Can You Froth Cold Milk - Milk Frothing For Beginners

How To Steam Milk In Microwave For Great Coffee

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 20:29

Learning how to steam milk in microwave will end up being a great time saver for those days that you are in a rush! Hello Mondays, I’m talking about you!

It’s easy and quick and only takes 20 to 25 depending on the power of your microwave.

But, I’ll add, for better quality foam you need to take another step and froth it.

Keep reading for several techniques for steaming your milk without a frother or milk steaming wand.

How To Steam Milk In Microwave

Before we get started, to be very exact and precise when you “steam” your milk in a microwave or on the stovetop or by using any other method that is not using a steam wand of an espresso machine it is steamed milk.

You are heating your milk using a microwave and then frothing it. When you see both steamed milk that has been steamed using a steam wand and microwaved (or stovetop) frothed milk, there is a big difference in terms of appearance, quality and how it feels in your mouth.

They, the non-steam wand method of frothing milk lack the rich silky velvet-like texture.

Now let’s get to talking about how to steam milk in a microwave and get you making all your favorite coffee drinks and making frothy milk for your lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, cortados and a lot more.

How To Steam Milk In Microwave
Never Do This! Half Full At Most

Read: Can you froth cold milk?

What You Will Need To Steam Your Milk In The Microwave

There are very few items that you will need to steam your milk using your microwave. Here is what you will need:

  • A microwave.
  • A microwave-safe container.
  • The milk of your choice.


Pour your milk into your microwave container. Make sure not to fill to more than one third full as you need to allow plenty of room for your milk to expand.

Place your microwave safe container in your microwave and microwave for 15 seconds initially. Then microwave in 5 second bursts.

You need to be careful not to over heat your milk for two reasons:

  • 1. A big mess in your microwave to clean up.
  • 2. When you boil your milk, you will spoil your milk.

Obviously the last one is much more important than the first. The milk fats will spoil when you take your milk to too high a temperature. The result will be a coffee that is overtly oily.

The great rule to follow is when you start to see bubbles rising, at the very start, your milk is at the perfect temperature.

Your milk at this point is nice and warm. Now you need to froth it for a great frothy coffee.

How To Froth Milk Without A Frother

It is just as easy to froth your milk without a milk frother as it is with a frother, and thankfully you have multiple methods and techniques to choose from.

The Mason Jar Method

All that is needed is a mason jar or a cocktail shaker. Add your microwaved steam milk to it to no more than a third full. You must leave room for your milk to expand. Screw the top on and shake with great energy for 60 seconds or how long it takes for your milk to froth to twice the volume.

The French Press And Manual Pump Frother Technique

Both a manual pump frother and a French press make milk foam in the same way. Simply add your milk and fill to more than one third full. Close the lid and hold the device with one hand and pump the plunger with vigor for 45 to 60 seconds or until your milk doubles in volume, and you have an abundance of milk foam.

The Handheld Blender Method

Making milk foam is easy with a hand blender. Pour your hot milk into a tall glass or container. I prefer to use a stronger, unbreakable container when using a handheld food blender for safety reasons.

Follow the same rules and fill to no further than one third full. Insert your blender to the bottom of your milk and blend at a low speed and move your blender through your milk from bottom to top for 30 seconds. Blend at a higher speed for 30 seconds more using the same technique.

You will have an abundance of milk foam at the end of it.

The Countertop Blender Method

Pour your heated milk into your blender’s pitcher jug and blend at a low speed for a minute and at a high speed for a further minute. You should have an abundance of foamy milk by the time you have finished.

The Manual Whisk Technique

This is a good old school method of making foamy milk.

Add your milk to a large bowl and froth using a circular motion as fast as you can while being careful not to make a mess by splashing your milk everywhere. It should only take a minute or two to get great foam milk to pour into your coffee for a great tasting hot drink.

How Long To Microwave Milk For Latte

How long to microwave milk for a latte or any other coffee drink will vary slightly depending on the type of milk that you use. Nonfat milk, whole fat milk, and non-dairy milks like oat milk, soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk vary slightly in how long it will take.

The average time to microwave milk for a latte is 20 to 25 seconds. Start with 15 seconds and increase in 5 second increments and watch your milk. Keep a lookout for your milk starting to bubble. When you see the first sign of bubbles in your milk, regardless of what type of milk, it is at the perfect temperature.

Never let your milk boil as that spoils the fats and sugars and leads to a lower quality milk no matter what kind of milk you are using or for the type of drink, even simple hot milk you will notice the difference.

How Long To Microwave Milk For Latte
25 seconds Is Long Enough To Microwave Milk Or A Latte

How To Warm Milk For Coffee Without A Microwave

The easiest and best way of heating your milk for coffee without a microwave or using any fancy coffee equipment is to heat your milk for coffee in a saucepan and on your stovetop at a low to medium heat.

I simply can’t emphasize enough the mantra when milk spoils when it boils. When you see steam starting to come from your milk, it is at the perfect temperature to move to the next stage of frothing.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Steam Milk In Microwave

How Long Do I Microwave Milk To Steam It?

How long you microwave milk depends on the power of your microwave and the type of milk that you use as well as the temperature of your milk to begin with. It should take between 30 to 45 seconds to steam your milk as an average.

Technically speaking, you can’t steam milk without a steamer as a steam wand injects high pressure water vapor into your milk to create the silky velvet-like texture. You can however emulate steamed milk by heating it to the point in which steam comes from your milk and froth it using a handheld milk frother.

Pour your warm milk into a tall glass and fill to about one third full. Submerge your milk frother and move it slowly from the bottom to the top while frothing at a low speed.

As your milk froths and gains consistency, switch to a high speed and continue moving your frothing wand from the bottom of your glass to the top. After about the total of around one minute you should have high quality frothy milk.

Read: Can you froth milk in a blender?

Microwaving your milk for the purpose of heating it and getting it ready for frothing  minutes is too long a period of time. 30 to 45 seconds in an 800 watt microwave is the average amount of time to heat your milk

Yes, it is perfectly okay to microwave your milk as long as you take a lot of care and attention. As you heat your milk, keep an eye on it and make sure that you don’t get to the point where it bubbles over.

The air bubbles in steamed milk are notably smaller than the bubbles created when frothing. The smaller bubbles create a heavier sensation and make the drink feel heavier. Also, the injection of water vapor into your milk creates a silky, velvet-like texture.

Frothed milk has air bubbles that are larger, which creates a lighter mouthfeel and, due to less water content, it is drier than steamed milk.

Is Steamed Milk Just Warm Milk?

No, as steamed milk is created a tiny amount of steam vapor is forced into the milk which helps to create a rich, silky, velvet-like texture. When the steam is added, it breaks down the lipids and creates tiny air bubbles that are essential for latte art. 

Read: How to steam milk at home

Final Thoughts – How To Steam Milk In Microwave

Needing or wanting to know how to steam milk in microwave is something that is very handy and useful to know for those busy mornings when you are in a rush, It’s quick, it’s easy and only takes 20 to 25 seconds.

If you have time, you have multiple methods for frothing your milk; it is only a matter of picking which one is most suitable for you.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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