Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 18, 2007 12:10 PM

Is there a difference between "evaporated" milk and "condensed" milk?

I hate to admit I don't know this but I'm not much of a baker and needed condensed milk for a pie and saw evaporated on the same it essentially the same?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. absolutely not! The Condensed is about 60% sugar and the evaporated is about 10% sugar.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Curmudgeon

      Ahh, thanks. I guess it would make a diference in the recipe.

      1. re: Curmudgeon

        I've never noticed that evaporated has ANY sugar. Hmm.

        1. re: willownt

          Evaporated milk doesn't have added sugar, but milk naturally has sugar (lactose). That is what the label identifies.

      2. Absolutely not (I know Curmudgeon said it, but it can't be stressed enough). Evaporated milk is just milk that's been cooked to concentrate it by evaporating out some of the water. Condensed milk is not only cooked and reduced but has a large amount of sugar added. It has a completely different flavor and consistency.

        1. Homemade Condensed Milk
          1 cup Hot water
          4 cup Powdered milk
          2 cup Sugar
          1/4 cup Margarine or butter
          Blend in blender until very well mixed.
          Store in refrigerator or freezer.


          Sweetened Condensed Milk-Copykat Recipe
          3/4 C. sugar
          1/2 C. water
          1 C. plus 2 T. powdered milk
          Combine all ingredients.
          Heat to boiling.
          Cook until thick, this will take 15 to 20 minutes.
          This equals one can.

          Homemade Evaporated Milk
          1/3 cup powdered milk
          1 cup milk
          2/3 cup powdered milk
          1 cup HOT water
          Mix well. Refrigerate.


          7 Replies
          1. re: violabratsche

            It is funny to see recipes for condensed milk copies, since these canned milks were developed as a means of providing milk to people who could not get the fresh version. Many of the recipes using these were developed by and for people living in the tropics and similar areas. The classic, of course, is key lime pie. Sweetened condensed milk would have been easier to buy in the Florida Keys, especially before the causeway was built.


            1. re: paulj

              nothing like a cup of chai at 5am in the Kenya bush boiled over an open fire with condensed milk added, lions roaring in the background, hyenas calling and monkeys chattering.

              1. re: smartie

                I keep a squeeze bottle of this milk in the fridge for use in my tea - preferably a good black one.

                1. re: paulj

                  When growing up, my parents added evaoprated milk to coffee, instead of fresh milk. Actually my memory of it is quite good. Think I'll try it again.

                  Then there is always that delicious Vietnamese coffee, aside from being awake for 3 days, I love it.

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    My grandma often uses evaporated milk alias "pet milk" (I couldn't bring myself to seriously use that expression) in her coffee too! I have no idea why, though. Since she only cooks with milk (doesn't drink it), maybe because it comes in a small container? Hmm, I'll have to ask her.

                    1. re: willownt

                      "Pet" is an old brand of evaporated milk! I just came across it while trying to figure out the difference between evaporated and condensed for my pumpkin pie. Here's the link:

                      Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

                      1. re: willownt

                        I bet your grandmother is German! Germans usually use evaporated milk in coffee. Every office seems to have a small can with a tiny hole in it next to the coffee pot. Someone told me it is a holdover from WWII when there was no cream and little milk.

            2. You can use sweetened condensed milk to make Dulce de leche, a wonderful Latin American caramel.

              Homemade Dulce de Leche

              I make it in a pressure cooker with canned sweetened condensed milk. Remove can label. Place sealed can in pressure cooker and cover completely with water. Seal pressure cooker. Bring up to pressure and set timer for 30-minutes. After 30-minutes at full pressure turn off heat. Let pressure fall naturally. When pressure is gone open pressure cooker. Place pressure cooker in sink and flush interior with cold water. Fill pressure cooker with cold water and let stand for a half hour to allow canned sweetended condensed milk to completely cool. Open can and enjoy.

              1. I don't have a pressure cooker. I've always made the caramelised sweetened condensed milk in a large kettle, boiled gently, for ...I think it's 3 hours, IN the can. It was perfect for filling home made chocolates!!


                2 Replies
                1. re: violabratsche

                  It does take 3-hours to caramelize sweetened condensed milk on the stove top, inside the can. Don't allow the boiling water level to uncover the can or it could burst. The two advantages of using a pressure cooker are shorter cooking time (30-minutes) and little chance of bursting the can. Even if it were to burst, it would be contained inside the pressure cooker.

                  1. re: Antilope

                    It cooks in a stovetop open pot in about 30-45 minutes. All of the pv=nrt things that a pressure cooker is good for are inapplicable in this case because the can is rigid and completely sealed. Water level doesn't affect the danger of explosion (which is essentially zero in any case). Even if the can did rupture, since milk is a mostly incompressible fluid there's not going to be much energy released and thus not much of an explosion.