How to Preserve Milk

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Milk, even when bought the day it's bottled and kept refrigerated, has a short use life, usually about two weeks. To extend that useful life, you can preserve your milk by canning it. The canning process uses high pressure and heat to destroy bacteria in the milk. With a properly sealed jar, canned milk lasts far longer than normally, extending the shelf life of even unrefrigerated milk to up to a year.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass quart jars
  • Lids and rings
  • Pressure canner
  • Rack
  • Fill the canner with water, then completely submerge the glass jars, rings and lids. Boil the jars and lids for 15 minutes to sterilize them. Remove from the water with a pair of tongs and set aside on a clean surface for use.

  • Pour out the water out of the canner, then place a rack in the base of the canner. Fill with water to the manufacturer-recommended fill line. Bring the water to a boil and add two tablespoons of white vinegar to the water to keep the water from creating a line on the jars at water level.

  • Fill the glass jars with milk, leaving about 1/2 inch of space clear at the top of the jars to allow for the expansion of the milk during the heating process. Cap the jars with their lids using a magnetic lid lifter, and then screw the rings in place over the lids and the jar necks to secure the lids.

  • Lower the jars into the canner, placing them onto the rack. Secure the lid onto the canner and wait 10 minutes, allow steam to escape from the canner while warming the jars.

  • Set the pressure for the canner to 10 pounds and wait for it to reach the set amount. Boil the jars at that setting for 25 minutes, then remove the canner from the heat.

  • Allow the canner to cool and the pressure to dissipate until it's safe to remove the lid of the canner. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the safety point. Remove the jars from the canner and place onto a clean, flat, heat-resistant surface for cooling.

  • Remove the rings from the cooled sealed jars. Place labels onto the jars and mark the date. You can store the milk safely for up to a year.

Tips & Warnings

  • After heating, the milk should have a honey-colored appearance.
  • Never handle hot jars without proper hand protection from the heat.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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