Alright, I am an admitted cheese hound…don’t believe I have met any cheese that I didn’t like but I always thought for long term storage that you either had to keep it refrigerated or as someone I know did on TV, you had to wax it for long term storage. OR you had to buy the freeze dried stuff at something close to a mortgage payment. Imagine this…you can CAN any cheese (water bath or pressure) or dehydrate it as I did previously with cottage cheese. And do so safely! Ssshhh! Don’t tell the food police I said that!
Pretty straight forward…I love cheddar cheese but this will work with ANY type of cheese.
Place your chosen cheese on a fruit leather tray thinly and dehydrate at 125 degrees until crunchy and vacuum seal!
There is a catch however. If you use regular cheese you will have to deal with the ‘fat’ that comes out of it. Originally I thought I would get smart and well, put paper towel under it while dehydrating but when I checked it half way through some had ‘melted’ to it. So don’t that at home folks…instead, dehydrate and after doing so place on a towel and pat the oil off and then vacuum seal! Each pouch contains approximately 1 lb of shredded cheddar cheese. Great crunchy snack by the way!
Next, I got squirrelly and tried canning it. You can can any cheese! Quartz, pints or half pints…it up to you as is the method either water bath OR Pressure canner. It is recommended for best results as to texture, taste and color to use the water bath method and here is how you do it:
Just like canning anything you will want sterilized jars and lids…get your canning water going so that it is ready and the lids too.
You will then take your clean jars and place them into a pan or pot that is big enough to hold the empty jars. Next, fill the pot/pan with enough water to get the water level at least 1/3 of the way up the side of the jars.
Turn on the heat and add small amounts of cheese (either shredded or cubed, I used shredded) to each jar, stirring occasionally as it melts. Add more cheese and allow to melt and so on until you have the jars full of melted cheese leaving ½ inch head space.
I used a clean butter/dinner knife to stir.
Turn off the heat. Because most cheese is ‘greasy’ I used straight vinegar to clean the jar lips and ring area. Then add the lids and rings as you usually would. Finger tight and then place into the canner.
If you choose to use the water bath method as I did here are the processing times:
Start the time once it comes back to a boil.
Pints and half pints for 30 minutes
Quartz for 45 minutes
If you are using a pressure canner please remember to build up the pressure as normal and then bring to proper pressure then start your time:
Less than 1,000 feet in elevation:
Quartz: 10 minutes at 10 lbs pressure
Pints and half pints: 5 minutes at 10 lbs pressure
Over 1,000 feet in elevation:
Quartz: 10 minutes at 15 lbs pressure
Pints and half pints: 5 minutes at 15 lbs pressure.
As always, remember to carefully take out, place on a towel and cover to allow the processed jars to cool and seal properly. Once cool they will solidify again and presto! Real canned cheese!
Note: best to use wide mouth jars for ease of getting back out!