Although many folks don’t think it is possible, you can dehydrate milk at home without the need for extremely expensive equipment. Dehydrating dairy products is often thought of as too arduous of a task, but I haven’t found it difficult at all to successfully dehydrate sour cream, cottage cheese, cheese, and even milk in my under $100 dehydrator.
To dehydrate milk you need some of the plastic dehydrating tray insects known as fruit roll sheets to put on each tray row of your machine. I use the same sheets when dehydrating other forms of dairy as well as lettuce.
Simply place an insert into each dehydrator tray, and slowly pour one cup of milk onto each. If your kitchen cabinet is the tiniest bit un-level and you never noticed, you will find that out quickly as the milk fills the trays.
Setting options vary on different home dehydrating machines. I use the fruit and vegetable setting (about 135 F / 57 C) when I dehydrate any dairy product.
Dehydrating 4 to 5 trays of milk will take approximately 12 hours. The power output of dehydrators vary. Your machine could complete the process in as few as 10 or as many as 12 hours. The more trays stacked in the dehydrator, the longer it will take.
I recommend dehydrating just two trays the first time to better determine the temperature and time settings required on your dehydrator. Check the milk trays by lifting the top off of the machine, and carefully lifting up each tray individually to review your progress about 8 hours in.
The milk will harden and crack into multiple pieces as it dries. When it is done, it will feel like a thin piece of peanut brittle. Once the milk has dried, remove the flaky pieces from the tray, and place them into your blender or food processor to powder.
Powdering the flakes is not necessary, but makes for more compact storage and easier measuring before use. After selecting the puree button on your selected kitchen appliance and powdering the dehydrated milk, pour the contents into a mason jar. I vacuum seal the mason jars before putting them onto a shelf.
Reconstituting Dehydrated Milk
It takes approximately 3 teaspoons of dehydrated milk powder to equal one cup of reconstituted milk. I mix together 1 tablespoon of hot water with 3 teaspoons of milk powder to make one liquid cup of milk. If the consistency of your batch still seems more sludge than real milk, add more hot water in ½ teaspoon increments until you achieve the consistency you desire.
Always follow a two parts water and one part milk ratio when reconstituting dehydrated milk.
Reconstituted Milk Conversion Chart
|Powdered Milk||Water||Milk Yield|
|3 Tablespoons||1 Cup||1 Cup|
|2 ¼ Tablespoons||¾ Cup||¾ Cup|
|2 Tablespoons||2/3 Cup||2/3 Cup|
|1 ½ Tablespoons||½ Cup||½ Cup|
|1 Tablespoon||1/3 Cup||1/3 Cup|
|¾ Tablespoon||¼ Cup||¼ Cup|
Reconstituted Milk Recipes and Usage Tips
- To use reconstituted dehydrated powdered milk to make oatmeal or cereal, add approximately 3 tablespoons of the dry milk for each ½ cup of cereal or oatmeal, and the same amount of water.
- To make a milkshake as a morale booster during a long-term disaster, combine 2 tablespoons of powdered dehydrated milk with the other ingredients in your milkshake recipe.
- Add up to ½ of a cup of reconstituted powdered milk per every 1 cup of water or used when making soup, gravy, broth, pasta sauces, or pudding to help them thicken and to provide a little extra flavor.
- When making biscuits, cookies, bread, pancakes, muffins, or cakes, add about ¼ of a cup of dehydrated milk powder to the recipe to help them firm up brown a bit better.
- Add approximately ½ cup of dehydrated milk powder to casserole dishes to help thicken them, and to infuse more flavor into the survival meal.
- To make pudding as a morale booster, mix together 2 and ½ cups of dehydrated milk flakes, 1 and ½ cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, an 1 ¼ cup of flour with an instant pack of pudding or your homemade pudding recipe in place of milk. The dry ingredients can be mixed together and stored for future use when placed in airtight containers.
- To make chocolate milk, mix together ½ of cocoa powder, 2 and ½ cups of dehydrated milk flakes, and ¾ cups of sugar. To make hot cocoa, mix the dry ingredients with 1 cup of boiling water. The dry ingredients can be combined and stored in an airtight container for future use.
