For as long as people have been keeping livestock for milk, they’ve been trying to figure out how to keep milk from spoiling.
While there are some already well-known ways to preserve dairy, like making cheese or butter, keeping milk fresh for longer using heat is a relatively recent innovation. Evaporated milk is one of these methods.
You could buy evaporated milk at the store, but why not brew up a fresh batch at home? When you make your own DIY evaporated milk, you can make several pints of evaporated milk per gallon. This means you’re paying a fraction of the cost to get a lot more evaporated milk.
What Is Evaporated Milk?
Store-bought evaporated milk is fresh milk that has been heated until around 60% of its moisture content is removed. After that, it’s heated again at ultra-high temperatures (UHT) and canned in sterilized containers.
Related: Stop Throwing Away Spoiled Milk! Do This Instead
The end product has a thick, off-white color, and a buttery aroma. It’s an ingredient in a lot of recipes but it can be mixed with water to create a drink that’s like fresh milk.
How To Make Evaporated Milk At Home
There are many recipes online for DIY evaporated milk. Some of them recommended canning the milk before it’s turned into evaporated milk. Others use the water bath method, or a pressure canner or cooker combo.
For my recipe, I am using a pressure cooker rather than a canner in a kitchen at a low altitude. This means that I can only work in very small batches and that my instructions and timing may be slightly different than yours.
For most people, 10 pounds of pressure for ten minutes or setting your canner to 11 psi for ten minutes will suffice.
- 3 c. whole-fat milk (makes 1-1½ c. evaporated milk)
- mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or colander
- heavy bottomed saucepan
- stirring utensil – such as a wooden spoon
- pressure cooker/canner and equipment
When canning milk products, remember to thoroughly and very carefully sterilize all equipment such as canning jars and lids.
I like to sterilize my jars in a 250-degree oven for 30-40 minutes. To sanitize the lids, you can place them in a small pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes.
Related: 7 Deadly Canning Mistakes Even Smart People Make
1. Bring milk to a simmer over low to medium-low heat. Once the milk starts to come to a boil, reduce the heat to low.
2. Let the milk simmer for around 25 minutes – or until the milk is reduced to half its original volume. As it heats, a film layer will form at the top. This is the moisture escaping the milk.
If you don’t stir often enough, this film can expand and bubble over. Stir often and quickly to keep this from happening.
3. When the milk thickens, deepens to a creamy or off-white color, and the volume is reduced by half, remove it from the stovetop and allow it to cool slightly.
4. Remove the film from the top. Then, strain your mixture through a strainer or colander into well-sterilized canning jars brought to room temperature.
Related: How To Can Bone Broth At Home With 2 Years Shelf Life
5. Fill the jars with your evaporated milk, leaving an inch or so of space at the top of the jar. Set them on the pressure cooking or canning rack.
6. Close the pressure canner/cooker lid and turn the heat to med-high. Allow it to build pressure until it starts to steam/vent. Then add the weight (or equivalent to your machine) and set a timer for ten minutes.
When done, turn off the heat. Let it cool until pressurizing is complete.
7. Allow the canned milk to sit overnight and check the seals before storing.
Your evaporated milk should last for 12-18 months in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, such as your pantry or root cellar.
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Is Homemade Evaporated Milk Safe?
Whether homemade evaporated milk is safe to consume is a decision you should make for yourself. According to the USDA though, eating home-canned dairy products is just a little too risky to advise. In fact, there is no “approved recipe” available for home-canning any dairy products.
This is because dairy products like milk have high fat, low acid, and high moisture content. All of these things can make dairy more susceptible to spoilage and bacteria that create toxins like Botulism. This is a big reason why it’s almost impossible to find raw cow’s milk in stores.
Still, since you can buy boxed pasteurized milk and evaporated milk in cardboard packages at the grocery store, you might wonder if you can safely accomplish this at home.
When you make your own homemade evaporated milk, you’re exposing it to high temperatures and eliminating a lot of the moisture content in the process. This is why some people think that canning it using safe home canning methods is a perfectly safe way to can milk.
Related: My First Batch Of Canned Cheese
Even though store bought evaporated milk might go through similar sterilization processes you might use for canning in your home kitchen, it’s usually more regulated and therefore considered safer by the USDA.
