You bought milk for a recipe and don’t need to use the rest of it straight away, or maybe you’re scrambling to drink it all before the expiration date. Milk is a common household item but can be challenging to use up before it spoils. You might ask yourself: can I freeze milk? Yes, you can freeze milk. You can also freeze cream or half and half. It might be helpful to have some cream or milk in the freezer for those times you unexpectedly need it for a recipe, and there isn’t a drop in sight. Freezing milk also enables you to take advantage of milk deals at your local grocery store by buying in bulk and saving later. Animal or plant-based kinds of milk are both able to be frozen, so don’t toss out that oat milk without considering packaging it up safely and freezing it. Frozen milk should keep fresh from three to six months if done correctly. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind before you freeze milk. Factors that affect a milk’s ability to be frozen and retain its freshness depend on its type and how it is stored.
It is crucial to not freeze the milk in the container it came in unless it’s a plastic jug. Even then, make sure there is enough room in the milk jug for it to expand, so it doesn’t pop. Cans, glass bottoms, and paper cartons don’t have room to grow and might pop and leave a mess in your freezer – a real pain to clean up. No one wants frozen milk all over their other frozen goods. The best way to package the milk is to seal it in an airtight container with 1½ to 2 inches of space left for it to expand. When freezing any food, milk including, it’s a good tip and a wise choice to write the date of the day you froze it directly on the package with a sharpie marker, that way, you’ll know in which order to use the frozen milk and know when three to six months has passed. However, we suggest that you try to use milk before the three-month mark for optimum freshness.
When you are ready to use the frozen milk, place it in the fridge and not on the counter. Defrosting foods on the counter invites bacteria to grow, and that can make you sick. Frozen milk will separate when frozen, so it might look a little different when it defrosts. Do not worry! As soon as you remix it, it will look like the milk you’re used to, and it’s perfectly fine to use. With a higher fat content, whole milk tends to separate more than milk with less fat like skim milk. Plant-based milk like almond and coconut might have a grainier texture but are also acceptable to use as you usually would. Feel free to shake, stir, or use an emersion blender to get the milk to your desired consistency. Do you like cream in your coffee or milk in your smoothies? Try freezing your milk and creams in ice cube trays to make easily accessible perfect portions. The milk used in cooking, like sauces and soups, does not need to be defrosted before using.
Now that you’re ready to freeze milk, see these simple instructions below:
How to Freeze Milk
- Put your milk in the freezer using the milk jug it came in or an airtight plastic container. Be sure to leave some space for it to expand. 1 1/2 to 2 inches should do.
- Thaw milk in the fridge.
- If the milk is separated, mix it up and use it as usual.