Author Topic: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago  (Read 19991 times)

Offline Kilgor

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http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/10-things-i-wish-i-had-known-about-food-storage-10-years-ago/

By Kellene Bishop (NOT ME!  :) )

I hate having to learn dumb lessons.  Don’t you?  As I’ve looked back and realized all the simple tricks and strategies I’ve learned over the last 10 years, I cringe at the thought of all of the money, time, anxiety, and energy I’ve wasted.  So I decided to share them with you.  You’re sure to learn something in this list!  I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes NOW!

   1. Yeast will last indefinitely if stored in your freezer!  Outside the freezer it only lasts a year, but inside that freezing climate it lasts over 5 years—so far.  When I use it in my bread, I just use it directly from the freezer into my bread dough with no problem.  I cringe at the though of all of the yeast I’ve wasted over several years.

   2. I can obtain food storage for FREE or better, and certainly inexpensively, if I just use coupons and an organized system!  Now that’s really something to cringe about!  I acquired a great deal of my food storage over the years from Costco, but now that I can get name brands for free or dirt cheap elsewhere, I figure I can’t afford to shop at Costco, thanks to coupons! It really IS worth using coupons.  I can’t believe I was so pious to think that coupons were “beneath me.”



   3. Cooking with a pressure cooker is a sanity saver.  They are fast, nutritious, fuel friendly and SO easy to use!  I wish I hadn’t been afraid of them way back when.  I’m so grateful that a patient teacher showed me their merits!  

   4. Yes, you can CAN MEATS!  And it’s the easiest thing in the world to can.  Simply stuff the RAW meat into a mason jar with a bit of salt, put the clean lids on it, put the jars in your pressure canner for the recommended period of time, and VOILA!  You have BETTER THAN CANNED meat.  (The canned stuff you buy has been processed twice.)  This meat will be SO tender, so juicy, and will save you a BUNDLE over the canned stuff!  (Let’s see.  Tastes better.  25% cheaper.  Easy to do. Dang!  I wish I could relive the last 10 years!)

   5. Cheese wax is a God-send!  I can have all of the REAL cheese I want if I simply use cheese wax to preserve it!  The cheese will keep for 25 years using this method.  Now I’ve got Swiss, Monterey Jack, Colby, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar, Gouda, Blue Cheese, and even a delicious smoked cheese literally sitting pretty in my food storage!  If I had known about cheese wax 10 years ago, I would have made much better use of the cheese sales over the years and never tried that nasty processed stuff.



   6. Preserving eggs that I buy from the store is a snap!  After I wrote a lengthy article on egg preservation, I discovered that a quarter cup of warmed mineral oil, coated on my eggs that I buy from the grocery store works great.  I then can store them pointed side down in a Styrofoam carton, in a cool, dry place.  I don’t have to get the eggs FRESH from a farm.  And I don’t have to stack them carefully in anything.  How’s that for easy?!  I have WHOLE, REAL eggs for up to 9 months!  Forget the bran flakes, the paraffin wax, the salt storage.   Just some mineral oil is PERFECT.  WOW!

   7. I never have to live without yummy chocolate again!  I can buy all of the candy bars, Hershey kisses, chocolate chips, peanut M&Ms, Dove chocolates, Lindt chocolates, stuff them in a Mason jar, and with my trusty Food Saver jar attachment, seal their goodness for YEARS!  (I like getting them on sale after a holiday)  This also works for ANYTHING that doesn’t require refrigeration.  When I open the jar years later, they still taste as fresh and yummy as they would have on the day I bought it!
 
   8. ONLY store what you eat.  If I don’t eat it, I won’t eat it, and thus it’s a waste of money.  If you can’t eat wheat, DON’T store it.  If you can’t stand the taste of powdered milk, store canned milk or soy milk instead.  Fortunately I’ve learned to prepare all my oddball foods that weren’t previously in my regular diet, but it sure would have saved me some headaches if I had done things differently.  If I store what I eat, the rotation is a cinch!

   9. You can have meals already made, cooked, and stored in a Mason jar!  You can bake bread, cake, cookies, casseroles, pudding, and more, in a Mason jar, seal it, and they will last for SEVERAL years!  That way you don’t have to figure out how to cook up something every day while you’re enduring a crisis.  Do it in comfort now, so you can live in comfort even in the worst of disasters!  