Uses Of Evaporated Milk
Now that you know how to make your own DIY evaporated milk for canning, did you know that you can turn evaporated milk back into regular milk? Just place your evaporated milk in a pot, add some water, and heat over low. You’ll have a regular glass of milk in no time!
Additionally, if you’re out of milk but you don’t have time for a grocery trip, you can use powdered milk to create a substitute. Simply add 40% of the suggested water to powdered milk to create a great evaporated milk substitute.
However, there is limited information available about canning reconstituted powdered milk. So, if you only have powdered milk to work with, it may be best to use it immediately rather than canning it.
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Good article. But
Let”s talk about how we will “survive” this LIE on the election. AGAIN…
These demons say they will not leave there postions. What now???????
satan is using all of these weak people and there are about 6 billion plus of them to bring in the antichrist.
Things are going to get so much worse.
They love the darkness because there deeds are of wickedness and they HATE the light.
God must really be pissed off at all of us, to let these scum bags stay in office.
Remember God is allways in control. His ways are not our ways..
Once again there has to have been manipulation behind the scenes, and the facts are starting to trickle out. From it being over sold by the media, to market manipulation and dark funding by billionaire Dem operators like Sam Bankman Fried, who broke his own crypto-bank for the Dems, and Rep traitors like Mitch Mc Connell who turned his back on his own party’s candidates! Hard to believe the so called leader of the Republican Party would actually pull back much needed funding from candidates running for key local races just because they would not pledge alliance to him!
All Republicans are traitors .
Any politician that puts party ahead of constituents, and also ignores their oath to support and defend the Constitution should be considered traitors at most and incompetent at least. Unfortunately, there is not a recall option, and even if there were, it would take too long to implement, and would probably be manipulated according to the whims of the powers that be.
I used to hope for a Constitutional amendment to enforce term limits, limited text in bills, and no exemption for politicians for the laws they make, but the amendments would be worded in a way that would take more rights from We the People.
I pray that the politicians’ eyes will be opened and they soon understand that they will be judged for their actions according to God’s laws.
Prepper in training
They will never vote themselves out of a job
Voting is dead
This former republic is dead
I didn’t know that there was such a thing as POLITICAL evaporated milk.
Are there 4 different recipes, 1 for Republican, 1 for Democrat, and 1 for Independent, plus 1 more for general political evaporated milk?
SORRY: (actually I’m not) If I tick anybody off.. But NOT EVERYTHING in the world has to do with politics !!!!!!!
I thought this article was about how to home-can milk. Not about politics.
If anyone took this article to a political site. They would laugh and ask “what the heck are you talking about”. “This site is for politics, not canned milk”. It’s the same, the other way around. What does politics have to do with, “how to home-can milk” ?
This is a very fine prepping site, but you are missing the bigger picture if you think that it should just be about prepping from the article at hand. An open, civil discussion about anything off topic is welcome in my viewpoint. Most people respond to a poster’s comment with something relevant to the comment, so if the comment is about the article’s topic, you will hopefully find valid, valuable information. If the poster chooses to exercise his/her 1st Amendment right, then more power to them.
If politics didn’t exist, then there would be no need for prepping beyond natural disasters. Politics is about fear and control, and one side or the other will push being prepared in order to not be blind sided by “what may happen”.
We should have sense enough to scroll past that which we do not want to see, read, or take part in, and as perceived adults, we should allow, with some decorum, the exercise of free and open debate.
I’m with Wendell… the constant derailment of posts by politics (unrelated to the topic) and in-house fan boys bitching at each other is making the comments here largely useless.
Maybe there should be an “American Politics” post for people go and comment and chew each other out on? While we’re at it should we petition for a “Raven and Co. Bully Each Other Post” and a “Scammers schilling water something or other probably to download Trojans onto your device” post?
Can we just talk about the topic at hand? Or stop filling every post with other topics at least, so that people who come, curious about prepping and IDK… canning milk… can have discourse on that without wading through all the other stuff (much of which is so angry and bitter at times that it’s a real turn off to casual people coming to see if this is a good fit).
This is America. “NOT Australia”.
We still have a freedom of expression, here.
Until we do not have that,. Deal with it.
