How to Wax Cheese for Long Term Storage
(Perky Prepping Gramma) – 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.
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 boiler, parchment paper, a thermometer, boar bristle brush, cheese 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 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.
All photos are from the original article.
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