Quick Answer: How to Melt Shredded Cheese in the Microwave
To melt shredded cheese in the microwave, shred a frozen block of cheese. Keep the shredded cheese in a microwave-safe bowl at room temperature. Cover it with a vented lid. Melt it at low to medium heat for 15 sec. Stir it & melt it for an increment of 15 sec till the cheese melts into a smooth molten liquid.
Shredded cheese is a very common ingredient & used as toppings or fillings in a variety of lip-smacking dishes.
Any block of cheese variant can be grated to create shredded cheese. It is also readily available in shredded form but it contains coatings that make it difficult to melt .
Shredded cheese can be melted in a microwave for further use in making cheesy dips, cheese sauce, cheese fondue, etc.
Melting shredded cheese in the microwave can be a little tricky but with the right temperature, technique & appropriate timings, shredded cheese can be melted quickly & easily.
So, here’s a comprehensive article with tips, instructions & frequently asked questions on how you can appropriately & safely melt shredded cheese in the microwave & use it further to make amazing recipes.
How to Prepare the Shredded Cheese for Melting in a Microwave
Purchase an appropriate cheese block for a smooth melting process. Mozzarella cheese melts faster than cheddar cheese because of its softness & high moisture content .
Check the color of the cheese. It may vary from white to off-white color.
The uniform yellow color in cheese is due to some added artificial color or ingredient & is not natural . The taste of naturally made cheddar can vary but that is normal. You can go for it.
Make sure to buy the cheese in a block as the block does not contain any other coating on it but the already shredded cheese available in packaged form contains added ingredients to prevent it from sticking together & this hinders the melting process .
Then grate your own cheese!
Keep the block of cheese in the freezer for a few hours or in the refrigerator for a few days to give it a firmer structure before shredding it.
Grating the frozen solid block of cheese will be easier than grating soft cheese at room temperature.
After shredding the cheese, keep the bowl of cheese at room temperature for a while as frozen cheese will take more time to melt . It will then be perfectly ready to go into the microwave.
How to Melt Shredded Cheese in the Microwave
Grate a frozen block of cheese. Keep the shredded cheese in a microwave-safe bowl & let it rest at room temperature.
Cover it with a vented lid & melt it at low to medium heat for 15 sec.
Stir it & melt it for an increment of 15 sec till the cheese melts into a smooth, creamy molten liquid.
- A microwave-safe bowl, preferably something made of Pyrex glass, Borosilicate glass, ceramic.
- A box grater
- Milk or cream
- A vented lid
- Potholders or oven mitt
- Shred the cheese – Take the frozen solid block of cheese & grate it with a grater. A 6 ounces block of cheese may make around 1.5 cups of shredded cheese .
After grating the cheese, do not transfer it back to the refrigerator. Cover it & keep it aside at room temperature.
- Transfer the shredded cheese into a microwave-safe bowl – Use a microwave-safe bowl instead of a plate .
The solid cheese will become a gooey liquid after it melts & it will be impossible to contain it within a plate. So, use a bowl so that the molten cheese doesn’t spill .
- Microwave settings – Set the microwave at low to medium power, almost at 50% power level & place the bowl of shredded cheese inside it.
Cover the bowl with a vented lid . Melt it for 15 sec . Stir the partially melted cheese in between to spread the heat. The cheese should start melting at around 90°F.
Try using the lowest heat possible to start melting the cheese . Repeat the process for an increment of 15 sec until it melts completely.
- Stir the shredded cheese – Keep stirring the shredded cheese after 15 sec to distribute the heat evenly & make the molten mass of cheese smooth .
Do not stir the cheese too much as this will cause the protein in it to clump together & the melted cheese will be lumpy & lose its smooth consistency.
- Add milk or cream – You can add a tablespoon of cream or milk to the melting cheese for faster melting & better, creamier texture.
If the shredded cheese has already melted & has a smooth consistency then skip using the milk or the cream.
- Remove the hot bowl of melted, creamy cheese – Once the shredded cheese has melted fully, remove the bowl of hot, molten cheese immediately from inside the microwave using potholders or an oven mitt.
Do not allow any standing time or do not let it cool or else it will harden to become firm again.
Now, pour the smooth, rich, gooey molten cheese over the dish of your choice or you can also have it as a creamy dip with your favorite crispy nachos.
