West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe

Tips for Melting Cheese

October 11, 2012
117 replies | Posted by Cathy Back to Blog

Tips for melting cheeseCooking with cheese can be somewhat tricky. What cheeses melt well and how do you make a cheese sauce that’s smooth and creamy instead of gritty? Following is a summary of The Rules of Melting Cheese by Robert Wolke, Fine Cooking.

Tip #1

If you find a recipe you like, use the cheese that’s listed. Substituting a different cheese may not have the same outcome.

Tip #2

Use a cheese that will melt the way you want it to. If you want stringy, go with Mozzarella, Provolone or Fresh Cheese Curds. If you want smooth and creamy for a fondue or cheese sauce, try Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Asiago, Emmentaler, Fontina, Gruyère, Havarti, Muenster, Gouda, Blue cheeses (they melt around the mold), Soft-ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert (without the rind), or Parmigiano-Reggiano (finely grate and add to a sauce or a dish with moisture, they won’t melt very well alone.)

If you are unsure how a particular type of cheese might melt, check the Cheese Encyclopedia found on our website. It will give you a description of the cheese and whether or not it can be used for cooking.

Tip #3

Do NOT heat the cheese too long or too high. Even the right kind of cheese will become gritty or hard if it gets overheated because it changes the natural state of the protein.

There are a few steps you can take to prevent this from happening.

  • Grate the cheese first before melting. It’s easiest to grate the cheese when cold.
  • Let the cheese reach room temperature after grating. It will lessen the amount of time it needs to melt.
  • Use low heat when cooking. If you are broiling, wait until the end to add the cheese and broil just until melted and slightly browned.
  • Another important point for cheese sauces is to add the cheese only after the sauce has thickened. Then cook on low heat just until it melts, stirring constantly. Do NOT let it boil. If the sauce boils before adding the cheese, remove the sauce from the heat source altogether and then add the cheese. Stir until smooth.
  • Use high quality cheeses to get the best results.

Let West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe help you choose the right cheese for all your cooking needs. To find out more about our cheese store hours and products, please call (414) 289-8333.

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