Hello Forumites! However well-intentioned, for the safety of other users we ask that you refrain from seeking or offering medical advice. This includes recommendations for medicines, procedures or over-the-counter remedies. Posts or threads found to be in breach of this rule will be removed.

Boiling condensed milk for caramel



  • mildred1978
    mildred1978 Posts: 3,367 Forumite
    Please read up on Nestl! before you buy any more carnation products.
    Science adjusts its views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation, so that belief can be preserved.
    :A Tim Minchin :A
  • gibson123
    gibson123 Posts: 1,733 Forumite
    There is no need to boil it to make caramel, just empty it into a thick bottomed pan over a low heat and stir continuously for about 15 minutes, add brown sugar for a darker caramel, let is cool and Bob's your Auntie. The only time I boil is if I am not going to use it for a while or have a huge batch to make, e.g. a bake sale, then I do about 8 cans together.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    If you're scared to boil and if you have a camping stove and it's nice outside...... boil it in the garden :)
  • krlyr
    krlyr Posts: 5,993 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I've boiled them without piercing any holes and no explosions here. It does take ages though so I started doing the pan method - condensed milk, butter and brown sugar, as per the Carnation website -
    Just remember to keep stirring and try to heat an an even temperature (so be careful with thin bottomed saucepans) or the caramel can separate. Had a nightmare the other week when I nipped over to grab a cake out of my nan's oven (wouldn't fit in my combination microwave) and came to find the caramel separating. Salvaged it by adding a little hot water and stirring a lot until it came back together - phew!

    Alternatively, the caramel comes up on special offers occasionally so stock up then. I tend to empty it into a bowl and microwave for short spurts to make it a bit gooey-er so it settles on top of the banoffee better (it's quite jelly-like initially)
  • Cans are save to boil as long as they don't boil dry - as cned food is sterilised in the can by being steam heated in giant pressure cookers in the factory

    Spent a happy summer as a student worker at Springs Cannery, Jam, Marmalade & Mincemeat Factory in Brigg in the 70's. The first three weeks were spent feeding large bitter seville oranges one by one into an evil tempered, primitive pulping machine for eight hours a dayare! :)
    :heartpuls The best things in life aren't things :heartpuls

    2017 Grocery challenge £110.00 per week/ £5720 a year

  • Ive made banoffee pie and never pieced the lid just don't let it boil dry and move the can around so it all gets cooked. Only thing to remember when doing this is to cover with a cloth when you open it as that could be when the hot caramel spurts out and this would burn badly
  • You can also boil tins of condensed milk in the slow cooker; a similar principle to the oven technique and safer than on the hob because the water hardly evaporates away at all, so no checking required and can be done overnight. Put the tin(s) in slow cooker, completely cover them with cold water and cook on low for eight hours.
  • rosie383
    rosie383 Posts: 4,981 Forumite
    edited 12 September 2012 at 10:43AM
    Let me be the first on this thread to say.......... make your own condensed milk!!!
    1 cup milk powder (I use skimmed milk powder and it works fine)
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup boiling water
    3 dsp butter (I just use whatever marg I happen to have in)

    Put milk powder, sugar and marg in bowl.
    Add boiling water and use electric whisk for about 3 mins til thick and creamy.

    If I want caramel for banoffee or caramel squares I just put it (like Gibson says) in a decent saucepan over a low heat and stir til it's the colour I want.
    Why on earth would I want to pay for an hours worth of gas, risk nasty burns etc, when I can do it in maybe 5-10 mins???

    This way you can control the thickness of your caramel too as you can see it. If you want it runnier, don't cook it as long. If you want a nice chewy caramel square, then cook it until it is a darker brown. If you are going to do it in a tin, you don't have the same control.
    Father Ted: Now concentrate this time, Dougal. These
    (he points to some plastic cows on the table) are very small; those (pointing at some cows out of the window) are far away...
  • Please be careful if boiling the tins in a saucepan, I used to do this but a can exploded :eek: -it went EVERYWHERE, all over the walls & ceiling & was an absolute pain to clear up.
  • lijaloo
    lijaloo Posts: 265 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 12 September 2012 at 12:20PM
    Have been making caramel like this for years. Have never punctured the tin. Just make sure there's plenty of water in the saucepan and that it doesn't boil dry. I usually boil a few tins at a time for four hours, then leave them to cool in the pan. The tins can then be stored until needed.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 343K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.6K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.1K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.7K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards