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Wondering if you can freeze milk? Here’s what to know about how to prepare this ingredient for long term storage.

can you freeze milk

Got extra milk? Milk is a common staple ingredient to keep on hand, but sometimes it can be hard to use up before it goes bad. (That is, if you’re not breakfast cereal fans like we are!) But can you freeze milk? This simple preservation method does work, though it does come with some caveats. Here’s what to know about whether and how to freeze milk!

Can you freeze milk?

Freezing milk is a simple and effective way to preserve it. In fact, depending on the type of milk and length in the freezer, it can freeze beautifully. However, higher fat milks may become more grainy and separated in texture after freezing. For example, skim milk freezes better than whole milk.

Our testing found freezing 2% milk had no change in texture after 1 week in the freezer. Depending on the length of time and type of milk, you may find that the texture separates. (Because of the extreme separation in texture, freezing almond milk is not recommended.) Use this type of thawed frozen milk in baked goods, cooked recipes, and smoothies. If you’d like, you can throw it in a blender to attempt to re-integrate the texture.

How to freeze milk

Ready to freeze milk? It’s best to start with milk that is as fresh as possible (and of course, don’t freeze milk that’s past its expiration date). This process works for many types of dairy milk or non-dairy milk, including dairy milk, coconut milk, and buttermilk. Because of the separation in texture that occurs, freezing almond milk and oat milk is not recommended. Higher fat milks can become more grainy and separated in texture after freezing. Here’s how to freeze milk:

  • Prepare the milk for freezing: Pour the milk into a plastic container or resealable freezer bag, leaving at least ½ inch of headspace in the container to allow for expansion during freezing. Or, you can freeze it into smaller portions in an ice cube tray.
  • Label the date: Seal the container or bag tightly and label it with a Use by date that is 3 months in the future.
  • Freeze: Place the container or bag in the freezer. Freeze for up to 1 month for best results. The milk can be frozen for up to 6 months, but the texture starts to degrade.

*If freezing milk in an ice cube tray or silicone tray, place the tray in the freezer for 2 hours until frozen solid. Then pop out the cubes and place them in a freezer safe plastic bag. Suck out the air in the bag with a straw, then seal it tightly. 1 ice cube is typically 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce.

can you freeze milk

How to defrost frozen milk

After the milk is frozen, you’ll need to thaw it correctly before using it. Use the defrosted milk within 3 days.

  • Place the milk in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. Do not defrost milk at room temperature because of the risk of bacteria growth. (If you’re in a rush and using the milk in a cooked or baked dish, you could also microwave the milk in short bursts; just be careful not to overcook it.)
  • Stir (or blend). Freezing milk may change its texture. Depending on the type of milk and length of storage, it can become grainy and separated after thawing. Stir the milk to re-integrate the texture (or place it in a blender and blend until combined).

Uses for thawed milk

Once thawed, the milk may have no change in texture over the storage time. In this case, use it any way you’d like! If it does have texture changes, you can use it in a variety of baked and cooked recipes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Want to freeze other types of milk or dairy? Head to these resources:

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can you freeze milk

How to Freeze Milk


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: N/A

Description

Wondering if you can freeze milk? Here’s what to know about how to prepare this ingredient for long term storage.


Ingredients

  • Milk (dairy or non-dairy)*

Instructions

  1. Pour the milk into a storage container, leaving at least ½ inch of headspace in the container to allow for expansion during freezing. Or, you can freeze it into smaller portions in an ice cube tray or silicon freezer tray, then remove the cubes once frozen and place in a resealable plastic bag. (Keep in mind, 1 ice cube is typically 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce.)
  2. Seal the container or bag tightly and label it with a Use By date that is 3 months in the future. Place it in the freezer. Freeze for up to 1 month for best results, or up to 6 months.
  3. To defrost the milk, place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Freezing milk can change its texture: depending on the type and length of storage, it may become separated after thawing. Stir the milk to re-integrate the texture (or place it in a blender and blend until combined). Once thawed, use the milk within 3 days. 

Notes

*It’s best to start with milk that is as fresh as possible (don’t freeze milk that’s past its expiration date). This process works for most types of dairy milk, buttermilk and coconut milk. It is not recommended to freeze almond milk and oat milk because of the separation in texture. Keep in mind that higher fat milks can become grainy and separated in texture after freezing.

  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Frozen
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Can you freeze milk

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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