Hello friends! We are going to learn how to make Stove Top Dulce de Leche today!
Making dulce de leche by cooking a can of condensed milk is a controversial topic, and a lot of people are scared to do it.
I have been making it for years myself. My favorite way is the pressure cooker method. However, I made this Stove Top Dulce de Leche for years before I started making in the pressure cooker.
Watch the video on YouTube or on this page, to see exactly how to make dulce de leche from a can of condensed milk. Also check out this video showing you a comparison between the methods and taste testing.
So let’s address the “danger” of cooking a sealed can of condensed milk!
The boiling point of condensed milk is higher than water. The contents inside the can will never exceed 100° Celsius, because that’s the temperature of boiling water at sea level. The pressure inside the can can’t exceed the pressure of the environment around it as long as it’s covered by water the whole time it’s cooking.
- Before cooking the condensed milk can inspect it and make sure it is not dented or have any damages.
- Always be VERY careful, make sure to cover the can with water completely.
- Let the can cool down completely in the water before removing it and opening.
- Don’t knock, shake, or jostle the pan containing the hot can of sweetened condensed milk.
The Stove Top Dulce de Leche method consists of placing a sealed can of condensed milk, without the label, in a large pot of water.
Then bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let the water simmer for 2 and a half to 3 and a half hours, ALWAYS making sure there’s enough water covering the can of condensed milk AT ALL TIMES!
Set a timer to check on the water every 20 minutes!
I am saying this in caps because it’s extremely important for the safety of the method!
Then, once the times has elapsed, turn the heat off, and leave the can in the water until cooled down completely.
If you follow these safety measures, there’s no need to be afraid of this method.
Frequently asked questions about making Stove Top Dulce de Leche
Is it safe to boil a can of condensed milk?
It’s safe to do so, as long as you follow the correct safety procedures: make sure the can isn’t dented, make sure it’s covered with water the whole time it’s hot, let it cool down all the way before removing from the water and opening, don’t jostle the pan around while still hot.
Are toxins going to transfer to the condensed milk as it cooks?
This question was answered by a scientist here, explaining why it’s very unlikely to get toxins transferred to the condensed milk as it cooks in the can. Basically, he says that the metals in the can are very unlikely to leak out at relatively low temps such as boiling water.
Also, he says that the amounts of toxic metals that could come out of the cooking process would be to small to be of any concern.
He says the only “concern” should be with BPA lined cans, because they will leak small amounts of BPA, but he says that the risk is low, and there are similar levels of risk with virtually any canned food.
And the amounts of BPA in a condensed milk can are way lower than in a can of something acidic as say, tomatoes.
If cooked long enough, the Stove Top Dulce de Leche will be thick, creamy, and delicious!
Leave it in the fridge overnight if you would like it to become firm enough to pipe.
But also have in mind that the longer you cook it, the thicker it will be.
Cooking time for Stove Dulce de Leche:
- 2.5 hours: light in color, not too thick, won’t be able to pipe or fill sandwich cookies and macarons.
- 3.5 hours: a bit darker in color, thicker, might hold its shape once piped and in the middle of cookies.
- 4 hours: deep amber color, very thick, your best bet if you want to fill cookies, macarons, and pipe on top of donuts and cupcakes.
What can you do with dulce de leche?
Dulce de leche is magical and wonderful, it can be used in so many different ways:
- To spread on toast, pound cake, biscuits and scones, like this Espresso Chocolate Scone.
- To serve on top of pancakes, waffles.
- For cakes (like this Dulce de Leche Cake, Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cake, and Dulce de Leche Mocha Cake)
- To pipe on donuts
- To fill cookies, alfajores, or macarons (as long as it’s thick and cooked until super dark, for a long time)
For more Dulce de Leche recipes, click here.
Click here to read everything you need to know about dulce de leche.
And click here to read all about Dulce de Leche, and about more methods on how to make it, where to buy it, and some brand reviews!
Thanks for reading!
Stove Top Dulce de Leche
Stove Top Dulce de Leche
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk 396 grams
Stove Top Dulce de Leche
- Remove the label of the can. Keep the can sealed.
- Inspect the can to ensure it doesn’t have any dents.
- Place the sealed can in large pot, filled up with water, making sure the can is covered by a few inches at least.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let the water simmer for 2.5 hours to 4 hours.
- Check on it constantly to make sure the water level isn't below the can, and that the can is submerged several inches.
- Set a timer to check on the water every 20 minutes!
- After the desired cooking time, turn the heat off. For a lighter, more runny dulce de leche, cook for 2.5 hours, for a dulce de leche that’s easy to pipe, fill cookies, and will be able to hold its shape, cook for 3.5 to 4 hours.
- Let the can cool down all the way in the water before removing and opening, which may take a few hours.
- Store dulce de leche covered, in the fridge for up to 15 days. Store packaged tightly in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.