All cheese varieties can spoil. That’s why natural preservation processes and refrigeration are necessary to maintain the quality of the product.
One of the standard ways to preserve cheese is to cover it in wax. When you know how to create this protective barrier correctly, the technique can help to extend the life of what you’ve made by several months – and sometimes years.
You’ll want to follow these steps to ensure the technique is performed correctly.
Steps to Follow When Waxing Cheese
1. Clean the Cheese
The waxing process works best when you have fresh cheese to use. After you press and form what you want to preserve, the product needs to dry in a cool location for a few days. Lay a loose cheesecloth piece over it to keep dust away. You may see some mold start forming after a week – it must get removed before the next step. A vinegar or brine wash usually works, then give the product a couple of hours to dry.
2. Melt the Wax
Although you can use a high-heat method for waxing cheese, it is safer to use lower temperatures. Heat the wax in a bowl placed inside a pot of water on the stove. One it turns to a liquid state, place a piece of foil down to catch drips between the cheese and waxing pot.
3. Baste the Cheese
Start applying the wax to the cheese using a natural bristle brush. Silicone options don’t maintain the temperature as well, causing the wax to solidify around the tool until it becomes unusable. Work quickly to get a good coating over most of the cheese.
4. Let the Wax Harden
You will not get all of the cheese waxed in one sitting because part of the product must sit on a flat surface. After you apply the wax to what you can reach, let it harden. Flipping it over too soon will cause the wax to stick or peel away, forcing you to start over.
5. Repeat the Process
After the first wax coat hardens on your cheese, finish the remaining surface. It must also get a chance to set before you go to the next step.
6. Give It a Second Coat
Once the first coat of wax entirely covers your cheese, repeat the steps another time. An excellent protective layer typically has three coats to it. You may need even more if you have a sensitive cheese variety that requires protection. Each new layer must harden before you can keep going.
7. Let the Remainder of the Wax Harden
Keep the natural bristle brush in the wax after you are finished working with the cheese. Once it hardens, you can store both items in the same container. It helps to make sure there is enough room for a lid to seal on top.
When Is High-Temperature Wax Necessary?
High-temperature wax is needed when you want to prevent mold development underneath the protective layer. The low-temp method doesn’t make the coating hot enough to kill any lingering spores.
The process for protecting cheese in wax is the same as the high-temperature method. Instead of brushing on the protective layer, you dip the entire product in the wax before pulling it out to cool.
Please remember to remove any unattended wax from the stove. It can catch on fire, and the vapors are also flammable once the liquid reaches a flashpoint.
For a more in-depth look at How to Wax Cheese watch this video
Video Credit to HammockHavenFarm