Does Jarred Parmesan Cheese Melt?

When it comes to cooking and adding some cheesy goodness to your dishes, Parmesan cheese is often the way to go. But what about the jarred Parmesan cheese you find in supermarkets?

Can it be melted like fresh Parmesan? Let’s dive into this cheesy topic and find out!

What is Jarred Parmesan Cheese?

Jarred Parmesan cheese, also known as grated or powdered Parmesan, is a convenient option for those who prefer pre-packaged cheese or want a longer shelf life. It is typically made from aged Parmesan cheese that has been finely grated or ground into a powder-like consistency.

The Melting Point of Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese, both fresh and jarred, is known for its hard texture and nutty flavor. However, when it comes to melting, there are some differences between the two.

Freshly grated Parmesan:

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese has a lower moisture content compared to jarred Parmesan. This characteristic allows it to melt more easily when exposed to heat. Whether you’re sprinkling it on top of a pasta dish or using it in a sauce, freshly grated Parmesan will melt beautifully, enhancing the flavors of your creation.

Jarred Parmesan:

Jarred Parmesan cheese has added ingredients such as anti-caking agents that prevent clumping and extend its shelf life. These additional ingredients can affect its melting behavior. While jarred Parmesan can soften when heated, it may not melt as smoothly or uniformly as freshly grated Parmesan.

How to Melt Jarred Parmesan Cheese

Although jarred Parmesan cheese may not melt as effortlessly as its fresh counterpart, it can still be used in various recipes that call for melted cheese. Here are a few methods you can try:

1. Direct Heat

Place a small amount of jarred Parmesan cheese directly on top of the dish you’re cooking or under the broiler. The heat will soften and partially melt the cheese, adding a delicious cheesy touch to your meal.

2. Mixed with Other Cheeses

If you’re looking for a smoother and more uniform melt, consider combining jarred Parmesan with other melting cheeses like Mozzarella or Cheddar. This will help balance out any clumping or uneven melting that may occur.

3. Sauce Preparation

In sauces, such as Alfredo or Béchamel, jarred Parmesan can still contribute to the overall flavor and texture even if it doesn’t fully melt. The heat from the sauce will soften and incorporate the cheese, creating a creamy consistency.

The Bottom Line

Jarred Parmesan cheese does soften when exposed to heat but may not melt as smoothly as freshly grated Parmesan due to added ingredients.

While it might not be the best choice for dishes where smooth melting is desired, jarred Parmesan can still add great flavor to your meals. Experiment with different cooking methods and combinations with other cheeses to achieve your desired results.

  • Use freshly grated Parmesan for optimal melting results.
  • Combine jarred Parmesan with other melting cheeses for smoother melts.
  • In sauces, jarred Parmesan can contribute to texture and flavor even if it doesn’t fully melt.

So go ahead and embrace the cheesy possibilities, whether you choose freshly grated or jarred Parmesan cheese. Happy cooking!