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In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “How long do you boil evaporated milk to make caramel”, share some tips for making a great caramel sauce and how to fix grainy caramel sauce. We will also talk about how to store it.

How long do you boil evaporated milk to make caramel?

It takes about 8 minutes to boil evaporated milk to make caramel. Here we will share a recipe for caramel using evaporated milk. You only need butter, brown sugar, water, evaporated milk and vanilla.

  • Heat the butter, brown sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the butter melts.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower to low heat and whisk continually until thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Keep in mind that when the caramel sauce cools, it will thicken even more.
  • Remove from the fire and mix in 12 cups evaporated milk (it will foam up a lot) and the vanilla extract. To get the appropriate consistency, add more evaporated milk. 

You can also turn this recipe into Salted Caramel Sauce by adding salt. Follow the recipe as written, then add extra salt to taste (18 tsp or more if required).

The consistency of this caramel sauce is entirely within your control. Boil for longer and add less evaporated milk at the end for a richer caramel sauce.

What are the tips for making a great caramel sauce?

Use a thick-bottomed, robust pan

The sugar has to cook evenly, which is much simpler to achieve in a thick-bottomed, sturdy pan designed to spread the heat uniformly. A skillet with a thick bottom can also keep your sugar from burning.

Pan Dimensions

Make use of a medium pot with steep sides. If the pan is too large, the caramel will burn; if it is too tiny, the evaporated milk will overflow and bubble up when it is added.

Prepare your ingredients

Have your evaporated milk and vanilla ready to add as soon as you take the caramel from the heat; this will keep it from burning.

Brown sugar is essential for this recipe

Do not substitute granulated sugar with brown sugar; otherwise, a separate method/recipe will be required.


Do not let your caramel burn by simmering it over high heat. It is preferable for your caramel to thicken slowly over low heat rather than quickly and risk burning.

Use oven mitts

Using oven gloves is recommended to protect yourself from any spatters, especially while adding the evaporated milk.

Check the consistency

The caramel sauce will appear thick when you remove it from the heat, but it will thicken again as it cools to room temperature and much more once chilled. 

Cook for longer and use less evaporated milk to get a richer caramel sauce. Cook for a shorter time and add more evaporated milk to get a thinner caramel sauce.

Do not alter the amount of the recipe

Doubling or tripling the caramel sauce recipe is not recommended since the sugar may not melt evenly.

How to fix a grainy caramel?

Sugar crystals may be avoided by frequently swirling your caramel sauce with a rubber spatula, including the sides of the saucepan where the crystals like to develop.

Using oil

Grease the edges of your pan with vegetable oil before adding your components. This will keep the sugar from adhering and crystallizing.

Dissolve the sugar

If your Caramel Sauce seems gritty, the sugar has not been completely dissolved. Cook on low heat to ensure that all of the granules are thoroughly broken down.

Corn syrup

To avoid the formation of sugar crystals, add 1-2 tablespoons corn syrup to the pot with the butter and brown sugar. Corn syrup holds the sugar together and reduces the formation of stray crystals. Corn syrup is utilized in the production of confectionery for this reason. It is also frequently used to keep ganache recipes smooth. 

You may alternatively add corn syrup after your caramel has turned grainy and continue to simmer on low heat until smooth.

Lemon juice, vinegar or cream of tartar 

Before cooking, add 18 teaspoons of lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar. The acid dissolves part of the sucrose, making the sugar more cohesive.


After the butter has melted, use a moist pastry brush or paper towel to brush the interior of the pan. This dissolves any sugar crystals and prevents them from becoming a component of the caramel sauce.

How to store homemade caramel sauce?

Homemade Caramel Sauce may be stored at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for up to three weeks, or frozen for up to three months.

This Caramel Sauce is made using evaporated milk, which is further stabilized by sugar and does not need to be refrigerated right away.

Refrigerating leftover caramel sauce is recommended to extend its shelf life, although it is completely acceptable to serve at room temperature over cakes, brownies, and other baked goods, or in caramel sauce gift jars.


In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the question: “How long do you boil evaporated milk to make caramel”, shared some tips for making a great caramel sauce and how to fix grainy caramel sauce. We also talked about how to store it.


Carlsbad Cravings. “Caramel Sauce”, 10 de fevereiro de 2019. https://carlsbadcravings.com/easy-creamy-caramel-sauce/.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.