April 22

How to Heat Milk in the Microwave? – Learn Here


Author: Cornelia Suehr
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Having milk with meals is an essential part of most peoples’ daily routines. It can be used to make cereal, bake and can even be taken with various snacks.

While there is nothing wrong with a cold cup of milk, sometimes you just prefer a warm cup of milk for satisfaction. Perhaps you are following a recipe that requires a warm glass of milk and you’re wondering how to heat milk in the microwave.

To answer this simply, you only need to pour the quantity of milk you need into a microwave-safe bowl with a cover and pop it in the oven, put the microwave oven at heat and check at 1-minute intervals till its thoroughly heated, your milk should be ready in no time.

This articles will discuss how to best heat your milk using a microwave.

Also Read: What Size of Microwave Oven Fits a Dinner Plate?

How to Heat Milk in the Microwave

Things Required

Keg of Milk
Heating the milk right is important to retain its nutrients
  • A keg of milk
  • A microwave-safe bowl with a tightly lidded container
  • A microwave


Pour the quantity of milk that is required into the microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly.

Ensure that you do not fill your microwave-safe bowl to the brim to avoid it overflowing before it heats

While you don’t necessarily have to cover your milk while you heat it up, you should avoid the milk getting contaminated. This happens very easily in foods like egg and milk.

You can also decide to use a cling film if your microwave-safe bowl has no good cover.

Set the microwave regulator to heat and the timer to 15 seconds.

Once the minute is up, bring out the milk to check if it is heated to your taste. If it is not, stir the milk thoroughly to avoid it separating or curdling.

Then, put back into the microwave and set the timer at another 30 seconds.

Repeat the process until the milk is heated to taste,

Ensure that the milk does not get to boil or it begins to overflow and can ruin your microwave oven.

How to Avoid My Milk Spilling Over

Milk tends to overflow and begin to spill over when it begins to boil in a microwave. This is because of its composition and the bubbles that form when the milk reaches boiling point. So how do you avoid this in your milk?

Stir the Milk

One of the easiest ways to avoid any milk spill in your microwave oven is to take it out and stir every 30 seconds, this eliminates excess air and keeps it from boiling over.

Butter or Oil

Applying oil to the edge of your microwave-safe bowl can keep the milk from spilling over.

This method has been used for various cooking processes and meals over the years. Most times the milk will not go beyond the butter or oil levels except the temperature is really high.

All you need to do is run your oily fingers over the edge of the microwave-safe bowl, before putting it in the oven and the milk is safe from spillage.

Do Not Fill Your Microwave-Safe Container All the Way

Ensure that your microwave-safe container isn’t filled to the brim. Don’t let the milk not be more than 50-75% of the container.

This way, even if it begins the boil up, the container will have enough space to accommodate it.

Is it Safe to Heat Milk in the Microwave

How to Heat Milk in The Microwave
Heating milk in a microwave is completely safe. Source: CanYouMicrowaveIt

Heating your milk in the microwave is perfectly safe. Although when the milk begins to boil over, its components begin to separate thereby making the milk have a funny appearance. Fat and protein get separated and the steam begins to rise.

Avoid Bringing the Milk to Boil

On the other hand, you could heat the milk and ensure that it doesn’t get to the boiling point before taking it out.

With this, your milk gets warm without compromising the quality of the milk. If you don’t finish the milk, you can allow it to get back to room temperature and pop back in the fridge.

By doing this you can ensure that your milk retains its taste and nutritional value.

Read more: What Size of Microwave Oven Fits a Dinner Plate

What Happens If I Bring My Milk to Boil in the Microwave

When you heat your milk in the microwave, try to ensure that it doesn’t boil. Once it begins to get too hot, you can take it out to use.

This is because boiling your milk damages most of the major proteins, vitamins, and minerals contained in the milk.

The Milk Begins to Overflow

Once the milk starts to boil it is converted to vapor. Finally, it begins to overflow, thereby ruining your microwave. You really don’t want this to happen, as the stains can get very difficult to take out.

If your milk is being microwaved in a covered container, the milk might explode the container as the air will not have a means of escape.

The Milk Can Curdle

Milk is naturally made to be on liquid form but once your milk has been boiling for some time in the microwave, it begins to curdle and once it goes through this process, it is absolutely ruined except when your recipe requires curdled milk.

So if you ever make the mistake of allowing your milk boil, take it out immediately, you might still be able to use it, it just might not be as quality as it should be.

Read more: How Long To Microwave Pizza Bagels

How Long to Microwave Milk For?

This depends upon 4 things.

  1. Power rating of the Microwave
  2. Heat Settings
  3. Size of the portion
  4. How cold was the milk initially.

The more powerful your microwave, in terms of wattage, the quicker and hotter it will heat up. For example, a 1200 watt microwave oven will heat up faster than a 700 watt microwave oven.

Secondly, it depends upon the heat settings on your appliance. You can try experimenting with different settings. Each setting will have a different time it takes to heat up the milk.

Thirdly, the size or the portion of the milk you are microwaving matters a lot. A typical cup, 250 ml, should take about 60 seconds at medium – high heat. Larger container will take longer time.

Finally, a milk right out of the freezer will take much longer to heat up as compared to milk that was already at room temperature. Therefore, initial temperature also matters.


When heating up milk for babies, extra care should be taken to ensure that the milk is not hot to touch. Sometimes, the baby bottle may feel relatively cool to touch but may have a much hotter milk temperature inside.

Speaking of which, when heating a baby bottle in a microwave, it is essential to make sure that the bottles are microwave-safe.

Other than that, when done correctly, there are not many risks involved. They key is to make sure that you check in short intervals making sure that the milk does not start to boil.


In this article, we learned about how to heat milk in the microwave, tips to keep our milk healthy and things to totally avoid while our milk is in the microwave to keep it healthy and safe to consume.

Health is the most essential part of your kitchen adventures, so ensure that your milk stays uncontaminated.

Also, remember that you don’t have to throw your leftover heated milk out, simply allow it to return to room temperature, pour back into a tightly lidded container and put back in the freezer.

Ensure that you do not mix old milk with new milk and it will be just fine.


1. Is it safe to heat milk in the microwave?

YES, it is completely safe. Whether you're cooking a cup of coffee or boiling milk, a microwave works quite well. Microwaving milk is relatively simple when done gently.

2. What is the best way to heat milk?

The simplest way to heat milk is in the microwave, but you must monitor it closely. 1 cup (250 mL) milk should reach room temperature in 45 seconds and reach a rolling boil in two and a half minutes. Every 15 seconds, stir it to prevent it from boiling over.

3. How long does it take to heat a cup of milk in the microwave?

Between 40 and 45 seconds.

Because room temperature milk performs better in recipes than cold milk, use the microwave to defrost milk straight from the refrigerator. 250 mL (1 cup) microwaved on high for 40 to 45 seconds* (100 percent ). Nota bene: Times are approximate and are based on a 700-watt microwave oven.

4. Is heating milk bad?

No. Pasteurization is the process of boiling milk to kill potentially hazardous bacteria found in raw milk on occasion ( 41 ). Heat destroys both good and dangerous bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Pasteurization, on the other hand, does not render milk sterile.

5. Does microwaving milk destroy nutrients?

While you may have heard that microwaves destroy nutrition, this does not appear to be the case. Microwave ovens generally do not degrade the nutritional value of food. Additionally, in some circumstances, microwave cooking may actually aid in nutritional retention.

About the author

Cornelia Suehr

A professional chef and a passionate writer on all topics related to cooking, baking, appliances and kitchenware. Her posts resonate with foodies, home chefs and professionals.



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