How Do I Pasteurize Raw Milk at Home?

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How do I pasteurize raw milk at home?

Ashok Ambekar
Mumbai, India

It’s actually very easy to pasteurize your own milk on the stovetop. An added bonus is that your milk won’t need to stand up to long distance shipping and prolonged storage, so you can pasteurize it safely using lower heat and less time than many industrial milk producers use. All you need is a stainless steel pot and a simple kitchen thermometer. Just follow these simple steps for home pasteurization:

  1. Pour the raw milk into the stainless steel pot. If you have a double boiler, that will work even better to keep the milk from scalding. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can put one stainless steel pot inside a larger pot with a few inches of water at the bottom. If you can’t achieve this setup, then you’ll just need to be careful to heat the milk gently.
  2. Slowly heat the milk to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. If you are not using a double boiler, stir frequently to avoid scalding the milk.
  3. Hold the temperature at 145 F for exactly 30 minutes. You may need to increase and decrease the heat to keep the temperature constant.
  4. Remove the pot of milk from the heat and place it in a sink or large bowl filled with ice water. Stir constantly until the temperature drops to 40 F.
  5. Store pasteurized milk in the refrigerator.

NOTE: This information is in accordance with numerous respected cookbooks, including the timeless Joy of Cooking (Simon & Schuster, 2007) and the cheesemaker’s trusty resource, Home Cheese Making (Storey, 2002).

— Tabitha Alterman, senior associate editor