Queso Fresco is a type of cheese often used in Mexican foods. The cheese is obtained from curdling cow or goat milk, then acidified with lemon juice, rennet, and vinegar to curdle. You can also find pasteurized queso fresco cheese from grocery stores.
I love my Queso Fresco melted in the microwave; below is how to melt Queso Fresco in microwave.
I first Grate or shred the queso fresco cheese block. Then transfer the shredded cheese into a microwavable bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and adjust the settings. Lastly, I microwave the Queso Fresco on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Ensure to stir every 5 minutes to get an even consistency and prevent burning.
This article explains how to melt Queso Fresco in Microwave. It begins with a Step-to-Step Procedure followed by other related subheadings such as Helpful Tips when Melting Queso Fresco in the Microwave, Is it Safe to Melt Queso Fresco in the Microwave, and How Long Does it Take to Melt Queso Fresco in the Microwave.
Step-to-Step Procedure of Melting Queso Fresco in the Microwave
Below is a simple procedure to melt my Queso Fresco. The requirements are easily achievable, and the process takes little time. The same method can also be used to melt other types of cheese; however, remember that the melting point of cheeses varies from one kind of cheese to the next. It all depends on the acidity level and the age of the cheese.
- Queso Fresco cheese block
- Microwavable bowl (non-stick)
1. Grate or shred the Queso Fresco cheese block
Grating or shredding the Fresco cheese block reduces its size. The smaller the cheese, the easier it is to melt in the microwave. It may even take a shorter time compared to the time it would have taken when microwaved wholly.
2. Transfer the shredded cheese to a microwavable bowl
Take the shredded cheese and transfer it into a safe microwave bowl. Sometimes cheese tends to stick to the bowl’s surface as it melts. Therefore, it would help if you got a nonstick microwavable bowl. Also, ensure that the bowl being used is microwave safe. You wouldn’t want to use a container that will melt and mix the melted contents with your cheese. Bowls made of glassware or ceramic will do just fine.
3. Microwave the Queso Fresco
Place the bowl containing the shredded Queso Fresco in the microwave. Reduce the heating power of the microwave to medium. You wouldn’t want the cheese to burn before melting. Set a 10 to 15 minutes timer and hit the START button.
Use a wooden stirrer to stir through the cheese to give it an even consistency. The stirring also helps in ensuring heat distributes evenly and that no part of the cheese is heating to the point of burning while the rest is yet to melt.
Helpful Tips when Melting Queso Fresco in the Microwave
Below are tips that will guide you through the melting process of the Queso Fresco in the Microwave. They include freezing the queso fresco for a few minutes, avoiding over microwaving, stirring the cheese, and adding milk.
Freeze the queso fresco for a few minutes
Queso fresco that has stayed at room temperature for a while is hard to grate or shred. It can easily leave you with huge chunks and clumps that will not taste pleasing in your meals. It is, therefore, a good idea to place the queso fresco in the freezer for a few minutes to soften. The cheese can easily be shredded into smaller fine particles sprinkled on your salad or microwaved to melt evenly.
Do not over microwave
You may think that too much heat will melt your queso fresco cheese faster. This is not the case. When the cheese is exposed to too much heat at once, there is a high chance that the cheese will turn rubbery instead of soft and tender.
Stir your cheese
More often, your cheese may form lambs when microwaving. The first and immediate solution is to stir the cheese, however, do not overdo it. At the same time, regulate the amount of heat the cheese is being exposed to.
Add milk to the cheese
Suppose your cheese seems too thick; you may add little amounts of milk to improve its consistency and also to speed up the melting process.
Is it Safe to Melt Queso Fresco in the Microwave?
Yes, it is safe to microwave Queso Fresco to melt it. The microwave will not temper with the texture or taste of your Queso Fresco cheese. However, you must be able to regulate the temperatures, microwave for the right duration of time, and use the appropriate microwaveable containers.
First, ensure that the Queso Fresco has been placed in a microwavable bowl or container. Ceramic or glassware are perfect types of materials. Your cheese will be harmful to your health if it is melted in the microwave in a container that does not microwave safe. For instance, when microwaved in a plastic container. The plastic container may not be strong enough to be heated in the microwave; therefore, it could end up melting, contaminating your cheese with harmful plastic content.
As agreed earlier, too much heat will turn your Queso Fresco cheese texture into rubbery; therefore, before microwaving the cheese, ensure the heat has been adjusted to medium heat. To be on the safer side, you may reduce it to lower.
Thirdly, Queso Fresco cheese being microwaved at medium heat may take 10 to 15 minutes or even more when the temperature is much lower. Therefore, for the cheese to still be helpful to you, do not microwave it for longer. The heat will damage its texture and nutritional value.
How Long Does it Take to Melt Queso Fresco in the Microwave?
It takes 10 to 15 minutes to melt Queso Fresco cheese in the microwave. This is after the cheese block has been shredded and the microwaving power is medium. At the lowest microwaving power, the Queso Fresco could melt for upto20 minutes.
