A simple and no-fuss way to pasteurise milk without a thermometer.
We are blessed to have friends who own a dairy farm and every Wednesday, we receive 10 litres of milk from them. Judah loves drinking milk and despite all the information out there, I have been advised to relax about worrying if we should be reducing his milk intake. There are a few reasons for this, but this post isn’t aimed at defending our parenting choices, it’s all about how to pasteurise milk without a thermometer!
Although I happily drink our farm milk straight, without pasteurizing it, we wanted to er on the safe side with feeding it to Judah. If you stick around our blog for more than 5 minutes, you’ll realise that I can’t be bothered with long-winded recipes or techniques. If you take a look at how I make my reusable kitchen cloth wipes, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I know they have their place but unfortunately, I am just not geared toward them. And this applies to how I’ve gone about pasteurizing my milk on the stove.
The route I took to pasteurise our farm milk
I don’t have a thermometer for measuring the heat of the milk but I do have some wonderful people in my life who have tried and tested ways of doing things without gadgets. I turned to one of my best friends, from whom I get my milk, and asked how they do it. She referred me to her mother-in-law’s instructions.
I like to call this passing down of information, ‘heirloom advice’. In our age of technology and information overload, I find that we turn to Google instead of asking our elders for advice. We neglect to realise that those who have reared us, lived with us and know what would best suit our lives, probably have the best advice.
We forget that those before us cooked and created beautiful and delicious things, without gadgets or thermometers.
This is something that I’ve been brooding over for a little while now but let’s get back to the point of this blog post!
How I Pasteurize Milk without a Thermometer
My friend told me that her mother-in-law said one should heat the milk until just before it boils. Little bubbles start to form on the surface of the milk, especially around the edges and you hold that heat until the milk looks like it is about to start boiling. Then switch off the heat and let the milk cool.
If you look closely at the image below, you will see a lot of little bubbles around the edge. This is what to look out for.
I use a wooden spoon to stir the pot of milk whenever I pass the stove to make sure that the cream integrates back into the milk. It tends to rise to the top and create a skin.
After the milk has cooled, I bottle the pasteurized milk and put it in the fridge. I do about 8 litres and that lasts us a week. With the other 2 litres, I make homemade feta to put on our salads!
- Pour your milk into a pot.
- Place the pot on your stove and switch it on to medium heat.
- Keep an eye on the pot but I wouldn’t recommend you stand and watch it. Milk boils over quickly so check every 3–4 minutes,
- When little bubbles have formed on the top, especially around the edges, you are close to switching off the heat but don’t do it yet.
- Try to hold the milk at this stage for as long as possible. When you see that bigger bubbles are rising and popping, this means that the milk is close to boiling. Switch off your stove.
- Let the milk cool. Stir it every few minutes to help the cream integrate with the milk.
- When the milk has cooled, pour it into clean bottles and store in your fridge. I always keep a bottle in my freezer as a back-up!