What is the best way to heat milk?

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

What is the best way to heat milk?

The best way to heat 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.

How can you heat milk on a stove?

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.

It is worth mentioning that 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 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.

It is worth mentioning that 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.

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.

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.

How to heat milk on a stove using a double broiler method?

In a saucepan, add a couple of inches (three or four cm) of water. Set the heat to low and place it on the stove. Slowly heat it until it begins to simmer.

Place a glass or stainless steel bowl in the saucepan so that it sits inside the pot but is not in contact with the heating water. Between the bottom of the bowl and the top of the water, there should be at least an inch of space.

Maintain a low heat setting so that the water in the pot continues to simmer. Pour the milk into the glass or stainless steel bowl with care. Stir constantly and heat until little bubbles appear around the bowl’s edge and steam rises from the milk.

When the milk has reached a boil, remove it from the heat and use immediately or cool it according to your recipe.

How can you heat milk in a microwave?

Pour milk into a clean mug. Avoid mugs with metallic paint which are not microwave-safe and 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 15 seconds at a time and between each zap, take out the milk and stir it. This cautious method minimizes the risk of overflow.

One cup (250 mL) of milk should reach room temperature in 45 seconds and boil in 2.5 minutes.

How to heat milk for an infant?

Hold the bottle under running warm water or in a dish filled with warm water. You may need to top out the bowl with more warm water as the water cools. Warm the bottle until it reaches room or body temperature, whichever is preferred by your infant. 

You don’t want the milk or formula to become too heated. It will lose nutritious value and may burn your infant’s mouth if it gets too hot.

It is worth mentioning that you can also use a bottle warmer to heat milk for an infant.

Is it necessary to boil store-bought milk before using it?

People often heat 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.


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