You may have a mental image of your mother standing over a pan stirring milk as it heats on the stovetop. But not everyone has the time or patience to do that, so you might be wondering can you microwave milk? Yes you can microwave milk and it’s a quick and simple method that works, but there are a few things to take into account.
How to Heat Milk in the Microwave without Spilling
Water produces big bubbles when it boils, but milk is a little sneaky; when milk is reaching boiling point, it foams up quickly and might boil over faster than you think. Most importantly, milk needs to be heated slowly, otherwise the milk will overflow all over the microwave. This method is a little time-consuming because you have to constantly stop the microwave and stir the milk, but it’s worth it because you won’t have to clean a milk explosion. Using the following method, one cup (250 ml) takes around 45–60 seconds to heat up, and it will boil after 2.5 minutes.
- Find a microwave-safe container of adequate size in which to pour the milk, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the rim of the container.
- On medium-high power or 70% power, run the microwave for 15 seconds.
- Carefully remove it from the microwave and gently stir the milk.
- Repeat this process until the milk is sufficiently hot and steaming.
How Safe Is It To Heat And Microwave Milk?
Regardless of whether you’re heating milk in a double boiler, pot, or microwave, you face a couple of risks. Firstly, the bottom of the container could get scorched by the milk. Scorched milk has an unpleasant taste and if you try to use it, you can expect the scorched flavor to be present throughout the food or drink that you’re preparing. Secondly, the milk will develop a film of protein on the surface. It’s possible to blend the skin back into the milk but the texture might change.
The Journal of Dairy Research published a study about the effect of microwave heating of milk. The investigation indicated that “heat treatment of milk in household microwave ovens does not damage vitamins A, E, B1, B2 and B6.” More research was published in the US National Library of Medicine regarding the mineral balance in milk that was heated in a microwave oven. From the results, it was concluded that heating in the microwave is “no more detrimental to the milk than conventional heating”
Never refrigerate microwaved milk because there is a risk of it becoming contaminated with bacteria.
Regardless, the safety of microwaving any food or beverage is still a debatable issue with mixed opinions.
Can You Microwave Milk For Babies?
It’s best to heat bottles from the outside in. To do this, you can either run the sealed bottle under hot running water or put the sealed bottle in a warm water bath. So can you microwave milk for babie? The answer is YES but milk for babies should only be microwaved if there is not another option.
If you need to warm milk or formula for a baby, stirring or agitation is essential. If you microwave the entire bottle, there will be “hot spots” in the contents. The baby’s mouth could be burnt in this way. If you heat any food or drink for baby in the microwave, be sure to stir it and allow it to rest for a minimum of 30 seconds. An adult should test the temperature on sensitive skin such as the wrist to be sure that the liquid is not hotter than lukewarm.
What Can You Do With Microwaved Milk?
While you can use microwave-heated milk for any recipe that calls for heated milk, people commonly use the microwave to heat milk to be used when making hot chocolate. Either add the heated milk to the chocolate ingredients, or you can mix it all together and heat it all at once. Mix the milk and cocoa, chocolate, sugar, ground cinnamon, and other ingredients. Microwave it as described above until satisfactorily hot. It might take longer than if it were just pure milk because of the extra ingredients.
What Heat Treatment Does Milk Usually Go Through?
Almost all milk that you buy at the stores is pasteurized. The specifications for pasteurization are varied and specific so you should not attempt to do it yourself because the milk could become a haven for harmful bacteria that could make you and your family very sick.
Pasteurization involves heating milk to 145° Fahrenheit, then cooling it to 40° Fahrenheit. The milk then needs to be stored in the fridge and used before the expiry date.
Long-life milk undergoes a process called Ultra-high temperature processing (UHT), ultra-pasteurization or ultra-heat treatment. This is a food processing technology that heats liquid food above 275° Fahrenheit for 2–5 seconds to kill bacterial endospores, thereby sterilizing it. Once opened, long-life milk needs to be stored in the refrigerator and used within 7 to 10 days.
Why Does The Flavor Of Milk Change When You Heat It?
Milk has a slightly sweet, rich taste due to the lactose present in the milk. Lactose a disaccharide of glucose and galactose, or the natural sugars present in the milk. Heating milk perceptibly affects the flavor. When you heat milk, you increase the solubility of the milk sugars. This is what makes heated milk seem sweeter.
How to Warm Milk without A Microwave?
A double boiler is a saucepan with an upper compartment that’s detachable. In the lower compartment, you can heat water on the stove as normal. The milk in the upper compartment is heated by the hot steam from the lower compartment. This is a good way to heat milk because it’s a non-direct method; in other words, the milk doesn’t directly contact the heat source. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent the milk from curdling or becoming burnt. Turn off the heat as soon as you can see bubbles and froth starting to form on the surface of the milk and steam starts rising.