  10.  Solar ovens are the bomb–not just in an emergency, but every single day the sun shines!  I LOVE cooking in mine.  I haven’t found anything that I can’t cook in it that doesn’t turn out wonderful!  I’ve essentially tripled the life of the fuel that I have stored, since I won’t need to use any of it on cooking anymore except on cloudy or rainy days!  Not having to worry or pay for a years supply of fuels such as propane, kerosene, fire wood or isopropyl alcohol, makes the price I would pay for a solar oven well worthwhile. So… like any woman, I bought two! :)



I’ll be writing more about each of these items later, if I haven’t done so already.  The point is food storage can be GLORIOUSLY DELICIOUS.  You don’t have to do without and it doesn’t have to be expensive and boring either.  One dollar a day, per person, will provide you with absolutely comforting and delightful meals regardless of your challenging circumstances.  Enjoy!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 05:55:03 PM by Kilgor »

Offline Mad_Man

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 04:45:51 PM »
http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/10-things-i-wish-i-had-known-about-food-storage-10-years-ago/

By Kellene Bishop (not me:) )


I was already to ask you questions until I saw the 'not me'.  Crap!  Oh well.  +1 for a great post with great ideas though!

sage0925

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 05:15:46 PM »
Double down on that "crap!" Mad Man...I wanted to know where you get cheese wax. I adore cheese, but the darn stuff goes bad so fast.

And the mineral oil and eggs is just what I was looking for.

Offline Kilgor

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 05:59:52 PM »
I changed it to caps and bold.  I definitely want to credit the author for this piece.  She gave permission to reprint it as long as it was credited.  I thought it provided several useful pieces of advice. 

As to cheese wax, it is readily available online.  Here's some links:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cheese+wax

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009, 06:50:34 PM »
+1 for bringing us the info!

Offline archer

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2009, 06:56:22 PM »
As to cheese wax, it is readily available online.  Here's some links:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cheese+wax
You can also get it here:
http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/p/63-Red-Wax-1-pound.html - 1 pound for $5.50 w/o shipping


And excellent post! I just need to get some mineral oil now...

Offline archer

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2009, 07:03:49 PM »
Here is a non-petroleum based perservative to use for egg storage:
http://www.eggcartons.com/product-exec/product_id/283/nm/KePeg_Egg_Preserver_KEP

sage0925

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2009, 07:12:21 PM »
Thanks for that link, Archer, but the mineral oil is a lot less expensive.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2009, 02:29:39 AM »
This one's getting added to The Repository.

Great article...
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 02:36:25 AM by Bailey »

Offline Beetle

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2009, 02:37:20 AM »
This one's getting added to The Repository.

Great article...

Great article

Offline Shadowrider

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2009, 05:15:44 PM »
Thanks for sharing, Kilgor. +1

Offline yrone

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2009, 08:08:52 PM »
Great post!

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 03:54:31 PM »
5. Cheese wax is a God-send!  I can have all of the REAL cheese I want if I simply use cheese wax to preserve it!  The cheese will keep for 25 years using this method.  Now I’ve got Swiss, Monterey Jack, Colby, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar, Gouda, Blue Cheese, and even a delicious smoked cheese literally sitting pretty in my food storage!  If I had known about cheese wax 10 years ago, I would have made much better use of the cheese sales over the years and never tried that nasty processed stuff.

OMG! I adore cheese... and if I can wax it and store it, I will be in heaven!

Thank you for sharing this. A big +1 for you!

Offline khristopher23

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2009, 01:42:23 PM »
That is one AWESOME post Kilgor! A definite +1 (should really be a +10)!

Edit:
One thing about using coupons. Last year my wife paid around $5 a month for something called "The Grocery Game". There was one for free, but after trying both, she said the paid one was MUCH better and easier to use, and had all kind of extra tips. It was 100% worth it, and we would still be doing it if they hadn't quit delivering the ATL paper up this way. We would get the double issue at wal mart for $2.50 with twice the coupons, and still eat breakfast at McDonalds and get all the free coupons there we could and not look like freaks!

