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Burning Question: What's the Difference Between Evaporated and Condensed Milk?

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

Evaporated and condensed milk are both shelf-stable, concentrated forms of milk that have been cooked at a high heat to remove about 60 percent of their water content. Although, they have oddly similar names, the two products are not the same.

Condensed milk is made up of approximately 40 to 45 percent sugar, cooked down and mixed with whole milk until it becomes a gooey, sweet substance with a caramelized flavor and a light brown color. It's frequently used to make desserts such as flan and dulce de leche.

Evaporated milk is condensed milk without the added sugar with the water content cooked off until it has a consistency that is similar to cream. Available in whole, low-fat, and fat-free varieties, evaporated milk is used in lieu of regular milk to add body and richness to a recipe.

Evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk cannot be used interchangeably in cooking, because one product contains much more sugar than the other. Since sugar in sweetened condensed milk is cooked down and caramelized, merely adding sugar to evaporated milk would be an insufficient substitute.

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Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Good to know!
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 8 years
thanks! i probably wouldn't have figured it out otherwise.
flyingroo flyingroo 8 years
Stoopeed, unsweetened condensed milk is a redundant term. It is simply evaporated milk.
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
i use either in my tea. it upps the taste soo much! love it!
goddessru goddessru 8 years
Thanks for the clear up!
stoopeed stoopeed 8 years
Interesting. What then, is unsweetened condensed milk? I've seen cans of those in the grocery store, just never bought them.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't get why people get confused about this. Recipes always say "evaporated milk, NOT condensed" or "condensed milk, NOT evaporated". The LABEL says EXACTLY what it is!! Sorry, it just irritates me that food professionals think that everybody is so stupid that they can't read the label on a can. BTW, I love condensed milk too. When I was in Ukraine and had to subsist on Nescafe instant coffee, I had a can of condensed milk that I stirred into it in lieu of creamer. It worked pretty well, actually.
godeats godeats 8 years
That wasn't a comment on melx's comment, but rather on a food-centric website posting such a silly story.
godeats godeats 8 years
Are you serious?
melx melx 8 years
i love condensed milk! :feedme:
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