Whether you’re trying to stock up for emergencies, or simply bought too much at the grocery store, you’ll be happy to know that yes, you can freeze milk! Watch this video to see how it’s done, and then read the instructions below.
Freezing milk allows you to save money by buying milk in larger quantities than you need, extend its shelf life, and make fewer trips to the grocery store.
If that sounds like you, I would love to help you shop less, save money on groceries, all while cooking kid-friendly meals with what you have in your pantry.
To do this, I’ve prepared a 2-week meal plan full of recipes, a done-for-you meal prep schedule, and easy ingredient swaps so you can make amazing meals with whatever you have in the kitchen.
Check out the 2-Week Pantry Staples Meal Plan here!
How to Freeze It
Milk is one of the easiest things to freeze! You can do it straight in the jug you purchased it in, just be aware that milk expands when freezing.
To avoid your containers popping, simply open the lid and remove an inch or two of milk. This will give your milk plenty of room to expand without breaking or spilling.
How Long Does Frozen Milk Last?
Does freezing milk really help it last longer? Absolutely! Milk can be frozen for about 3-6 months which gives you a bit of extra shelf life for your trouble.
When freezing milk, use a sharpie to write the date that you are putting it in the freezer, so you know how long you have until you should drink it. This is especially useful if you’re freezing a few jugs of milk, and need to keep track of which one to use first.
Does Frozen Milk Taste Good?
This is a popular question, and the truth is freezing milk does change things!
Milk separates when frozen. So the fat and the regular milk will separate, but this doesn’t ruin the milk. Since you already have extra space in your jug from before freezing, tighten the lid and shake well to get the milk mixed back together and your milk will be as good as new!
Can You Freeze Cream?
Just like milk, you can also freeze half and half and cream. If you just want small amounts for mixing into your coffee, pour the cream into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Once the cubes are solid, you can pop them out and transfer them to a freezer bag. One cube equals about 2 tablespoons if you are using an average size tray.
You can also freeze cream in the container you purchased it in, but just like with your milk, be sure you use up a bit of the cream or half and half before freezing because it will also expand when it freezes.
How to Thaw Milk Safely
When you start thawing your milk, be sure that you do not set it out on a counter to thaw as this could make your milk go bad.
The best method is to thaw it in the fridge overnight. If you’re worried about condensation, fold up a small towel or a couple of paper towels under the milk jug to catch any spare water droplets that form as the milk thaws.
With your milk, you can make some smoothies or homemade chocolate milk among many other things!
There are some food items and liquids you are just never quite sure if they can be frozen or not. If you are wondering how to freeze other food items check out this post.Print
How to Freeze Milk
Whether you’re trying to stock up for emergencies, or simply bought too much at the grocery store, you’ll be happy to know that yes, you can free milk!
- Freezer-safe containers or zip-bags
- Place the milk in your freezer in its original plastic container or glass freezer-safe container.
- Make sure to leave room to allow the milk to expand, so remove some milk if needed.
- When you’re ready to use the frozen milk, allow it to thaw in the fridge.
Milk can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Consume thawed milk within 3-4 days.
More Freezer Tips You Should Know
How to Freeze Cheese – Stocked up on cheese? Check out how to make your cheese stash last longer in your freezer.
How to Freeze Yogurt – Will yogurt be the same after freezing? How long does it last? Those questions and more answered in this post.
How to Freeze Everything – Once a month shopping, cooking in bulk, and doubling up on recipes is no problem!
s r hunter
Do I see ampleman, German street light guy, on your fridge?
I am now freezing milk for recipes, thanks to you!
Yes, good eye! I used to live in Germany, and I brought this back from my last trip.
I freeze Organic, lactose free milk in 1/2 gallon cartons and don’t remove any of the milk to allow room for expansion and they freeze perfectly. What I do is put each 1/2 gallon carton inside a gallon sized baggie in case they should expand and spill. I have never had that happen and I’ve been freezing 1/2 gallons of milk for several years now.
Did you know you can freeze chips. My grandparents used to put the chips in the freezer after they opened and by the time you put them on the plate to eat them they’ve already thawed out and they’re crunchy and fresh
That sounds neat! Thank you for the tip.
Does frozen heavy cream whip up normally after thawing?
MOMables - Laura
Unfortunately, the fat will separate during freezing and it will not whip. It can be frozen for all other uses.
Hi,Can I freeze 2% milk,4 litres plastic jugs.And if so how would I unthaw when I need to.Plus if the expiry date says April 30/2020 and today’s date is April 19/2020 how long can the milk be frozen for.Thank you for answering my questions never frozen milk before just learning
MOMables - Laura
Hi Cindy, yes, you can freeze 2% milk in the jug, just be sure to pour out an inch of milk before sealing and freezing. Frozen milk will last for 3-6 months and can be defrosted in the fridge overnight. The post gives you all the details, I hope this helps.
This is so helpful! I love knowing that I can freeze milk easily for later.
I grew up in a big family. Mom froze milk regularly. We grew up shaking the gallon jug to “re-homogenize” it. 50 + years later and I still do that out of habit (drives my wife crazy) even though I haven’t frozen milk in all that time.
