Melted cream cheese is good if you want a smooth, buttery, and lump-free texture in your meals. And most recipes like frostings, cheesecake, and cheese dips require melted cream cheese so they can mix well with different ingredients.
But melting cream cheese at room temperature might take longer if you decide to place it on the counter. Furthermore, it will also lose its fresh taste if left in the open for long. Well, let’s find out if you can melt your cream cheese microwave if you forgot to remove it from the refrigerator in advance.
Here is how to melt cream cheese in the microwave.
Remove the wrapper from the cream cheese and put it on a microwavable plate. Nuke the cream cheese for about 15 to 20 seconds on moderate heat. Remove from the microwave and stir as the center may still be colder than the exterior. You can repeat the process if you want to have a soft and an easy to spread cream cheese.
In this article, we will explain everything to do with melting cream cheese in the microwave. Whether it’s a recommendable method, steps to follow when softening cream cheese in the microwave, how to achieve a smooth consistency, and the time it takes to heat cream cheese in the microwave. So, read on to learn these and more.
Can You Microwave Cream Cheese?
It is okay to heat cream cheese in the microwave. For a perfect outcome, nuke the cream cheese pausing every 15 seconds to mix. Huge cream cheese blocks may need ten extra seconds to heat well.
Cream cheese, which comprises cream and milk, is among the widely used cheeses in the U.S. Its taste is warm with a soft feel and flawless consistency. Due to its lovely qualities, cream cheese is an exceptional spread that you can apply to various accompaniments like toast, crackers, bagels, and others.
Depending on your taste, you can choose different cream cheeses like flavored, regular, double cream, or whipped varieties. Though cream cheese is high in fat, it has high amounts of vitamins and nutrients.
Cream cheese has high volumes of vitamin A, good for immunity, and B2 or riboflavin. Since its lactose level is low, cream cheese is the best alternative for people who don’t use lactose.
And if you’ve ever incorporated cream cheese in your meals before, most likely, you’ve had to soften it before using it for cooking. Softening is primarily common if the cream cheese has stayed in the refrigerator or freezer for longer.
Since the microwave’s heating ability is on another level, always ensure your cream cheese doesn’t turn overly soft. It is recommendable to keep turning the cream cheese block on every side when microwaving it.
There are different ways of softening cream cheese. But this article will concentrate mainly on using the microwave.
Melting Cream Cheese In The Microwave [Step By Step]
Heating cream cheese in the microwave is the most effective way to unstiffen it for different recipes but should be done with caution.
If you let the cream cheese heat for too long, like a few extra seconds, everything may turn out messy, and the cream cheese may end up becoming a waste.
Here are the steps for melting a block of cheese cream in the microwave:
Step 1: Remove the wrapping
Remove the wrapping from the cream cheese block and put it on a microwavable plate. Confirm that you’ve removed all the wrappings. If the cream cheese is inside a container, it is also best to put it in a microwavable plate or bowl.
Step 2: Place inside the microwave
Put the cream cheese dish in the microwave and set the power at 75%. Microwave the cheese for 10 seconds.
Step 3: Flip or stir the cheese
When halfway through, remove from the microwave and flip the cream cheese block on the opposite side. If you’re using a block of cream cheese, you can stir it. Return it to the microwave for extra 10 seconds.
Step 4: Keep turning
Keep turning the cream cheese block on different sides so you can heat all four sides for roughly 10 seconds. If it needs stirring, do that at ten-second intervals four times.
Step 5: Assess the consistency
Assess the cream cheese’s consistency. It should now be soft and if not well softened, repeat doing this until you get a perfect texture.
Step 6: Turn with a spoon
Finally, the cream cheese will reach a state where it doesn’t need further flipping since it will have softened enough. In this case, use a spoon to turn it over before returning it to the microwave.
For your cream cheese to be smoother and creamier, you should add some milk to it and microwave them together. Similarly, you will have to stir the two ingredients together when heating so they can mix well.
Can I Soften Cream Cheese On The Microwave?
It is fine to melt your cream cheese in the microwave, provided you don’t heat the cheese when wrapped in the original aluminum packaging. Aluminum can ignite and spread fire if heated in the microwave. Therefore, always take out the aluminum wrapper when heating cream cheese using the microwave.