How To Turn Powdered Milk Into Evaporated Milk
- 1 and ½ cups of water
- ½ plus 1 tablespoon of dehydrated milk flakes
Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly, and allow to stand at room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes before using.
How To Turn Powdered Milk into Buttermilk
- ¼ of a cup of dehydrated milk flakes
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or distilled white vinegar.
Mix all of the ingredients together, and allow them to stand at room for 10 minutes before using.
How To Turn Powdered Milk into Sweetened Condensed Milk
• 1 tablespoon of buttermilk
• 1 cup of dehydrated milk flakes
• 1 cup of sugar
• ½ cup of hot water
Mix all of the ingredients together and allow it to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes.
Have you ever dehydrated your own milk? let us know in the comments below. And feel free to pin this to your Pinterest account!
Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, ‘Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out’, Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.
15 thoughts on “How to DIY Powdered Milk at Home”
Thank you for publishing this. It is very useful to us.
Thank you JP, I hope you have great success dehydrating milk on your survival homestead!
Ok your electric dehydrator is nice but I live off grid . So here’s how I do it . This is wired time only .
On top of the wood heater i put a chafing dish with water in the bottom pan. The top pan i line with silicon cooking mats . Pour milk in top pan as wait. As it started to evaporate i add more milk tell i have added a gallon of milk . That is what this will do in 24 hrs. Is a gallon a day.
Thanks. Good to know if you don’t have the equipment or power. Also, using the ”double boiler” method means that you can’t easily scorch the milk unless you let the lower dish run empty.
TOP, great tips!
Fixit, Thank you for sharing a great off grid method to dehydrate milk!
Is this all you do no stirring or anything? Can you just explain a little more detail? Like what does the milk looks like to know the process is correct? Also thanks in advance for sharing.
What type of milk works best and what is the self life of it?
Billie, we use whole milk. I have kept and used home dehydrated milk for three years.
I like the conversion chart and recipes; but, find a few things I have to question.
I know, just a typo; but, an example of the efficiency of proof listening over proof reading.
The kind of milk is not mentioned, which is important, since using skin or 1% works well; but, milk with higher butter fat content will simply not last long because fats do not dehydrate and will eventually go rancid.
The section: How To Turn Powdered Milk into Buttermilk doesn’t really make Butter Milk, and only makes curdled or sour milk. Real Butter Milk is what is left after you churn or shake butter fat (cream) into butter.
That curdled milk can however be turned into cottage cheese and from there into other varieties of cheese.
I have dehydrated milk in the past; but, find it inexpensive enough to keep on hand in small boxes and #10 cans.
Knowing how to do this in a pinch however, is a good skill to have and remember.
Here is my from scratch pancake recipe using all dry ingredients from storage except for an egg & oil / butter. Substitute dry milk powder & water from this article for the milk in the recipe and it turns out fine.
Good Old Fashioned Pancakes From Pantry Staples
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 1/2 tsp baking powder OR 3 1/2 tsp baking soda & 7 tsp cream of tartar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon white sugar
• 1 1/4 cups skim milk
• 1 egg
• 3 tablespoons butter, melted
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, milk powder and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the water, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
For corn fritters, add one can of whole kernel corn) substituting the liquid for water. Corn fritters with a side make a hearty lunch or dinner.
Thanks for the recipe OP, hope all is well with you!
Thank you for sharing your recipes, I’ll write them down. I have only dehydrated herbs, vegetables, fruits, hamburger. I’ve seen you tube videos making powdered eggs, which looked interesting.
Mom of 3,
Good luck. I also regularly dehydrate sour cream and cottage cheese.
Wow way cool., I never thought about doing this and lord knows we go through tons and tons of milk. And since we do, that is one of the largest parts of my storage stock (all those cans of dehydrated milk I paid for).
Had I really thought about this, I guess I could’ve at least tried it. Silly me.
Do you also have a post, or info on doing the cottage cheese, yogurt etc?
If you recommend only two trays at a time, how long does it take you to dehydrate a gallon of milk? Seems like it would take forever. I tried the cooking method and it was long process that failed miserably.