How to Defrost Sour Cream

by Elizabeth Harding

Sour cream is a delicious and versatile ingredient, but it is quite sensitive to freezing temperatures.

But don't worry—all hope is not lost! Using the instructions below, you will be back spreading thawed out sour cream on your baked potato in no time.

Once defrosted, it is preferable to use the thawed out sour cream for cooking than eating it straight up in a salad or a dip etc. The consistency and texture will not be as enjoyable as when you first bought it; it won't be as pleasant as eating it freshly bought.

That's not to say that you can't lather it on a sandwich or as a dip, but If it was sitting in the freezer compartment, then you may find yourself out of luck. You'll just have to see when you take the lid off.

As for defrosting, you have three options.

Option 1 - Room Temperature on the Counter

  1. Place the container of in a bowl of cold to lukewarm water. Leave it on your kitchen counter for between 1 hour to 3 hours or until it has thawed completely. Let it thaw gradually, stirring if necessary.
  1. Remove it from the bowl. Then let it sit for an extra 30 minutes till it returns to room temperature. Stir in any other ingredients (sugar, vanilla, etc.) and then use or refrigerate immediately.
  1. Turn the container upside down, and place it on a flat surface. Press down gently on the container to help it completely release, and allow it to thaw completely. If you can run a knife through it like ice cream, it is safe to say it's defrosted.

Option 2 - In the Fridge

If you're not in a rush, you can always stick your frozen jar in the fridge. By doing so, the frozen cream will thaw out over time and you'll be able to use it again. Here's how it is done:

  1. Place the frozen sour cream container in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. It is a good place as the cool temperature will defrost it faster, but it is still safe from other foodstuffs.
  1. Wait for about 6 hours, and you'll see a clear layer of sour cream on top.
  1. Remove from the fridge, wait for a few minutes, and you'll have a delightful jar ready to use. Now, get a whisk or small kitchen fork out to mix the defrosted contents to get it back into a smooth consistency.

We don't like the texture compared with the fresh jars, but that's our personal preference.

Option 3 - In the Microwave

You can place the frozen container of in your microwave for 20 seconds on a low to medium setting. Check if it has thawed completely, and if not, place it back in your microwave for another 20 seconds.

When it comes to which method is better, the jury is still out. Some say that microwaving causes it to lose some of its nutrients. Others say that a cold water bath slows down bacteria. If you have time, then the fridge option is the best in our opinion.

One thing is for sure, as long as you don't overheat your sour cream it will still taste good.

About Us

At, we look at anything and everything to do with defrosting all edible items from the obvious to the obscure. Follow us on our journey to masterfully thawing out frozen items to perfection.