It’s a minefield out there with canned milk. Even if you are aware of the distinction between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk, it is shockingly simple to buy the incorrect kind of milk by accident. Don’t get me wrong—I have nothing but affection for both of them. While evaporated milk excels in all kinds of cheesy situations, such as nacho cheese sauce and this stove-top macaroni, sweetened condensed milk makes excellent caramel sauce (in your slow cooker or Instant Pot), an easy batch of fudge, a super simple soft serve, and a plethora of other tasty treats. On the other hand, sweetened condensed milk makes an easy batch of fudge, a super simple soft serve, and a plethora of
Pumpkin pie can be made using either one, but that’s about where the similarities between the two foods stop. If you want to avoid the inconvenience of having to make two journeys to the shop because of a milk mix-up, take the advice of Daniel Lavery and simply purchase both:
Whenever a recipe calls for a can of condensed milk, also purchase a can of evaporated milk along with it (and vice versa), so that you always have one of each available in your kitchen regardless of what you’re preparing. It doesn’t matter which grocery store you go to; they are always located in the same aisle, right next to each other, so there is no need to make any additional trips. The evaporated stuff has the consistency of light cream, while the condensed stuff has the consistency of wallpaper paste, so the only real problem is the risk of coming home with the wrong one and not the other, which I have just handily eliminated at no additional cost to you as a frugal consumer. They both last forever, and the difference is pretty clear once you open the can (the condensed stuff having the consistency of wallpaper paste and the evaporated stuff having the consistency of light cream). No more pulling your hair out in the parking lot when you realize you’ve evaporated what you should have condensed (or vice versa); instead, you can just chuckle gently if you choose the incorrect can and put it away for cheese sauce (if evaporated) or dessert topping (if condensed) (if condensed).
This elegant piece of advice, which can be found in abundance in Lavery’s newsletter, The Chatner, is ideal for the spacey, forgetful babes who have more important things to do with their time than reading labels. In a manner similar to always purchasing lemons, this piece of advice is perfect for the spacey, forgetful babes. Because of the low cost of both of these dairy products in canned form, there is practically no disadvantage to purchasing one of each item each and every time. (And while you’re there, you may as well pick up some canned potatoes, another one of Lavery’s go-to foods that perform well when cooked in the air fryer.)