Substitute For Evaporated Milk

Say you're cooking dinner and you need to find a substitute for evaporated milk. What do you do? It's not always possible or practical to run to the grocery store every time you need an ingredient for a recipie you're cooking, and evaporated milk is one of those things we often forget to have on hand. Well, fear not. Here is how you can make a substitute for evaporated milk. Evaporated milk, as its name implies, is milk that has had most of its water content removed, which means that it is a thick, richer form of milk. There are two ways to substitute evaporated milk in recipes:

Method 1: Dry Milk

You will need:

  • Dry milk
  • water


  1. Place the dry milk in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add water to reconstitute it. But don't use as much water as the directions call for. Only use 40% of the water called for in the directions. (In other words, if the directions called for 1 Cup of water, you'd use a little under a 1/2 Cup instead.
  3. Mix it until the milk has a thick, even consistency. There should be no clumps. The milk should be thick and heavy (like cream!).
  4. Use as in the recipe. Just follow the rest of the steps. No other adjustments should be necessary.

Method 2: Reduce it Yourself

You will need:

  • Milk (2% is best)
  • a saucepan


  1. Place the milk in a medium sized sauce pan.
  2. Heat the milk, but don't let it boil. Heat the milk slowly. Watch the surface carefully to keep it from boiling. When you start to see small bubbles come up around the outside edges, turn the heat down to a low medium.
  3. Bring milk to a simmer. Allow the milk to simmer until it reduces in volume by half. This may take 10-20 minutes. Let the milk cool slightly before using.
  4. Use as in the recipe. No other adjustments to the recipe should be necessary.


  • If you're reducing the milk yourself, keep a careful eye on the pot. Milk tends to boil-over rapidly.
  • Boiled milk will also curdle, which will ruin the flavor.
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