how to unfreeze milk

If you are wondering how to unfreeze milk for any purpose, then you definitely are on the right page.

We all have had to deal with frozen milk at some point in our lives, but what is the proper way to defrost it? 

In this article, we should be giving some clues about frozen milk, why we freeze milk, and most importantly, how to defrost frozen milk.

So get a glass of something chill, (preferably milk), and do ensure you read on till the end to learn something new. 

There are 2 major ways to defrost milk, you can either place it in a refrigerator or simply place it in a sink filled with cold water.  

Why Do We Freeze Milk?

why freeze milk

It is no new fact that milk can be frozen.

The highly versatile liquid that contains a ton of nutrients can be frozen if kept in the freezer for extended periods and at a certain low temperature. 

However, the exact reason why milk is frozen can sometimes be confusing.

To some, it might be accidental (Simply keeping it in the freezer and forgetting to take it out).

While to some others, it might be to store for a much later use (especially when cooking). 

milk cubes

Freezing milk might actually do more harm than good as the freezing tends to react differently to the taste and appearance of the milk. 

These effects might vary with the milk being frozen as different milk types react to freezing in different ways.

Tip: If you are going to keep milk in a freezer, ensure you keep it in an airtight container, This would keep it for longer periods and prevent the external smell from ruining its taste.

What Happens To Frozen Milk?

frozen milk

As we have earlier stated, the act of freezing milk does present different reactions and effects, depending on the milk type being frozen. 

Milk generally contains fat, and this fat can be separated into tiny grains once frozen.

However, this doesn’t happen to all frozen milk types.

Here are some common types of milk and the effects caused by freezing.

types of milk
  • Oat Milk: Freezing Oat milk can make it separate, this would result in a grainy appearance.
  • Almond Milk: Frozen Almond would also separate and adopt a grainy appearance.
  • Coconut Milk: Never freeze coconut milk while it’s in the can. It would also separate and look grainy. 
  • Condensed Milk: Because of its high sugar content, you can never get frozen solid condensed milk.
  • Dairy Milk: It has a fair chance of being separated when frozen. 
  • Goat Milk: Freezing Goat milk rarely causes it to separate.
Tip: Milk tends to expand when frozen, so use a Ziploc bag to freeze your milk instead and ensure there is some space left in the bag.

How Long Can Frozen Milk Last?

how long frozen milk last

Ideally, milk isn’t meant to last long as it can easily go bad once opened.

Even though freezing milk does help preserve it for a longer period than it is in a refrigerator or being kept at room temperature, it would, however, go bad. 

Milk that has been properly frozen can last as long as a month. It can sometimes last 2 months, but it is not recommended that you drink milk that has stayed frozen for that long. 

The type of container used for freezing milk also has a major impact on how long it can last.

It should be sturdy enough to prevent rupture and also airtight. 

Note: Milk that has been kept frozen for that long does have a tendency to turn yellow.   

Here Is How To Unfreeze Milk

unfreezing milk

There are a couple of ways to unfreeze or thaw frozen milk, if done properly, you should be able to defrost the milk without making it undrinkable or unappealing.

Some of these methods include:

Thawing Through Refrigerator

This is a rather interesting method of unfreezing milk. It is the most recommended for milk that has exceeded a month in its frozen state.

By moving the milk from a freezer to a refrigerator, the milk begins to defrost due to the slight increase in temperature.

taking milk out of fridge

Step #1. Take Out The Milk From The Fridge

The first thing to do is take out the frozen milk from the freezer, and ensure the containers used are airtight when you do. 

Step #2. Place It In The Refrigerator

With the frozen milk now out, you can then proceed to place it in the fridge.

Ensure it is kept in a separate compartment, this is to prevent the transfer of smells to the milk while defrosting.

Note: This might take a day or 2 of constantly keeping it in the fridge to be completely defrosted.

Thawing Through Cold Water

cold water thawing

This Cold water method is rather reserved for milk that hasn’t been frozen for up to a month.

It sort of works like using a fridge, but it is generally faster and a lot less easy on the milk. 

There is a general rule to using this method, and it is that you only use cold water and not tepid water.  

Step #1. Take Out The Milk

Again, taking out the milk from the freezer should be the first step, also inspect the container to be certain there aren’t any leakages. 

Step #2. Fill Up The Sink With Cold Water

The next step is to fill up the sink with water. Ensure that it is cold and is at least 60% filled up.

If you can’t use a sink, you can opt for a large bowl big enough to contain the milk.

bowl of cold water

Step #3. Place The Milk In The Water

With that done, the next step would be to place the milk in the bowl or sink filled with cold water.

Always ensure it is fully submerged. You can lie the milk container horizontally so it is fully submerged in the water. 

Step #4. Wait For 30 Minutes

It helps to wait for a period of 30 minutes for the milk to fully thaw. If, after 30 minutes, it hasn’t fully thawed, then change the water and repeat the process. 

If it has, then you can proceed to pour out the quantity you intend to use and place the rest in the fridge, not the freezer. 

Note: This method of thawing frozen milk is better suited for the milk you intend to cook with. It is unhealthy to drink milk that has been thawed using water.

Thaw Using A Microwave

using microwave

Using a microwave to thaw milk or defrost milk is probably the quickest and unsafest way to do so.

The quick change between temperatures is most likely to have a negative effect on the milk.

However, if you are in dire need of your frozen milk, then sure, you can try this method. 

Step #1. Take Out The Milk

Once again we take out the milk from the freezer, asides ensuring that it is airtight, also make sure that the container being used is microwaveable.

Step #2. Place In The Microwave and Turn on the Heat

microwave the milk

Place the Microwaveable container in the microwave and turn it on. Set it for a maximum of 10 minutes and ensure you use the lowest heat possible.

After 10 minutes have elapsed, check the milk to be sure if it’s usable.

If it’s still frozen, take it out and place it in a small bowl of water, this should do the trick.

Can You Freeze Breast Milk?

As a bonus, I would be answering the question of ‘can you freeze breast milk?’

freeze breast milk

The answer is yes.

However, you have to put the breast milk in a separate compartment of the freezer and store it at a temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.

Tip: By doing this, freshly pumped breast milk can stay frozen for as long as 6 months to 1 year.


There you have it! All you need to know on how to unfreeze milk.

Hopefully, you should have an easier time doing this after reading the article.

With that being said, do check out the website for more engaging articles like these. They are guaranteed to teach you a lot.