Sunday, November 28, 2010

Canning Cream Cheese

NOTE:  Canning dairy products is not FDA approved.  These are my own experiments and not recommended for anyone else.  Do not try this in your own kitchen.

A few days ago, I posted random pictures of our life in a shouse and have found out that there are a lot of other people that would also like to can cream cheese.

Let me say, I have never canned cream cheese before this experiment.  I happened to come into a rather large quantity (35# to be exact) of cream cheese and was at a loss as to what to do with it!  Cream cheese does not freeze very well (the texture is never the same) and I have no way to use 35 pounds of cream cheese at one time, so I had to get creative.

My 35 pound block of cream cheese
I scoured the Internet and finally came up with an obscure reference to canning cream cheese (buried in another canning article) and thought I would give it a try.  I have changed the directions a bit (I found the other method to be more than frustrating!), but, so far, I have been very pleased with the result.

First, as when canning anything, wash and sterilize your jars.  My preference would be wide-mouth half-pint jars, but I used whatever I had on hand, which were mostly narrow mouth pint jars.

Sterilizing my jars
The canning instructions that I read, said to cut the cream cheese into chunks, put it in the jars, put the jars in an open bath canner with hot water almost up to the top of the jars and melt the cream cheese, adding more cheese until the jar was full.  After four hours and no noticeable difference to the cream cheese - I rejected this concept!  Instead, I turned my generator on and melted the cream cheese in the microwave.  Had my wood cookstove been on (I canned the cream cheese a couple of months ago) I would have put it all in a pot on my stove and melted it that way.

Preparing to melt the cream cheese
After the cream cheese was sufficiently softened, I scooped it into my sterilized jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace.  I wiped the jar rim, put freshly boiled lids on the jars and capped them off with a ring.  Then I put the jars of cream cheese into my water bath canner (filled with water), brought it to a boil and boiled the cream cheese vigorously for 40 minutes.  I then removed the jars from the canner and set them on a counter to cool.  That's all there is to it!

In the canner


Just out of the canner

The cream cheese canned wonderfully.  When you open a jar and stir your cream cheese, it becomes silky smooth and perfect to use in any of your recipes that call for cream cheese.  As I said, I only canned this cheese about two months ago, so, as of yet, I cannot attest to the long term survivability of home canned cream cheese, but I can say that, at this point, I am very pleased.

The next thing I am going to try is home canned Devonshire Cream (thanks for the idea Mom).  I'll let you know how it turns out!

23 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the cheese post! And yep, another Texan!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm surprised that you can use a water bath to can cream cheese. I would have thought you'd need a pressure canner. Is there enough acid in the cream cheese for the water bath to be safe?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for posting this! I have never seen a recipe for canning cream cheese before. I'll have to give it a try. Just think of the cheese cakes and sweet rolls in the future. Mmmmm...
    Goldie

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've heard of water bathing milk and cheese before. Jackie Clay of Backwoods Home Magazine does it, but I've only heard her doing regular cheese and butter.

    Where did the time for processing come from? I'm curious as to why that particular length of time.

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the same amount of time that the different website give for canning regular cheese.

      Delete
  5. NO WAY! I have been reading through your archives and looooove your blog and its content. I am in Texas also. Like minded women, I tell ya!
    I have about 30 pounds of cream cheese also and so far I have frozen only 11 pounds. I am canning other cheese so I will give this a whirl also.
    Thanks for your wonderful insight.
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, my ! Are you trying to kill yourself and everyone else ? This is VERY dangerous. Not only is canning any sort of dairy unsafe, using a bwb canner is worse yet. You cannot kill botulism in a BWB canner. This is BOTULISM I am talking about. It can cause death or paralyze you !!
    Also, you cannot sterilize jars in an oven. To sterilize you must boil the jars covered in water for 10 min. or more.
    I am a professional Master Food Preserver, trained in food preservation and safety. You need to freeze cream cheese.
    Did you also know that you will be libel under law if someone does this and dies or gets sick ??

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh my heck. Did they have a hay day or what? We have been canning our entire lives. We lived through it. You can sterilize a jar in an oven it is hot enough. Keep your home canning projects coming I love them!
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  8. So now that is has been several months since canning the cream cheese, how are newly opened jars holding up? Any difference in the taste or consistency of the cream cheese? Are the jars still looking nice? It sure would be nice if this works long term!

