What is the best way to boil milk?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “what is the best way to boil milk?”. With an in-depth analysis of what is the best way to boil milk. Moreover, we are going to discuss how to boil milk in different ways.

What is the best way to boil milk?

The best way to boil milk is to heat your milk slowly over medium heat and stir it while it comes to a boil. Stirring and heating gently help hold the water, carbs, fat, and protein in milk together.

Why is it needed to boil milk?

Boiling raw milk kills microbes and makes the milk safe to drink. Pasteurized milk is safe to drink cold, but boiling may extend its shelf life.

Boiling milk not only kills germs but also destroys nutrients. Boiling milk is an effective way of dealing with disease-causing organisms. Although it does not remove all impurities, it does kill most of the dangerous bacteria and other organisms.

How can you boil milk on a stove?

Check whether the milk needs to be boiled: 

Some milk is safe to drink without boiling. Follow this guide when deciding whether to boil milk:

  • Raw milk should be boiled whenever possible.
  • Pasteurized milk should be boiled if it has been stored at room temperature. It does not need to be boiled if it’s been in the refrigerator or a very cold room.
  • A sealed tetra pack with “UHT” on the label is safe to drink, even if it’s been stored at room temperature. UHT stands for “ultra-high temperature,” a type of processing that kills all harmful microbes.

Pour the milk into a large, clean pot: 

Choose a taller pot than you need, so there’s plenty of space. Milk foams up when it boils, and will often overflow from a small pot.

  • Clean the pot thoroughly, or residue might curdle your milk. If this becomes a problem, choose a pot to use only for milk.
  • Copper, aluminum, and stainless steel heat up much faster than cast iron and other heavy material. This saves time, but you’ll need to pay extra close attention to prevent burning and overflow.

Heat the milk until it starts to bubble:

  • Heat the milk over medium heat and give it your full attention. A shiny layer of cream will rise to the top as it heats. Eventually, small bubbles will rise from underneath the cream, starting around the outside edge. Once this happens, reduce heat to low.
  • You may heat the milk over high heat to save time, but watch it constantly and be ready to reduce heat. Over high heat, the milk will rapidly move from the first bubbles to a rising layer of foam.

Stir occasionally:

If your pot heats unevenly, the milk may burn in places. Stir once every couple minutes with a wooden spoon or a heat-safe spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan.

Break up the foam as it forms: 

The cream at the top of the milk traps steam as the milk boils. This steam will break up the cream into foam, which will rise rapidly and overflow out the pot. Respond quickly to prevent this:

  • Reduce heat until the milk bubbles at a steady rate.
  • Stir constantly to break up the foam.
  • Leave the utensil in the pot (optional). This breaks up the cream surface, creating a gap for steam to escape through. Just make sure the utensil can handle prolonged heat without burning.

Boil for two or three minutes, stirring constantly: 

This is long enough to make your milk safe to drink. Further boiling will just destroy nutrients in the milk.

Store immediately: 

Pour the milk into a closed container right away. Store in the refrigerator, or the coldest place in your home. If you keep the milk in the refrigerator, it does not need to be boiled a second time. If storing the milk at room temperature, you may need to boil it before each use.

  • Boiling too many times will destroy nutrients. If you do not have a refrigerator, try to buy only as much milk as you can use in one sitting.

How can you boil milk in a microwave?

Do not rely on this method to make raw milk safe: 

Microwaves can only boil the milk for a brief time before the milk overflows. This will still kill some microbes, but not enough to treat raw milk or milk stored at room temperature. Heat these over the stove instead.

Pour milk into a clean mug:

Avoid mugs with metallic paint which are not microwave safe.

Place a wooden utensil in the mug: 

Place a wooden spoon or chopstick in the mug. Use a utensil long enough that it can’t fall under the milk. This lets steam escape up the handle instead of causing a foamy explosion.

Microwave for 20 seconds at a time: 

Between each zap, take out the milk and stir it for 5–10 seconds. This cautious method minimizes the risk of overflow.

How can you scald milk?

Pour the milk into a clean pot: 

A thick-bottomed pot will heat the milk more evenly, reducing the chance of burning.

  • Impurities can spoil the milk, so clean the pot thoroughly.

Heat over the medium flame: 

Never heat over high heat, which is much more likely to burn the milk or cause overflow.

Stir occasionally: 

Keep an eye on the milk, stirring every minute or so. A wide spatula works best since you can scrape the base of the pot if the milk starts to stick.

Watch for light bubbling and steaming:

The milk is scalded, once it has a tiny layer of foam at the top of the milk. Small bubbles will appear around the edge of the pot, and the surface will just barely steam.

If you have an infrared thermometer, confirm that the milk has reached 82ºC (180ºF).

Is it necessary to boil milk before drinking it?

People often boil milk when they use it in cooking. You can boil raw milk to kill any harmful bacteria. However, boiling milk is usually unnecessary, as most milk in the grocery store is already pasteurized.

What will happen if we drink milk without boiling it?

Raw milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Campylobacter, and others that cause foodborne illness, often called food poisoning. These bacteria can seriously injure the health of anyone who drinks raw milk or eats products made from raw milk.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “what is the best way to boil milk?”. With an in-depth analysis of what is the best way to boil milk. Moreover, we have also discussed how to boil milk in different ways.



Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.