Milk is delicious. They have calcium that helps build your bones. Milk is what all breastfeeding mammals drink as infants in order to grow healthy and smart when push comes to shove. Without the right kind of milk, a recently born baby will get sick due to malnutrition and die.
Even adults love milk, especially warm milk straight from the stovetop. However, can you microwave milk? Sure, but only for 30 seconds to make it warm.
How to Microwave or Heat Milk in the Microwave 101
Take note these times are based on a basic 700-watt microwave.
Adjust in accordance with the wattage of the microwave you’re using. The higher the wattage of your microwave, the faster heating becomes, so adjust the temperature or heating time thusly (even if it’s a rough estimate).
Put milk in a glass, ceramic, or microwave-safe plastic cup or container. From there, microwave it to about medium-high or 70 percent power for about two 15-second increments. Stir after every increment. Keep microwaving until you see steam or vapor rise from the milk itself.
30 seconds is usually enough to get the milk to the desired warmth. The stirring is there to distribute the heat across the milk as an extra precaution since it could get superheated (wherein it’s hotter than boiling point temperature but doesn’t boil).
Why Do You Need to Be Careful When Microwaving Milk?
Heating up milk is best done in a gradual or slow manner, which means incremental heating and stirring. Rushing towards hot milk like you’re heating up a cup of water for instant coffee use has its share of dangers.
You don’t want to end up with boiling milk or, worse, superheated milk that explodes and scalds your face when you put a spoon of sugar on it. Even slightly shaking it will make the pressurized, volatile water explode if it’s overheated.
Yes, it takes longer to stop every 15 seconds to stir the milk. However, it allows you to distribute the heat generated by the microwave process across the whole milk liquid body. This also avoids you from scorching the milk as it boils over your microwave.
Elaborating on the Ways to Heat Milk in the Microwave
Medium-high microwaving of milk for 15 seconds is the standard for a 700-watt microwave. A 1 kilowatt microwave might require you to go even lower than medium-high or faster than 15-second increments to prevent scorching.
When stirring the milk, you should do so in a gentle fashion. The container should also be removed carefully from the microwave to avoid agitation. Keep microwaving the milk every 15 seconds until it’s ready.
Scorched milk boil is more likely to happen with a half-minute, no-stirring method. Even if you end up with ideally hot milk, it shouldn’t be too hot anyway, especially if it’s milk formula for your baby (who can get scalded by extremely hot milk).
How to Scald Milk or Make Chilled Milk Room Temperature
If you wish to scald milk for use in yogurt or custards, heat about a cup or 250 milliliters of milk on the highest power setting for about 2 minutes to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can simply microwave milk straight for 30 seconds.
For most milk recipes, room-temperature milk is better than cold milk. You can utilize your microwave to remove the coldness from it straight out of the fridge. Just microwave a cup or 250 milliliters of milk for 40 to 45 seconds on the highest setting to get it to tepid warmth.
If you’re planning to make hot chocolate in the same microwave-safe container you’re using to heat the milk, make sure to leave an inch of space or gap from the top to accommodate the choco. You can also use this warm milk for your latte recipes as well as feeding the baby with delicious milk formula.
Is It Safe To Microwave Milk?
Long story short, yes it is. You simply need to figure out how to do it right so as not to ruin the milk in question that’s being heated.
When heating milk in a pot, double boiler, or microwave, you’re facing two of the following risks—either you end up scorching the milk at the bottom of the container or develop disgusting protein film on the surface. Both are not ideal scenarios for warm milk at all.
You cannot reuse scorched milk and it’s quite unpleasant to say the least. Furthermore, heated milk has skin that you can blend or mix back in, but this changes the texture of the milk overall. You want milk heating that’s just right, so says Goldilocks.
Don’t Do a DIY Pasteurization
The milk pasteurization process requires heating milk to about 145°F anyway. From there, it’s cooled back to 40°F for long-term unspoiled storage. Before you get any ideas, don’t oversimplify pasteurization as heating up milk to a certain temperature then immediately cooling it down.
More than Just Heating Up and Cooling Down Milk
There are many other requirements involved. Do-it-yourself or DIY pasteurization isn’t dependable when it comes to keeping your milk clean and fresh. You could end up getting yourself and your family quite sick by attempting to pasteurize milk on your own.
It’s better to purchase chilled pasteurized milk than to keep it cold in order to give you and your family fresh and safe milk for your enjoyment.
Milk Shelf Life and Bacterial Concerns
Even when you handle DIY pasteurization with meticulous care, the milk shelf life remains 2 weeks or less from the date of packaging.
Bacteria can still invade even pasteurized milk. If you’ve heated up a batch of milk then used part of it, you should discard the leftover product for fear of it becoming a Petri dish of bacteria, especially once it develops an old taste.
Never Forget This As Well
When your recipe requires hot milk, you can use the advice above in order to warm up your milk the right way. Sometimes, you can boil milk to the point of being too hot, whether you’re warming it up through the microwave or stovetop.
Regardless, once you master properly heating milk with the miracle of micro radiowaves, then your homemade hot chocolates or creamy coffee lattes will be forever grateful to you. You certainly will feel their gratefulness through their resulting milky deliciousness!