Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Freezing Milk

Sometimes the grocery store has amazing deals and you may be one of those people who likes to stock up. My family has a long tradition of buying everything in sight if it is a good enough deal. My grandfather was famous for it. He bought hundreds of pairs of different sized shoes at a going out of business sale. He had four refrigerators with freezers and one huge freezer in his house to store his stock pile of assorted foods. Living through the depression made him an expert saver.

One thing my grandparents stocked up on was milk. Milk, having an expiration date, needed to be frozen, and I learned a lot of what and what not to do about frozen milk from growing up with them.

Tip #1: If you freeze milk you must let it thaw COMPLETELY before drinking it. Trust me...I was an impatient little girl and tried to have a glass while there was still chunks of ice in the gallon. It ruins the whole gallon. When you freeze milk, the fat separates, and if it isn't completely thawed before you go to drink it then you can't very well mix it back together.

Tip #2: Either pour some milk out of the jug before freezing or freeze your milk in different containers. Liquids expand when they freeze and most of the time the plastic jug can expand with it enough to not explode, but every once in awhile there is a big mess. Don't chance it because it sucks cleaning that up if you don't have to.

So, keeping those tips in mind here is my how to for freezing milk:

Step One: Pour milk into mason jars just enough to reach the first ridge for the lid.
I use mason jars because I am not a fan of freezing plastic. Even if it is BPA free there are probably other things seeping out of it. They are also small and thaw much more quickly. I don't like to wait, so this is perfect for me. I fill them only to the first ridge to make sure that there is room for expansion because I don't want broken glass and spilled milk in the freezer.

Step Two: Label the milk. 
This is important for a few reasons. It is always good to label and date anything you freeze so you can use the oldest first (you can freeze milk for up to three months). I also need to make sure to label because I plan on freezing my breast milk the same way once I start pumping. I do not want to make any mistakes there!

Step Three: Thaw the milk without heat.Don't heat milk unless you plan to be drinking it right away in hot chocolate or cooking with it. So when you thaw your milk start it off in the sink or on a towel at room temperature and then move it to the fridge while it still has some ice chunks in it and let it finishing thawing in the fridge. This can take quite awhile if you are trying to thaw a whole gallon so plan ahead.

Step Four: Shake it up and enjoy!
Milk separates when frozen and turns a yellow color. When you thaw it you need to shake it up really good to mix it up and the color will be white again.

Extra tip:

You can also freeze milk in pre-portioned ice cube trays for recipes. This works great for buttermilk which I am never able to use up before it expires.


  1. when I was a kid (40 years ago), we got milk delivered to the door. it was always really cold with shards of frozen milk, which I loved. we also got cottage cheese. we had a dutch oven bakery that delivered baked good to the house. they had the best filled cupcakes, so much filling that the top of the cupcake was bowed.

    1. I would love to have things delivered like that! I romanticize that era in my mind all the time :) Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with us!


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