Handy dairy freezing guide

dairy foods

Check out this handy guide for freezing and defrosting dairy foods

You can freeze almost anything to extend its shelf life. Keep your dairy delights fresh with these super handy tips! 


Ever thought about freezing milk? It's a lifesaver when you're nearing its use-by date. 


For best results, freeze it right after purchase to keep its taste and texture at its best. Just pour out about half a cup from the bottle or carton to allow for expansion and pop it in the freezer. 

For a smoothie-ready solution, try freezing milk in ice cube trays. When you're ready to defrost, a 24-hour stint in the fridge and a good shake will do the trick.


Absolutely! Hard cheeses like parmesan, cheddar, and mozzarella freeze like a dream. You can grate, bag and freeze or just freeze the entire block.

hard cheese

Block cheese first, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Then, place the wrapped cheese in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container to further protect it from moisture. 

Make sure to label the package with the date before placing it in the freezer. When you're ready to use the frozen cheese, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before consuming. 

Please note that the texture of the cheese may change slightly after freezing, so it's best used in cooked dishes rather than for snacking.

Soft cheese - Soft and fresh varieties like brie or ricotta, on the other hand, don't fare as well in the freeze-thaw process - unless they're part of a prepped dish like lasagne or quiche.


Now, let's talk yoghurt. It's a go for the freeze! 


Best practice is to freeze in its original, unopened container. For flavoured yoghurts, stir first to ensure even freezing. Planning on using it in your baking or smoothies? 

Freeze it in an ice cube tray for easy use. Defrosting will require some patience - a full 24 hours in the fridge will do.

Here's a quick cheat-sheet for freezing timelines:

  • Milk: 3 months
  • Cheese: 6 months
  • Yoghurt: 2 months

Remember the golden rule: always defrost in the fridge, never at room temperature.

Wondering about UHT and powdered milk? Both are just as nutritious as chilled milk and they offer great shelf-stable alternatives. Just remember to refrigerate after opening or reconstituting!

And finally, a word on date markings. 'Use-by' is the one to watch. It's the last date for safe and legal use. If your milk is going off before its use-by date, it might be time to check your fridge temperature.

For more dairy wisdom, visit dairy.com.au

Dairy Australia Storing dairy foods

Keep in mind that the information provided is based on what's available at the time of publication and may not be current afterwards. Always seek professional advice for your specific needs.

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