Shelf Life of
Evaporated Milk

How Long Does Evaporated Milk Last?

How long does evaporated milk last? Does evaporated milk go bad? Evaporated milk is milk that is dehydrated until 60% of the water is removed. It is then sterilized at a high temperature which results in a slightly caramelized flavor, darker color and much longer shelf life than regular milk while maintaining all the nutrients. Water can be added to evaporated milk to again make regular milk, but it is more often used for cooking (think pumpkin pie) than drinking. The shelf life of evaporated milk is influenced mostly by the best before date and how it is stored. So, in fact evaporated milk does go bad. Use the table below to answer the question of how long does evaporated milk last?

When properly stored, cans of evaporated milk last for

(Unopened) Pantry
Past Printed Date
Evaporated Milk lasts for 1 Year
Low Fat Skim Evaporated Milk lasts for 9 Months
(Opened) Refrigerator
Evaporated Milk lasts for 3-4 Days, regardless of any date

Of course, all food and drink lasts for a shorter periods of time if they are not stored properly. But remember canned goods usually have a best by date  which is the last date by which a manufacturer will vouch for a product’s quality, not its safety. Because of this distinction, you may safely use evaporated milk to compliment your favorite meals even after its best by date has lapsed.

How to tell if evaporated milk is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent food borne illness. The color will become darker and the texture will become thicker as the product ages, but also the nutrients will begin to destabilize. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled evaporated milk, so always remember to practice proper food safety and enjoy prior to its eat by date.
If your milk has gone bad, check our substitution page.

How to store evaporated milk to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the shelf life of evaporated milk. Cans should be kept at a constant temperature in a cool dry place like the pantry.
When opened, evporated milk should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for the charted time, regardless of the best-by date. The can should not be refrigerated.
Unfortunately, freezing evaporated milk isn’t a great option as it destabilizes its structure and the thawed milk will be separated and not be able to re-mix.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

What to do with too much evaporated milk before it goes bad?

  • Make mac and cheese.

  • Any interesting facts about evaporated milk?

  • To turn evaporated milk back into milk, just mix water and evaporated milk in equal amounts. Although not exactly the same, it will do in pinch.
  • Evaporated milk is not the same as condensed milk or sweetened condensed milk, which has added sugar.

  • How long is evaporated milk good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does evaporated milk last? That depends. How long does chocolate last? In general, evaporated milk lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    Our how long does evaporated milk last content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scour the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of evaporated milk.

    *An important note about expiration dates …

    Although the evaporated milk shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is only intended as general guideline and opinion and not a substitute for the advice of your qualified health care provider.