Well one day when someone tells you that voting is pointless you might get it
“They” WANT us to think voting is useless. “They” hate us, especially those of us who think for ourselves and who don’t believe the BS the media spew hourly. Not voting is the same as voting for the godless party of death. Just think, if EVERYONE voted, it would be much harder for “them” to cheat.
Everyone did vote and they still won
I am concerned that once these baby-killing, lying, cheating, pedo-protecting, human traffickers, perverts and all-around thugs (referring to ALL Democrats and those who vote for Democrats), take full control and dismiss the Supreme Court or stack with more of their own, they will make abortion into something akin to their perverted men in drag dancing around our children –waving their penises in children’s faces– and then abandon Israel followed by going against them…
Yahweh will frown upon us and the USA will fall taking all of the good people who do nothing with it. ((I don’t normally get ‘religious’ posting but this will be the case, whether you refer to our country falling simply because the USA turns into a pedo-protecting, baby-killing mecca run by the worse of the worst democrats who OBVIOUSLY cheated their way into office or suggest that a Higher Power drop kicked the weak and perverted into His own abyss.))
Republicans are just as bad
It’s good to understand how this can be done at home if one has the need to do it and has both the time and materials To accomplish the task. I always enjoy learning how to make things from scratch at home as I was raised to value that as a “job well done“.
Unfortunately though, I don’t have enough room here in the big city to keep a few cows at home, but luckily for me cans of a well-known brand name evaporated milk can still be found on sale at the local supermarket at 5 for $5.00 while a half gallon of fresh milk is $4.99.
It’s an interesting article well-write article, which I will definitely print out and save for future reference if ever the need be, but before you take on a task, it always pays to do the math and weigh the outcome.
We don’t need a dissertation, City Chick. I am, though, quite shocked that you use “Chick” as part of your name. Guess not all city folks are woke.
So, by your logic, you must be a liberal since you think all city dwellers are the same monolithic group. That is what libs do.
City Chick, if you end up getting a gallon of milk and realize you won’t use it up quickly enough, then canning what would otherwise spoil would be a good thing.
Like you, I am interested in learning how to do things even if the chances of me doing them are remote.
Maybe, but, Ah! Mac n cheese, crepes or puddings are on the menu around here! There are a whole host of easy tasty recipes one can make, keep on hand or freeze to use up extra milk before it spoils! Waste Not. Want not!
I’d be willing to bet that your ‘well-known brand name’ evaporated milk is actually made from milk-powder from China that’s mixed with polystyrene fillers in spite of whatever bullshit advertising and fine-print they’ve conned you into believing.
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. It’s getting harder and harder to avoid so called “edibles” from the CCP. That said, a lot of European brands for sale here in the states are also from China or Russia these days. Jacobs Instant Coffee founded in Hamburg Germany in the 1880s now made in Russia. That’s why it’s just so darn important to learn how to make things from scratch!
I don’t like the taste of evaporated milk. What is it like when it’s reconstituted back to ‘normal’? Do you still get that boiled milk taste?
Worse it tastes like tuna
It’s never anything like real milk as it’s been thoroughly cooked…all of the sugars and proteins have been denatured so the end product is not milk at all, no more than a cake resembles uncooked flour and eggs.
Well sounds interesting but when you can buy a box of it for penny’s on the dollar it seems like this is a neat parlor trick.
Maybe it works for Norwegians but not here.
prior to COVID and now Bidenflation & Destroy USA >>> one of the Dollar store chains was selling quarts of UHT milk for a $1 – good info to have for SHTF contingencies but making shelf milk under still fairly normal conditions has its problems – canning any dairy is testing the skill box to the limit …..
UHT milk is handy. I buy it when I find it. The military uses it all the time overseas. It never killed me.
Absolutely right. I have seen people spend literally about three times as much canning their own home produce, meat, milk, etc. and that doesn’t even include the cost of the canning jars and lids and your time.
I enjoy preserving food as well. It gives me a sense of satisfaction. There’s also the element of, “is your own home canned version that much healthier than a store-bought version?”.
