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Do you like the flavor of caramel but are unsure how to prepare it? It’s really rather simple! I’ll show you how to microwave condensed milk to produce caramel in this article.

As a general rule, you can produce caramel by microwaving condensed milk. Microwaving adds heat, which caramelizes the condensed milk quicker than on the stovetop. Pour the condensed milk into a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds at a time, and stir until golden and thick.

This method is far easier than cooking caramel on the stovetop and takes just a few minutes. Let’s get this party started!

How Can I Heat Condensed Milk in the Microwave?

Overall, the right technique to microwave condensed milk is to pour it into a microwave-safe dish and cook it for approximately 1 minute on high. Take it out and stir in the milk until smooth. If there are any lumps, microwave for 30 seconds more. The milk should be thick and dark brown.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to microwave condensed milk to produce caramel:

  • Carefully open the can of condensed milk and pour it into a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Put the bowl in the microwave and heat on high or medium for 1 minute
  • Stop the microwave and whisk the milk
  • Put it back and microwave for another minute.
  • Keep microwaving and whisking in 30-second intervals until the milk becomes thick and starts to turn brown.
  • Once it’s done, take it out of the microwave and allow it to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy.

I’ve been making caramel on the stovetop for many years. When I ran out of time, I thought, why not use a microwave?

*By the way, the Double Boiler is fantastic for melting things like chocolate while heating other components. I just published an article that breaks down the three best double boilers that individuals use at different stages of their baking journey.

After researching these double boilers, I decided that the Stainless Series 2-Quart Covered Double Boiler was the Best Overall Double Boiler since it performed well for my dessert requirements in my kitchen. This Double Boiler is available on Amazon!

Microwaves provide the required heat for caramelization. My microwaved condensed milk had caramelized, which delighted me. Nobody knew the difference! My outcomes are the same whether I use a microwave or a double boiler!

What Happens When Condensed Milk Is Microwaved?

In general, when you microwave condensed milk, it caramelizes and turns into a thick, dark liquid. To prevent burning, microwave on high for 1 minute, then on low for 30-second intervals, whisking in between each interval until cooked through.

Condensed milk is rich in sugar, which caramelizes when heated. If left in the microwave for too long, the milk will go through phases of mild browning, dark browning, and finally burning.

That is why it is critical to whisk it often and keep an eye on it as it cooks.

If the condensed milk is sweetened, the caramelization process is accelerated. This indicates that there is greater sugar content, which will react to heat and become brown faster.

*Side Note: You may also be interested in learning How To Make Condensed Milk Into Caramel. I just published A Comprehensive How-to Guide on Turning Condescend Milk Into Caramel, which you can read here!

In the microwave, does condensed milk turn to caramel?

Condensed milk, in general, may turn to caramel in the microwave. This is determined by how long and thoroughly you whisk it. If you don’t whisk it often enough, the milk will burn. Keep an eye on it when microwaving and whisk it often while heating in intervals.

Condensed milk will caramelize if heated over medium heat and stirred at regular intervals. If you’re not sure whether it’s ready, caramelization occurs when the milk thickens and becomes brown.

If you cook it for too long or at too high a temperature, the milk will boil over and burn.

*By the way, I love making caramel apples for practically every occasion and have often wondered how to properly preserve them. I just conducted research and published an article titled The Best Ways To Store Caramel Apples To Keep Them Fresh. This article may be found here!

I’ve seen friends burn condensed milk in the microwave by leaving it alone for too long. It is important to emphasize that caramelization occurs when the sugar in milk is oxidized when cooked at medium to low temperatures.

What Happens When You Heat Condensed Milk?

Heating condensed milk, in general, causes the water to evaporate and the sugars to caramelize. This might take 5-10 minutes, depending on the heat and how thoroughly you mix it. As it starts to caramelize, remove from the heat and whisk in the milk until smooth.

Whether you make caramel on the stovetop or in the microwave, the two essential components are:

  • Heat slowly on a medium-low heat
  • Mix frequently

When you notice a brown hue and a very thick liquid, swiftly remove from the fire and stir for another 2-3 minutes so that the residual heat does not burn it.

*By the way, I just published an essay contrasting condensed milk to evaporated milk. This article compares and contrasts condensed milk with evaporated milk, as well as explains how to convert one into the other. This article may be found here!

Is it okay to microwave condensed milk?

Unopened cans of condensed milk should never be microwaved because they may explode. The contents are under pressure, and when the pressure builds up, the can will explode. Pour the contents of the can into a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds.

Never, ever microwave anything from a can! Place the condensed milk or other items in a microwave-safe bowl and cook according to the directions above.


Just opening a can of condensed milk will not help. Since cans are often constructed of metal, this will result in sparks and hazardous circumstances! Never microwave a can and always dump it into a basin.

*By the way, I have published a detailed post on How to Safely Boil a Can of Condensed Milk. This article discusses what you must do to ensure that the can of condensed milk does not burst when boiled. This article may be found here!

How Do You Heat Condensed Milk Without Using A Microwave?

Condensed milk may be heated on the stovetop in general. Pour the contents of the can into a double-boiler pan and cover. Put the pan over boiling water and cook for 30-50 minutes on medium heat. Be careful to stir it often so it doesn’t burn or cling to the bottom.

Condensed milk may also be heated in a slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on low heat and pour in the milk. Cook, stirring periodically, for 50-120 minutes.

*By the way, I’ve been looking for a good Slow Cooker for all of my kitchen requirements, and I finally discovered an 8 Quart Programmable Crock-Pot Slow Cooker with Digital Countdown Timer that works well for me! This Slow Cooker is available on Amazon!

The cooking time will be determined by the amount of milk heated and the size of your slow cooker. After cooked through, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly before serving.

If you don’t have a microwave, slow cookers and double boilers are excellent options for heating condensed milk. Just be sure to stir it often so it doesn’t burn or cling to the bottom.

*Side Note: I just published an article on How to Properly Boil a Can of Condensed Milk. This article will walk you through the process of boiling a can properly. This article may be found here!

How Should Condensed Milk Be Caramelized?

In general, using a microwave to caramelize condensed milk is quicker and more efficient. Other folks, however, may choose to utilize a cooktop since it gives them greater control over the heating process. Whichever way you choose, be sure to whisk it often so it doesn’t stick or burn.

Last Thoughts

When I discovered that I could create caramel from condensed milk in the microwave, everything became lot simpler and quicker. When I have the time, I prefer to follow the conventional approach and cook on a cooktop.

The ultimate result is the same whether you make caramel in the microwave or on the stovetop. Everyone will love this tasty treat!