Is the common advice to put the pitcher in the freezer a help when steaming milk? (It never was for me).
October 19, 2011
I am briefly returning to my steaming milk blog entries and was thinking about tips that are good and tips that I never found worked very well for me. One tip you often hear repeated is that if you want to start steaming milk and are having trouble creating microfoam you should keep the pitcher in the freezer and perhaps even fill it with milk a little before you want to create your drink and stick the pitcher with milk in the freezer.
This tip has never really seemed to make any impact for me. I think the idea is that if you are having trouble keeping up with the speed of steaming this slows it down because you have a longer time before the milk scalds, but in my experience it never helped.
The only time I do use it is when I have poured a pitcher and then life interrupts before I can make the drink and it has sat out on the counter long enough to get quite warm (which never happened before I had small kids, but that is a different story for a different blog – and is a price I will gladly pay). Anyway, in that case if the milk is still fresh I might toss it in the freezer to try to get it all closer to fridge temperature.
Otherwise it just never seemed to help or hurt one way or the other. I expect that the one case it might help – and I was not in this category – is someone who is trying to learn to steam, does not do it very often and has suddenly started out with a machine that is a super powered steamer. My first machine did not steam at light speed so I did not need to slow things down, and by the time I got a faster machine I had enough experience, but even then I am not sure because steaming for longer gives you more time to make mistakes. The first time I used a big commercial machine I made the best milk I had ever made because for me faster was also easier.
I am curious if others found this advice to be good advice or not?