Evaporated milk is a necessity for every kitchen, as it is commonly found in many recipes. But many amateur chefs may be asking themselves, "Wait, what is evaporated milk?" Simply put, evaporated milk is canned milk that has about 60 percent of the water removed from the milk. You can use evaporated milk to enhance many different foods, like cheese, hot chocolate, and soups.

Evaporated Milk vs Condensed Milk

Evaporated milk is also very similar to condensed milk, so similar that people often get them confused. So when it comes to evaporated milk vs condensed milk, how are they different and how are they the same? They are both forms of concentrated milk that have had about 60 percent of the water content removed. The main difference is that condensed milk is sweetened and evaporated milk is not. Evaporated milk is also known as unsweetened condensed milk.

pouring milk into a pan

Evaporated Milk Substitute

Evaporated milk can be substituted in many ways, with many different types of dairy and non-dairy options. It's very simple, but to substitute it, first you have to know how to make evaporated milk in the first place.

How To Make Your Own Evaporated Milk

You can easily make your own evaporated milk in mere minutes, using any kind of milk.

  • Heat 2-1/4 cups of milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously until it reaches a boil.
  • Continue stirring and heating for 10 minutes or until the volume has reduced by half, then take it off the heat.

The resulting liquid can be used as a near perfect substitute for store-bought evaporated milk.

Substituting Evaporated Milk

Now that you know how to make evaporated milk, these easy substitutes will be a breeze.

Milk And Half-And-Half

In order to reach a similar richness and consistency, mix 3/4 cups of milk with 1/4 cups of half-and-half. This substitute is best used when the evaporated milk's flavor would have been overwhelmed by other ingredients because the mixture won't have the same richness that evaporated milk does.

Almond Milk Or Soy Milk

This substitute can be used if you have a dairy allergy or if you are lactose intolerant. As a substitute for evaporated milk, you can use vanilla-flavored soy milk or almond milk in its place. Just use 3/4 of however much evaporated milk the recipe calls for. However, this substitute does not work well when making a sauce because soy milk separates when exposed to high heat.

Milk And Flour/Sugar

If you use regular milk on its own as an evaporated milk substitute, it will be much thinner and nowhere near as rich because regular milk contains less calories and fat. Though sometimes this isn't a big issue, if you're making a sauce you will need a way to thicken the milk to achieve the correct consistency evaporated milk would have supplied. This can be done by mixing small amounts of sugar or flour into the milk to thicken it. However, while this method reaches a similar texture as evaporated milk, it won't be particularly close in flavor.

shells and cheese

Why Do We Use Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is often used in custards, pie fillings, sauces and frozen desserts. Because so much of the water has been boiled out of the milk, it's richer and creamier than regular milk so it provides a heavier, slightly caramelized-tasting concentrate for the dish that gives it a fuller body.

Evaporated Milk Recipes

There are a lot of fantastic recipes that involve evaporated milk, but we'll just reference a few of them. A very popular recipe is to make mac and cheese with evaporated milk. The evaporated milk makes for a creamy and smooth cheese sauce. A pumpkin pie recipe with evaporated milk is also a popular dessert to make. Whatever the occasion, or whatever resources you have, evaporated milk is an easy addition to your everyday cooking routine.

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