moisture you see on the surface.
Wrap your dry cheese in a plastic wrapper or any airtight alternative, and leave it in the fridge for another week or more.
While it seems long, this process allows your cheese to truly dry while developing the complex flavors.
Step #3: Time to start dehydrating cheese
To start the dehydration, remove the cheese from the fridge and cut it into cubes, about ½ inch wide. If you want to use them as crumbles, you can cut them into smaller pieces.
Place as a single layer on the dehydrator tray. Make sure your dehydrator is set to the lowest temperature, and you are ready to go.
Allow the dehydrator to work slowly, but don’t raise the temperature, as this can cause the cheese to burn because the lactose, or sugar, dries too quickly.
Step #4: Check on the cheese
Allow at least 12 hours to pass, but check on the cheese every so often. After this period, rotate the trays, and test the cheese to see if it’s ready.
Some cheeses will dry quicker due to less water content. In some cases, the model and potency of the dehydrator affect the drying time too.
To see if it’s done, you need to check that the cheese is hard and crunchy, and it should be light brown.
Your cheese shouldn’t be rubbery, though it may have some oil on the surface due to the fat in the cheese.
Step #5: Store appropriately
When you are sure the cheese is dry, remove it from the dehydrator and allow it to cool down outside.
Once cool, store your dehydrated cheese in a glass jar with a tight lid, or a plastic airtight container. Store the cheese in a cool and dry place to prevent moisture and light from ruining your product.
Step #6: Enjoy your dehydrated cheese in many ways
While it may seem unnecessary to dry cheese for some, the truth is that it is a great addition to snacks and meals alike.
These are some ideas:
- Make your granola with cheese for a sweet and savory breakfast or snack
- Add to salads for more protein
- Replace Parmesan cheese in casseroles and pasta
- Mix it with your favorite nuts and dried fruit for a homemade trail mix
- Make a cheese sauce or dip
- Use it for seasoning popcorn
- Make cheese bread, pizza, or biscuits
- Add it to gift baskets for friends during the holidays or birthdays
Some people even store their dehydrated cheese in Ziploc bags for a quick pick-me-up at work or during walks.
What are you waiting for? Dehydrating cheese is the new pastime you didn’t know you needed. Plus, you get a new healthy, protein-rich food that lasts longer than any other.
Now that you’ve learned about the steps to dehydrate cheese at home, why not learn how to dehydrate ground beef next? Check out the 5 Secrets to Dehydrating Ground Beef Safely!