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    12 Legitimately Useful Tips For Cooking With Cheese

    The best (and worst) cheeses for melting, the secret to a perfect grate, and how to keep your sauces from breaking.

    Ryan Pattie

    Just about everyone can agree that cheese is one of the best foods out there — but cooking with it can sometimes be tricky.

    From nailing the perfect melt to avoiding broken sauces, it's not always as easy as it sounds. So here are 12 helpful cooking tips for flawlessly cooking with cheese. 🧀

    1. Pop your cheese in the freezer 20 minutes before grating it to make shredding easier and cleaner...

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    If you've ever tried to grate soft cheese, you know just how sticky and messy it can get. One way around this is to briefly chill your block of cheese in the freezer before grating. It'll firm it up just enough to keep it together and prevent it from sticking.

    2. And spray the grater with nonstick cooking spray, too.

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    For even more protection against sticking, feel free to spray your box grater with nonstick spray before using it. It'll make sure your cheese doesn't stick and make grating so much cleaner.

    3. If you're baking a casserole that has a lot of cheese in it, make sure you bake it in an oven no hotter than 375°F — anything hotter may cause the cheese to break...

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    Cheese is delicate and can break if heated too hot. The oil will separate and start pooling on top, and the texture will get messed up. To prevent this, make sure to cook your casseroles and other cheesy dishes in an over no hotter than 375°F. It'll give you added insurance that your cheese won't break.

    4. And cook your cheese sauces over low heat to make sure they don't break, too.

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    Just like the oven rule, heating your cheese sauces over low heat makes sure they don't overheat and break into an oily mess.

    5. Know which cheeses are best for melting...

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    Some cheeses are just meant to be melted — provolone, mozzarella, gruyere, and fontina are a few. These types of cheeses are perfect for making grilled cheeses, casseroles, and fondues — basically anything that would benefit from a great cheese pull.

    More: The Best Cheeses For Melting

    6. And which cheeses won't melt no matter what.

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    Some cheese won't (and can't) melt. Feta, halloumi, and goat cheese are a few of the most popular that don't melt very well. These cheeses are great in salads — or even thrown onto a grill (such as halloumi). But you'll want to avoid these cheeses when making casseroles or pastas — or cut them with a meltable cheese like mozzarella if the flavor is what you're after.

    7. Save your cheese rinds and use them to infuse flavor into stocks, sauces, and soups.

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    Instead of throwing them out, save your cheese rinds in a bag in the freezer. This way, whenever you make a homemade broth, you can throw a rind in to give it an extra pop of flavor.

    More: Learn How To Make Broth With Leftover Parmesan Rinds

    8. Use sodium citrate to make sure your cheese sauces never break.

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    Sodium citrate might sound intimidating, but it's just a type of salt. What makes it special is its ability to emulsify things — including cheese sauces. The salt binds together water and cheese to create a super-easy cheese sauce without having to use a roux (aka flour and butter) — so the cheese flavor really shines through. It can also be added to your typical cheese sauce just to make sure it won't break.

    More: Learn How To Make Nacho Cheese Sauce Using Sodium Citrate

    9. Use dental floss to cut super soft cheeses like chevre without smashing them.

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    Just grab a piece between your fingers and press down to slice it. Perfect for soft logs of chevre, bricks of American cheese, or even crumbly feta.

    More: Check Out 16 More Cooking Hacks Using Dental Floss

    10. Make addictive baked cheese crisps out of shredded parmesan.

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    Extra shredded parmesan? Just throw it onto a piece of parchment paper and pop it in the oven. It'll melt into crisps perfect for snacking on. And if you really want to jazz it up, add aromatics like fresh herbs or spices to kick it up a notch.

    More: How To Make Parmesan Cheese Crisps

    11. Boost the flavor of your sauces with cheese powder.

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    You know those packets of powdered cheese that come with boxed mac 'n' cheese? Well, that same ingredient (powdered cheese sauce) can be used to boost the flavor of all kinds of things. Try adding it to homemade cheese sauces, crackers, or anywhere else you want an extra pop of cheesy flavor.

    More: Learn More About Cooking With Powdered Cheddar Cheese

    12. Whip ricotta in a blender to make it super smooth — it's the perfect base for dips and spreads.

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    Ricotta is the perfect mild base for just about any dip or spread, but it can be a bit grainy. To combat that, just blitz it in a blender or food processor for a few minutes to aerate it and make it super creamy.

    More: How To Make Whipped Ricotta