But anyway that site told you what was on sale where and what coupons you should have if you saved them. Man did we get some deals. I remember once there were about 5 different coupons: one for hot dogs, salad dressing, and several other things. It was buy 2 kraft products and get free hotdogs, salad dressing and what ever. Then it had a hint- kool aid is a kraft product. The lady at the register gave us some funny looks for walking out with 10 free items after only buying 10 packs of kool aid and 10 kraft mac and cheese (I felt a little bad just buying kool aid, + the mac and cheese was only 50 cents a box)

Anyway, my edit turned out longer than my post, but I would highly recommend that grocery game to anyone interested in stocking up.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 01:53:34 PM by khristopher23 »

Offline LvsChant

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2009, 04:55:49 PM »
OK... so how exactly does the cheese wax work? I can see from the sites that you melt it in a double boiler and then paint it on the cheese with a pastry brush (2 or three coats), but can you just do this on cheese that you purchase in the store? Then how do you store it afterwards?

Offline khristopher23

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2009, 06:49:40 PM »
OK... so how exactly does the cheese wax work? I can see from the sites that you melt it in a double boiler and then paint it on the cheese with a pastry brush (2 or three coats), but can you just do this on cheese that you purchase in the store? Then how do you store it afterwards?

I'm curious about that as well. I like the Cabot cheese (especially the seriously sharp) that comes in blocks. Can I just get a block of that out of the dairy cooler at the grocery store, take out of the plastic wrapper, paint it with wax, and stick it on the shelf?

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2009, 07:05:12 PM »
I bought some cheese wax and it was delivered on Friday. I'll be testing it out this week and taking pictures.

I would imagine it would be stored like anything else - cool, dry, dark storage.

Offline archer

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2009, 05:17:00 PM »
Here's a link I found on using it:

http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/cheese-wax-will-save-us-all-2/

Cheese Wax Will Save Us All

Well, at least those of us who are addicted to cheese anyway.
Can you name at least 10 different kinds of cheese that you love?
Do you believe that cheese should be its own food group?
Are you helpless to abide by your diet unless it involves huge amounts of melted cheese?
Then this article is for you!

So picture this.  It’s a bona fide emergency survival situation.  You are holed up on your home and living off of the emergency preparedness supplies you stored.  And you’ve got one heck of a hankering for some yummy melted cheese.  But you’re just not in the mood for the Velveeta, that nasty powdered stuff, or the “squirt” kind of cheese.  You want a good solid bite of a yummy Monterey Jack, or Swiss, or a sharp cheddar.  (I’m making myself drool even as I write this.)  But hey, cheese doesn’t store for a very long time, right?  Well, in this case, I’m happy to tell you that you’re wrong.  And if you’re a true cheese addict, then you’ll be happy to hear that you’re wrong for once, right?
 
So here’s the good news.  You CAN have your favorite cheese on hand, even in an emergency, and even though no stores are open and you have no access to electricity.  All you have to do is buy the blocks of cheese that you want now in order to have them  stored for up to the next 25 years.  Cheese wax prevents your cheese from developing mold or bacteria and it keeps the moisture in.  Simply use a natural boar’s hair brush to apply the melted cheese wax liberally to your block of cheese, let it harden, and then, VOILA – you’ve got your wish.  Cheese treated with cheese wax will store for up to 25 years at a mild to cool temperature.  Sure, it will continue to age.  But it sure won’t get moldy!  Be sure that you select block sizes of cheese that you and your family can easily consume within a 3 to 5 day period in order to avoid it going bad once you’ve cut into it.
 
 
A couple of tips you should know though.
Don’t use paraffin wax.  It tends to crack.  Cheese wax warms at a cooler temperature and thus plies better to your cheese shapes and sizes.  Cheese wax is also less crumbly and you can use less of it than paraffin.

I have yet to find a cheese that I can’t wax.  So long as it’s hard enough to be in a block, you can wax it.
You don’t need cheesecloth, but if you desire to use it prior to your wax layers, it may be helpful getting the wax off.  I haven’t had any problems without it though.

It’s best to melt the cheese wax in a double boiler as opposed to direct heat.

The less you handle the cheese with your hands the better.

Don’t bother with dipping the cheese.  Your natural finger oils may cause cracking of the cheese wax.  Use a natural boar’s hair brush instead.  The reason why you want to use this kind of brush specifically is because other brushes will apply the cheese wax too thick, or with crevices, etc.  This kind of brush is perfect for cheese waxing.

