Evaporated milk is a popular ingredient for baked goods, bread, soups, and other dishes. Often, you won’t use the entire can when preparing your meals, and many people want to know if you can freeze evaporated milk?
You can successfully freeze evaporated milk for as long as 6 months as long as you store it properly. Freeze evaporated milk in an airtight container, and be sure to use it immediately upon thawing. This is an excellent option for any unused milk, but be aware that it will separate in the freezer.
Although it will separate when frozen, evaporated milk is still good for baking or cooking once you thaw it. This article will show you how to properly freeze and thaw evaporated milk, and how to tell if your evaporated milk has gone bad.
How To Freeze Evaporated Milk (4 Simple Steps)
There are several reasons to freeze evaporated milk. If you only used part of the can for a recipe and want to save the rest for later, you can freeze the remaining contents.
If you stock up on evaporated milk (also known as condensed milk) and don’t want it to go bad, you can freeze the entire contents of the container in order to keep the milk fresh longer. Whatever the case, be sure to take the proper precautions so that your evaporated milk lasts as long as possible in the freezer.
Here’s how to properly freeze evaporated milk:
- Decide beforehand what you’ll use the evaporated milk for once you thaw it so that you can put it in a suitable container. Defrosting an entire milk container so that you can use a small portion would be a waste, so it’s best to freeze evaporated milk in several smaller amounts.
- Put your evaporated milk in an airtight and freezer-suitable container. If you’re storing whole cans of evaporated milk, you’ll need to shift your milk into a freezer-safe container, as metal cans should never be put in the freezer. Jars and freezer bags can work well for this.
- Leave at least ½” (1.27 cm) of room at the top of your container for the milk to expand. If you neglect this step, your container may burst once the milk starts to freeze and expand. To prevent this, be sure to leave enough room for the milk to safely grow in the container without leaving too much air inside, which will cause the evaporated milk to spoil prematurely.
- Label your containers. Labeling is an essential part of freezing foods so that your food doesn’t go bad. You can label your containers using the expiration date or write the date you put the evaporated milk in the freezer.
Freeze Evaporated Milk in Ice Cube Trays
An alternative option would be to freeze your evaporated milk in ice cube trays or muffin tins. You can even freeze it in specific amounts to make it easier to add to recipes later on.
As an example, you can use a measuring cup to pour a certain amount of evaporated milk into each cube on the tray. That way you’ll know in the future how many milk ice cubes to use in a given recipe.
Once the evaporated milk has frozen in the tray, place the milk cubes in a freezer-safe storage bag, press out all the air, and write the date on it.
Freezing Evaporated Milk Can Cause Separation
Although you can freeze evaporated milk, it sometimes causes complications because the liquid tends to separate in the freezer. It isn’t easy to stir and whisk the milk back together when this happens, although some people have accomplished it.
If you’re using the evaporated milk for cooking or baking, this separation shouldn’t be a problem because it’s still safe to use even if it has separated, and you won’t be able to detect the change in texture in most dishes.
If you won’t be cooking the milk in a dish or baked goods after thawing it, then freezing evaporated milk is probably not a good solution.
How Long Can You Freeze Evaporated Milk?
You can freeze evaporated milk for three to six months if stored properly. So, freezing evaporated milk is an excellent option if you need to keep it for a few extra days or store it for several months.
Although it can last up to six months in the freezer, many believe the quality is best if used before three months. If you’re storing it for a long time, check it periodically to ensure it is still good.
How To Thaw Evaporated Milk
Thawing evaporated milk isn’t necessary, but it is sometimes beneficial to help restore the texture of the milk.
Here’s how to thaw evaporated milk:
- Let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- After it defrosts, use a whisk, hand blender, or spoon and thoroughly mix it. You can even shake it if it’s still in a sealed container.
- To get the milk as smooth as possible, use a blender to restore its consistency. Using a blender will ensure that the elements are properly mixed together, and it will help create a more homogeneous quality.
- Be sure not to refreeze evaporated milk after it has been thawed. If you don’t use all of the thawed evaporated milk, be sure to discard it because it is not safe for refreezing.
If you’re in a time crunch, you can let the milk thaw at room temperature for up to two hours. It’s important to remember that food shouldn’t sit out any longer than two hours because it can start to grow bacteria very rapidly.
So, if you’re thawing the milk at room temperature, set a timer so that it doesn’t spoil, and cook it immediately after thawing.
Some people choose not to thaw their frozen evaporated milk and, instead, decide to put the frozen evaporated milk directly into their recipe. For example, they might use frozen evaporated milk in an ice cream recipe.
Immediately cooking your frozen milk is also an option for those in a time crunch. Be sure to stir constantly to ensure the evaporated milk melts consistently.
Signs That Your Evaporated Milk Has Spoiled
Evaporated milk can still go bad in the freezer. The best way to avoid spoiled milk is to store it with the proper storage precautions. Before cooking thawed evaporated milk, inspect it first for signs of expiration or bacteria growth.
Check the milk for mold or noticeable discoloration.
The evaporated milk might have changed colors slightly, and that is normal. But a significant color change is a sign that the milk has spoiled. If the evaporated milk has an unusual or foul odor, discard it.
You can even perform a small taste test before you cook the milk to ensure it’s good. If the flavor tastes odd, or you have any concerns about the quality of the milk, you should discard it to be safe.
Freezing evaporated milk is an excellent solution if you have leftovers when cooking. Often people don’t finish the entire can of evaporated milk when they cook, and it doesn’t store very long in the refrigerator.
However, it can last for months in the freezer.
When freezing evaporated milk, put it in an airtight container and allow enough room for expansion. Muffin tins and ice trays make great storage containers for evaporated milk. When you’re ready to use the milk, simply defrost it overnight in the refrigerator or pour it directly into your dish and blend thoroughly.