Milk Frothers

Some practical uses for milk frothers include:
- Frothed milk for cappuccinos, lattes and mochas
- Delicious frothing milk drinks for the kids
- Whipped cream
- Blended drinks
- Emulsify salad dressings

A good froth (foam) is airy and light, not quite peaked, and triple the volume of the milk you started with.

Glass and stainless milk frothers do a very good job of giving you a thick froth, with very little effort. It takes about 30-60 seconds of pumping action.

Battery operated frothers generally aerate by rotating a whisk-like rod (and can also be used for light egg beating eggs and for mixing drinks). Though it won't give you as thick a froth as the other types of frothers, nevertheless it is a convenient method of frothing right in the cup or other container.

Steam frothers are very useful for heating the milk while whipping it to a froth. Steam wands are shaped to direct a pressurized stream of hot water into the milk, dispersing it as steam droplets and (if done correctly) swirling the milk into a whirlwind funnel. In the process, it heats, aerates, and increases the volume with air bubbles (foam, or froth). And since it's hot, it won't substantially alter the temperature of your fresh cup of espresso, or regular coffee. (You can also use these steamers to heat other kinds of foods and liquids.)

Frothing pitchers should be bellied near the bottom, to help the milk swirl better when frothing from the wand of a steam frother. For best results, refrigerate the pitcher to cool it before use, and start with only a small quantity of cold milk. (More info in our guide, below.)

Milk boils at very low temperatures. Once it boils, you'll no longer be able to keep or make bubbles for the foam. To keep the milk from boiling, especially if you don't have much practice, try skim milk; it contains less fat and it will therefore not come to a boil as fast, allowing you to froth longer. If you need to scald more than a small quantity of milk for a recipe, it may be easier to just heat the milk (to about 180°F) in a sauce pan.

Guide to Frothing Milk