Cheese wax is a type of wax created specifically for covering cheeses. This also makes people ask – cheese wax vs. paraffin: are they identical? It helps prevent mold formation and keeps moisture in the cheese while it ages. This wax is soft and malleable, unlike pure paraffin wax, which gets brittle and cracks quickly. One pound of wax will wax 12-20 cheeses when brushed on. If you’re waxing your cheese by dipping it rather than brushing it on, start with at least 5 pounds of wax.
Other vegetables can be preserved with cheese wax. If you have a bottle or jar with a lid that you want to reseal, for example, you can use cheese wax to do it. In a metal pan or canister, melt the cheese wax first. Then, carefully dip it into the melted wax to reseal the top of the closed bottle or jar. After that, carefully take the bottle from the wax (be careful, it’s hot), and voila, your food and drink are sealed for extended storage! In addition, the oil in the wax helps to keep flames going, so it’s an excellent substitute for dry kindling. To help start flames in wood burners, melt the wax and roll it into several little balls.
There are very few suitable commercial alternatives for traditional cheese wax, so be careful when shopping for these so-called alternatives. Of course, you can try using beeswax, but you will get mixed results.
What Kind of Wax Can You Use for Cheese?
If you’re creating hard cheeses like Cheddar or Gouda, you’re probably waxing them already or researching how to do so. Cheese wax is a malleable paraffin-based wax that comes in various colors, including red, yellow, and black. Green and blue wax are also available.
You can coat your hard cheeses with commercial beeswax. Beeswax takes precedence over all other types of wax because it is readily available.
When set and stored in freezing temperatures, beeswax, like most waxes, can become brittle, cracking and pulling away from the cheese. To avoid this problem, paraffin-based polishes contain an additional component. In addition, to help with flexibility, several cheese producers and beeswax aficionados have advised adding vegetable shortening, coconut oil, or a tiny amount of mineral oil to the beeswax. However, others argue that it is unnecessary and preferable to maintain the beeswax pure and unadulterated by other additives.
Beeswax, like regular cheese wax, must be applied with caution. Before using the wax, make sure your cheese is dry and cool. Also, your wax should be warm but not hot. At 65 degrees Celsius/150 degrees Fahrenheit, beeswax melts. You can dip your cheese halfway into the wax and then carefully spin it to coat all surfaces, just like with paraffin-based waxes, or you can paint your polish on. These still work with beeswax. Beeswax isn’t always less expensive than paraffin-based cheese wax, but the benefits of utilizing a natural, renewable, and sweet-smelling product usually outweigh the disadvantages.
You also don’t use a lot of wax when waxing. Your cheeses and beeswax can be reheated and strained to eliminate residues that may mold over time, which means you won’t have to buy kilos and kilograms.
Is Cheese Wax the Same as Candle Wax?
Cheese wax is not the same as candle wax. Candle wax is a highly rigid substance. You’d get bendy candles if they were flexible. To maintain cheese wax malleable and prevent it from becoming brittle, it contains the following ingredients: Unlike pure paraffin wax, this wax is pliable and will not grow brittle.
There are also food-grade colors in it. Keep in mind that candle wax isn’t meant to come into contact with food.
The mold must be removed before the cheese can be waxed. A brine wash or a vinegar wash might be used for this. Mold will be discouraged from developing in high acid and high salt environments. I prefer a cup of lukewarm water to a brine wash with one teaspoon of salt. The mold peels away quickly, as you can see in the images.
Can You Make Cheese Wax?
If you want to make your aged cheese, you’ll need to coat it with cheese wax to keep mold from forming on it and moisture from escaping. Make your wax for coating it to save money on the cost of acquiring it.
Non-toxic crayons are the key to manufacturing homemade food-grade wax. For example, this cheese wax recycles broken crayons and melted unscented candle stubs to make a cheese covering for aging.
You can make candles with paraffin wax from a craft store if you don’t have any of them. Even though the wax is non-toxic, you should remove it before eating the cheese.
- To speed up the melting process, remove the wicks from an unscented candle, break apart the candles and crayons, or chop the paraffin wax into tiny pieces.
- Combine the candle parts and crayon bits in a saucepan over low heat.
- Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
- Dip a paintbrush into the molten wax and apply a thick layer of polish to the cheese’s whole surface. Alternatively, you can carefully pour the melted wax over the cheese and apply it with a paintbrush to cover the entire surface. Use unscented candle pieces because the scents added to your cheese may alter the flavor.
How Do You Make Homemade Cheese Wax?
You have several options for making cheese wax at home, including buying natural beeswax to coat your hard cheeses. Cracking won’t be an issue for beeswax coverings if you have the right storage conditions at home. Below are some steps for waxing cheeses at home:
- Melt the wax in a double boiler, keeping it away from the heat source.
- Wax bursts at high temperatures, so don’t leave it alone.
- Choose a wax container that will fit your preferred cheese sizes.
- If cutting the cheese wheel into quarters, an old coffee can is excellent.
- Dip the rest of the cheese into the wax by grabbing one corner with your hands (careful!) or tongs.
- A thin coat is preferable to a heavy garment.
- Hold it in the air for about 10 seconds to harden the wax.
- Place wax paper on the table.
- Repeat with the remaining bits of cheese.