How to Freeze Milk

Freezing milk is a great way to take advantage of a good deal and make sure none goes to waste.  Freezing Milk Ice Cubes in convenient portion sizes makes it easy to grab just the right amount for your recipes.

Freezing milk is a great way to take advantage of a good deal and make sure none goes to waste.  Freezing Milk Ice Cubes in convenient portion sizes makes it easy to grab just the right amount for your recipes. #milk #freezingmilk #icecubetray #milkicecubes #preservemilk

Freezing Milk

We don’t go through a lot of milk at one time in our house so often we end up with a lot of milk leftover that needs to be used before it expires. Today I’m sharing some ways to use and freeze that milk so that none goes to waste!

The easiest way to use your leftover milk is to freeze it! Freezing milk is also a great way to take advantage of a great price on milk or store milk that has been given by a neighbor with some dairy cows.

Freezing Milk by the Gallon

One of the easiest ways to freeze milk is to freeze it in the container it came in. Yes, that’s right, you can freeze milk right in the gallon container it came in! Milk expands a lot while frozen so make sure you use (or pour off) a cup of milk before securing the lid tight and placing it in the freezer. Make sure it’s standing up and not laying over on its side to prevent leaking. (Once it’s frozen solid you could lay it on its side for space purposes but I don’t recommend it in case it was to thaw out for any reason- what a mess!)

Freezing Milk in Glass Jars

If you are freezing fresh, raw milk or if you prefer not to freeze your milk in plastic, you can also use freezer-safe glass containers. Make sure to leave an inch and a half to two inches of headspace in your jars to allow plenty of room for expansion.

–If you decide not to freeze your milk in the gallon, you can repurpose it into a Milk Jug Bird Feeder.

Thawing Frozen Milk

To thaw, set the frozen milk in the fridge overnight or a day in advance so that it will be completely thawed out before you need to use it.

When you freeze milk, it will usually separate, which can change the texture of it. Before using, you will want to shake it up really well so that it mixes back together completely.  Depending on what you’ve frozen it in, this can be done in the same container and you won’t even notice a difference if you’re using your milk in a recipe.

You can also use an immersion blender to fully re-incorporate the milk fat so that you can have the same texture as before it was frozen. Depending on what you’ve frozen it in, this may require moving the thawed milk to another container but it may be worth it, especially if you are planning on using the milk for cereal or something similar.

Milk Ice Cubes

Another way to freeze milk came from an experiment in my ice cube trays. I’m kind of obsessed with putting things in ice cube trays. Orange Juice, Chicken Broth, Cream…..I just love the handy little size of ice cubes and it helps me preserve certain foods longer to use them in the future instead of letting them go to waste in my fridge.

This has been one I should have thought about a long time ago. We used to buy milk only once every 2 weeks because we bought raw milk and get it straight from the farm. Even though we don’t currently get raw milk, this is still a great way to store milk in smaller quantities, no matter where you get it from.

Milk Ice Cubes are very easy to make. Just pour the milk into your ice cubes trays, freeze for a few hours and then pop them out and store them in a freezer bag. Each ice cube is the equivalent of 2 Tablespoons*. So for recipes, you need:

2 Milk Cubes = 1/4 cup milk
4 Milk Cubes = 1/2 cup milk
6 Milk Cubes = 3/4 cup milk
8 Milk Cubes = 1 cup milk

*Keep in mind…this is if you have a large, standard-sized ice cube tray and if you fill each section as full as it can go.

Frozen milk can pretty much be used the same as fresh milk in any recipe. To thaw milk ice cubes, I just put the cubes in a bowl in the fridge or put some in the microwave on defrost if I need to defrost them faster. (You would not want to do this to thaw larger portions of milk.)

–You can find all kinds of simple recipes on Little House Living to try with these Milk Cubes! 

Looking for more ways to preserve food? Here are a few other freezer items you may enjoy:

Have you frozen milk before? What’s your favorite recipe to use it in?

This post on Milk Ice Cubes was originally published on Little House Living in December 2012. It has been updated as of December 2019.

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13 Comments

  1. I discovered that quite by accident, when my girl’s were small..We were going away for vacation & instead of throwing the milk away, I just popped it..container & all into the freezer. When we got back, I thawed it on the counter…it takes a while, but the milk was just as good & I didn’t have to run to the store right away to buy milk! If you have the room & find a good deal on milk, just pour out a little, to leave room for expansion & freeze the whole container. 🙂

  2. I also use milk cubes in my daughter’s lunchbox. That way I can send a water-bottle of milk and it stays cold without getting watered down. Better for her than juice pouches. 🙂

  3. Charli has a wonderful idea! We have backslid on the organic/hormone free milk wagon once the kids entered school because it was counter-productive that they were getting “regular” milk at school anyway, Charli’s idea is a great way around that!

    One time I got a great deal on organic half-gallons of skim milk in the paper containers. I bought 30. They were in paper cartons and the store let me take them home in the 6-to-a-box shipping boxes. I put them right in the freezer (in batches of 10 and then added more from my fridge once the first batch was frozen). I ran into two “leakers” in the whole batch. Once before it even got in the freezer and another with a stubbed corner. I never opened/emptied any milk, just froze them as is. (in a garbage bag on the freezer shelf in case there were explosions -there wasn’t). They took an overnight to thaw on the counter, placed on a towel or in a empty pan. They were great except for drinking in a glass – you could detect a bit of separation that way. I love freezing things in ice cube trays too!

  4. Thanks for the great idea! Just tonight I had a partial can of evaporated milk. The extra are now in ice cube trays in the freezer. You got me hooked on freezing things in ice cube trays.

  5. My parents always had frozen milk on hand in our big chest freezer. It was frozen in the container but first a small amount was removed to prevent cracking as the milk expanded during freezing – about 1 1/2″ from the top. Yes the taste is affected and milk does separate from freezing so it needs to be shaken after thawing but even then the flavor is diminished. However it is just fine for cooking, cereal or hot drinks.

  6. Born in the babyboom years right after WWII I am brought up in foodsaving ways. Though I do not need to be that frugal now I still have the habit bred-in. So, the carcass of a fried or grilled chicken and the bones (taken they are not chewed clean by familymembers) is used to make stock, with the not so appealing but otherwise edible parts of vegetables I store cut up in the freezer. Bones from porcmeat go the same way, I store them till I have enough. The very green parts of leeks can be a bit tough, but they make for the most lovely green colour in Dutch peasoup, a winter favourite. Did you know you can freeze soaked beans and peas too. Just thaw starting with tepid water adding more and more hot, then cook as usual. That takes one time soaking for two portions.

  7. Most of the time we go through milk too fast to freeze it here, but every now again I’ll have a little that is threatening to go bad. I’ve got to remember this. My ice cube trays are smaller, though. Each “cube” is only about 1 tablespoon. So make sure you measure your ice cube trays first. 🙂

  8. I love freezing things in those ice-cube trays as well. Usually it is the kid’s food and homemade chicken stock. Never tried milk. Will have to try it out. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  9. I thought I was soo clever feezing milk into ice cubes and then I found your post and many others haha. My boys have all flown the coup so I live alone on a small farm and its a 50km round trip into town. So trips for grocery shopping are once a month and cooking every night is a non event. I now have a renewed love for my Freezer and freeze everything from single portion meals to milk in ice trays. Ps … I live in South Africa and it’s really hot in summer and everything goes off real quick so even fruit gets tossed into the freezer … I make a lot of smoothies 🙂