Evaporated milk is a valuable ingredient when it comes to adding rich and creamy flavor to recipes. But you may be wondering, “What can I do with expired evaporated milk?” There are many things you can do with expired evaporated milk. Any recipe that has a cream or milk base may benefit from the addition of expired evaporated milk, provided that the evaporated milk is still safe to drink. Join us as we explore the various ways you can use expired evaporated milk in recipes.
Does Evaporated Milk Expire?
Yes, evaporated milk does expire, but not as quickly as you might think.
Unopened evaporated milk is shelf-stable and can sit in your pantry for months on end. In fact, most evaporated milk will stay consumable even up to a couple of months after the date printed on the label. Therefore, it is perfectly fine for you to use evaporated milk that is unopened, even if the milk is past the expiration date. Just be sure not to wait too long after expiry; the longer you wait, the better the odds that you could get food poisoning.
Having said that, once you open a can of evaporated milk, you will want to use it quickly. Evaporated milk lasts anywhere from 2-5 days depending on the brand. Carnation evaporated milk claims to last about 5 days versus other milk brands that only last 2-3.
To know for sure, be sure to read the label on the can. Discard any milk left over after the amount of time the opened evaporated milk should be refrigerated has passed.
How Long Can You Use Evaporated Milk After the Expiration Date?
Evaporated milk can be used a few months after the expiration date. Some even claim to have used their unopened evaporated milk for up to a year past expiry.
The most important thing is to use your eyes and nose to determine whether or not your milk is still safe for consumption. Especially if you choose to consume the evaporated milk much after its printed expiration date.
If upon opening your evaporated milk it ever looks chunky, thick, or has otherwise changed its texture, be sure to throw it out. Also, if the color or smell of the evaporated milk has changed, be sure not to consume it.
Note: Evaporated milk has a slightly golden color. This is normal and is retained because of the heating process involved in making evaporated milk.
What Can I Do With Expired Evaporated Milk?
There are several things you can do with expired evaporated milk, but be sure you are using evaporated milk that is actually edible! As long as the evaporated milk you are using doesn’t have an odd smell, taste, or texture, you may consider doing the following:
- Use It In Your Drink: Some countries prefer to use evaporated milk in hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate, and we definitely can see why. This adds a lovely creamy texture to warm drinks that you may really enjoy. Evaporated milk also has a thicker consistency and will feel heavier in the mouth, so you may find that you like this replacement even more than traditional milk!
- Swirl Evaporated Milk into Your Soup: Adding evaporated milk to soup and slow-cooker dishes can really thicken things up a bit and add a delectable creaminess that you’re sure to love! It is often used as a replacement for heavy cream but it has much fewer calories and fat. Score!
- Make It Into a Sauce: Evaporated milk makes an excellent dressing and sauce base. It works particularly well in coleslaw and can be combined with an acid (like lemon juice or vinegar) to cause the sauce to thicken.
- Use It as a Substitute For Milk: Because evaporated milk is concentrated milk with more water removed, it can often be reconstituted to make it into regular milk. When doing this, avoid serving the milk as a stand-alone serving, i.e., avoid drinking the milk by itself, as it likely won’t taste like your traditional cold glass of milk. Instead, simply reconstitute it to use in any recipe that calls for regular milk and you’ll have an instant substitution.
How Do You Tell If Canned Evaporated Milk Is Bad?
Canned evaporated milk is bad whenever it develops an off-color, strange texture, or bad taste. We recommend you look at the texture and give the evaporated milk a sniff before using it, especially if it is beyond the printed label date.
Consuming evaporated milk that is old can give you digestive issues the same as would regular milk that has gone bad. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Chunky bits in your evaporated milk, a sour smell, or a color that is different from the usual off-white hue are definite signs you should toss the milk and opt for a fresh can.
What Happens When Evaporated Milk Expires?
When evaporated milk expires, you may still be able to use it, but it will depend on a few things.
As mentioned before, you’ll want to observe the milk to ensure that it is still edible and smells okay, especially if the can has been opened.
If the can was opened, you must use the milk within 2-5 days to avoid getting sick. It also needs to be stored in the refrigerator during this period of time. Do not consume milk that has sat open and out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.
If the can was not opened, the milk should be fine to consume as long as the can isn’t severely dented, bulging or the milk isn’t more than a few months past expiry. If the milk is older than a few months after the date printed on the label, be very careful when attempting to use it.
Consuming evaporated milk that has expired can lead to stomach ailments and food poisoning. These can be occasionally accompanied by a fever, and most often vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
See your doctor if you believe you’ve acquired food poisoning from drinking expired evaporated milk. Throw away any remaining expired milk, drink clear fluids, and get rest if you experience an upset stomach due to drinking expired evaporated milk.
Can You Get Sick From Expired Evaporated Milk?
Yes, you can get sick from expired evaporated milk just as you would get sick from drinking spoiled milk. As the milk sits, it will breed bacteria. This is true whether the milk sits at room temperature or if it is refrigerated.
As mentioned, all evaporated milk that is opened and refrigerated must be consumed within 2-5 days.
Common signs of illness after having consumed spoiled evaporated milk include:
- Stomach Pain
- Abdominal Cramping
- Fever (Though Not Always)
Is It OK to Use Expired Evaporated Milk?
Is Expired Evaporated Milk OK to Use?
Expired evaporated milk is okay to use, provided that it:
- has only been expired a few months past expiry
- doesn’t have a weird smell, taste, or texture
- is unopened.
Evaporated milk that has been opened should only be consumed within 48 hours or up to 5 days (when using Carnation evaporated milk). Go by the directions for refrigeration listed on the can. And do not attempt to use expired canned milk that has been opened past its refrigeration window. Doing so can lead to sickness.
When using expired evaporated milk, only do so with milk that is deemed safe to drink. Add it to sauces, casseroles, baked goods, pasta, dressings, soups, and whatever else your heart desires to make good use of canned evaporated milk before tossing it out. You can even make your own whipped cream using evaporated milk; who knew!
You Can Do A Lot With Expired Evaporated Milk!
The bottom line is that you can do a lot with expired evaporated milk. This is provided that the milk is still edible. From sauces to baked goods and so much more, evaporated milk is a versatile ingredient. It lends itself to many cooking dishes that require a milk base or a creamy substitute.
Know that drinking expired evaporated milk that is unopened in a can is generally regarded as safe a few months after the date printed on the label. But we don’t recommend you drink evaporated milk any older than that. Evaporated milk that has been opened and stored longer than 2-5 days should be thrown out. It should not be used in any recipes as doing so may cause those consuming the dish to become sick.
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