You don’t need to use food-grade labels for your cheese, however, it’s smart to use a label on the outside of your cheese just prior to the last wax layer.  That way you don’t have to worry about it falling off.  Be sure to label not only the kind of cheese it is, but when it was waxed as well.
Don’t store your waxed cheese in additional containers.  Just stack them on top of like cheeses and let them breathe.  I like to hang them from the ceiling in a “fishing net” kind of contraption.

Be sure to check for pockets or crevices that didn’t get sealed.  Three thin layers of wax is a good practice.  There’s no need to do more coats than that.

The cheese surface should be clean and dry prior to waxing.

If your 2nd and 3rd coats are applied while the prior coat is still a bit warm you will get a better adhesion.

Cheese wax can be re-used several times.  You can simply wash it in warm water, let it dry and then re-melt it.  So when you remove cheese wax from your cheeses, you can simply reheat and reapply the wax.  Simply heat the cheese wax to about 110 degrees Celsius.  This will also ensure that you’re not transferring any bacteria or unnecessary moisture to your new cheese.

You do not need to filter the cheese wax after you melt it.  So don’t worry about that step.

Your first coat will have some unevenness to it.  Don’t worry.  The 2nd and 3rd coat will even it out just fine.

Cheese wax can be found multiple places online or in your local health food stores.  You should also have no problem finding a boar bristle brush either.  It doesn’t really matter what color of cheese wax you use.
 
Once you get the hang of this cheese waxing stuff you can progress to making your own cheese from powdered milk in any flavor you decide!  Yummy!
 

Offline LvsChant

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2009, 04:20:12 PM »
Oh, my gosh! that sounds so great... I have my cheese wax on order and will be looking forward to trying it. Nonstop cheese holidays (Wallace and Gromit fans out there?).

Probably need to increase my cheesemaking knowledge beyond the mozarella and ricotta stage (I ordered the kit you suggested, Archer) along with the cheese wax. Should have ordered the boar bristle brush... I was thinking my pastry brush should work fine... probably an erroneous assumption :)

+1 for all the helpful information!

Offline archer

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2009, 05:58:56 PM »
Oh, my gosh! that sounds so great... I have my cheese wax on order and will be looking forward to trying it. Nonstop cheese holidays (Wallace and Gromit fans out there?).
Wensleydale or Stinking Bishop?

Probably need to increase my cheesemaking knowledge beyond the mozarella and ricotta stage (I ordered the kit you suggested, Archer) along with the cheese wax. Should have ordered the boar bristle brush... I was thinking my pastry brush should work fine... probably an erroneous assumption :)

I'd be afraid of getting wax permanently in a pastry brush. The kit makes a good basic mozzarella. I ordered it and have used up about half of my supplies.. When I make cheese it does not last long...
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 06:04:59 PM by Archer »

Angie

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2009, 12:08:26 PM »
Without sounding utterly stupid - is cheese bought in the store already waxed just as good?

What is the mechanism of coating eggs with mineral oil that prevents spoilage.  I once cracked a rotten egg, Lord Lord - I was sick from the smell for hours.

Offline archer

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2009, 12:45:10 PM »
Without sounding utterly stupid - is cheese bought in the store already waxed just as good?

There are no stupid questions Angie... Cheese bought at a store that is waxed has already been aged for months at least. If it's still waxed on all sides it can last a lot longer if kept cool. Might want to add an extra layer to cover any scratches that happened during shipping to the store.


What is the mechanism of coating eggs with mineral oil that prevents spoilage.  I once cracked a rotten egg, Lord Lord - I was sick from the smell for hours.
From what I read, just dip it in or just paint it on. I'd dip it in.

Offline eph2

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2009, 03:20:17 PM »
Wow!  I can't wait to try this.  I just wasn't getting enthusiastic about the powdered cheese option.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2009, 04:19:22 PM »
I'm very excited about the cheese wax option... also, from what I can tell from the site where I ordered the mozarella beginners' kit, you can make cheese using powdered milk as long as you have the right cheesemaking ingredients... I have thought about how much we use cheese in our diet regularly and was a bit concerned about a scenario without refrigeration before now... In our part of the country milk has been really cheap lately (under $2/gallon), so I'm thinking it would be a great time to learn this stuff.

still need to learn how to raise dairy goats or a milk cow for the long run, though :) My dad grew up with a family dairy and thinks it would be great to get a milk cow. Not having grown up around them myself, they seem really big and a bit more difficult to care for than those little darling pygmy goats... perhaps not... In any case, we can't have goats (or a cow) now, so it will just have to wait!

