While being vegan comes with more pros than cons, especially when it comes to helping the environment, it can be disappointing when you have to leave your favorite meals behind. Cheese is an ingredient that many new vegans miss the most.
If you are missing cheese, there are many vegan options that will keep your cravings satisfied. They are, however, quite difficult to melt, which may be very disappointing to accept.
Don’t worry! There are ways to melt vegan cheese, although it may require a little more effort to achieve. Continue reading to find out how to melt vegan cheese effectively.
Why It’s So Difficult To Melt Vegan Cheese?
If you’re new to the vegan game, you may be surprised to discover that vegan cheese isn’t quite the same as cheese made from cow’s milk. There are distinct differences in taste and texture, and this is, of course, due to the difference in ingredients.
Vegan cheeses are all different, and will include different ingredients to recreate the flavors of your favorite natural cheeses.
But, cheese isn’t all about the flavor; often, we will have a hankering for some melty cheese due to the gooey texture that we all know and love.
Cheese made from cow’s milk has that soft, sticky consistency, all thanks to a naturally occurring ingredient called casein. This is the primary protein in cow’s milk, and it is what makes cheese soften, spread, and even inflate as it is heated.
Because casein is absent in vegan cheese, it just won’t have the same texture as your favorite cheese, regardless of how comparable it may taste to mozzarella or cheddar.
Therefore, it is a lot more difficult to find a vegan cheese that reacts similarly to heat as your typical cheese made from cow’s milk (see more about where you can buy vegan cheese here). It is not impossible to find a vegan cheese that melts, but it will be a lot harder to achieve the desired texture.
How To Melt Vegan Cheese
So, now that you know why vegan cheese doesn’t melt as well as ‘normal’ cheese, but you’re aware that it is possible to achieve a similar gooey consistency, you will be wondering how you can do it at home.
Whether you are craving a grilled cheese sandwich, or a large pizza, this is something that all dairy-loving vegans will need to know. Below, we have listed three ways that you can melt vegan cheese for the best results:
- Using an oven.
- Using a stove.
- Using a microwave.
Continue reading to find out how you can melt your vegan cheese to its utmost potential.
Melting Vegan Cheese In The Oven
Many of us will agree that melting cheese in the oven, often, achieves the greatest results. Here is how you can use an oven to melt vegan cheese.
- First, you will want to grate your vegan cheese into a bowl, or onto a clean, flat surface (e.g., a chopping board).
- Once the cheese is completely grated, sprinkle it onto the dish that you want to apply the cheese to. Be sure to apply the cheese evenly, so it melts evenly throughout.
- Place the dish into the oven at your desired temperature, and be sure to keep a close eye on it as it cooks. Vegan cheese has a tendency to burn faster than cow’s milk cheese, so be cautious.
- Once it has fully melted, remove it from the oven.
Melting Vegan Cheese On The Stove
- First, you will need to grate some vegan cheese into a bowl. If the cheese has already been grated, simply put it into the bowl and get started.
- Next, you will want to add some plant-based milk. We recommend using soy or oat, as these will add the least amount of flavor to your cheese. Only add a couple of drops, as this will keep the cheese moist as it melts.
- If you want, you can add a tiny drop of vinegar to the mixture, as the acid will prevent the cheese from clumping as it melts.
- Place the mixture of cheese, milk, and vinegar into a saucepan, and began to heat up on the stove. Be sure to stir often to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once it has completely melted, remove from the heat.
Melting Vegan Cheese In The Microwave
Last, but certainly not least, this is probably the quickest and easiest way to melt vegan cheese. Although, the results from this method may not be the tastiest, as you won’t achieve that crisp, tougher crust over the cheese as it melts and bubbles.
- First, grate some vegan cheese into a microwave-safe bowl. If the cheese has already been grated, simply put it into the bowl and get started.
- Next, you will want to add a couple of drops of plant-based milk to keep the cheese moist as it melts. Add a tiny amount of vinegar if you want to prevent clumping.
- Thoroughly stir the cheese, milk, and vinegar together.
- Place the bowl inside the microwave, and heat up for 10 seconds intervals. After each interval, remove the bowl and give the mixture a quick stir.
- Repeat Step 5 until the cheese has completely melted.
The Best Types Of Vegan Cheese To Melt
Some vegan cheeses will melt a lot easier than others, so it is important that you know which ones are best to use. We recommend keeping the following information in mind while purchasing:
- Oil-based cheese is better for melting, compared to nut-based cheese. So, keep an eye on the ingredients while purchasing.
- Some vegan cheese will contain casein, the protein found in dairy cheese which creates the gooey, ‘melt’ factor. Keep an eye out for vegan cheese that contain casein.
- Always grate, shred, or slice your vegan cheese into smaller pieces before melting. If the surface area is too large, it will not melt as well (or at all).
If you are missing the flavor and texture of ‘real’ cheese, you can use this guide to try to recreate those cheesy experiences.
However, it is indispensable to remember that, no matter how hard you try, you may never get to eat a vegan cheese that tastes exactly the same as dairy cheese (see our post on vegan cheese to find out what it tastes like).
Therefore, your best bet is to keep your expectations low, and open yourself to new flavorsome experiences!
We hope you found this article helpful.
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