Can You Freeze Milk – Pros and Cons of Freezing Milk for Long-Term Storage

Can You Freeze Milk?: Milk is an absolutely essential food in most households. Therefore, the question “can you freeze milk?” can actually be an important home science skill for you to know about! We use milk for far too many things on a regular basis. Cereal and milk, milk in baked products, omelets, etc. are some examples of the versatility of milk. Thus, the simple fact is that if you can really freeze milk properly, you might just be able to save a lot of money and milk.

On the other hand, if you can’t freeze it, you might have to take extra precautions when it comes to storing milk, to ensure that you don’t end up drinking spoiled milk. So, this article will tell you everything you need to know about whether you can freeze milk or not. Let’s get straight to the point.

Can You Freeze Milk

Can You Freeze Milk?

Yes, you can freeze milk safely. If frozen the right way, it can last for a month, before it begins to curdle or go bad. That said, milk should ideally be consumed within a month of opening the packet.

Bear in mind, freezing milk can often lead to the settling of the particulate matter in different types of milk. For example, certain milk types such as oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk are made by crushing the main ingredient and then blending it with water.

So, if the milk simply sits in your refrigerator then the chances of the solid particles settling at the bottom while leaving the water at the top. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the milk has gone. Usually, a reblend will get it back to normal. But, we’ll get to that later.

What Different Types Of Milk Will Separate If You Freeze It?

As mentioned, certain types of milk tend to separate into their solid and liquid components. The solids usually settle down at the bottom of the container, leaving a milky liquid on top. Here are some of the different types of milk that separate if you freeze it –

  • Human milk – Since human milk is generally rich in fat, the fat ends up separating from the liquid component.
  • Goat milk – Goat milk is known to remain fairly consistent even upon freezing.
  • Carton milk – Carton is typically cow or buffalo milk. If you buy these in tetra-packs, you won’t even have to freeze them because of their long shelf lives.
  • Almond milk – Almond milk is bound to separate into the solid particles of almond and the blended water upon freezing. However, in order to bring the emulsion back to its original consistency, you just need to blend it again.
  • Soy milk – Soy milk, like almond milk, and most other vegan milk, also tends to separate upon freezing.

Most of the milk regardless of whether they are sourced from animal sources or whether they are vegan kinds of milk does tend to separate. However, separation, in itself, does not mean that the milk has curdled or that it’s time for you to throw it out.

Typically, the separation just means that the milk has been sitting for too long and the solid particles have gravitated toward the bottom of the container. All you need to do to bring back the consistency is to swirl it around in the container it’s stored in.

Can You Freeze Milk

Can You Freeze Milk 1

Milk Solids (SNF: 8.5%, FAT: 3%), Vitamin A, and Vitamin D2.

Allergen Advice: Contains Milk

Nutritional Facts (Approx.)
Number of Servings per pack: 5
Serving Size: 100 ml

Nutrients UOM Per 100 ml %RDA*
Energy Kcal 58.6 2.93
Protein g 3.5 6.48
Carbohydrates g 4.4 3.38
Added Sugar g 0 0
Total Fat g 3 4.48
Saturated Fat g 2.04 9.27
Trans Fatty Acids g 0
Cholesterol mg 10
Calcium mg 125 12.5
Vitamin A μg 27 2.7
Vitamin D2 μg 0.5 0.08

*Per serve percentage (%) contribution to Recommended Dietary Allowance calculated on the basis of 2000 kcal energy.

When Should You Consider Freezing Milk?

Ideally, you should consume milk from its container within two to three days after opening the packaging. If, however, you want to freeze the milk so that you can store it for longer, the best time would be to do so just before the expiration date that’s given on the packaging. A simple thumb rule to follow when it comes to freezing milk is, “The sooner, the better.”

How To Freeze Milk In Different Methods?

There are primarily 2 methods of freezing milk and your choice will ultimately depend on which is more convenient for your use. These methods include freezing an unopened carton of milk or freezing portions of it.

  • Unopened cartons – Maybe you bought an extra carton of milk or maybe you just like keeping your fridge stocked. Either way, the packaged milk will not last beyond its expiration date unless you freeze it. In such a situation, simply freeze the entire carton directly, without opening it.
  • Portions of milk – Now, assuming you’ve already begun using the carton and you wish to freeze only a portion of it, simply remove that portion into an ice tray or in a separate refrigerator-safe container.

Do Check:

How Does Milk Change After Freezing?

Milk does undergo certain physical changes when you freeze it and you’ll only notice these changes when you thaw it. These changes don’t necessarily mean that the milk has gone bad. But they can make the milk undesirable if you wish to use it for cereal or in its raw form.

After freezing and thawing milk, the solids in the milk, which is an emulsion in scientific terms, will separate from the liquid component of it. So what you’ll be able to see is the watery portion of milk toward the upper part of the container and the fat solids settled at the bottom of it.

How Can You Thaw Frozen Milk?

Most people believe that thawing frozen milk should take place out of the refrigerator, in the microwave oven, or just at a regular temperature. But, contrary to popular belief, any frozen milk should be thawed in the refrigerator itself.

The main reason that thawing frozen milk is a process that should take place only in the refrigerator is that at room temperature, the chances of unhealthy bacterial growth are fairly high.

Inside the refrigerator, the milk returns to its liquid form very gradually, thereby minimizing the growth of unwanted bacteria. Therefore, to thaw frozen milk, the best way would be to simply transfer the packet into the refrigerator from the freezer and leave it there overnight.

The second-safest option would be to plop the packet into the microwave oven and heat it at small intervals. However, the issue with this method is that once you’ve melted the milk, you will have to use it almost immediately or risk it going bad very soon.

Follow our write ups on Can You Freeze Soy Milk to better understand how freezing can impact on the lifespan of soy milk.

FAQs on How To Store, Freeze, Defrost & Refreeze Milk?

1. Can you source any benefits from milk after it has been curdled?

Even curdled milk can have immense benefits. The watery component that separates after milk curdles is whey. And whey is an excellent source of protein.

2. How long can you keep milk frozen?

You can keep milk in a frozen state for nearly half a year. But, it would be best to use it within one month of freezing. This will ensure that the milk solids don’t separate from the liquid.

3. Can you microwave frozen milk to thaw it?

The fact is that thawing frozen milk is risky if done outside the cold environment of the refrigerator. The reason is that at normal temperatures, the chances of unhealthy bacteria growing in the milk are high. Therefore, you should avoid microwaving frozen milk to thaw it.

Finishing Thoughts

Now that you know the answer to the question “can you freeze milk?”, you can begin to make space for a carton of milk in your freezer! And if you’re looking for tips, tricks and crucial information about the perfect way to freeze evaporated milk and preserve different foods, simply head to our website!

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