Can you defrost soup on the counter?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Can you defrost soup on the counter?” and discuss some other ways to defrost soup safely as well. 

Can you defrost soup on the counter?

No, you should never defrost soup on the counter at room temperature. This is because bacteria starts to grow and multiply at temperatures between 40 and 140. Your food will get contaminated and if you eat it, you can get food poisoning. 

What happens if you eat spoiled or contaminated soup?

Food poisoning, or foodborne illness, is something a person gets after eating spoiled or contaminated food. Some pathogens do not alter the texture or taste of food so it is not easy to tell if the food has been contaminated or not.

It is caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or their toxins. The most common pathogen causing food poisoning is Salmonella which is usually present in poultry and other dairy products. 

It is very common and it rarely ever goes undetected.

The symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, malaise, loss of appetite and headache. The symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Food poisoning can be severe if the diarrhea lasts for more than three days which is accompanied by high fever. Severe vomiting and inability to keep food down can also lead to dehydration.

In case of dehydration, admission to a hospital may be necessary as it can lead to serious consequences. 

Can you defrost soup in the microwave?

Yes, you can defrost soup in the microwave. This method defrosts the soup very quickly. You can even serve the soup directly after reheating it in the microwave. 

To do this, transfer the soup in a microwave safe bowl. Partially cover it with a lid and then place it inside the microwave. Let it heat up for about two minutes or until it becomes less solid. At that point, use a spoon or a spatula to give it a mix. 

Then turn the microwave on again. Stop and stir every 30 seconds so that the soup is evenly heated up. Try to break up the chunks of soup as you stir it.

Can you defrost soup in the fridge?

Yes, you can defrost soup in the fridge. In fact it is one of the safest methods for defrosting something. This is because food placed at temperature 40 or below is protected against contamination. This eliminates the risk of getting sick due to eating spoiled or contaminated food. 

To defrost soup in the fridge, take it a night before you want to cook it or consume it. Then leave it in its original packaging and place it in a shallow bowl or a plate so catch all the liquids and prevent them from dripping down in your fridge. 

After that just leave it inside the fridge overnight. It will be ready to be cooked or served after reheating the next morning. Of course this method only works if you do remember to take out the soup a night before. 

Can you defrost soup in a cold water bath?

Yes, you can defrost soup in a cold water bath as well. If you forgot to take out the soup the night before or if you do not want to use the microwave, then a cold water bath is the way to go. 

To do this, simply take the soup out of the freezer and then place it inside a ziploc bag. Make sure it is tightly sealed so that no water enters it at all. Fill up a bowl with cold water and place the ziploc bag in it. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep changing the water as soon as it comes back to room temperature so that bacteria does not have a chance to grow on it at room temperature. 

Learn more about safely defrosting food here

Other FAQs about Soup that you may be interested in.

How long is potato soup good for?

Can you eat miso soup when pregnant?

Can you freeze 15 bean soup? 

Can you eat Campbell’s tomato soup without adding water?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you defrost soup on the counter?” and discussed some other ways to defrost soup safely as well.