How to thaw cream cheese?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question  “how to thaw cream cheese” with an in-depth analysis of the proper way to thaw frozen cream cheese. Moreover, we are going to discuss whether or not you should refrigerate/refreeze the reheated cream cheese.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How to thaw cream cheese?

When it comes to thawing the frozen cream cheese, there are a couple of ways to do so and you can choose any of them depending on your choice.

  1. The recommended way to thaw the frozen cream cheese is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight and let it thaw there. The frozen cream cheese won’t face any sudden temperature fluctuations and thus it won’t face textural degradation or nutrition loss when it is allowed to get defrosted in the refrigerator.  The cream cheese thawed this way can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days before using it.
  1. You can thaw the frozen cream cheese in a bowl of cold water but you should use it immediately after thawing. 
  1. If you are thawing the frozen cream cheese in the oven or microwave it is recommended to use it immediately. Place chilled cream cheese on a microwave-safe plate after removing it from its box. Microwave on high for 10-15 seconds at a time. Softening should take 1 to 1.5 minutes, depending on your desired texture.
  1. Last but not least, if you have frozen cream cheese in the required portions, you can use it directly in the cooking process, thus you can add it directly to the dish you are cooking but do not forget to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

What are the differences between frozen and thawed cream cheese?

So, while the frozen cream cheese will still taste good once thawed, you will notice a difference in texture and mouthfeel.

  1. Once thawed, the frozen cream cheeses will have a gritty texture.
  1. It will be less creamy than fresh cream cheese (owing to the separation of the solid and liquid parts of the cheese when stored in the freezer for a long time).
  1. After thawing, frozen cream cheese becomes crumbly, which is why it’s best avoided in dishes where cream cheese must otherwise stand out.

Is it better to defrost cream cheese in hot or cold water?

Cream cheese can be safely thawed in cold water rather than heated. Not only will the hot water thaw the cream cheese but it will also start to cook the cream cheese surface, causing sections of the cream cheese to reach temperatures beyond 40 degrees. That’s the point at which the microbes start to grow rapidly. Thus, it’s best to use cold water straight from the tap to thaw your frozen cream cheese.

It is worth mentioning that you should make sure the cream cheese is thawed in a leak-proof container or bag. What you gotta do is soak the bag in cold water for 30 minutes, changing the water every 30 minutes to keep it cool and once the cream cheese has fully thawed, you should cook it right away.

How to check the ideal consistency of cream cheese?

To assess the suppleness of butter, use your finger. The butter should still be cool to the touch after it has been softened. Press the butter gently with a delicate touch of your finger. Your finger should make an indentation but not sink into the surface. It’s too soft if your finger sinks into the butter.

Dos and don’ts of thawing cream cheese

  1. You should never thaw the frozen cream cheese by leaving it on the counter as this will increase its microbial exposure.
  1. The best way to thaw cream cheese is by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight.
  1. It is always recommended to thaw the frozen cream cheese by leaving it on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator to keep it from dripping into other food items. Thus, following this practice, you can substantially decrease the chances of food contamination.
  1. You should thaw the frozen cream cheese by placing it in a colander and afterward putting the colander in a wide bowl that is large enough to withhold all the dripping water from the thawed cream cheese.

You can read how to use cream cheese here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question  “how to thaw cream cheese” with an in-depth analysis of the proper way to thaw frozen cream cheese. Moreover, we discussed whether or not you should refrigerate/refreeze the reheated cream cheese.

Citations

https://www.southernliving.com/food/dairy/how-to-soften-cream-cheese#:~:text=Unwrap%20the%20cream%20cheese%20and,way%20to%20soften%20cream%20cheese.
https://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-techniques/how-to-speed-up-softening-cream-cheese/

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.