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Dec 11, 2007 01:16 PM

Is it possible to steam milk w/o an espresso machine?

I have a recipe that calls for steamed milk, and I was wondering if there was a way of doing it without acquiring a cappucino machine?

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  1. It would be easy with chemistry lab equipment. Otherwise, I'd warm the milk in a double boiler and live without foam.

    1. Steamin, not so much (not that I know, at alt east) but frothing is manageable, with a whisk and a strong arm, or with one of those electric frothers. You'd want to heat the milk first, thouh.

      1. Long ago I saw Jamie Oliver make lattes on television. He poured hot milk in a plastic quart milk jug, capped it, and shook it like crazy...

        1 Reply
        1. re: JKSea

          I saw the same show and tried it. You get foam but only for a very short time. And, be very careful when opening the lid.

        2. There are two things an espresso machine does to "steamed" milk. One is to heat it, the other is to create foam. You can heat milk on the stove or nuke it. You can create foam by putting heated skim or 2% milk in a blender, though this will produce MUCH finer "bubbles" than an espresso machine. I've never tried a food processor, but because of the slower speed, it MIGHT producer more espresso machine-like bubbles. An emersion blender might work too. In fact, now that I think of it, an emersion blender might work a lot better than a counter-top blender simply because you control the angle of the blade and how deep you emerse it. When steaming milk with an espresso machine, after you've heated the milk with the wand, it's the depth of the wand (just below the surface) that creates the froth. Yeah, an emersion blender might do the trick best of all! Or there's an old fashioned whisk if you want at least one buff arm, or even an old fashioned egg beater. Or, for about ten bucks or so, you can buy a hand held "frother" that you put in the milk and turn it on. I've never tried one though.

          In my experience, you really do get better "steamed" milk foam from an espresso machine, but it is tricky to produce until you master the technique. You can buy espresso machines with a steaming wand for under a hundred bucks. I've even seen them under fifty. If you really enjoy cappuccino, maybe now's the time to drop a few hints to Santa? '-)

          And yes, skim or 2% milk does foam better than whole milk or cream. MUCH better!

          1. What are you making? Chances are, you can just heat the milk in a pot and it will be fine - in fact, your recipe will be that much richer without the extra air! If froth is what you need, renz's suggestions would be mine as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Aloo0628

              Fiance just bought the FL cookbook, want to try coffee and doughnuts. Going to be getting a decent amount of stuff at Surfas for it, but an espresso maker just to get a little bit of steamed milk seems excessive.

              I'll probably just nuke some milk in the cup attachment to my immersion blender.