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Condensed Milk Freezing Guide: How Long Does It Last?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Can you freeze condensed milk if you need to?

Yes, but you must follow certain steps to store it correctly and prevent damage. Here’s what you should know about freezing this substance.

How To Store Sweetened Condensed Milk

The first step in freezing condensed milk is making sure you have enough space in your freezer. Luckily, this substance stores well, so you don’t need as much space around the container as you do for other items.

Most people only store small amounts of condensed milk at a time, but you can freeze containers of basically any size. The critical point is getting the right container to hold your condensed milk. Ideally, your container will hold as close to the volume of liquid as possible, with an airtight seal and some way to remove air on the inside.

Minimizing airflow helps prevent evaporation and damage to the milk. High-quality containers will allow you to store condensed milk for longer periods, so consider investing in a few of those if you plan to freeze things regularly.

Add a label to the outside of the container, seal it, and stick it in the freezer. That’s all there is to it!

A Bowl of Condensed Milk

What Type of Container Works Best?

Do not freeze condensed milk in its original container. The cans that condensed milk usually comes in are not suitable for freezing and will not protect it in the freezer, even if they’re approximately the same size. Always use a different container, preferably plastic or another suitable material.

Avoid freezing condensed milk in glass, which isn’t as safe in the freezer as metal or plastic.

How Fast Will Condensed Milk Freeze?

Can you freeze condensed milk quickly? If you need to freeze condensed milk quickly for a recipe, it’s better to freeze it a day or two ahead of time and have it ready when you need it. There shouldn’t be any need to freeze it quickly, and unless you have special equipment, you can expect this to take several hours.

The process of putting it in a new container and freezing it only takes a minute or two, so you can do this even in the middle of busy kitchen work if you need to.

Condensed Milk Doesn’t Look Like Its Freezing?

It’s okay. Nothing is wrong here.

Unlike most liquids, sweetened condensed milk does not freeze into a solid block. The reason for this is its sugar content. While the exact ratios vary by recipe, condensed milk is about 40%-45% sucrose (sugar), and this drastically interferes with the freezing point of your condensed milk.

Since recipes vary, you won’t find a universal freezing point where condensed milk becomes solid. However, many recipes freeze completely at about 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or -15 degrees Celsius. This is colder than many people keep their freezers, which is why condensed milk stays a thick liquid instead of becoming a hard block.

In many respects, this quality of condensed milk is an asset instead of a problem. If you don’t need to thaw your condensed milk, you can use it directly out of the freezer. Some recipes may even prefer this because it helps chill and set other ingredients.

Bowl of Sweetened Condensed Milk

How Long Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Last In The Fridge?

An open container of condensed milk lasts for about three days in the fridge, or four if it’s kept well. After that point, it’s likely to start going bad, even if the changes aren’t immediately apparent by looking at it.

Condensed milk lasts considerably longer in an unopened container at room temperature, so if you want to store it long-term, it’s better to do so there.

How Long Does Condensed Milk Last On The Shelf?

A brand-new container of condensed milk, stored in a cool and dry place at room temperature, will last at least two years. Manufacturers typically print some type of “best by” label on their cans, but condensed milk is usually safe to use for at least one year beyond that date.

This timeframe is exclusively for retaining the best quality and flavor. It can last for several more years, though it will slowly decrease in quality over time. As long as the can looks well-sealed and it doesn’t smell bad when you open it, chances are it’s fine to use.

Can You Freeze Sweetened Condensed Milk For A Long Time?

That depends on how you define “a long time”. When you freeze it correctly, sweetened condensed milk will last for 3-6 months in the freezer without losing a significant amount of quality. This is particularly true when you’re storing it in a good container. If you need to leave it uncovered, it won’t last nearly as long.

After this point, however, it will start to degrade as the freezer slowly dehydrates it. Sweetened condensed milk is already somewhat dehydrated as part of its manufacturing process, so it doesn’t have much water to lose, but that will happen. Try to have a plan for using it when you freeze it, even if that’s just dropping a little into hot drinks.

How Do I Thaw Condensed Milk?

Thawing condensed milk after you freeze it is easy. All you need to do is take your container and put it into your fridge overnight.

If your condensed milk was in the freezer for a little while, it may seem a bit rough or gritty when you first take it out of the fridge again. If that happens, use a whisk and stir the condensed milk until it’s smooth. This rarely takes more than a few brisk strokes and isn’t a sign that anything is wrong.

Can You Freeze Sweetened Condensed Milk Repeatedly?

Yes, but don’t do this any more often than you need to. Condensed milk doesn’t change as much as other substances because all that sugar prevents chemical bonds from shifting too much, but repeatedly freezing and thawing condensed milk will still affect its texture and quality. It’s better to freeze it and only thaw it out when you plan to use it.

Since it’s still liquid in most freezers, you can scoop out whatever you need and put the rest right back into the freezer. This is significantly more effective than cycling through frozen and not.

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About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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