how to heat milk on stove

How to heat milk on stove – The newest trick that works

If you’re looking to find out how to heat milk on stove, then read on. We’ll cover everything you need to know about cooking it and provide tips so you can learn about enjoying your meals with it.

How to heat milk on stove? First, you’ll need a small saucepan, whole or half, and a spoon. Then, add your desired amount of milk in the saucepan and heat until it reaches 180 degrees F. Once at that temperature, turn off the heat source and let it simmer for ten more minutes. Pour into a warm jar with a lid and shake.

You can also heat milk on the stovetop in a pot or a microwave. When heating milk in a small pot, stir it constantly over low heat until it is hot but not boiling.

When using a microwave, place the milk in an oven-safe dish and heat at 50% power for 3–4 minutes. Milk isn’t just for cereal! Milk is a healthy source of protein and calcium, and when heated, it becomes smoother, richer, and creamier.

How to Heat Milk on Stove – Step by Step Guide

how to heat milk on stoveThere are many ways to heat milk, from the stovetop to an electric stove, and each method differs slightly. Here are some of the basics and different variations of heating milk.

The Double Boiler Technique

Step 1

Get a deep pot: Wash your saucepan with soap, making sure to get every inch of the inside. Do leave any water in your pan by making it’s nice and dry. 

Step 2

Add water into the deep stove pot: Add water to the stove pot before you fire up the burner. 

Step 3

Cover The Pot With A Small Bowl: The bowl should be slightly smaller than the pot’s diameter but big enough to encompass at least half of the surface area of the milk. The bowl will act as a lid for the pot, trapping in heat and moisture. The bowl should sit directly on top of the water, but take care to ensure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot.

Step 4 

Pour the milk into the pot:

  1. Let it be over low heat, occasionally stirring to prevent scorching.
  2. Don’t put the lid on the pot.
  3. Heat the milk slowly and steadily—the milk will froth up and then calm down again.
  4. Do not rush it; you will end up with scalded milk—which is not what you want.

Step 5

Take the milk out of the stovetop: After heating the milk for like 3-4 minutes, remove from heat or test with an instant thermometer to be sure. You can serve immediately after.

Other Techniques to Use in Heating Milk

Using a microwave to heat milkUsing a Microwave to Heat Milk

  1. Put a container of milk in the microwave oven.
  2. Heat on high for 8 to 10 minutes or until hot, stopping to stir after every minute.
  3. Always use a glass container to avoid breaking the milk.
  4. Do not microwave in plastic containers or the cartons that milk comes in.

Microwaves heat from the inside out; you’ll get even heating without having to stir up the contents. For best results, a minimum of ¼ cup of milk is recommended. Heating smaller quantities may result in a hotter center with a cooler outer liquid layer. For thicker liquids, remove from microwave and stir before heating again or use the LOW setting for a more extended period.

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How Long to Heat Milk on Stove

The milk heating time will vary depending on the volume of liquid and the temperature of your stove. 

An excellent range of cooking temperatures can be achieved with a stove, so I’d start at one end and see what time is needed to heat the milk to 203F (95C). 

Then, you can play with increments of either 5 or 10 minutes until the temperature reaches 205F (96.8C). 

But on average, to heat milk, you should allow 2 minutes per 1 cup or 30 seconds per ounce. That’s approximately 30-45 seconds for a tablespoon, depending on the temperature of the milk when it is poured into the pan.

 However, remember to stir it constantly when heating milk on the stove. As long as you do that, your milk or cream will heat perfectly, and you won’t end up with a burnt mess in your pan.

How to Heat Milk on Stove for Hot Chocolate

Heat milk for hot chocolate by putting the milk in a saucepan and overheating element on the stove.

Here is a step by step guide:

Step 1: Place a small-to-medium saucepan over medium heat. 

Step 2: Add milk and a pinch of sea salt. Heat until steaming. 

Step 3: Remove from heat, stir and serve.

Although, heating milk on a stove is not ideal because the temperature will rise too quickly and spoil the taste. 