As for the cheese wax, I am wondering just what cheese varieties are best suited to this? Would they have to be the harder cheeses? I was thinking Swiss would be a good candidate except for all the holes... I'm thinking it would be difficult to get a good overall coating? Anyone with experience in this arena out there? Swiss, colby, Gouda, parmesan, etc. seem to be logical choices, but what about the softer cheeses? Where would we draw the line?

Offline khristopher23

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2009, 04:24:17 PM »
This is just speculation, but do you think if you put cheesecloth over the swiss, that it would help with that? Or, if it already has holes filled with air, is it pointless to cover it with wax to start with?

MrsBarber

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2009, 04:31:45 PM »
Great Post and great information. I really liked the egg preservation idea and of course the Cheese Wax.

I am looking forward to trying both.

Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2009, 04:33:24 PM »
I'm very excited about the cheese wax option... also, from what I can tell from the site where I ordered the mozarella beginners' kit, you can make cheese using powdered milk as long as you have the right cheesemaking ingredients... I have thought about how much we use cheese in our diet regularly and was a bit concerned about a scenario without refrigeration before now... In our part of the country milk has been really cheap lately (under $2/gallon), so I'm thinking it would be a great time to learn this stuff.

still need to learn how to raise dairy goats or a milk cow for the long run, though :) My dad grew up with a family dairy and thinks it would be great to get a milk cow. Not having grown up around them myself, they seem really big and a bit more difficult to care for than those little darling pygmy goats... perhaps not... In any case, we can't have goats (or a cow) now, so it will just have to wait!

As for the cheese wax, I am wondering just what cheese varieties are best suited to this? Would they have to be the harder cheeses? I was thinking Swiss would be a good candidate except for all the holes... I'm thinking it would be difficult to get a good overall coating? Anyone with experience in this arena out there? Swiss, colby, Gouda, parmesan, etc. seem to be logical choices, but what about the softer cheeses? Where would we draw the line?

From everything I can find, basically if the cheese can stay formed in a block/round, it is good to wax. That would mean pretty  much any cheese that you could slice.

Offline archer

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2009, 11:11:32 AM »
As for the cheese wax, I am wondering just what cheese varieties are best suited to this? Would they have to be the harder cheeses? I was thinking Swiss would be a good candidate except for all the holes... I'm thinking it would be difficult to get a good overall coating? Anyone with experience in this arena out there? Swiss, colby, Gouda, parmesan, etc. seem to be logical choices, but what about the softer cheeses? Where would we draw the line?
Any cheese that is aged more than a week in the fridge should be ok. I read that if it can stand the heat of the wax, then you can wax it.

This is just speculation, but do you think if you put cheesecloth over the swiss, that it would help with that? Or, if it already has holes filled with air, is it pointless to cover it with wax to start with?
Cheesecloth would be good to use on Swiss from what I've read. Not tried it myself yet..

From everything I can find, basically if the cheese can stay formed in a block/round, it is good to wax. That would mean pretty  much any cheese that you could slice.
Yep!!

Offline PhilA

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2009, 12:26:24 PM »
Hi all. Long time listener...first time caller.

Regarding cheese storage: Instead of waxing, what if I wrapped a block of cheese in wax paper, then vaccuum sealed it in a FoodSaver bag? Do you think it would keep just as well as waxing?

Thanks in advance.

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2009, 12:32:18 PM »
Hi all. Long time listener...first time caller.

Regarding cheese storage: Instead of waxing, what if I wrapped a block of cheese in wax paper, then vaccuum sealed it in a FoodSaver bag? Do you think it would keep just as well as waxing?

Thanks in advance.

Well, it would be worth a try. I would do a trial run to see how well it lasts. I would use plastic wrap instade of wax paper. The idea of the wax was to complete cover the body of the cheese. I think the wax paper would leave some air gaps. A Food Saver vacuum bag would probably still leave a residual bit of air, so maybe tucking in an oxygen absorber too.

Let us know how it goes!