How to Freezer Dry Sour Cream

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Sour cream is so rich and full of flavor that it’s almost always a staple in baked goods, dips, soups, and sauces. Unfortunately, running out of sour cream stock is expected if you’re in a family who loves to cook and eat. Hoarding the cream is difficult, especially if you have limited fridge space.

But there is a way for you to stock up on the condiment without the need for cool storage. We’ll teach you how to freeze dry sour cream so that you always have a “secret” supply when needed. The best part? It won’t spoil on you even if you keep it in your room or take it with you when you travel.

Materials Needed

Here are the suggested materials that you can use to make freeze-drying  easier

  • Spatula – for spreading the cream on the freeze-dryer tray
  • Food-grade dividers – these dividers make it easier for you to portion the sour cream
  • Silicon ice cube trays – for easier freezing and freeze drying
  • Silicone tray – sour cream is going to stick. This makes it easy to take it out, especially if you use cubed cream.

Some prefer to use ice cube trays instead of spreading the cream on the trays. This is because you create more surface area by forming the sour cream into ice cubes.

sour cream witih baked potatoes

Do You Pre-Freeze Sour Cream?

Pre-freezing sour cream for freeze-drying is an option. But it does help shorten the freeze-drying cycle and makes your system convenient. If you have something going in your freeze dryer, you don’t have to wait for it to finish before you prep. Once the freeze dryer’s done, a few minutes of pre-cooling is all you need to start the process.

When you pre-freeze, use the freeze dryer tray for convenience. If you’re going to spread the cream all over the tray, use the spatula for an even spread. After spreading, you can use the dividers. As for the silicone tray, it’s optional for this method.

If you’re going to use the ice cube trays, remember to freeze the trays as well. You don’t want to melt the cream. Putting a warm tray in the machine will also cause a sudden change in temperature that can prolong the process. Squeeze out the cubes of frozen cream on the tray, leaving a small space in between. You don’t need large spaces because the cream doesn’t expand.

How To Freeze Dry Sour Cream

You can now prep the machine when you’ve got your frozen cream ready.

  1. Turn on your freeze dryer and choose whether the cream is frozen or not.
  2. For pre-frozen food, pre-cool the freeze dryer for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Close the drain valve and check that it’s in the bucket when the machine is ready.
  4. Load the trays of sour cream and press continue.

How Long Does Freeze Drying Take?

The length of freeze drying will depend on several things.

A huge spread of sour cream on the tray will take as long as 36 hours to freeze dry. But, if you made frozen cubes, 16 hours would be suitable for pre-frozen cream.

If you didn’t pre-freeze the condiment, freeze-drying could take up to 46 hours.

How Will I Know That Freeze Drying’s Done?

The sour cream should be dry, crumbly, and have a flakey consistency similar to mica decorations. If an area or cube feels soft, moist, and cool, put the tray back and add extra drying time. About 2-4 hours would be good, depending on the level of moisture left on your condiment.

bowl of sour cream with cucumbers

How Do I Store It?

Mylar bags are always a favorite for storing freeze-dried condiments. They’re lightweight and great for limited storage space. If ever you know you’re going to a place where the cream is hard get, they fit easily in your bag or luggage. No worries about breaking and spilling the condiment.

Mason jars are also great, especially if you can’t get enough sour condiment. They’re easy to open and reseal on demand. What’s better here is that the vacuum sealers are straightforward to use, and you can seal the jars even without electricity.

Don’t forget to add oxygen absorbers as well. They absorb excess oxygen from the bag or jar space to help keep your freeze-dried condiment longer.

How Do I Reconstitute Freeze Dried Sour Cream

Usually, you need to mix 3 parts of water with 5 parts of sour cream. For easier and faster reconstituting, grind or pound your freeze-dried sour cream into a fine powder. Then slowly add cool or tepid water until you get the consistency of cream at room temperature.

But what if you want the fresh, creamy texture? After reconstituting, let the sour cream rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, when it’s cool enough, whip it up until you get the creamy consistency the cream is famous for.

How Long Do Freeze-Dried Sour Cream Last?

Freeze-drying experts aren’t confident about the shelf life of freeze-dried condiment. It’s because 105 grams of sour cream contains 2.5g of fat. Fat doesn’t freeze dry well, so the cream may not be dry enough to stand decades of storage. But under ideal storage conditions, it may last for 5-10 years.

What got you interested in freeze-drying sour cream? Let us know in the comment section.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more freeze-drying videos.


  1. Ramona says:

    We made a batch of freeze dried sour cream! Used immersion blender in mason jar to make a fine powder. I used the 3:5 ratio. After several days in the fridge, I consider it still pretty ‘runny’. Any suggestions to make it thicker. I did use the immersion blender here also, but not a lot of difference. Consistency is more like a salad dressing.
    Thanks for any tips!

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