Waxing cheese is really quite simple and it will keep for a year or longer without refridgeration- if done correctly.
This is a great way to preserve homemade and store bought cheese!
Start with purchasing your cheese wax-I prefer the red but it is also available in black. Buy the 5 pound block if possible because once you start doing this you will never want to go back to keeping it stored in the fridge!
You can find it online through Amazon for the best prices.
what you will need:
Cheese (any hard cheeses will do fine) Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Monterey etc. Cheese wax Cheese Cloth, Foil, and a double boiler or a smaller pan of water with larger on top to melt wax and white vinegar
Caution!!!!Wax is highly flammable do not heat directly on stove!
Lay down foil on flat surface-this is where you will place your cheese to let wax set up. Next cut cheese blocks into desired size. An 8 oz. block is perfect for a larger family or split into 2 pieces for a smaller family. Now take the cheesecloth and dampen with vinegar (don’t saturate) and wipe down all the sides of each block of cheese-this will inhibit mold growth and kills any bacteria. While the cheese is drying melt 1-2 pounds of cheese wax in your double boiler. This takes awhile as you don’t want to rush it but stir occasionally as you don’t want it getting too hot. It should be warm enough to melt the wax yet not so hot it will burn if it gets on you. Once wax is thoroughly melted remove from heat and grasping a block of cheese firmly (it gets slippery) dip first edge in the wax let the excess run off and place on foil dipped side up t set. Repeat with all blocks. Continue dipping opposite sides of block letting each set before continuing to the next side. if wax begins getting too thick then reheat again. Once you have all sides covered in wax let it set in a cool place for a few minutes then repeat the steps all over again until each block is coated twice. If you get a bubble or a seam cracks simply redip that section do not try to peel it away!
satisfied all air is locked out you can now store this cheese on a shelf in single layers-do not let them touch each other and if you are having a mouse problem simply tie each block in a mesh bag or old clean panty hose and hang in a cool, dry and dark place.
When ready to use your cheese simply peel off the wax, rinse in warm soapy water-not hot! and rinse in cool water with a bit of vinegar added to disinfect. Let dry then bag up for the next time. This can be used over and over!
If you get a block with a bit of mold on it don’t throw it away, cut that part off the rest is still good and will not hurt you and remember if your cheese tastes different it is because it has aged!
One last thing-this wax is difficult to get out of pans so choose a pan you can dedicate to waxing alone and it will make your life much easier.