Processed cheese is a modern phenomenon that is widely available on every grocer’s shelf. It is long-lasting, cheap, and easy to store in varying conditions. When you need to, you can even melt processed cheese.
What is the proper method to melt processed cheese, you might ask? There are many methods you can use to melt processed cheese, but some of the most common include the use of a microwave, toaster oven, stove burner, or slow cooker. The manner you choose to melt processed cheese will largely depend on the form it is in originally.
Processed cheese can be found in slices, larger pieces, or big rectangles, depending on the brand selected. It can also be found on grocery store shelves, in the cooler section, or boxes.
Can You Melt Processed Cheese Slices?
Whether you want a delicious dairy snack or you are following the keto diet, you can easily melt cheese slices in the microwave or a skillet on the stove. The easiest and quickest method is to use a microwave, and you can follow these steps:
- Chop up three to four slices of processed American cheese.
- Place these pieces in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Add 1 Tbsp. of milk to the cheese pieces.
- Microwave on High for 30 seconds. Check every 10 seconds for temperature and consistency.
- Continue until smooth when stirred with a spoon.
Whether you simply like the taste of cheese slices or you are looking for an alternative to another type of liquid cheese, this process will do the trick in a pinch.
Melting a Large Piece of Processed Cheese
Commonly found on your grocery store shelves, a large block of processed cheese is great for use in dips or as a queso. Melting a giant piece of processed cheese is more difficult than you might think.
You will have to make sure the cheese gets heated evenly and thoroughly without scorching on one side or the bottom. This will require some maneuvering or constant mixing.
Putting a large piece of processed cheese in a slow cooker or in a large pot on the stove is your best bet for tackling this job. If you’re short on time, you can chop up your large piece of processed cheese into small slices for easier melting. Be sure to add some kind of liquid, like milk or crushed tomatoes in juice, so it won’t burn as easily.
If you have a bit more time, you can put a big piece of processed cheese in a slow cooker with some milk or chili to heat over time. Be sure to turn it on Low or Warm if you choose this method to prevent it from heating to a high temperature too quickly.
Once your cheese begins to melt, you can add in all types of ingredients to make a tasty cheese-based dip. Some common add-ins for melted processed cheese includes:
- Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
- Chili seasoning
- Ground beef
When you’re done melting your processed cheese, simply add chips, bread, or crackers as a side to use for dipping.
How to Fix Lumps in Melted Processed Cheese
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how careful you are in heating your processed cheese. Lumps will inevitably occur and make your melted cheese less inviting. The good news is that you can fix lumps in your processed cheese when they arise. Put a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice in with your cheese as you melt it for a thinner, smoother consistency.
If you’re looking for something different, add a bit of wine or beer to your melted processed cheese. This will give your cheese a rich and bold flavor you can’t get with any other ingredients.
What Can You Put Melted Processed Cheese On?
Melted processed cheese isn’t something you want to eat alone. You can put it on other items, make it into a sauce, or drizzle it over other delicious food items. Melted processed cheese goes great in macaroni and cheese, atop of nachos, and mixed into hamburger casseroles. The uses for this versatile ingredient are abundant.
Why Does American Cheese Melt So Well?
Every type of cheese can melt, but processed American does so much better than other types of cheese. This is because processed American cheese contains just 51% actual cheese. The rest of the ingredients in this salty substance are acid, phosphates, and milk proteins. So, you’ll notice that even though processed cheese melts extraordinarily well, it doesn’t contain remaining chunks or shreds like other cheese varieties do. This is key for making a lump-free sauce or queso, which is what melted processed cheese does best.
The next time you need a cheap dinner addition, try melting processed cheese. There are many ways you can melt processed cheese, but the easiest way to do so is in the microwave or on the stove top.