How to shred cheese in a food processor

Home shredded cheese tastes fresher, richer, and creamer, and more importantly, you won’t be consuming unnecessary additives (think potato starch, artificial colors, cellulose aka wood pulp, and more).

Plus (and let’s be honest here), shredded cheese melts way better than pre-shredded cheese now that the unhelpful starches and cellulose have been removed.

In short, there are a ton of reasons why you should shred your cheese.

And with that in mind, here is how to shred cheese in a food processor at home.

How to shred cheese in a food processor

How to shred cheese in a food processor

Hand shredding cheese can be tiresome, particularly if you’re making larger batches of cheese.

Use these steps to slice this savory garnish in a food processor with a cheese shredder/shredding disk.

Preliminaries

1.     Freeze the cheese first

Softer cheeses tend to be harder to shred besides smearing.

Make sure the cheese is extremely cold before starting to shred it- it makes the shredding cleaner and you’ll have less work in your hands.

Indeed, Mozzarella (and loads of other soft cheeses including Feta) will always shred more easily after being frozen for 15 or so minutes.

Tip: Simply wrap the cheese and place it in the freezer until it achieves proper firmness .Even so, don’t let it sit there for excessively long – you only want it firmed up but not frozen.

2.     Sub-divide the cheese

From experience, cheese breaks apart when shredded in entire blocks at a go.

Always cut it into smaller, easy-to-manage blocks for easier handling.

3.     Fix the blade

If you’re yet to, pick the shredding disc (some folks refer to as the grating disc) and fix it onto the food processor.

Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to properly mount it.

How to shred cheese in a food processor – step-by-step

Step 1: Put an appropriately sized block in the machine

To use this miracle machine, first put an appropriately sized block of cheese into the food processor (with the machine turned on).

You put the cheese through the unit’s feed tube (on the lid).

The block will hit the disc first -where it’s shredded- before it falls into the bowl.

Step 2: Pack the cheese

As you continue adding more blocks of cheese, you’ll notice the food processor bowl becoming full at some point.

This is the cue for you to turn off the machine and pack the shredded cheese- you obviously don’t want the shreddings to get too compressed – into zipper bags (or plastic containers).

Step 3: Shred the remaining blocks

Proceed to feed the remaining pieces through the unit’s feed tube to have them shredded.

You’ll be transferring the cheese into the bags every time the bowl fills up until the whole batch has been shredded to your liking.

How to shred cheese in a food processor – useful tips

·        Never overload the food processor

Be careful when adding cheese blocks.

Some food processor blades/discs become unbalanced and can even seize up when shredding if overloaded with cheese. 

·        Give it a break

If you have larger amounts of cheese to shred (both soft and hard), allow it about 30 minutes to cool completely in between batches.

That way, your device won’t be overworked and it will reward you with a smoother operation and a longer lifespan.

·        Know your cheese

As mentioned before, some cheese types are more sensitive and you’ll need to take extra steps to get the best results.

As such, you should look for clues on your recipe about shredding the cheese before commencing.

In short, be prepared to take some extra steps depending on whether you are processing softer cheeses like Mozzarella which smear easily or harder cheeses such as Parmesan or Asiago which are dry right of the cheese box. 

To be frank, some cheeses won’t shred well including goat cheeses, Stilton, Gouda, Gorgonzola, and several others. 

·        Clear trapped air from the bags before storage

Shredding cheese increases its surface area significantly, raising the risk of the final product drying out quickly.

A smart way of countering the threat is by getting rid of any air trapped in the bag before storage.

You must, however, be cautious when removing the air as squashing the bag might instead lead to the formation of one massive clump.

Keep in mind that you should not keep shredded cheese in a freezer for more than three months (you’ll need to pack it into freezer bags for freezing).

Bonus tip: You may also add a tablespoon (1 or 2) of cornstarch to the bag then thoroughly shake it. This helps the cheese distribute evenly and can keep it from sticking together.

General information about shredding cheese in a food processor

·        The food processor may feel warm

Shredding cheese is generally a high-energy operation and the food processor may feel hot to the touch during the operation.

However, that should not worry you- most have a couple of safety features that prevent it from getting too hot.

In fact, the motor shuts off on its own if it overheats and will only resume shredding when it’s completely cooled.

Bonus tip: Cleaning the blade often helps minimize friction between the lid and the shredding blade and can reduce the risk of the appliance overheating.

·        The food processor may smell

You may smell a faint electrical odor too. This is again due to the heat buildup from shredding and is perfectly normal.  

That said, these machines don’t smell that much if you had sufficiently chilled the cheese prior to shredding- the motor won’t be working as hard with cold cheese so it generates less heat.

Cleaning the blade can again be a helpful measure here.

Wrapping it up

Hand shredding cheese can be tiresome, particularly if you’re making larger batches of cheese.

Use the above steps to shred cheese in a food processor.

The machine is a cinch to use and shreds almost any cheese – Parmesan, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Feta, Colby, etc.- fantastically well.

Note that you can always purchase a cheese shredding blade if your food processor didn’t come with one.

Isn’t that cheesy?

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