Dehydrated sour cream

3:38 p.m. on June 22, 2013 (EDT)
6,856 reviewer rep
1,270 forum posts

Well I finally worked up the courage to give this a shot and since I said I would report back on the results...


This is one pint of full fat sour cream on a 12 inch plate for reference.  I used a low 125f temp as I'd heard that too much heat will discolor the product.  It was spread thin on two fruit leather trays and one mesh tray that was very messy as it dripped through a lot. 

Drying time was about six or seven hours as I recall though the last couple of hours were mostly about a few spots I'd left too thick.  Better spreading or more trays would cut down on drying time I'm sure.

After drying it was stored in a ziplock bag in the freezer for a few days and then run through a blender to pulverize it.

I rehydrated a small sample to test it out but reconstitute would be way too strong of a word heh.


Keeping the water level low allowed for a thicker sauce like texture but it definitely doesn't turn back into the original product.  I'm hoping this will work well in the beef stroganoff I'm working on and I'm thinking a small bag to make a topping for a green chili I have in mind will have to be tested out too. 

2:51 p.m. on June 23, 2013 (EDT)
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1,630 forum posts


Not to sound like an arse, but if I were you I would throw it all away and not use any of it.

There is a reason that most all dairy products on the market that are dryed were freeze dryed, or done commercially with very strict monitoring of the temperatures.

Dehydrating dairy products is like playing with fire. You have no safe way to dehydrate these products in your home. It may look ok, it may even taste ok, but it is NOT safe.

Dairy has a fine line between being perfectly fine and being potentially deadly or at a minimum making you very ill.

For starters 125F is WAYYYYYY too low of a temperature, FAR FAR FAR away from being safe. 135F is the minimum safe temperature. The big issue here is the thermostat on dehydrators isn't exactly a high quality extremely accurate device and can be off by quite a bit in temperature.

IF you decide to take the gamble and dehydrate dairy at home then you need to do so at a high of a temperature as possible. I would set the dehydrator to max so somewhere probably around 165F or so.

That all being said, a good substitute for sour cream is gouda cheese in my experiences. You can also buy sour cream powder, and powdered milk, etc. If you want to make something like beef stroganof then simply make it at home minus the dairy ingredients, and then in the field add in some sour cream powder.

Don't gamble with your life or health, or that of your family or friends. Its not that expensive, buy powdered sour cream, powdered butter, powdered milk.


1:22 p.m. on June 24, 2013 (EDT)
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1,625 forum posts

Good point Rambler.  Any food handling class will drill into you that between 40 and 140 F is the danger zone for foods with high contents of sugar, fat or protein.  Bacteria love dairy. 

I think for stroganoff the product that mountain house uses is freeze dried.  Actually I'm pretty sure it doesn't much resemble real sour cream at all but it sure tastes yummy.  

It might be best to buy this ingredient freeze dried or use cream cheese packets mixed with water to approximate sour cream. 

June 22, 2018
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