If you’re trying to make hot chocolate, convection ovens are ideal for heating the milk. And if you don’t have one, using a microwave can also work.

How to Heat Milk on Stove for Coffee

You are sure of enjoying your coffee more when it’s served with a bit of warm milk. Here is how to do it

  • A small pot
  • Milk (the amount of milk you want to heat)
  • A liquid measuring cup 
  • A stove 5. An accurate thermometer 
  • Stainless Steel Whisk 
  • A timer 


1. Place a pan on the stove after turning to medium heat. 

2. Pour milk into a pan until it is 3/4 complete; use a little more if you want foamy hot chocolate 

4. Now, set a timer for one minute and let the milk heat up, stirring occasionally. 

5. When the timer goes off, your milk should be steaming. 

6 Add to you your coffee and; stir until mixed well

Note: Use a saucepan or heavy-bottomed pot and simmer the milk on a gentle heat. Pro tip: if you have a pot with a light-colored interior, it might be easier to observe the color of the milk as it heats up.

How to Warm Milk with a Microwave

This guide will cover the proper and efficient way to warm milk in a microwave.

Place a glass measuring cup or bowl on the counter. Add enough desired liquid (usually 3 to 4 tablespoons) to the cup. 

Add the desired amount of raw or dry ingredients (including powdered drink mixes) to the same cup. 

Place the milk cup into the microwave and heat on high for 20 seconds. Remove from microwave, stir and return the cup to the microwave. Heat for an additional 15-20 seconds. If needed, repeat one more time.

Lift the bowl out with oven mitts as it will be hot.

Tips For Heating Milk On The Stove

Tips For Heating Milk On The StoveCook on Low Heat

It is vital to make sure that you cook at a low temperature or that your milk will get burned quickly due to the sugar in it, which burns at lower temperatures than plain milk. Don’t forget to stir because it is easier for the sugar burns to happen if you do not mix it. For these reasons, heating milk on the stove can be difficult, but you are good to go once you practice and get used to it.

Use A Thermometer

Using a thermometer is the surest way to know the proper temperature. Make sure your thermometer has a clip to attach to the side of the saucepan. The way to tell if your milk on the stovetop is heating evenly – use a thermometer. It’s the most straightforward way to help you get the perfect temperature for your recipe. Use this time you’re making coffee or tea or any other hot beverage that requires milk.

Use a Small Stovetop Pot

The old-fashioned stovetop method does work best because it’s easier to get a heat source up and down quickly. So, buy a small saucepan, heat your milk on medium-low ( you will have to watch and raise or lower the temp as the milk heats); stirring will make it come out well.

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Frequently Asked Question

How long do you heat milk on the stove for hot chocolate?

It’s a matter of taste, but most recipes will tell you to heat milk in a saucepan on low heat, frequently stirring, for about 10 minutes. Of course, this process can be more tricky than it sounds and cause discomfort to your wrist or hand with the repetitive motion.

Is it safe to heat milk on the stove?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to heat milk on the stovetop. But there are factors to put into consideration to avoid any problems. Milk that is heated gently will taste smooth and creamy, while overheated milk will curdle. Overheating might also destroy some of the essential nutrients in milk.

Is heating milk bad?

Milk should be kept cold at all times and can turn sour if you don’t. But most nutritionists and doctors agree there is no harm in heating milk as long as you do it correctly.

Does boiling milk destroy protein?

Boiling and pasteurization do not eliminate the proteins in milk. It denatures proteins which means that they become permanently altered. Boiling a glass of milk does not make the proteins disappear – it just alters them so that they behave differently.

Does boiling milk kill viruses?

Boiling milk will kill many bacteria that occur naturally in milk, but it won’t destroy viruses. Nor will it kill dangerous bacteria such as campylobacter, which can result in severe food poisoning.


If you want to heat milk, you need a pan that can handle the heat. A thin and cheap pan will work; if this is your first time heating milk, this page on how to heat milk on stove will help you before you try it.