Condensed milk furrows eyebrows.
Is it a dairy product? Is it a canned good? Should you store it like milk or like baked beans?
In this article, you’ll find all the information you need to work out if your condensed milk has gone bad, how to store it, and how long it will last.
What’s the bottom line?
Before your tin of condensed milk is open, treat it as a canned good. That means storing it in a cool, dry, dark place. Once it’s opened, you’re better off storing it in the fridge.
How To Tell If Your Condensed Milk Has Gone Bad
As for unopened condensed milk, the tin acts as a seal that stops any moisture or bacteria from getting in. Therefore, you should look for any leaks, rust, holes, or puffed parts of the can.
If you find any problems with the can, your condensed milk has been exposed to bacteria, and you’ll probably find the milk inside funky.
Once your condensed milk is open, it’s a good sign if it’s pale yellow in color and runny like syrup in texture.
To tell if your can of opened condensed milk has gone bad, look for changes in color (i.e., it’s not pale yellow), a clumpy texture, and a weird smell.
If you can’t see any changes in appearance or smell, but you’re still suspicious, then taste a little bit to make sure.
Tastes sour? Chuck it! Doesn’t? It should be fine.
How To Store Condensed Milk
Before your sweetened condensed milk is out of the can, treat it as a canned good.
That means storing it in a cool, dry area, away from sunlight, moisture, and sources of heat. This will ensure that your can, the strongest seal against your delicious condensed milk and harmful bacteria, doesn’t rust or unseal.
Ideally, you want an area with regulated temperature, like a pantry, because temperature changes can cause separation and expansion of the milk in the tin.
However, a cabinet that’s not close to the oven or stove should work well.
Once you’ve opened your condensed milk, it’s a whole different ball game.
Now, you should stream your sweetened condensed milk just like any other dairy product. Transfer to an airtight container and store it in your refrigerator.
Don’t store your milk in an unsealed can, as the can is likely to start rusting, and your milk will absorb odors from the fridge.
The same storage methods go for any desserts you make with condensed milk. Play it safe and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Want to play the long game and freeze your sweetened condensed milk?
Don’t freeze unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk. This can expand the volume of the milk and make your can leak or explode.
Instead, transfer your freshly opened cans of condensed milk into an airtight container before freezing.
Thaw condensed milk overnight in the refrigerator before use. The consistency will be different, and the liquids may have separated, so only freeze if you’re planning to use your condensed milk in a recipe.
How Long Condensed Milk Lasts
The good news is that condensed milk lasts longer than its unsweetened counterpart, evaporated milk. This is because of the sugar content in condensed milk, extending its shelf life.
That means you can store unopened condensed milk for at least two years in your pantry, even up to five years, with good storage conditions.
Although you should go by the best-before dates on the tin to be on the safe side, the condensed milk will probably be delicious for years after that date. That’s provided the seal of the can hasn’t been damaged.
Once you’ve opened your can of condensed milk, it will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator if you leave it in the unsealed tin.
We don’t recommend that, though.
Instead, by storing your condensed milk in an airtight container, you can keep it in your fridge for up to two weeks.
Two weeks not long enough for you?
Leftover condensed milk will last up to three months in the freezer.
So, Does Condensed Milk Go Bad?
Well, sort of.
When unopened, provided the tin seal is intact, your condensed milk won’t really go bad. Or at least, not for about a decade.
However, your tin of opened condensed milk certainly goes off.
You should store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Want to know the best bit?
By following our tips, your condensed milk will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!