Can Milk Be Microwaved? Tips for Heating Milk in Microwave


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I have always wanted to know if I can heat milk the easy way using the microwave. Diligently watching and stirring the milk to boil is just time-consuming and sweaty! So I did a little research and here is what I found.

Can milk be microwaved? You can microwave milk as long as you do it the right way. Unlike any other microwaveable food and drinks, the milk needs special treatment and gentle care while being heated with a microwave. Or else you might end up with curdled milk and scorched taste!

Using the right container, power, and frequent stirring will help you avoid these undesirable results.

How to heat milk with a microwave the right way?

Generally, a microwave oven is intended to cook and reheat food.

However, unlike any other food where you can just leave your food in the microwave without a second thought, milk has its own unique way of handling.

You need to heat the milk gently with care and attentiveness. Or else you might end up with curdled milk with scorched taste!

So here’s how you make a cup of 250mL warm milk the right way using a microwave…

Step 1: Pour your milk in a microwave-safe mug or container. Make sure you only fill up to only 3/4 of the cup or leave at least an inch of space at the top. This is to avoid boiling over.

Step 2: Microwave on medium-high power (70%) for around 30-60 seconds.

Step 3: Stir every 15 seconds. This will avoid scorching at the bottom and skin forming of sugars and proteins at the top of the milk.

Step 4: Take out your milk when you see steam started to rise from the milk.

A word of warning though, this timing is by no means absolute because this depends on the quantity of your milk and the type of microwave you have. No microwave is created equal; some microwaves have a higher watts power that the others.

If you want to make the perfect hot or warm milk every time, you may need to test the timing yourself to find out which produces the perfect milk that is up to your taste and warmth.

This microwave oven with a smart sensorOpens in a new tab. is the most popular with Amazon’s customers

What are microwave-safe containers?

Microwave-safe containers are containers or things that are made up of materials that can be used inside the microwave oven safely without blowing up or igniting the fire.

On the other hand, non-microwave-safe containers are those that are made up of materials that may dry out, melt, or cause arcing and fire.

Here are some of the lists of materials that can or cannot be microwaved.

Materials you can use in a microwave oven:

  1. Heat-resistant oven glassware
  2. Most paper plates and cups
  3. Plastic (only those that are labeled “Microwave Safe”)
  4. Paper towels
  5. Ceramics
  6. Wax and parchment paper
  7. Oven cooking bags

Materials to be avoided in the microwave oven:

  1. Aluminum tray
  2. Food carton with metal handle
  3. Paper bags
  4. Plastic foam
  5. Wood
  6. Metal or metal-trimmed utensils
  7. Metal twist ties

Check out this popular spill-proof microwave-safe food containerOpens in a new tab. that comes with small vents to prevent splatters in the microwave

What to watch out for when heating milk with a microwave?

Microwaving might sound so easy. But in the case of milk, if you’re not keeping a close eye on it, you’ll be sorry!

What you need to be aware of while using a microwave to heat your milk is the boiling point of the milk.

Unlike water that produces big bubbles when boiled, when milk is reaching its boiling point it will foams up rapidly causing boiling-over quicker than you think.

So if you really want to heat milk with a microwave, then you need to keep an eye on it.

I mean, cleaning the mess after a spillover in the oven is such a hassle!

✅ Cooking with Microwave? Check out these 25 Genius Time-Saving Kitchen Gadgets

How to boil milk in the microwave without spilling?

As mentioned above, milk has a tendency of spillover faster when boiled.

To avoid this messy outcome, you can use these 3 tips to keep boiled milk from spilling over:

  1. Stir the milk every 15 seconds*. This will also help in even heat distribution and prevent burning.
  2. Apply butter or cooking oil at the rim or edge of the container.
  3. Place a long-handled wooden stick on top of the container or put a long-handled spoon like this oneOpens in a new tab. inside the container.

*You can open the oven’s door anytime during the cooking operation. The microwave energy will instantly be switched off and the time setting will maintain until the door is closed

When to add milk in hot cocoa or tea?

You can add milk on two instances

  1. After microwaving the milk.
  2. Partway during the microwave process.

It is also worth noted that there are some instances of milk overflows when you try to add dry ingredients like instant coffee even if the milk doesn’t show any signs of boiling.

How safe is microwaved milk? Does microwaving milk kill nutrients?

A study that is published in the Journal of Dairy Research on Effect of Microwave Heating on Vitamins A, E, B15 B2, and B6 in Milk, stated that “Our investigation shows that heat treatment of milk in household microwave ovens does not damage vitamins A, E, Bj, B2 and B6.”

Another research was done and published in the US National Library of MedicineOpens in a new tab. with regards to the mineral balance in milk heated using microwave energy. The researchers concluded that “microwave heating was no more detrimental to the milk than conventional heating”

Nevertheless, the overall safety of microwaves in heating, cooking, and defrosting food and beverage is still a debatable issue. And up until now, no final say has been given by the expert as to the dangers of microwaved food.

Here are some useful articles you might want to read:

Is Microwaved Food Dangerous? The myths and the factsOpens in a new tab.

How Your Microwave Oven Damages Your Health In Multiple WaysOpens in a new tab.

Final Thoughts

Microwaving foods and drinks indeed is the fastest and easiest way to heat food without you standing and watching.

But milk is an entirely different being that needs extra care while being heated in the microwave.

Although you can heat milk with a microwave, personally, I would advise you to choose another method to heat milk such as using the traditional method of boiling milk in a deep pot over a stovetop.

This process of heating milk is safer and easier to control as you can constantly stir the milk while watching over the boiling.

How to warm milk without a microwave?

You can use the double-boiler method or boil the milk in a large and deep pot over a stovetop. Just make sure to stir frequently to prevent milk curdling and burnt. Turn off the stove when you see bubbles forming around the milk and steam starts to rise.

Can milk for babies be microwaved?

The U.S Food and Drug AdministrationOpens in a new tab. does not recommend heating breast milk or infant formula in the microwave as studies have shown that microwaves do not heat baby’s milk and food evenly. This uneven heat causes “hot spots” that can scald a baby’s mouth and throat.

Eina Aivoges

Eina Aivoges is a certified health and wellness coach and a licensed medical laboratory scientist. She's also a foodie, avid coffee drinker, cat-lover, blogger, and traveler.

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