Tips to Remember while Melting Shredded Cheese in a Microwave
Please follow the tips while melting shredded cheese in a microwave quickly & safely:
- Use microwave-safe containers – Use a microwave-safe bowl, preferably something made of Pyrex glass, Borosilicate glass, ceramic to melt the shredded cheese in the microwave. Refrain from using a plain dish as it will not be able to contain the cheese when it melts. Please check the bottom of the container to read labels that indicate whether it’s safe or not to use it in the microwave. Try to not use any microwaveable plastic as the chemicals may leach into the food at higher temperatures .
- Refrain from using metal or foam containers – Do not use any metal containers in the microwave. Avoid using foam trays or aluminum foils, paper napkins & colored paper plates as they can melt or release toxins in the food .
- Use a vented lid – Cover the bowl of shredded cheese with a vented lid while melting it in the microwave. This will carry out the melting process faster & help retain the moisture for a better product .
- Keep stirring – Do not leave the shredded cheese to melt on its own in the microwave. Make sure to use a spatula or a spoon to keep stirring & mixing the newly formed melted cheese to distribute the heat evenly.
- Do not overdo the mixing – Mixing the melted cheese vigorously may cause it to accumulate at one place because of the formation of clumps of proteins & the molten cheese will lack a flowy nature.
- Do not overheat – If the shredded cheese is exposed to too much heat, then the water & the fat will start separating & oozing out of the melted cheese. This will cause the protein molecules to tighten up & the cheese won’t be soft & smooth anymore. You may risk making it chewy & rubbery. The entire molten cheese will be oily & greasy will all that fat oozing out of the material.
- Do not use vegan cheese or low in fat cheese – Vegan & reduced or low reduced fat content won’t melt as a full-fat cheese block. So, consider buying full-fat, regular cheese to have a smooth, creamy molten cheese .
- Do not allow any standing time – The melted shredded cheese will become lumpy & firm once it becomes cold . So, it is advisable to serve it as soon as it melts for a gooey consistency.
- Keep the shredded cheese at room temperature – If the shredded cheese from the freezer or the refrigerator is made to melt in the microwave, then it will take much longer than melting shredded cheese kept at room temperatures for a while.
- Do not use packaged shredded cheese – The pre-grated cheese available in packaged form should not be used as it contains coatings like cellulose or potato starch for the shred cheese to not stick together in the packet .This coating makes it difficult for the shredded cheese to melt in the microwave. So, buy a cheese block & refrigerate it previously so you can shred it when you want to obtain melted cheese that is free of any preservatives.
- Use less aged cheese to melt – Aged cheese is very difficult to melt as the proteins form a firm structure & the fat & water in the cheese form tight bonds which becomes nearly impossible to break & gives you a hard time melting the shredded cheese .Try buying mild or sharp cheese. This indicates that the cheese has not aged much & contains more moisture than ‘extra sharp’ & ‘seriously sharp’ cheese. Melting mild or ‘sharp cheese’ will give a smoother & creamier molten cheese & it will also be easy to melt .
- Remove the bowl of molten cheese carefully – Since you need to serve the newly formed molten cheese immediately, you cannot afford to wait to hold the bowl until it comes to a suitable temperature. So, remove the hot bowl of melted cheese using an oven mitt or potholders. Remove the lid carefully so that you do not risk burning your fingers or face with the rising hot steam from the bowl.
How to Melt Shredded Velveeta Cheese in the Microwave
Shred a frozen block of Velveeta cheese.
Keep the shredded cheese in a medium / large microwave-safe bowl & let it rest at room temperature. Add 7 tbsp of milk.
Cover it with a vented lid & melt it at high heat for 15 sec.
Stir it & keep melting it till it reaches a smooth & creamy consistency.
- A microwave-safe bowl, preferably something made of Pyrex glass, Borosilicate glass, ceramic.
- A stirrer
- Milk or chicken broth or vegetable stock
- A vented lid
- A box grater
- Potholders or oven mitt
- Shred the cheese – Take the frozen solid block of cheese & grate it with a grater. After grating the cheese, do not transfer it back to the refrigerator. Cover it & keep it aside at room temperature.
- Transfer the shredded cheese into a microwave-safe bowl – Use a medium or large-sized microwave-safe bowl instead of a plate.
The solid cheese will become an oozing liquid after it melts & it will be impossible to contain it within a plate. So, use a bowl so that the molten cheese doesn’t spill.
- Add milk or chicken broth/vegetable stock to the cheese – Add around 7 tablespoons or 105 ml of milk to the shredded cheese for a smoother & better texture .
Adding milk also prevents the cheese from burning & keeps it in a molten state for a longer time.You can also add around 1/4th cup of chicken or vegetable broth for a finer flavor .
