Condensed Milk vs. Evaporated Milk: What’s the Difference?

by Charlie
Published: Last Updated on
Difference Between Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk

Condensed milk and evaporated milk are two types of milk that households commonly consume. Both are essentially the same in that they are true, real milk with common nutritional profiles. 

Furthermore, evaporated milk and condensed milk both have a darker tint than regular milk. They have the same creamy shade. Condensed milk and evaporated milk also have similar culinary uses or purposes. 

So, what’s the difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk? The main difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk lies in the taste and content. Condensed milk is much sweeter because it has added sugar, while evaporated milk does not have sugar. That is why some products label evaporated milk as unsweetened condensed milk.

What are Other Differences Between Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk?

Besides the basic difference in taste and content, they also differ in consistency. Both condensed milk and evaporated milk are creamier than your regular milk, but condensed milk has an even thicker consistency compared to evaporated milk. This is because of its sugar content.

Secondly, they differ in shelf life. Condensed milk lasts longer than evaporated milk. Unopened cans can last for years while unopened evaporated milk is usually at its best for up to 12 months only.

Lastly, evaporated milk undergoes more processing to preserve compared to condensed milk. This is because the sugar content in condensed milk helps preserve it for a longer time.

Does Condensed Milk Taste Like Evaporated Milk?

Well, yes and no. Both have that intense milk taste because of the reduced water content. And both are sweeter than regular milk because caramelization happens in their manufacturing process. However, condensed milk is a lot sweeter than evaporated milk.

Can You Use Condensed Milk to Substitute for Evaporated Milk?

Yes, you can. However, you cannot make a straight substitution. Adjust measurements to avoid over-sweetening your finished product. For instance, you may likely want to skip the sugar If you’re using condensed milk instead of evaporated milk (or regular milk) over your coffee or milky dessert.

Can You Use Evaporated Milk to Substitute for Regular Milk?

Yes, you can. Use 1:1 ratio if you want that intense milky taste. Otherwise, consider using ½ cup of evaporated milk plus ½ cup water to substitute for 1 cup of regular milk.

Are Evaporated Milk and Condensed Milk Healthy for You?

Yes, they are. A cup of evaporated milk provides 18g protein (36% DV), calcium (64% DV), magnesium (12% DV) and more. Additionally, a cup of condensed milk gives you 24g protein (48% DV), calcium (86% DV), magnesium (19% DV) and more.

When Do You Use Condensed Milk?

Condensed milk is a good choice for sweetening strong, brewed coffee. This is the usual choice for many hot or iced Vietnamese coffees. Besides sweetening your coffee and tea, condensed milk is a great choice for many desserts and cold drinks. Use it to make custards, puddings, and flans. Bake some fudge bars, cheesecakes, or pies. Make refreshing shakes and ice cream with condensed milk.

The best thing about using condensed milk is that it cuts down the prep time since you don’t have to use, measure out, and blend granulated sugar to the recipe anymore. This is great especially if you’re watching your sugar consumption.

Why not make a Strawberry Condensed Milk Smoothie?

  1. Wash some fresh strawberries. Drain. Chill.
  2. Measure out condensed milk, some ice cold water, and ice cubes.
  3. Pulse strawberries and condensed milk in a blender or processor.
  4. When you see a pureed or smooth and creamy mixture, pour in ice cold water and ice cubes. Pulse to blend and get your desired thickness.
  5. Adjust the amounts of strawberry and condensed milk according to your preference.
  6. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

When Do You Use Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated milk has a lot of culinary uses. Like condensed milk, you can use evaporated milk to cream your coffee and even tea. Besides adding it to your hot beverages, you can use it for soup, chowder, and even pasta sauce recipes.

Using evaporated milk instead of regular milk will lessen the cooking time of soups and chowders. You can also try adding evaporated milk to your sweet desserts, smoothies, and shakes in place of regular milk.

Can You Make Your Own Condensed Milk?

Yes, you can. Make your own condensed milk by following the easy steps below.

  1. Choose your milk.
  2. Choose your sugar.
  3. Add milk and sugar into a saucepan. Use the ratio of 1:3. (For example, ¼ c of sugar and ¾ c milk).
  4. Mix and let it simmer over low heat.
  5. Gently stir to prevent burning at the bottom.
  6. Let the milk reduce, darken, and thicken for about 30 minutes.
  7. Transfer to an airtight jar to cool.
  8. Put the lid on once it is totally cool.
  9. Store in the fridge.

Note: This condensed milk will likely thicken some more when stored in the fridge.

Can You Make Your Own Evaporated Milk?

Yes, you can. You make evaporated milk simply by reducing regular milk by 60%. If you are fine with loosely following the ratios, then try making your own evaporated milk following the easy steps below.

  1. Pour 3 cups of full cream milk in a saucepan.
  2. Gently and continuously stir and simmer over low heat. Don’t let the milk get scorched.
  3. Let the milk reduce, darken, and thicken until you are left with 1 ¼ cups of evaporated milk.
  4. Transfer to an airtight jar to cool.
  5. Put the lid on once it is totally cool.
  6. Store in the fridge and consume within one week for the best taste.

Note: Some foam (like scum) might form on top while simmering. Simply scoop it out.

How Long Can You Keep Opened Cans of Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk?

For safety, consume opened cans of condensed milk within 2 weeks of opening. Use opened cans of evaporated milk within 1 week. It is also better to transfer the contents into glass jars or BPA-free airtight plastic containers.

Final Thoughts

  • Condensed milk has sugar content while evaporated milk doesn’t.
  • Evaporated milk undergoes more processing compared to condensed milk.
  • Condensed milk has a longer shelf life than evaporated milk.
  • Condensed milk has a thicker consistency than evaporated milk.

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