Can an Instant Pot Pasteurize Milk?

When you have easy access to raw milk, it’s crucial to pasteurize it before consumption.

Although there is equipment specially designed for this purpose, you may have an easier option closer to home.

There are some instant pot models with the capability to pasteurize your raw milk. To identify whether your model has this capability, look out for the yogurt or sterilize functions.

If you haven’t purchased an instant pot yet and might find this function useful, read on to find the specific models that pasteurize milk.

Pasteurizing milk in an instant pot takes place at a low temperature of 161°F for about 15 seconds.

When using the batch process, a lower temperature of 145 °F is used for 30 minutes.

After pasteurizing in the instant pot, it’s important to cool the milk immediately and safely store it.

Pasteurized milk using an instant pot can last between 2 to 7 weeks depending on the method of storage.

Instant pot mini course
Read: How Long Do Instant Pot Pressure Cookers Last?

What Is to Pasteurize?

Pasteurization is a process of heat-treating food and beverages to destroy any pathogenic microorganisms that may be present.

The process ensures that the food or drink is safe for human consumption and will not result in any contamination. It also increases the shelf life of the commodity.

This treatment occurs at low temperatures usually below 212°F depending on the food or beverage. There are several methods of pasteurization.

The method used depends on the availability of equipment, what is being treated, and the quantity of what is being pasteurized.

Common food and drinks that undergo the heat treatment process include milk, beer, wine, canned foods, eggs, juices, and syrups.

Which Instant Pot Models Pasteurize Milk?

As mentioned earlier, an instant pot that can pasteurize milk either has the yogurt or sterilize function.

The instant pot models that can pasteurize raw milk include the instant pot duo, instant pot smart, and instant pot LUX. These have the yogurt function. The others are the instant pot ultra and instant pot duo plus with the sterilize function.

Instant pot ultra

How To Pasteurize Milk with An Instant Pot

There are two main methods of pasteurizing using an instant pot. They include;

1. The Bottle Method

This method takes about 30 mins. The first step is to put the raw milk in bottles that will fit the instant pot.

Next, add a cup of water to the instant pot inner pot. As you know, any pressure cooker needs a liquid to function.

Find your steaming rack and place it inside the inner pot. The steaming rack will hold the bottles containing milk.

Carefully place the bottles on the rack and close the instant pot.

Depending on your instant pot model, choose the sterilize/steam or yogurt function to start the pasteurizing process.

2. Inner Pot Method

With this method, you’ll place the raw milk directly in the instant pot inner pot. It takes a relatively short time of about 15 seconds.

Once the milk is in the instant pot, secure the lid and choose the yogurt or sterilize/steam function.

After pasteurizing your milk with either of the methods, cool it by using cold water.

You can place the pasteurized milk in a container and dip it in a larger container with cold water.

Alternatively, use the kitchen sink to cool down the bottles of milk.

Read: How Hot Does a Pressure Cooker Get?

Tips When Pasteurizing Milk with An Instant Pot

Pasteurizing milk not only helps to kill any microorganisms present but also helps to prolong the shelf life of the milk.

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  • Irrespective of the method used, pasteurizing using an instant pot does not alter the composition or nutritional value of the milk.
  • Always use a lower temperature as instructed when pasteurizing milk. With this, you’ll destroy the harmful bacteria while preserving the healthy bacteria that the body needs. A lower temperature also preserves the flavor of the milk.
  • Pasteurize the milk within the designated times. Setting the instant pot for longer times may alter the flavor of milk. You may end up with sour milk.
  • Note that the inner pot method requires a higher temperature for a shorter period while the bottle method requires a lower temperature for a longer duration.
  • Cool down the pasteurized milk and store it safely. The method of storage will determine the durability of the pasteurized milk.
  • Try out the two methods and identify which works best for you depending on the outcome.

Alternative Methods of Pasteurizing Milk

If you’re looking to try out different methods of pasteurizing your milk at home, there are alternatives to the instant pot.

You can use an electric pasteurizer or a stove. The method to use largely depends on the quantity of milk you have.

It’s impractical to use the stove when you have gallons of milk. An electric pasteurizer would be more appropriate.

The method used also depends on the tools and equipment you have available.

You may have an instant pot but it lacks the yogurt or sterilize function. There’s no option but to look for an alternative.


It’s possible to pasteurize milk at home using an instant pot. However, not all models of the instant pot have this option.

Alternatives to pasteurizing milk at home include using a stove or an electric pasteurizer.

It’s recommended to pasteurize raw milk to kill harmful bacteria and extend the life of the product.

The process of heat-treating the milk does not alter its nutritional value.

Several items can be pasteurized apart from milk. This includes sauces, beer, eggs, canned foods, syrups, and juices.

Once you pasteurize the milk, cool it and store it safely to maintain its purity.  

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