I think there may be a slight element of that, but I do not think that the nutritional gap is as huge as we have been led to believe. I have spoken with a few people who have a masters level degree in food and nutrition… And they say that while there are some differences… They are not actually statistically significant. Sometimes it is better and cheaper to make your own, such as when you are able to get a large amount of produce very cheap or even free. Same goes for meat and milk. But other times… It is cheaper to look for sales and stock up on prepackaged items.
Jack, some of us don’t like the added ingredients and preservatives used in commercial products. So, we like to do it ourselves in order to avoid them. Why make your own ammo when you can just as easily go buy it off the shelf? Not all things will be for everyone, but the information should be out there for all to use if they want to.
No pro here, but. Why not stock up on powdered milk. Buy in bulk, break it down into smaller amounts add O2 absorber and vac seal. As far as taste goes, powdered milk doesn’t taste like real milk. Evaporated milk doesn’t taste like real milk. Hell. Even fresh off the shelf store bought milk, doesn’t taste like real milk. Something else to think about is. If you drop a package of powdered milk, wipe it off and put it back in you’re stock. If you drop a pint of home-caned milk, you better get a mop, broom and dustpan.
Just my opinion folks.
I’m a fan of this thinking too (and have acted accordingly).
I can store commercially prepared milk in plastic Mylar bags or glass jars equally. Why on earth would I dance with botulism?
I think with regards to the previous comments about why not just buy powdered or evaporated milk from the store…you guys are missing the point entirely. It’s not about make-it-yourself vs buy off-the-shelf, it’s about prepping, and that means you practise and get it right while you can safely because when SHTF you won’t have any second chances. In this particular case it means that you’ll need to be in a position to source fresh milk, but a lot of people will be able to do that either from their own livestock or by barter in many SHTF scenarios. Even if you don’t have access to milk, the canning knowledge across different food products is still invaluable and worth practising while you are able.
This is slightly off topic but relevant.
First let me ask you some questions? You need to answer these for yourself not for me or someone else (Hint look at what people do outside the USA).
Why does the government and scientists want to regulate and tell the public not to can dairy products, is it because they think inpectors will regulate how it is done better or is it because the government does not want you to be able to do this yourself?
Do you Trust political leaders?
Do your trust computers and the technicians that program them for voting machines?
Do you trust the MEDIA?
Each person has to make their own mind up to what they want to believe, how they want to survive and how they want to protect their family.
YOU CANNOT LIVE AND SURVIVE BY USING SOMEONE ELSE”S RULES. You can learn from what someone else says but each person is different and has different abilities. So each person has to develop thier own ways and methods that work for them. Just because it works for you doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.
This my thoughts on this but it is up to you to make your own mind up as to what to believe.
What do I think the government and scientist’s regulations are really for?
Well this is two fold.
Part one is, in the politicians eyes We The People are not capable of making our own decisions and doing things like canning milk products.
Part two is to control the population. (Why do you think everything is secret and when it does come out, it does not make much since why it was listed as secret?)
Do I trust the politicians? NO
Do I trust computers and the technicians that progem the voting machines? No (becasue they are paid to write them by government and the government is for power and control)
Do I trust the media? NO (because they have misslead to many times)
See the problem is this and this is why all the above is relevant. This site is to inform people of the why, what, where and when. To do this even for canning evaporated milk there is much more that is needed to be known because the article would be wasted if every one believed what the government says about it. The reasons and thinking of the government on the subject is relevant because if you believe the government you will not can and there by be reliant on the governement and industry.
So yes all comments should be welcome because all the comments will have some bearing on the subject.
This will be a good option for the milk I occasionally get on markdown. Mostly I just freeze dry it, but it doesn’t always reconstitute easily, so I like having another option.
1. What’s the best way to take the top layer off after it’s been reduced, before pouring it through the strainer?
2. I’d love to see how to make powder milk, as it’s very close in flavor, lasts a long time, and is easy to transport.
Thank you so much for all of the very valuable information you provide, so glad for all of it!
I have a question on the canning process for the evaporated milk, can you clarify if it needs to get up to the 10 lb before the timer is started for 10 minutes or is it 10 minutes from the time you put the rocker on while the gauge is going up to 10 lbs?
Start your timer after it reaches 10lbs. Hold it at 10lbs for the time stated.
I have found it takes about 10 min to heat up to the point i place the weight on and about another 10 minutes to get up to 10lbs of psi.