- Microwave settings – Set the microwave at high power & place the bowl of shredded cheese inside it. Cover the bowl with a vented lid to prevent splashing of the liquid & to keep it from burning.
Melt it for 15 – 30 sec. Keep stirring every 15 sec to spread the heat .Repeat the process till the Velveeta cheese shreds melt totally.
Keep heating it for an increment of 15 – 30 sec & do not leave the cheese unattended or else it may burn.
- Remove the melted shredded Velveeta cheese from the microwave & serve – Make sure to serve the melted cheese as soon as you take it out from the microwave or else it can solidify instantly.
Remove the hot bowl of melted Velveeta cheese using potholders or an oven mitt & remove the lid carefully so that you don’t burn your fingers or face with the rising steam.
Alternate Ways to Melt Shredded Cheese
Shredded cheese can be melted efficiently & easily on a stovetop too.
Keep the block of cheese you want to shred in the freezer for a few hours or in the refrigerator for a while to make it firmer & solid so that it does not become mushy when grated.
Then shred the cheese using a box grater. Keep the bowl of shredded cheese at room temperature to bring it to normal conditions before melting it in the microwave.
This will help the cheese melt in no time. Place the cheese in a non-stick pan or a pot & see that the vessel has enough space to accommodate all the shredded cheese .
Now, heat the pan on a low flame & melt the shredded cheese slowly. Do not heat for a longer time or heat on a high flame or the cheese will turn lumpy & greasy.
Keep stirring & mixing frequently in between or the melted cheese may stick to the pan & start burning .
Once the shredded cheese melts completely, stir it once to check whether it has a stringy consistency.
If yes, mix well & remove the pan from the heat immediately to avoid making the cheese rubbery & chewy .
Another quick & effective way of melting shredded cheese is by steaming it.
Place the block of cheese you want to shred in the freezer for a few hours or in the refrigerator for a while to make it firmer & solid so that it becomes easy to shred.
Then shred the cheese using a box grater. Keep the grated cheese in several small bowls that should fit in a saucepan & should be safe when heated.
Now fill a vessel, preferably a saucepan with water up to 1/3rd of its height & boil it on a stovetop over high heat .
Once the water boils up, then reduce the flame to just keep the water simmering.
After that, place a steamer basket directly over the hot simmering water & place the small bowls of shredded cheese over it.
Leave the water to heat for up to around 5 min & let the cheese melt.
The cheese will melt into a creamy liquid sauce instantly. Keep checking the melted cheese frequently because you certainly don’t want to burn it.
To make it smoother, you may also add 1 – 2 tablespoons of flour to the shredded cheese.
You can also check out this video from ‘wikiHow’ channel where it is demonstrated how easy it is to melt shredded cheese on the stovetop.
How to Store Melted Shredded Cheese
Keep the molten mass of cheese in an air-tight container & refrigerate it to store for 4 – 5 days. If you want to store it for longer, keep the molten cheese covered in a container in such a way that no moisture must enter it & place it in the freezer to store it for a few months.
Melted shredded cheese can stay on the counter without being refrigerated for around 48 hours without any change in texture or taste .
To store it for longer & avoid any bacterial growth, it is better to refrigerate it but before that make sure to store it in an air-tight container so that no moisture enters & is safe from any contaminants.
This way, the melted cheese can be stored for 4 – 5 days .
If you want to store the melted cheese for months, then consider keeping it in the freezer .
It is best to consume the melted shredded cheese as soon as possible as the cold temperature can change the texture & taste of the cheese.
Yes, it is safe to melt shredded cheese in the microwave .
If you use the right temperature, a microwave-safe bowl, stir & follow the process correctly, then there is a very rare chance for you to mess up the desired results.
Any type of cheese that has low acidity & a high moisture content can melt well in the microwave.
Full fat cheese gives the best results when melted, giving a rich, creamy, oozing melted cheese sauce.
The cheese should always be less aged & it is better to shred the cheese yourself for easy melting as there will be no added preservatives then.
Mozzarella, Cheddar, Velveeta, American are the few best types of cheese that can be melted hassle-free in a microwave .
Feta cheese, Parmesan cheese can be easily overcooked or get burnt when melted in a microwave due to their low moisture content.
Even if they melt, they won’t taste as good as cheese with higher moisture content. They can become chewy & rubbery on melting.
I hope this comprehensive article helped you in melting shredded cheese in the microwave easily.
If you have any queries regarding the process, feel free to ask us.
Also, if you know any other methods or tips please let us know so we can add them to our article to make it even better!
Do share this with your family & friends who may want to melt shredded cheese in the microwave & help them out too.