Is It Safe To Boil A Can Of Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Milk is one of the most popular food products in the entire world, and is a staple part of many people’s diets.

The only trouble is, milk is a very perishable food product that spoils in next to no time at all. This can get annoying when you find yourself having to buy multiple cartons of the stuff just to stay stocked up!

This is where sweetened condensed milk comes in: a product that promises to liberate you of the annoying need to stock up on fresh milk every single week.

To make things even better, cans of condensed milk can also easily be stored away for later usage. Condensed milk is easily one of the world’s best modern inventions.

But you’re probably here now because you are wondering whether it is possible to boil condensed milk while it is still in a can.

Well, prepare to wonder no longer, because we are going to dive deep into whether you can safely boil a can of sweetened condensed milk or even just heat condensed milk. 

Read on now to get the answers you seek!

What Is Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Sweetened condensed milk is pretty much exactly as its name suggests.

Milk is condensed by taking the milk and boiling it at specific temperatures so that most of the water content in the milk evaporates, leaving condensed milk, which is much thicker as the water turns to steam.

This is why condensed milk is much creamier than standard milk, and why condensed milk is popular in ! 

Condensed milk is then sweetened by adding sugar, but this isn’t just to make the condensed milk taste sweeter, as the addition of sugar helps the condensed milk to fight off bacteria, which in turn helps the milk to last much longer when stored in your kitchen.

It also means that you don’t have to keep your fridge stuffed to the brim with condensed milk. 

Why Would You Boil Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Put simply, you may choose to boil sweetened condensed milk in order to serve it warm.

However, cooking it for just the right amount of time with extra heat will cause the milk to take on a golden brown color and become almost caramelized.

It can even do that without any added sugar. As the sugar browns, the sauce releases a lovely smell that will get better as you let the sauce cool completely.

We strongly recommend using this sauce to create tres leches cake! 

You might also choose to boil sweetened condensed milk if you had frozen some of the milk, and wanted to quickly thaw it in boiling water, by making use of the heat from the boiling water.

For best results, ensure that the milk is fully submerged.

Is It Safe To Boil A Can Of Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Is It Safe To Boil A Can Of Sweetened Condensed Milk?

It is not safe to boil sweetened condensed milk while it is still in the can, as it is incredibly unsafe, as the cans are not suited for the job.

The reason for this is that ordinary steel food cans are not designed to handle the intense heat that comes from boiling water.

Whether you were to boil the cans of condensed milk while they are open or closed, it is not safe to boil either way.

Boiling a can of condensed milk that is still totally sealed would be particularly unsafe as pressure would slowly build within the can of condensed milk until it bursts, which would be incredibly dangerous, and you would be completely covered in condensed milk, creating a sticky mess, as it would make the condensed milk explode!

This condensed milk would be at a high heat and may even be boiling, which makes it dangerous.

In general, you should try not to heat canned food as heating steel cans is dangerous.

An unopened can will always build up pressure when fully submerged in boiling water. The heat will cause gasses to be released, expanding the can, which also pushes the surrounding water out of the pan.

Is It Safe To Boil Condensed Milk Outside The Can?

Yes. If you wanted to boil your sweetened condensed milk outside of the can, it would be perfectly safe to do so.

It is safe to boil condensed milk, provided it is not in any cans, as the pressure inside could cause serious injury.

Do not do it in the can as this could make the condensed milk explode, as once it passes the boiling point then a closed can will begin to build pressure.

You might choose to boil condensed milk in order to create dulce de leche, which is a great idea, it can easily be done by boiling sweetened condensed milk at the right temperature for the right amount of time.

Make sure you are boiling the milk properly to ensure that the sugar takes on the caramel flavor as you are cooking.

Are Sweetened And Unsweetened Condensed Milk The Same?

Definitely not. Sweetened condensed milk is entirely different from unsweetened condensed milk, not only in terms of its flavor but also in terms of its texture and consistency.

The two versions of condensed milk are also very different in terms of how long they can last while stored in a basic kitchen cabinet.

This is why condensed milk is so popular, as well as the cans that keep the milk safe from heat and completely cover it to prevent the buildup of bacteria.

Heavy cream is often stored in tin cans as the plastic lining helps to keep everything safe.

What Can You Use Sweetened Condensed Milk For?

Of course, we have already touched upon the fact that you can use unsweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche sauce, thanks to the high level of sugar contained in the condensed milk with less pure water, which makes it caramelize when heated up.

It is easy to create caramel sauce by using sweetened milk in the cooking process, with no extra sugar added even while boiling.

Make sure to do it at a medium heat so that the sugar browns at the right rate, and the hot water does not boil over.

Doing it wrong could make the condensed milk turn disgusting as the stovetop method causes it to separate and spoil.

Make sure that you are also stirring occasionally as boil milk, to create the perfect dulce de leche sauce or heavy cream.

However, one of the most popular uses for sweetened condensed milk is to make desserts and baked goods, using a medium heat and heavy cream to create caramelized milk also known as dulce de leche.

It can be used alongside butter to cook up many a dessert recipe.

Sweetened condensed milk can easily be used to create the filling for a creamy cheesecake, and is also perfect for mixing into cookie dough or into brownie mix, to make them taste even creamier and more delectable than simply using regular milk or milk jam!

You can also easily add sweetened condensed milk to your morning coffee, to add that extra hint of creamy decadence.

This is nice and easy to do, as the milk simply melts away, leaving its sweet flavor behind, and making it super easy to mix in! 

To Wrap Up

There you have it!

While you may not be able to boil your sweetened condensed milk while it is still in the can, in a water bath, you can still very much boil it outside of the can, and not simply in an opened can, to create things like dulce de leche, a sort of caramel sauce, and a totally decadent treat, using the stovetop method.

This can then easily be poured into mason jars ready to use in another recipe alongside some heat, butter, sugar, and caramel. 

You do not want to boil sweetened condensed milk while it is still in the can, as you run the risk of the can bursting as pressure will inevitably build underneath the surface as you heat it in hot water, which could result in injury, let alone spoiled milk!

Not even the plastic lining inside will protect you from the heat of the boiling caramel sauce and sugar that has boiled while cooking.

Your sweetened condensed milk can also easily be used to create countless baked goods and tasty desserts, like cheesecake, brownies, cookies, and moreish muffins.

Pouring caramel sauce on top of these can create a total caramel treat. Best of all, it’s easy to create caramel sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Make Dulce De Leche In A Can?

If you are making dulce de leche from a can of sweetened condensed milk, then we do not recommend doing so while the milk is still in the can.

In order to create the sauce, you will need to boil the milk at a high temperature, and this cannot be done safely with the can.

Doing it in the can could cause serious injury as such cans are not designed to handle the extra heat as you boil.

Can You Cook Sweetened Condensed Milk On The Stove?

Definitely. It is safe to cook sweetened condensed milk on the stove at the right temperature, provided you use a safe saucepan to do so. 

Can Bacteria Grow In Condensed Milk?

Yes. However, it would take much longer for bacteria to begin harvesting in condensed milk than ordinary milk, thanks to the fact that there is less bacteria to latch onto.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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