How to heat milk on the stove? (+3 steps)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to heat milk on the stove?”, and how to store milk?

How to heat milk on the stove?

  1. First, grab a saucepan and place it over the stovetop on low heat. Low heat will keep the milk from boiling over.
  1. Sti the milk slowly using a wooden spoon or a spatula to prevent the milk solids from sticking to the bottom and burning.
  1. The temperature of the milk should be warm and not too hot. You can check the temperature by holding your wrist over a teaspoon of milk collected from the saucepan.
  1. If this milk is supposed to be consumed by an infant, pout It into a sterile bottle. The bottle should be heated by placing it in a bottle warmer, a pot of hot water, or microwave.

How to heat milk?

Bringing milk to a boil

Heat it in the microwave

Microwaving milk is the easiest way to heat it. A single cup of room temperature milk (250mL) should come to a boil within 2 ½ minutes in the microwave. 

Make sure you stir It after regular intervals (15 seconds) to keep it from scalding. To be on the safe side, set the microwave on 70 percent power but do not forget to stir.

Boil milk on the stovetop

Use a deep pot to allow the bubbles to form and prevent the milk from boiling over. After the first boil, lower the heat to simmer. 

Use a long-handled wooden spoon to stir the milk now and then keep the fat and protein layer forming on the top. This will let the steam escape and prevent the milk from boiling.

Heat milk for culturing slowly

The milk which is to be used for making yogurt or cheese should be heated very slowly such that its temperature raises by only a single degree per minute. 

Heat the milk at low-medium heat for about 30-40 minutes with frequent stirring. If the stove is too hot for the milk even on low heat, use the double-boiler technique. 

Using a double broiler

Fill 3-4 inches of a saucepan with water. Heat it on low heat on the stove until It simmers. 

Adjust a glass or stainless steel bowl over the saucepan such that It sits over it with a distance of at least 1-inches between the bottom of the bowl and the top of the hot water. 

Pour the milk in the bowl and stir continuously until bubbles rise on the edges of the milk and steam is visible.

Heating milk for an infant 

Place the baby milk bottle in a bowl of warm water or hold it under warm running water.

This bottle should never be placed in the microwave to prevent hot spots from forming. 

The same is the case for the stovetop. The bottle will melt If It comes in direct contact with heat on the stovetop.

Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.

How long can milk last unrefrigerated?

How to keep milk from curdling?

Can you use evaporated milk instead of regular milk?

How to store milk correctly?

  1. Preferably, pasteurized milk should be kept at 3-4°C in the refrigerator.
  1. Avoid keeping the milk carton in the door to prevent temperature fluctuations.
  1. Freeze storing milk extends its shelf life for up to 6 months but it is recommended to consume within a month. Frozen milk has a grainy texture and some separated fat. It is best to use in cooking or smoothie/shakes.

How to tell if that milk has gone bad?

Sour milk develops a slimy and grainy texture due to the curdling of casein protein. If the appearance has not changed yet, give it a sniff. If the milk smells sour and acidic, it has gone bad and is unfit for consumption.

Drinking spoiled milk in large quantities can result in food poisoning that reflects in the form of diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

What is pasteurization?

Pasteurization is a mild heat treatment that is used to kill the non-vegetative forms of bacteria and inactivate enzymes that cause spoilage in fluids like milk, wine, and fruit juices.

The pasteurization of milk is done at 62.8°C for 30 minutes in a batch-type process.  For the HTST. milk is heated at 71.7°C for 15 seconds.

These are the minimum temperature and holding time requirements to pasteurize milk to kill Coxiella burnetti, responsible for Q fever

Pasteurization does not kill vegetative spores of bacteria, hence, it is important to refrigerate milk after pasteurization to prevent spoilage.


In this article, we answered the question “How to heat milk on the stove?”, and how to store milk?


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