Evaporated milk, also known as unsweetened condensed milk, is canned cow’s milk. Unliked its sweetened counterpart, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk doesn’t contain sugar.
Unfortunately, the lack of sugar means that evaporated milk doesn’t last as long, since sugar inhibits bacterial growth.
Therefore, you might be wondering: Can you freeze evaporated milk? If so, then how?
The short answer is: you can freeze coconut milk! Either freeze it in airtight containers or flash freeze in an ice cube tray. The best part? Your coconut milk will last up to 6 months in the freezer.
Should You Freeze Your Evaporated Milk?
Evaporated milk doesn’t last long after opening, so it’s a good candidate for freezing.
However, you should note that producers don’t recommend you freeze their evaporated milk. That’s because the color, flavor, and texture are all likely to change slightly.
However, freezing and thawing your evaporated milk is completely safe. Just make sure you blend it up afterward to deal with any separation and use it in cooked dishes.
That way, you won’t notice any changes at all!
One last thing. Don’t refreeze your evaporated milk, and don’t freeze evaporated milk in the can.
That goes for any canned products – liquid expands when frozen, so your can will likely leak or explode, making a mess in your freezer.
How To Freeze Evaporated Milk
How To Freeze Evaporated Milk The Simple Way
You’ve got 2 options when it comes to freezing evaporated milk.
The first is to portion out your evaporated milk into airtight containers. Then, place those in the freezer.
This is a good option if you use a fair bit of evaporated milk at a time – say, when you batch cook a creamy soup – but it’s more tricky if you require flexible portioning. You don’t want to defrost a whole batch of evaporated milk, only for it to go bad before you’ve finished it!
If you choose this option, make sure you leave enough empty space in your container of evaporated milk. The liquid expands during cooking.
It’s also best to keep your portion sizes around 12oz. Any more, and you’ll have a hard time defrosting your evaporated milk evenly.
Speaking of defrosting, your best bet is to leave your container of evaporated milk in the refrigerator overnight. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can leave it on the counter for a maximum of 2 hours to speed the process along.
Depending on how much evaporated milk is in your container, that 2 hours on the counter might do the trick. However, even if your evaporated milk isn’t completely thawed, you should finish off the defrosting process in the refrigerator.
Your evaporated milk being at room temperature too long will encourage it to go bad.
How To Freeze Evaporated Milk For Easy Cooking
So you’ve got another option, perfect for saving on freezer space and lightning fast cooking. Just follow these simple step-by-step instructions below:
- Pour your evaporated milk into ice cube or cupcake trays.
- Cover the whole tray in aluminum foil. This will help protect your evaporated milk from freezer burn.
- Pop the tray full of evaporated milk in the freezer for 2 hours.
- Now you’ve flash frozen your evaporated milk, go ahead and pop the frozen chunks out of the tray, and transfer them to one big airtight container.
This way, your portion-sized chunks of evaporated milk won’t all stick together. Plus, you’ll find they defrost far quicker than a whole container full of evaporated milk!
The best part? You can add these small blocks of frozen evaporated milk straight into your cooking – they’ll thaw in the pot!
How Long Does Frozen Evaporated Milk Last?
Now to the good stuff.
Frozen evaporated milk lasts for up to 6 months, though it will be at its best quality if you consume it within 3 months.
Try to only thaw as much evaporated milk as you need that day, because thawed evaporated milk should be consumed within 3-5 days.
Other Storage Methods For Evaporated Milk
Not sure if freezing is the right option for you? We’ll run you through the others, so you can be sure.
With unopened cans of evaporated milk, feel free to keep them in your pantry or kitchen cabinet, as long as it’s not near any heat or light sources.
The key is finding a cool, dark, dry place for your canned goods.
As for how long your unopened evaporated milk will last, your best bet is to go by their use by or best before date. That’ll probably be within a year of purchase.
Once you’ve opened your evaporated milk, you should transfer it to an airtight container or food-safe bottle, and store that in your refrigerator. But don’t keep it in the refrigerator door – that’s the warmest part of the fridge, so your evaporated milk will go bad faster.
Expect opened (and resealed) evaporated milk to last in the fridge for up to 1 week.
The Summary On Freezing Evaporated Milk
That’s it: everything there is on storing and freezing evaporated milk. Here’s a quick summary if you ever need to refer back:
- Frozen evaporated milk is at its best quality for 3 months, but it’s still good to consume up to 6 months.
- Use thawed evaporated milk in cooked dishes, where you won’t be able to detect the texture change.
- Unopened cans of evaporated milk last in your cabinet for about a year, so it may not be worth freezing those.
- Never freeze evaporated milk in cans.
- Don’t re-freeze evaporated milk.