It may seem unorthodox, but it’s a question that crosses the mind of many Keurig users – can I put milk in a Keurig coffee maker to make milk-based drinks?
Before you pick up the milk pitcher and give it a go, let’s give you the short answer: no!
Putting milk in your Keurig can easily break the machine. There are other, less destructive ways to make Keurig hot chocolate, hot cocoa, or latte. Adding milk to your Keurig won’t even give you delicious milky drinks of that nature.
This article explores why putting milk in a Keurig machine is such a bad idea and discusses alternative ways to make milk-based drinks.
How Does The Keurig Machine Work?
All Keurig coffee makers use a water tank and work similarly. Most of them don’t come with a milk tank.
To brew coffee with a Keurig, you pour water into the water tank and place your single-serve coffee pod into the holder. Press the brew button, and the machine punctures the K-cup coffee pod with a needle. Next, the machine pumps the water, which heats up in the machine’s heating elements. That hot water then goes through the needle into the K-Cup holding the coffee grounds. Finally, a minute or so later, coffee drips into your cup.
Many People Have Tried This…
Now that you know how a Keurig coffee maker works, doesn’t it make sense that pouring milk instead of water into the tank should make milk-based hot coffee drinks? If it does, you’re not alone.
If you look online, you’ll find many examples of children attempting this. Meanwhile, many adults have at least raised queries as to its viability on forums. Why? Because it seems so logical. So, why is it such a bad idea? Let’s find out.
Can You Put Milk In Keurig Machines? Never!
One of the best qualities of a Keurig is its ability to make coffee without any hassle. However, the internal mechanisms of the machine are complex and fragile. That’s why the water tank is strictly for water. If you add milk to it, you’ll have the following issues.
Damage To Your Keurig
Adding milk to your Keurig leaves it at a high risk of damage. After heating, milk soon curdles, making it likely to cling to the interior components of the machine, including the heating elements and pipes. Even worse, the milk residue could burn and set the machine on fire!
It Will Burn Your Milk
The Keurig’s heating element is powerful and built to heat water rapidly. Because of the higher temperature, it will burn your milk. Think of the smell of burnt milk in a pan – it’s strong, sharp, and smoky rather than pleasant and enticing. Meanwhile, the burned milk smell soon permeates the kitchen and other areas of the home. Yuck! Well, the same is true of burning milk in Keurig brewers.
Milk Spoils In The Machine
If you’re lucky, the machine won’t burn your milk, but the milk residues will still be in the interior, and they are notoriously hard to remove. Also, as the milk goes bad, this will cause an unpleasant odor that is difficult to get rid of.
If you are familiar with steam wands of semi-automatic espresso machines, you’ll know you regularly need to remove the milk residue with a cloth after steaming. That’s because, at room temperature, milk spoils in approximately two hours. You can’t easily get to the spoiled milk left in a Keurig to clean it out.
How To Fix A Keurig Machine If You Added Milk
If you have added milk to your Keurig and are recoiling in horror, read on, as all may not be lost.
Firstly, unplug your machine and take out all the removable parts. Now, rinse them in water to remove any residue. Ensure there is no milk present in the reservoir, cup holder, and drip tray. Using a clean dishcloth, wipe everything you can reach.
Once the exterior parts are clean, attach the Keurig reservoir and run the brewing cycle to remove any milk in other parts of the water lines. Milk residue in the machine is difficult to dissolve with water alone. So, try mixing some white vinegar and baking soda into the water to make a cleaning solution.
While this can be effective, it’s not as efficient as using a specialist product for cleaning out milk in the water lines of espresso machines, including the Urnex Rinza Alkaline Formula Milk Frother Cleaner.
You might have to fill the water reservoir with water or a cleaning solution and run the brewing process a few times to clear the water lines completely.
Unless you’re an expert, we suggest you don’t disassemble your Keurig machine for a deep clean, as it’s far more complex than it appears. However, if you want to attempt it, try to find a video tutorial that details the process. It has plenty of steps to do it correctly.
If your machine isn’t working, it might be worth trying before giving up completely.
What Is The Correct Way To Make Milk-Based Drinks With A Keurig?
By now, it will be obvious why putting milk in a Keurig is a bad idea. However, what if you want to make milk-based coffee or hot chocolate using a Keurig?
There are many milk pods and hot chocolate pods for Keurigs. You just insert a hot chocolate pod into the holder, press a button, and soon your drink is ready.
If you like foamy milk in your coffee, try the Keurig K-Cafe which is the only Keurig that has a milk frother and built-in milk heater. This Keurig brewer lets you easily make frothed milk for your coffee. All you need to do is add chilled milk into the milk tanks, press the LATTE or CAPP button and it will do the rest. It can also froth cold milk for your iced coffee. Just fresh milk, no K-cups are needed for the milk foam.
All the other Keurigs produce black coffee, so the Keurig K-Cafe is the easiest answer for people who prefer milk-based coffee. It’s one of our top-picked Keurig coffee machines, check out the full list here.
If you own another Keurig machine and don’t want to replace it, consider buying a separate handheld or automatic milk frother. They are cheap and work pretty well. Simply add fresh hot milk into a pitcher then froth it for 1 minute or so, you’ll get tasted milk foam. It’s better with dark roast coffee, you’ll love the strong cup of milky coffee.
Alternatively, you can froth cold milk with vanilla syrup to cold foam and spoon it onto your iced coffee. Lovely!
Adding milk to any Keurig or other coffee maker will leave it highly susceptible to damage – often of the irreparable kind. Meanwhile, if you’re lucky and the machine still works, cleaning it will be an arduous task.
If you want milk-based drinks using a Keurig, invest in a Keurig K-Cafe or use a separate milk frother. Doing this will leave you with gorgeous, milky drinks. Most importantly, your trusty Keurig will be unharmed too!