Evaporated Milk

How Long Does Evaporated Milk Last?

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Are you wondering if you can still use up that tin of evaporated milk that you’ve had in the pantry since forever, or is it already gone off? I have experienced this more than a few times from storing tins for a long time.

Evaporated milk can last for a year past its expiry date on the label if it is unopened. It will hold for 3-5 days in the refrigerator if opened. The dates printed on the tins indicate the quality of the product. You can still use the product if there are no signs of it being off.

We will discuss the shelf life of evaporated milk opened and opened, why it lasts so long, and if you can use it past its expiry date. We will also go into what signs to look out for in evaporated milk that is going bad or is already off.

Board with pie and Evaporated Milk

Shelf Life Of Evaporated Milk

All evaporated milk will have a label stating its best before or expiry date. Sometimes it will have a date for both.

If your evaporated milk is relatively new, you can prepare to keep it for around 18-24 months at its best quality. If you store it well and it isn’t gone off after that, you may be able to keep it longer if it is unopened.

Typically, you can use evaporated milk for at least one year past the dates if it was unopened and you stored it correctly,

If you have already opened your evaporated milk, keep it in the fridge for 3-5 days. After that, you should discard it.

Does Evaporated Milk Go Bad?

Evaporated milk will eventually rot and get spoiled like any other food item. Food is exposed to bacteria and grows moldy in certain conditions, and that will cause it to get rotten.

Evaporated milk is dehydrated milk. 60% of the water in the milk “evaporates” during the production process — thus the name of the product.

The milk then gets sterilized at extremely high temperatures creating the darker color and caramelized flavor that everyone loves in evaporated milk. However, the process maintains the nutrients of the milk and increases its shelf life.

Evaporated milk will get spoiled over time, especially if you don’t store it correctly or leave it open for too long.

Can You Use Evaporated Milk Passed The Best Before Date?

Best before date on food labels indicate the quality of the product and not the safety. Therefore it is perfectly okay to use your evaporated milk if it has reached or passed its best before date.

The milk might change in texture or lose some flavor (specifically if it is open). It might not be as good as fresh, but it will still be safe to consume and use in recipes.

The evaporated milk will last you for around 12-24 months past the best before date if it is closed and stored correctly. Make sure to inspect it before using it for any spoilage.

Can You Use Evaporated Milk Passed The Expiry Date?

Canned goods generally don’t have expiry dates. Because the manufacturing and packaging process allows it to last for years on end, many cans will have dates for safety reasons so that you use the product before it can cause any foodborne illness. That also saves the manufacturers from getting sued if a customer complaints against them.

The product’s expiry date will typically indicate the lifespan of the ingredients. While that does not mean you cannot consume it after the expiry date, it does mean that you need to be careful and take precautions before using the product.

Evaporated milk can last for up to 18-24 months past the expiry date only if it is still closed. If it is open, you should try to use it within 2-4 days by inspecting for spoilage first.

How To Tell If Evaporated Milk Is Rotten Or Spoiled?

Evaporated milk will show usual signs of spoilage such as changes in color, a sour smell, and a change in texture like lumpiness. It may also taste funny. If you see that anything seems off with your evaporated milk, you should discard it. Always inspect your evaporated milk after opening to ensure it is not off.

If your evaporated milk is already open, even if you keep it in the fridge, inspect the contents well before you use it because spoilage happens quicker after the product is open due to exposure to bacteria,

How To Extend The Shelf Life Of Evaporated Milk With Proper Storage?

Homemade Evaporated Milk

If you want to extend the shelf life of your evaporated milk, the way you store it will play a vital role.

You will need to keep the can in the kitchen cupboard or pantry away from direct sunlight. It holds up best in cool (room temperature) consistent temperatures and dark places. Exposure to sunlight, excessive heat, and volatile temperature changes will cause the evaporated milk to spoil quicker.

Additionally, pour any leftover milk into an airtight jar or container and store it in the fridge. It will keep up to 5 days at the back of the refrigerator. Do not leave opened evaporated milk at room temperature because it will get rotten. Treat it as you would treat regular milk.

How Long Does Evaporated Milk Last In Recipes?

Many people believe that because evaporated milk and other canned goods last so long, the recipes you add them to will also last longer. That is incorrect.

In a recipe, the milk will only last as long as the other ingredients in the dish last. For example, if it contains fruits, and they go off, you need to discard the entire item.

In addition, any edible food that gets exposed to bacteria, temperature changes, and unknown environments (mixed with other ingredients) will eventually go off. That also means it is more susceptible to mold. Always ensure you inspect the edibles before consuming them.

Does Freezing Evaporated Milk Make It Last Longer?

Milk on a Wooden Background

You probably don’t want to freeze an entire can of evaporated milk, but you can freeze the milk after opening. The best way to freeze it is in ice cubes. That way, you have mini portions of the milk for when you need it. Once the milk has hardened in the ice trays, you can remove them and store them in ziplock bags or a sealed container in the freezer.

Remember that you cannot use it uncooked once you freeze evaporated milk anymore because the consistency will change. When freezing, liquids separate from the milk solids. Therefore the texture will be different, and you can only use it in cooking.

So, How Long Does Evaporated Milk Last?

Your evaporated can last you for 12-24 months if you store it properly and will last past its expiry date as long as you check for spoilage before consumption. Make sure to keep your opened evaporated milk in the refrigerator.


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