However, it could take longer or a shorter time to melt the cheese in the microwave, depending on the microwaving power, the quantity of the cheese, age, and acidity level. The more cheese you have to melt, the longer it may take. You may be forced to melt the cheese into bits.
How old your cheese is will also determine whether the melting time will be longer. The longer the Queso Fresco cheese stays on the counter at room temperature, the harder it becomes for it to melt faster in the microwave. However, you can always freeze it for a few minutes, shred it, and microwave it.
The acidity levels in the Queso Fresco cheese will also affect how long the cheese will take to melt. The higher the acidity levels in the cheese, the longer it will take to melt it.
Cautions Regarding Safety When Melting Queso Fresco in the Microwave
When Melting Queso Fresco in the Microwave, there are certain safety precautions that you need to consider. For instance, using the right type of container, coat your dish with a thin layer of liquid, separate dishes when microwing two kinds of cheese, and immediately remove the melted cheese from your microwave and others.
using the right type of container
As we have earlier on discussed, the appropriate types of containers to use when melting Queso Fresco in the microwave are ceramic or glassware. Using other materials like plastic could harm your health due to the materials used in container manufacturing.
Coat your dish with a thin layer of liquid like water or oil
The coating is quite helpful in two ways. It prevents the cheese from sticking to the walls of the container leading to the cheese burning. Secondly, aged cheese that has stayed on the shelf for longer often splatters when microwaved. The layer of oil or water will get hold of the melting cheese preventing it from splattering all over.
separate dishes when microwaving two kinds of cheese
Suppose you would like to melt and use Queso Fresco cheese and another type of cheese for different types of meals. Ensure to melt both kinds of cheese in a different container. This is because two types of cheese cannot melt in the same bowl. They both have different boiling points and different types of flavours.
Remove the melted cheese from your microwave immediately
Despite the estimated time to melt your Queso Fresco cheese, the moment you realize that your cheese has already melted, remove it from the microwave. The longer melted cheese stays in the presence of heat, the more the heat alters its taste, texture, and nutritional value.
Use a big microwavable bowl
A bigger bowl is better and should be able to hold the melted cheese. A flat microwavable bowl might allow the safe melting of the cheese but may not hold it appropriately, which may cause your cheese to spill in the microwave.
Use pot holder
When removing the bowl containing the melted Queso Fresco cheese from the microwave. Use a potholder to protect your skin from burns in case the bowl tilts and spills the cheese over.
How to Store Leftover Queso Fresco
Suppose you have some leftover melted Queso Fresco cheese; you may consider storing it in an air-tight container and placing it on the shelf. It will survive if the room is under 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) for up to a week.
You may as well place it in an air-tight container and store it in the fridge. It can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. You can transfer it to the freezer if you wish to store for longer. Remember to label the container with the storage date so you may not use it after six months.
What do you do With Queso Fresco Cheese
Queso Fresco Cheese is often used on spicy dishes as topping or stuffing cheese. You may also slice, shred or grate it into dried fruit or paired with cured meat. I use my Queso Fresco Cheese in the following ways.
- I use the Queso Fresco Cheese to garnish soup like gazpacho, tortilla, and black bean soup.
- I roll the cheese onto corn with salt, ground chile, and a squeeze of lime juice as additional seasoning.
- I also crumble the queso fresco cheese on Mexican foods like chilaquiles verdes, huevos rancheros, tacos, or enchiladas
1. Can you melt queso Blanco in the microwave?
Yes, you can. Shred or grate the queso Blanco block of cheese and transfer it into a microwavable bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and reduce the heating power to medium microwave the queso Blanco cheese for 10 to 15 minutes. Ensure to stir after every 5 minutes to ensure consistency.
2. Why is my queso cheese not melting?
The main reason your queso cheese is not melting is probably that you have already exposed it to too much heat, and the moisture in the cheese has already evaporated. Instead of melting, the cheese’s proteins became harder and unable to melt and went ahead to continue solidifying.
3. How do restaurants keep queso from hardening?
Restaurants keep their queso from hardening by using a can of evaporated milk to store them. The can will keep the cheese’s flavour and taste and prevent it from hardening. However, if the queso stays in the evaporated milk can for too long, it begins to harden.
4. How do you melt the cheese without clumping it?
The best way to melt the cheese without clumping it is to use medium or low heat. Stir the cheese continuously; if you are using a microwave, stir the cheese after small microwaving intervals. You can also add a few drops of milk to ease the melting process and improve the consistency of the cheese.
While using a microwave to melt queso fresco cheese, monitoring the heating temperature and duration is essential. It is best to heat the queso fresco cheese at medium heat and achieve the best result than high heat and get rubbery results. The duration should also be between 10 to 15 minutes; however, suppose you notice that your cheese is already melted before the end of the estimated time, it is better to remove it from the microwave immediately.