Cheddar cheese makes everything taste better. In fact, we would argue that there isn’t a dish out there that can’t be made better by adding cheddar cheese. Grilled cheese sandwich? Add Cheddar for more flavor.
A bowl full of nachos? Add cheddar to soften the taste. Tomato soup? Add cheddar to thicken the soup and transform it.
If you thought Cheddar was good when it was solid, you have to try it when it’s melted. We thought that there wasn’t a way to make Cheddar cheese taste better, but it seems that there is, and that is to simply chuck it in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
Once melted, you can use Cheddar cheese to make sauces, create appetizers, and to make a killer filling in a sandwich.
In this guide, we’ll be telling you absolutely everything you need to know about melting Cheddar cheese in your microwave. So, if you want to find out how to do this, keep on reading.
Can You Microwave Cheddar Cheese?
First, let’s take a look at whether, or not, you can microwave Cheddar cheese. As you have probably guessed, yes, you can microwave Cheddar cheese. This is actually pretty common, and it is something that a lot of people do in cooking.
Cheddar cheese is made from cow’s milk, and depending on the aging process, it will either be crumbly or smooth. Both types of Cheddar are perfectly safe for microwaving, and melting Cheddar cheese in the microwave is actually the best way to do this.
Some people prefer to melt their Cheddar cheese on the hob, but this isn’t a good option. It is much better to melt your Cheddar in the microwave, as your microwave will maintain a steady temperature throughout the time that your cheese is in there.
When you melt Cheddar cheese on the hob, there is a good chance that it might pass the boiling point and burn, but in the microwave this isn’t a worry.
So, yes, you absolutely can put Cheddar cheese in the microwave, and this is the best method for melting Cheddar as it gives you the most control over the process.
How Hot Does Cheese Need To Be To Melt?
Now that we have established that you can melt cheese in the microwave, let’s take a quick look at how hot your cheese has to get in order to melt.
You might expect this figure to be incredibly low, as Cheddar cheese often melts when sprinkled on hot food. But, this figure isn’t actually that low.
Compared to some other cheeses, Cheddar is very low in moisture. So, it melts at a steady temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees Celsius). When the cheese reaches this temperature, it will melt completely.
But, you will find signs that your cheese is melting long before this. That is because this hard cheese will begin to soften at a temperature of just 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).
These are not exact figures, and the specific type of Cheddar cheese that you have bought might take slightly longer or shorter to melt. But, this is an average temperature at which you should expect your cheese to melt.
With that established, let’s take a look at how to melt your Cheddar cheese.
How To Melt Cheddar Cheese
If you want to melt Cheddar cheese, then you have a couple of different options to choose from. You can either melt your Cheddar cheese in a block, or you can shred it before melting it.
If possible, we would always recommend shredding your cheese before melting it, as it makes the process a lot easier.
To melt shredded cheese, you should first shred your cheese while it is still cold, fresh out of the refrigerator.
Once shredded, you should then leave the cheese out on the side of your kitchen counter for around 20 minutes, this allows it to acclimatize to room temperature. Next, take a microwave-safe bowl, and add the cheese to it.
Put the bowl in your microwave, and set it to medium heat for 15 seconds. Once the timer goes, remove it from the microwave, and stir it thoroughly. Usually, the cheese will have melted by now.
But, if it is not at the right consistency, place it back in the microwave for a further 15 seconds.
Block Of Cheese
If you do not have a shredder, then you can melt your cheddar cheese in blocks. To do this, you will have to begin by cutting your large block of Cheddar cheese into smaller cubes.
Cut is as small as you possibly can, as this will speed up the melting process. When you are chopping your cubes, remember that it is important that the cubes are as uniform as possible. Otherwise, the cheese will melt at different speeds.
Once you have cut your cubes, leave the cheese on the side of your kitchen counter for around 20-30 minutes. Transfer it into a microwave-safe container, then put it in the microwave.
Set your microwave to medium-heat, then set the timer to 15 seconds. Take it out of the microwave, and stir thoroughly. Repeat this process until the cheese has melted completely.
Reasons Why Your Cheese Isn’t Melting
So, it seems like melting cheese in the microwave is easy, right? Wrong! Even though the steps for melting cheese in the microwave are very simple, there is a chance that this won’t work.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some reasons why your cheese isn’t melting.
The first reason why this might happen is that you have bought Cheddar cheese that is already shredded.
A lot of companies sell shredded cheese, and if you have bought this in the past, it is likely that you have noticed that it is quite different to cheese that you shred yourself.
This is because store-bought shredded cheese is coated with a powdery substance to prevent the shredded cheese from clumping together. While this is a good thing in theory, it makes melting store-bought shredded cheese almost impossible.
So, this is the main reason why your cheese might not be melting.
Alternatively, you might experience this issue if your microwave is not powerful.
Microwaves come with a range of different power levels and wattage, and if your microwave is at the lower end of the scale, it might mean it struggles to reach the temperature required to melt the cheese.
Other Things You Should Know
Here are some other quick facts that you should know before you attempt to melt Cheddar cheese in your microwave.
- Sharp (Mature) Cheddar will take longer to melt than mild Cheddar.
- You should always shred cheese when it is cold, otherwise it will just turn into mush when you run it along the shredder.
- Always use a bowl to microwave your Cheddar cheese because it will become very runny.
- Do not overcook your cheese, otherwise it will become rubbery in texture.
- More heat is required to melt extra-sharp Cheddar.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Way To Melt Cheese?
By far the best way to melt cheese is to do it in the microwave. When you use a microwave, you have a lot more control over the heat.
A microwave will also keep your cheese at a constant temperature (melting point), so you do not have to worry about it overheating and burning.
How Long Till Cheese Melts In The Microwave?
If you acclimate your cheese to room temperature for 20 minutes before putting it in the microwave, it will usually take around 15 seconds for regular Cheddar to melt. It will take longer if you are melting sharp, or extra-sharp, Cheddar.
Can You Melt All Cheeses In The Microwave?
Yes, you can melt pretty much any type of cheese in the microwave. Of course, some types of cheese will be better than others. For example, Cheddar cheese melts in the microwave a lot better than Parmesan cheese (which is prone to burning).
But as long as you follow the correct instructions for the specific type of cheese you want to melt, you will be able to do it in the microwave.