Once you unseal a carton or can of evaporated milk and are not able to use all of its content, you are left with no other option but to store it until the next use.
Plus, we know well that refrigerating evaporated milk will only last for a few days. With that, it gets you thinking of storing it in the freezer can help it stay for an extended period. So, can you freeze evaporated milk?
When it comes to storing evaporated milk, freezing it is completely fine.
In fact, putting it in the freezer will help extend its shelf life for up to six months! However, there are certain drawbacks that can affect the quality of your frozen evaporated milk, but it does not always mean that it becomes useless for consumption after thawing.
If you are facing the concerns mentioned above, don’t worry. This article will help you understand all you need to learn about freezing evaporated milk. Let us discuss the following:
There is a lot more to come. So, keep on reading to know more about Evaporated Milk.
What Is Evaporated Milk?
Dubbed as the “unsweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk is derived from either whole milk or skim milk. This type of processed milk product has been subjected to a process called evaporation to make it shelf-stable. In other words, the milk is heated to remove about 60 percent of its water and kill harmful microorganisms.
Evaporated milk comes in tin cans or in cartons in the market. They are commonly used as an ingredient for creamy soups and desserts.
And it can also be used as a regular milk substitute for baked goods. All you need to do is just dilute it with the required amount of water.
It is not too usual for people to drink evaporated milk alone as it has a different taste and texture than fresh milk. Some people can drink this concentrated form of milk straight from the can, while many prefer to dilute it with water.
After consumption, you must store leftover evaporated milk for future use as opened evaporated milk lasts only for less than a week in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Evaporated Milk?
Yes, you can. In general, freezing is considered the best technique to store or enhance the shelf life of dairy products. (*)
Note that an opened evaporated milk is more vulnerable to spoilage if not appropriately handled. You can freeze your leftover evaporated milk if you think you will not use it any time sooner.
Frozen evaporated milk can last for four to five months. The great thing about freezing foods is that it stops the microbes from multiplying, making your milk safe from spoilage. (*)
How To Freeze Evaporated Milk?
When we talk about quantity, you must know how much milk you need per recipe in the future. Thus, the size of your storage freezer-friendly container will matter as it isn’t advisable to thaw the whole container and freeze it again.
As for time, knowing how long you plan to keep your evaporated milk in the freezer can also help you decide what type of storage container you should use. For instance, an ice cube tray is most feasible for a short time freezing. At the same time, an airtight jar is preferable for long time storage.
Here’s what you need to do to freeze your evaporated milk properly:
1. Transfer your evaporated milk to freezer-safe containers with an airtight lid.
Your container should contain the amount you will need for a single recipe. Don’t fill the milk container up to the brim. See to it that you should leave about an inch of headspace because the liquid expands naturally when frozen. (*)
2. Seal the container properly.
Before you toss your milk in the freezer, make sure to cover it to avoid contamination and spillage. You don’t want your milk to spill before it freezes, right?
3. Put a label.
Stick the storage date on the container. This will help you monitor how soon you should be using your milk before it goes bad. Also, you can include the amount of milk the container has.
4. Put everything in the freezer.
Place your evaporated milk away from the raw frozen foods in your freezer to prevent cross-contamination. (*)
- Remember: Quantity and time are two essential factors that you should also take into consideration when storing evaporated milk in the freezer.
How To Defrost Frozen Evaporated Milk?
There are three ways to thaw evaporated milk safely. You can choose whichever method you prefer to do:
Chilling it in the fridge is the safest way to defrost your evaporated milk. If you use it the next day, make sure to take it out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
2. Water bath
The water bath method is the solution if you are looking for the fastest way to defrost evaporated milk. All you need to do is submerge your frozen evaporated milk container in a basin of warm water and let it thaw until it is ready for use.
As a warning, this defrosting method poses a slightly higher risk of bacterial growth, especially if you let it stay in the water more than necessary.
If you are just going to use the frozen evaporated milk for cooking, you can just toss it directly into your cooking pot. The heat will just melt your frozen evaporated milk.
- Note: Thawing evaporated milk at room temperature is not advisable. If you have left it there for two hours, you must discard it immediately.
What Will Happen If I Freeze Evaporated Milk?
Upon freezing, the physical characteristics of your evaporated milk will change inevitably. The color and texture are the two most vulnerable changes that will occur.
The natural color of evaporated milk is light yellow. However, it will turn dark yellow after freezing, which is not as appealing as fresh evaporated milk.
When evaporated milk is subjected to freezing, it will increase volume, and the water and milk solids contents will separate. This separation might be an issue for drinking purposes; however, it is acceptable for most cooked and bread recipes.
How To Fix Thawed Evaporated Milk That Has Separated?
Thawing evaporated milk results in unwanted changes. The separation of milk contents is the most common issue. However, you can fix it by stirring it or using a hand blender.
Can I refreeze evaporated milk?
We advise that you should not. Refreezing affects the physical appearance, promotes bacterial growth, and reduces shelf life. That is why we recommend that you should not freeze them in large quantities.
So store your evaporated milk in smaller containers as per your needs, so you won’t have to refreeze the remaining leftover milk.
Frequently Asked Questions
Condensed milk is a sweetened form of concentrated milk, while evaporated milk is unsweetened.
Evaporated milk is gluten-free, and celiac patients or gluten-sensitive individuals can consume it without caution. (*)
Freezing is the easiest and preferable technique to store leftover evaporated milk for future use.
Unfortunately, separation of milk solids and water will happen upon thawing, making your evaporated milk look less appealing for drinking. The break in the thawed evaporated milk could be minimized by stirring the separated milk manually or using a blender.
Lastly, make sure to follow proper defrosting methods to minimize the risks of foodborne illnesses. If you notice that your leftover evaporated milk has already gone bad, don’t hesitate to throw it away for your safety.