Shannan Christa Johnson
I froze a gallon in 4 oz cups. My intention is to use them for cooking. Would I need to thaw them in the refrigerator or could I throw them in frozen?
MOMables - Laura
You can easily thaw milk in the refrigerator or by placing the gallon bag in your sink inside a container filled with water. It won’t take long. I don’t know what you’re cooking but generally, it’s not a good idea to throw frozen liquid to a recipe as it will bring down the temperature of the food.
Will the milk be good if you freeze it and dont use it before the date and how long after does it last
MOMables - Laura
I would write the date you choose to freeze the milk on the container, that way when you remove it from the freezer you’ll know how many days are left before the milk should be discarded. Example: the milk’s expiration date is 02/17 and you freeze it on 02/11, you’ll have approximately 6 days to drink it once it’s been defrosted.
But if you freeze it for 2 mos, how many days do you have to drink it?
It depends on how long you froze it before the expiration date. I recommend writing the freeze date on the container.
To those needing clarification on “how long you have to use your milk, once you have removed it from your freezer” : NOTE – your milk can be frozen in its original container. And, as Laura has explained, be sure there is enough empty space (in your container) to allow for expansion. ALSO, make certain that you place your milk into the freezer BEFORE the expiration date. You are now ready to follow these simple steps to ensure that your milk will still be delicious for up to six months after freezing :) *I have broken down the steps into the easiest format I could, to help ensure they will cover any possible questions.
1) Using a Sharpie, write the date (directly on the container) that you are “putting your milk into the freezer.” This is important because you will use this “put into freezer date,” later (when you take the milk out to thaw) to determine how long your milk will remain fresh. This will also help you determine just how long the milk has been in the freezer.
2) Place the container into the freezer and store no more than six months.
3) When you are ready to use your stored milk, remove from the freezer and place inside your refrigerator, to thaw, for 1-3 days.
4) Once your milk has completely thawed, note the date that it was “put into the freezer.” Next, compare the “use by” or “expiration” date (that was already stamped on the container, when you purchased it) to the date you wrote “put into the freezer” on the container” just before putting it into the freezer. Calculate the exact number of days between the “use by” date and the “put into freezer” date. Your answer will tell you exactly how many days the thawed milk will be safe to use or drink.
5) EXAMPLE: “Use by” date is April 20, 2021
“Put into freezer” date is April 12, 2021
The number of days, between those two dates, is 8 days. Therefore, your milk should be good to use for 8 days, FROM THE DAY IT HAD COMPLETELY THAWED OUT AND RETURNED TO ITS ORIGINALLY “FRESH” CONDITION.
EXAMPLE: You took the milk out of the freezer on April 18, 2021. It had COMPLETELY THAWED OUT AND RETURNED TO ITS ORIGINALLY “FRESH” CONDITION on April 21, 2021. You have already determined that the difference between the “use by” date and the “put into freezer” date, is 8 days. Since you know that the milk had completely thawed, as of April 21, 2021, you simply add 8 days to the “completely thawed” date.
Your “NEW EXPIRATION DATE” is now April 29, 2021.
*I hope this helps. I apologize that it is so lengthy, but I wanted to simplify the instructions as much as possible. God bless!!
Can you freeze 1/2 cup milk in plastic freezer zip lock bags leaving air space for expansion?
MOMables - Laura
You sure can!
I have 2 unopened gallons of milk that said to use by today, can I still freeze them?
I don’t recommend freezing them on the expiration since the milk will take some to time freeze. Best to do within 3 days of the expiration date.
We just freeze our 1/2 gallon jugs all the time without removing any. We have 10 of them in the freezer right now!
We just set them out overnight to thaw!
Leonard Revon Green
thought so too till I seen something on internet about removing some to help with room,I am gonna test it for myself I got 2 1/2 gallon of milk now I already remove a lil milk from one of the 1/2 g milk about one cup full,and its already in the freezer.The other container ima just gonna put the container directly in freezer.Hopefully I will get back to this site to give the results.So ima bookmark the page
Laura, I buy raw milk straight from the dairy. It’s not pasteurized and not homogenized. Freezing raw milk causes the milk to become kind of chunky, like it has fats that solidify and don’t blend back. Because glass containers keep the milk colder than plastic containers, I store my milk in mason jars. When I get home from the dairy, I transfer my milk to mason jars that I sterilized before heading out. I leave headroom and then use my food saver to vacuum seal the milk in the jars. I keep all of the jars sealed except the one I’m currently using. When I open a half gallon jar, I transfer it into 2 quart size jars and vacuum seal one of the two and use the other. I had raw milk last for over a month in the fridge this way, but soured (aka clabbered) RAW milk is great for making lactic cheese and whey.
I buy milk in regular cardboard-type half-gallon cartons. Can these go in the freezer if I remove some milk first, so they aren’t completely full? Or do I need to pour the milk into another container, like a Mason jar? Thanks!
Lisa, I don’t recommend freezing in glass containers. You can freeze cardboard containers, just remove about 1/4 cup out of the top.