By Nicole Engel

Sweetened condensed milk is used in desserts and made by removing the water content of milk and adding sugar. The terms sweetened condensed milk and condensed milk are synonymous because almost all condensed milk is manufactured with added sugar. Sugar helps maintain the shelf life of the condensed milk by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. In the United States, sweetened condensed milk is often sold in 14 ounce cans. Once a can has been opened, there are many ways to store it.

Woman cooking in kitchen
credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Step 1

Store unopened cans at room temperature for no more than six months from the date it was manufactured. Store off the ground in a pantry, cupboard or other cool, dry place.

Step 2

Pour any remaining condensed milk into a glass or plastic container immediately after using the needed portion. The longer it sits open to the air the less fresh it will be.

Step 3

Refrigerate it for up three weeks in an airtight container. If you cannot use it within three weeks, transfer it to the freezer.

Step 4

Freeze for up to three months for longer storage. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight. If the sweetened condensed milk contains a lot of fat, it will likely separate in the freezer, but shaking or stirring will return it to its proper consistency.