Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to Wax Cheese for Long Term Storage...

Being prepared for any type of SHTF isn't hard if we plan ahead. Imagine, the grid is down and you are making a recipe that calls for cheese...and you have a hankering for the real thing. Gooey, unadulterated, dripping cheese...then you remember you have precious bundles of stored waxed cheese.
Look at how good this looks...


Real cheese is one of those items I would rather have in any emergency situation. Who doesn't love cheese? Unless you are lactose intolerant. I have tried various cheese products for long term storage & haven't found one to compare to the taste of real cheese. Being the kind of gal I am, I knew I had to learn this vital skill of how to wax cheese for long term storage

Equipment: You will need dedicated equipment for waxing, since you won't be able to get these items clean again. Get your equipment. You need a double boilerparchment paper, a thermometerboar bristle brushcheese wax & muslin.  I wound up purchasing all the items I needed on Amazon.
Now you are almost ready to get started.






Next you need to purchase your cheeses. Use hard cheeses. Test it before buying by pressing your thumb into the cheese, it needs to not leave a thumb imprint to be dry enough. Also avoid cheap brands, I could almost guarantee they will give you problems in storage. I personally have had excellent results with various Gouda & cheddar cheeses.




Prep & dry the cheese. Since this was my first time, I worked with small batches of cheese. I cut them into meal sized portions. Wiped it down with vinegar & wrapped it loosely with a paper towel. Then let it it out on the counter to get to room temp. & to dry it out more. Pat it down to remove moisture. Because moisture will interfere with the adhering process.




Break up the wax (TIP: take the plastic wrapping off before you cut it) and melt in a double boiler until your temp. reaches 180 – 200 degrees. I will be getting a larger pan set for waxing.






 Wash your hands. Dip half of each block of cheese, slowly in & out of the wax.



 Hold it over the pot for a few seconds to allow the excess wax to drip off.



Gently set on parchment paper (it's smooth surface will help eliminate lumps & bumps in the wax). Set the side you just dipped facing upwards. Let it cool for at least 90 seconds.



 Then dip the opposite side of the cheese. Dip 3 times (3 layers).



 Then brush one more layer on. Look for spaces where it may have not been covered.



If you want to you can cut the labels out from the cheese wrappers ahead of time and then add the labels to the block of waxed cheese and wax a thin coat over the label. It will adhere the label and you can still read the label. 



After your cheese is waxed wrap up the brush and thermometer up in foil for the next time. Let the wax cool in the double boiler, then pack everything away in a special box with all your waxing equipment together.



For storage: After the wax is sufficiently dried, wrap the blocks in cheese cloth. Like a gift package. 





Store in a cool, dark place & fairly dry. It should last for years and years (8-10 years). Either store on a wire rack or hanging in pantyhose sure, I don't use those anymore LOL. But I will stress it depends on how well you follow the instructions and how well you store the cheese. Check it periodically for seepage, mold or cracks in the wax.


TIP: Unless you live off grid, I actually currently store mine in the fridge since I have the space. But, I know if something should happen I will have a nice amount of cheese stored.


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 Waxing Cheese again...

September is National Preparedness Month and The Prepared Bloggers are at it again!

It's safe to say that our ultimate goal is to help you have an emergency kit, a family plan, and the knowledge to garden, preserve your harvest and use useful herbs every day – without spending a ton of money to do it. Luckily that’s obtainable for every family and a journey we would love to help you with. This year we have posts about food storage, 72-hour Kits & Bug Out Bags, and every aspect of preparedness, from water storage to cooking off grid. You’ll also find many ideas to help you be more self-reliant. Look for information on the big giveaway we've put together for later in the month. Be sure to visit our sites and learn as much as you can about being prepared. We'll be using the hashtag #30DaysOfPrep for these and many other ideas throughout the month of September, so join in the conversation and make 2015 the year you become prepared.

Food Storage

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18 comments:

  1. great way to store when its on sale.
    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never thought about doing this, but waxing cheese really is a great way to store it. Time to start taking advantage of sales on cheese!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great Instructions. I think I may even be able to do this! And my biggest comfort food is cheese.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Replies
    1. Donna,
      Others will suggest not but I personally believe that you will need cheese wax (links above).

      Delete
  5. For the cheese that you already waxed and placed in your fridge....when you take it out of the fridge does it get condensation on it? Or when its setting out to get to room temperature, that doesn't cause the wax to separate from the cheese? I'm just curious :) If there were ever a need to 'bug out' and I grabbed a bunch from the fridge to take with me, I want to make sure it's not going to spoil from condensation or something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer,
      Honestly I just haven't tried it since I am blessed with abundant fridge space at the time.

      Delete
  6. If I'm going to the trouble of waxing my cheese I'm not going to need to refrigerate it. It's unnecessary. The wax protects the cheese. Also the longer it's stored the less lactose is in the cheese. Older dryer types have none in them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have waxes cheese several times using name brand store bought cheeses. After wiping with vinegar, I let the pieces dry out for 4-5 days before waxing -- even to the point of becoming hard & cracking on all the edges. I put 3-4 layers of wax & stored in a cool dark pantry. Still, my cheese would weep after a few months. What's wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Majestic,
      All I am able to suggest is doing that thumbprint test, hard cheeses work better and find a way to lower the temps in your storage area.

      Delete
  8. Does you cheese continue to age in storage after its waxed? I had some mild cheddar in the fridge in Its original wrap and it aged to sharp cheddar within a couple of months.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How to prepare for emergency situations, like a blizzard?
    survival gear for the apocalypse

    ReplyDelete
  11. How do you know this method of waxing the cheese will last 8-10 years outside of cold storage, if you're not keeping it outside of cold storage? Personally I'd rather keep it out of cold storage and see how long it actually lasts rather than a theoretical number that only tells you how long it might last under ideal conditions (as we all know conditions in real life are rarely perfectly ideal! ��) It would be a shame to go to all this work and only find out later, when you really needed it, that it wasn't as effective as you thought.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How do you know this method of waxing the cheese will last 8-10 years outside of cold storage, if you're not keeping it outside of cold storage? Personally I'd rather keep it out of cold storage and see how long it actually lasts rather than a theoretical number that only tells you how long it might last under ideal conditions (as we all know conditions in real life are rarely perfectly ideal! ��) It would be a shame to go to all this work and only find out later, when you really needed it, that it wasn't as effective as you thought.

    ReplyDelete
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