Have you ever found an amazing sale on milk and asked yourself "can you freeze milk?" or maybe "how do you freeze milk"? Good news! You can and I'm going to tell you exactly how to freeze and thaw milk!
As mentioned in the past, we are only able to drink and use raw, grass-fed milk around here due to processed milk allergies... what that means for us is that we drive a 3 hour round trip to the closest raw dairy once a week to get our milk.
Talk about a pain in the you-know-what! But until Texas passes better raw milk legislation, here we are...
This weekly trek has been taking its toll on us recently, so I began to seek out better options for freezing milk so we wouldn't have to drive down weekly.
I had tried, unsuccessfully, to freeze and thaw raw milk in the past... and since it's so expensive ($9+ a gallon!) I was loathe to try again.
However, getting a toddler into the car for a 3 hour round trip once a week isn't the most fun thing in the world! So I resolved to try once more to successfully freeze and thaw raw milk!
How to Freeze Milk
There are actually a few different ways to freeze milk and we practice all of the methods! Whether you want to freeze milk in the jug, or just freeze some left-over milk that is about to go bad, these tips will help you freeze milk easily!
Tips for Freezing Milk by the Gallon
I wanted to find a way to freeze whole gallons of milk so I could stock up and make fewer trips to the dairy. This would also be great if you find a sale on the type of milk you like.
In fact, I asked a friend you regularly stocks up on milk when it's on sale about her process for freezing milk. Much to my surprise, she had a few tips that made the difference!
So I tried one more time... This time was a complete success and now I know exactly what I did wrong the first time! These tips seem like they wouldn't make a huge difference, but they absolutely do!
Her tips for how to freeze milk make the difference between "You'd never know it had been frozen" and "this is a chunky mess and I can't drink this"!
Stay on the side of "You'd never know..." with these easy to follow tips for freezing milk!
Before You Put the Milk in the Freezer
While you can just toss the milk in the freezer, I have found that these few tips make the milk much better after thawing later on.
1. Leave the jug completely sealed.
While it may be tempting to open the jug and remove a little of the milk, we haven't found this to be strictly necessary.
And it makes the thawing process more difficult as the lid won't be as secure.
2. Shake vigorously for a minute or two before placing in the freezer.
If you are freezing whole or raw milk this is especially important as it will help the fat in the milk freeze better!
If you are freezing skim milk, you can skip this step if desired!
When You Thaw the Milk
Once you're ready to thaw the milk, it's a pretty simple process! And don't worry if your milk is a little yellow in the freezer (see photo), that's totally normal!
It will be nice and white again once it's thawed fully!
Remove from the freezer and place on a towel at room temperature.
Shake the jug every hour, vigorously for 1 minute each time, until completely thawed.
You'll be able to tell if there is still ice in the middle as you shake.
Place in the fridge and enjoy!
Other Ways to Freeze Milk
Maybe you have a half gallon, or even a few cups that are about to be bad that you want to save. There are other ways to freeze milk that don't involve the whole gallon.
Freeze in Pre-Measured Portions
If you end up with a bit of milk about to go bad that you can't bear to see go to waste, you can freeze it by the cup or even by the tablespoon.
I like to freeze my extra milk in 1 cup increments in ziplocs, laid flat until frozen, so I can use it in recipes later on. Most of my recipes call for 1 cup of milk at a time, so this works for me.
Maybe your favorite recipes call for 1-2 Tablespoons at a time, if that's the case, then freezing milk in ice cube trays might be a better option for you. Just freeze and pop the cubes into a baggie for easy access.
Since you'll be cooking with this, you can just thaw at room temperature and use right away. You don't have to do the whole "shake every hour" thing!
Cook with and Freeze
My absolute favorite way to freeze just a little bit of milk is to simply cook with it, then freeze the finished product.
Here are some recipes that use milk that we regularly cook and freeze to have on hand:
Of course the recipes can be customized to your life, these are just a few of our favorites!
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Lisa | Retro Housewife Goes Green says
I’m going to have to try this next time we have milk that will go bad. Thanks for sharing!
You’re so welcome!! I have really loved being able to freeze the milk so easily! I think you will too!
Don’t you need to pour a bit of the milk out before freezing to leave room for the milk to expand?
Hi Debbie, good question! Nope, just follow the shaking instructions when you thaw! We’ve had jugs so full you couldn’t see any space at the top and they’ve been fine. Enjoy!
I wish I would have known about your great tips before evacuating for 10 days due to wildfire and power shutoffs. Just lost a gallon of whole grass fed milk. Any thoughts on using it in the garden? Thanks for your milk tips!
Hi Lesli! First, I hope you are all ok and that there wasn’t too much damage! As for the milk, you can definitely use it in the garden around calcium loving plants! Zucchini, tomatoes, beans, and so on would love it!
But you can also make yogurt or other recipes with the milk instead – because raw milk has all those lovely healthy bacteria, it never truly goes bad, just becomes more probiotic rich!