The fact remains that microwaving is preferable to soften cream cheese in the shortest time compared to using a water bath or leaving it at room temperature. For safety and efficiency reasons, it’s recommendable to use a microwavable dish or container and split the cream cheese into small squares if necessary.
How To Melt Cream Cheese Without Lumps
The microwave is notorious for producing irregular heat. That might make your cream cheese to have lumps when melting it.
To ensure your cream cheese doesn’t form lumps when melting, mix it using a whisk instead of a spoon. Heat on moderate power for 15-second pauses, and after every break, its softness will advance to desired consistency.
The lumps signify the need to continue heating the cream cheese and additional mixing. Alternatively, the cheese may have clotted due to overheating. Luckily, you can use the strategies above to eliminate any lumps from your cheese.
How Long To Soften Cream Cheese In The Microwave?
Melting cream cheese in the microwave can save you time if you’re in a hurry and craving a cheesecake. The microwave will only take 15 seconds on high heat to melt a block of cream cheese.
If the time is up and your cheese is not soft enough, keep heating for ten-second pauses but be cautious.
If your cheese overheats and becomes firmer, it might be difficult to recover and may not be useful for any recipe. A perfectly melted cream cheese feels soft to touch and will show fingerprints if slightly pushed.
How Long Can Cream Cheese Sit Out?
Want to know what duration cream cheese can safely stay at room temperature?
Well, safety professionals from the American government recommend two hours as the maximum duration that cream cheese should stay in the open. Other professionals claim less than four hours is good.
For pregnant women and the elderly or people likely to suffer from food-related ailments, always be cautious about the duration you leave sensitive foods at room temperature.
Importance of Melting Cream Cheese
It is way easier to spread melted cream cheese, making it effortless when baking with cream cheese.
Softened cream cheese will also easily combine with other ingredients like pudding or whipped cream.
When using melted cream cheese, you won’t have to deal with annoying lumps, which happen when using cold cream cheese.
How To Store Cream Cheese To Extend Its Use?
When sure, you know how to soften cream cheese and how long it takes. Another critical factor worth knowing is how to store the soft cream cheese for future use.
Follow these procedures that will help your cheese stays for longer:
- Store this milk product at temperatures below 40℉. The refrigerator is the best appliance for storing foodstuffs and returning the leftovers. Therefore you can comfortably store your cheese in the fridge for future use.
- You can store different spiced cream cheeses and plastic containers in the refrigerator for about three weeks or a month.
- When tightly sealed, you can keep low-fat-cream cheese in the refrigerator for approximately three weeks.
- Since already opened cream might spoil quickly, it is recommendable only to open commodities when you want to use them.
Things to Know Before Melting Cream Cheese In The Microwave
It can take about an hour for your cream cheese to soften if left at room temperature. It won’t be easy to soften to the right consistency, and it might have a funny taste.
And indeed, you’re not prepared for a soppy or soggy cheese. Here are some things worth knowing on your quest to melt cheese in the microwave:
- When microwaving huge slices of cream cheese, add ten extra seconds per eight ounces of cheese.
- Don’t put the metallic wrapper that comes with the main packaging in the microwave.
- If there’s liquid coming from your cream cheese when heating, stir it thoroughly or use it with other recipes and the rest of the ingredients.
- To melt cream cheese without interfering with the flavor, add a cream or a few drops of milk per eight ounces of cream cheese.
- To lighten cream cheese, add a small amount of molten unsalted butter per eight ounces of cream cheese. But microwave the ingredients separately.
Use the microwave to heat cream cheese so it can soften and melt before using it for your recipe. To effectively heat cream cheese in the microwave, ensure you have a microwavable dish, use moderate power, and heat at 15-second pauses.
Heating cream cheese in the microwave to melt it is pretty straightforward and effortless. Though you can use the stovetop to melt cream cheese, the microwave works way faster. The only concern is to prevent the cheese from spilling, which is achievable by minimizing heat.
Cheese that has overstayed in the refrigerator is likely to have lumps. You can remove the lumps by beating or whisking when partially melted. It’s a way of ensuring your cream cheese turns smooth and handy for any recipe of your choice.
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