Can You Put Milk In Your Keurig?

Keurig brews great coffee with the push of a button, but if you’re bored of black coffee, you might be wondering, can you put milk in your Keurig?

Can you put milk in your keurig
Keurig machines are so popular because of their simplicity and versatility

Keurig brewers were a game changer, allowing the most inexperienced home baristas to brew coffee shop quality from the comfort of their kitchens with the push of a button. Keurig Incorporated was launched in 1992 and released its first products in 1998. Since then, Keurig has become one of the most popular home coffee makers, with approximately 33 million households owning one as of 2021.

Keurig machines are so popular because of their simplicity but also their versatility. You can make a latte, espresso, hot chocolate, and more with the right pods.

So, does this mean you can put milk in your Keurig to make lattes and other milk-based drinks? Putting milk in a Keurig machine is a bad idea because it can damage your machine, ruin your coffee, and be a potential health hazard.

Can You Put Milk In Your Keurig?

To understand why you shouldn’t put milk in your Keurig, first, let’s go through how this K-cup pod brewer works. Keurig coffee makers are a type of drip coffee brewer offering single-serve coffee. The machines use a flash-heating element to heat the water and force it through the K-cups, creating drip coffee in seconds.

Types Of Keurig Machines

There are dozens of kinds of Keurig machines available; in the interest of keeping things brief, we’ll detail the most popular models.

  • Keurig K-Classic: The K-Classic a standard K-café machine. You can whip up your favorite drinks with the push of a button and select your ideal size. You can make more than six drinks before needing to refill the water.
  • Keurig K-Café: This model is more akin to a traditional espresso maker. It comes with a milk frother and is compatible with all K-cups. So you can make espresso-based based drinks without considering adding milk to the water reservoir.
  • Keurig K-Elite: This brewer allows you to brew hot and cold drinks. Although it doesn’t allow you to froth milk, you can whip up different sizes of drinks and hot water on demand. It also has a water filter to ensure you get the best coffee possible.
  • Keurig K-Slim: For a simple, compact brewer, the Keurig K-Slim is the best choice. It still allows you to brew different serving sizes.
  • Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker: This product not only accepts K-cups but also coffee grounds. It allows for multiple brew sizes and comes with a 12-cup thermal carafe.

Looking for more? Check out our guide on the best Keurig coffee makers.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Milk In Your Keurig Machine

There are several reasons you shouldn’t put milk in your Keurig machine. The first one is that the coffee will not brew properly. Milk has a thicker consistency, so it will not brew coffee just like water does.

Mold in a coffee machine
Some milk residue can remain, leaving the machine smelling like burnt milk

Instead, you’ll be left with poor-tasting Java. The bigger issue is that milk will damage your machine. Since milk is thicker than water, it can clog the internal components, such as the inner tank and water hoses.

Even if you clean your Keurig a few times using the cleaning cycle and descaling cycle, some milk residue can remain, leaving the machine smelling like burnt milk. This can be concerning for anyone with milk allergies or lactose intolerance using the machine later on. It’s also worrying because the milk will go bad, potentially making you sick.

As mentioned earlier, some Keurig machines come with a built-in milk frother, so you can still make milky drinks. Plus, lots of Keurig hot chocolate pods and other milk pods contain dried milk for taste. The milk pods don’t damage the machine because they don’t come into contact with sensitive elements.

A needle pierces the top of the pod during the brewing process to allow pressurized water through, and another opens the bottom of the pod so the coffee can flow out. The contents of your K-cups do not come into contact with the water reservoir or other elements.

Alternatives To Putting Milk In Your Keurig

There are several alternatives to putting milk in your Keurig. So, whether you want something fast and easy or would prefer to use items already in your kitchen, there’s a method you can use.

The best option for frothing milk is to use whole milk. This is because the high fat and protein content makes the milk taste sweet while producing a thick foam. Although you can use low-fat milk or dairy-free milk alternatives, these will take more elbow grease to get a good foam.

You might also be interested in our guide on the best coffee choices for Keurig reusable K-cups.

Use A Separate Milk Frother

If you don’t have a Keurig machine with a built-in milk frother, you should invest in a milk frother. There are several options for this.

If you don’t want to buy a whole new coffee machine, you can find milk steamers such as the Dualit Cino Milk Steamer. These allow you to brew barista-like froth from your very own kitchen.

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02/09/2024 03:50 pm GMT

For a simpler job, you can use Nespresso’s Aeroccino automatic milk frother, or similar products, which can also heat milk. These products create quality foam but require no barista skills as you add the correct amount of milk, push a button, and wait for the foam to be ready.

To make a home-brewed latte or cappuccino, you must purchase espresso K-cups and brew your coffee. Then pour your frothed milk over the espresso and enjoy. This method protects your Keurig machine while still allowing you to brew a quality cup of hot chocolate or coffee.

Heat Milk On The Stove

You can also heat your milk of choice on the stove over medium-low heat. Heat the milk to the 150°F to 165°F range. You can use a hand-held thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.

This method gives you more control over the process as you can watch the milk heating up and adjust the temperature and heating times when needed.

The milk may naturally begin to get a little frothy, but it may not be as much as you’d like. You can use a hand-held frother, similar to a whisk, to create foamy milk. Quickly whisk the warm milk while it’s still in the pot and pour it over your espresso.

This method allows you to liven up a K-cup espresso shot or simply make regular coffee creamier with a hint of foam.

Heat Milk In The Microwave

You can also heat milk in the microwave, but this is less efficient than the stove. To heat milk in a microwave, you will have to do it in small intervals to prevent the milk from burning and boiling over.

As the milk expands in the microwave, you should only half-fill your microwavable container. Heat the milk in 30-second to one-minute bursts until you reach your desired temperature. Then use a hand-held frother to get the right consistency.

Although this might not produce the best froth and is tedious, it is a budget-friendly option. While your milk is heating up, you can brew your K-cup espresso shot.

Use A French Press

If you don’t have a hand-held milk frother or a frother that automatically heats the milk, you can use a French press. First, heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave. Then add the milk to the French press and push the plunger up and down until it expands.

Ensure you’re using a good quality French press, as the plunger may break otherwise. There are also milk frothers designed like a French press, built to withstand heavy use.

Before you begin frothing your milk using this method, put the K-cup of choice in your brewer and turn it on. The coffee should be ready by the time you’ve finished so you can serve it right away.

Conclusion

Coffee pods with coffee beans
Some K-cups and coffee pods contain dried milk to safely brew hot cocoa or latte

With so many kinds of Keurig coffee machines to choose from, there’s no reason you should feel the need to use the Keurig water reservoir as a milk tank. You can find Keurig products that come with a milk frother for this purpose or K-cups and coffee pods that contain dried milk to safely brew hot cocoa or a latte.

Not only can putting milk in the water tank disrupt the brewing process, but it can damage your machine and leave it smelling foul. Plus, no amount of baking soda will get rid of the burnt milk in the nooks and crannies of your machine. By putting milk in your Keurig coffee maker, you’re risking making yourself sick; as much as we love a cup of coffee, it’s simply not worth the risk.

You can still make the most of your Keurig coffee machine and also practice your home barista skills by investing in a quality milk frother. If you don’t have the budget, you’ll likely have something in your kitchen, like a microwave and a French press, to allow you to prepare hot milk for your favorite coffee drinks.

Author

  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.