    Also, for those who are so concerned about a hot water bath, has anyone tried pressure cooking the jars of cream cheese?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would also love to hear an update on the cream cheese since its been several months :) Love that you're going against what the FDA says is safe. I appreciate this hard to find knowledge!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I might have missed it, but did you post an update on your canned cream cheese yet? Alot of us are waiting to hear how it holds up. I just canned Mozzarella, Swiss and CoJack cheese today. They look great. I melted them down slowly in a heavy pot and it worked great. Next I'm going to try cheese whiz. I found a recipe in an Amish cookbook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had that Amish Cookbook. How did you process the mozzarella. In a water bath or pressure canner? For how long? I assume you melted it first? On top of stove? Is it still holding up ok? Have you tried some of it yet? Thanks. I love this site...just discovered it through a friend and I am grateful.
      le

      Delete
  11. I am quite against most FDA rules as each year they change more and more..But I do have to say that I really feel like water bath for dairy is just plain not thinking straight.. I can butter, milk & cheese ALL of the time but I ALWAYS use my pressure cooker...

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would LOVE to hear how you can dairy with your pressure canner. It is hard to find any info on canning dairy, period. I have not been pleased with the long term flavor of canning most dairy products (other than hard cheese). I would really love to know your secrets. Thanks so much.
    Enola

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found a milk canning youtube she put the milk in the pressure canner let the canner vent for 10 min put the 10lb weight on the canner brought it up to 10lb pressure and turned off the canner. She said it tastes just like fresh milk. My goats have just freshen and I will give it a try. How did your c cheese turn out?

      Delete
  13. You absolutely cannot sterilize in an oven. The effects of dry heat and moist heat on bacteria are completely different. You MUST have moist heat. I am a scientist with a focus on microbiology, and while many FDA rules may seem arbitrary, this is not. Many foods make bacteria extremely happy to feed upon, and dairy is one of those. Just because no one has gotten sick YET doesn't make it safe to condone. Do the wise thing and freeze a surplus of dairy.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Im curious to know how well the cream cheese worked also and how do some people think our ancestors preserved food before freezers love the idea done butter for the first time this year

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi! Would like to know how your cream cheese has turned out so far.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi, I first read about canning cheese, including cream cheese on this website: http://homeschoolblogger.com/frontierfreedom/2010/05/canning-cheese/ I'm also curious about how your cream cheese turned out.

    Hey, Anonymous, would you share how you pressure can your dairy stuff? I would also feel more comfortable to pressure can if the quality is good.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. July 20, 2012 was Enola's last entry and now it is February 25,2013....maybe the cream cheese was not as safe as she thought???????

    ReplyDelete
  18. She made a later post about it getting stronger and stronger and then going rancid - the same as her butter did. However, I've heard others say that they didn't have this problem of going rancid. She found that it stored just fine in its packaging in her parents root cellar.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I opened a jar of mine and it was perfect after a year.
    Just keep everything clean and waterbath method works.
    Glad I didn't listen to government fears..,....

    ReplyDelete
  20. Let me first say that I was a Certified Dietary Manager and Food Safety Expert before I retired. I am very concerned about quality and safety of the foods we preserve and eat. HOWEVER, I also believe that the FDA is heavily discouraging ALL home canning - and that drives me crazy. I've canned many different foods for many years. Use tried and true recipes, and keep things very clean. I sterilize my jars by using bleach in my wash water. Bleach works best at 140 degrees F, which is usually a lot hotter than the tap. Run hot water into the basin, then add a pot of boiling water, if you're at all unsure. There is a difference between sanitizing and sterilizing. It doesn't take much to sanitize, but more to sterilize.I don't measure but I'd say about a 1/4 cup would do it. Rinse VERY well and use immediately. I have canned cheese and butter with very good results. Butter is best if it is clarified, taking the milk solids out, resulting in ghee. However, I just usually melt it, pour it into jars and process it. No problems at all. I too have had the amish cookbook with the cheese whiz recipe. It also has a Velveeta type chees recipe that I have made. I made it and it came out great, but the cheese has to be very inexpensive to warrent the effort. It's made by basically adding water to different melted cheeses. Don't be discouraged!

    ReplyDelete