There was a time when, if you wanted to have a latte or a cappuccino with a layer of froth at the top, you would have to go to a barista or spend several hundred dollars on an espresso machine.
In a hurry? I recommend the Secura Automatic Milk Frother.
Thankfully, this is no longer the way things work. You can now purchase a frother for home use to steam milk for any reason you’d like.
Before you go out and make the purchase, you should know that there is a difference between a milk steamer and a milk frother. While milk steamers will typically also be able to do the frothing as well, frothers are not always able to steam your milk for you.
|Best Home Use Milk Steamer||Why We Like It|
|1. Huogary Milk Frother||heavy-duty, basic tool of most bartenders|
|2. Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Warmer||small size fits easily in your pocket or apron|
|3. Nespresso Aeroccino 3||variety of colors makes this hard to lose|
A milk frother’s primary objective (as you may have guessed by now) is to create a layer of froth by using a moisturized whisk and spinning it at high speeds. But they won’t always heat the milk for you; often times you’ll have to do that separately.
Find the best milk frothers for latte art.
A milk steamer, on the other hand, will steam and froth the milk for you (although I’m sure you can find some models that don’t do the frothing part).
Steaming your milk means that you heat the milk up to add some extra sweetness and flavor. It’ll give some added texture as well, but that generally comes from frothing. If you are foaming your milk, all you’re doing is aerating it to make a denser version of froth.
Because there are so many different models and options of milk steamers out there, it can be somewhat difficult to determine which is best for you. For this reason, we’ve decided to narrow down your search to just a few items and let you choose from there.
How the Steaming Process Works
When steaming milk, you are introducing air to the milk while heating it which makes the foam. When you use a steam wand to do this, the steam shoots through the hold and the steam acts like small whisks that inject the air at a very rapid rate. This is done by breaking the surface of the milk and folding the air into it.
You have to be careful when steaming, however, because if the milk gets too hot, you will find that the proteins in the milk will begin breaking down and the air will escape and you will not have a good foam, it will be ruined. The air should be introduced before the milk reaches room temperature.
Why Should You Steam Milk?
The majority of milks makeup is actually water and the next most prevalent compound following that is sugar. When you steam milk, you are essentially bringing out the sweetness of the lactose.
Steamers Versus Frothers
Milk frothers are definitely a popular option these days because it can create a very creamy and delicious topping for your cup of coffee. However, they can’t whisk the milk as fast as you may want so the coffee won’t be as hot as you want when the frothing process is finally completed. To make sure the coffee is hot, you will instead have to heat the milk first and then go through the frothing process.
Steamers, on the other hand, are much more convenient and a lot faster to use. The steamer will heat the milk and get it as frothy as you like all at the same time. You will have the frothy and hot coffee you want in a fraction of the time.
Does the Milk You Use Make a Difference?
The type of milk that you use for your coffee, espresso, and cappuccinos does matter. It doesn’t even just matter in taste either, it also makes a difference in the steaming process as well. Whole milk, for example, steams much better than a nonfat milk or even a 2% milk. You may also notice slight differences between the brand of milk you choose as well.
Whole milk is the widely suggested type of milk to use for steaming. This is due to the balance of fats, proteins, sugars, and waters that are in the milk. The balance of these components makes for a much creamier foam for your beverages.
Soy milk also works well for coffee and can offer a dense foam while maintaining that creamy texture you are looking to achieve for your beverages. However, if you are looking to create some stunning latte art, then soy milk isn’t the milk you want to use. But if you are just looking for great taste, then go for it.
The Value of Steamed Milk
When you get a milk steamer for home, you are gaining access to foamed milk that has a nice and thick texture with plenty of large air bubbles. If you are a cappuccino lover, then you know the importance of having that nice layer of foam sitting on top of your drink.
You will also be gaining access to a very convenient way to heat milk without the risk of burning it. Burning the milk during the steaming process can make it taste absolutely horrible. You will also enjoy saving some money in the long run when you learn how to make your favorite drinks at home rather than forking out hard earned money each morning at the local coffee shop.
With a milk steamer for home, you also find more in the way of functionality. You can use a milk frother as a milk steamer too, for example. If you don’t want coffee drinks or a latte, you can make the milk foam for a hot chocolate or just make a nice warm cup of milk before going to bed.
Types of Milk Steamers
There are a few different types of milk steamers and frothers available for home use. These include immersion frothers, manual, and electric.
Immersions are typically a whisk that vibrates. This lets you whip up the milk while heating it in a cup or pot at the same time. It is by far one of the more affordable options when it comes to milk frothing at home.
The manual option has a whisk that is attached to the handle and you manually push it up and down in the milk. Doing this motion allows for the air and texture. However, this method doesn’t simultaneously heat the milk. You will have to heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave first.
The electric options are by far the most convenient. It effectively heats the milk to the desired temperature without burning it and they come in different sizes so you can have a single serving or much more.
Factors to Consider
When purchasing a milk steamer for home use, you will undoubtedly put the price consideration at the top of the list. There are more expensive options available that offer more in convenience. You will also find much more control and functionality the more you pay. However, there are some more inexpensive models that can do what you need and may be a better size as well.
The more you spend, the bigger the machine will probably be. You need to consider how much room you have available and how often you will be using it.
How easy is it to learn? You also want to determine how easily and quickly you can learn how to use it. If it is easy to use and easy to clean, then you are more likely going to use it a lot more often because of the minimal effort that is required of it.
Electric milk steamers are great because they are essentially doing all the hard work for you and all you have to do is flip a switch. Some of them may also even have dishwasher safe components that will make cleanup even easier.
Huogary Milk Frother
This Huogary model has a food-grade insulated wall that is durable and makes cleaning easier. This milk frother has a bigger capacity than most and can froth milk up to 5.1 ounces and warm milk up to 10.1 ounces.
Pros of the Huogary:
- Fast, quiet, and has an auto shut-off
- Can create warm dense milk foam, warm milk, cold milk foam, and warm airy milk foam
- Milk froths in 40-120 seconds, depending on what type of milk density and temperature you choose
- Two year warranty and one year money back guarantee
Cons of the Huogary:
- Works best only with full-fat milk
- Pre-set temperatures cannot be changed
If you’re looking for a machine that can help you make delicious cappuccinos, coffee, macchiatos, lattes, hot chocolate, and flat whites, then this is a good choice for you. Although it has a large capacity, if you have more than two people wanting a hot beverage, you’ll have to make a couple of batches.
This milk frother comes in both black and white versions and is very sleek and modern looking. The machine has a marking and a large spout to ensure that you use the right amount of milk without spilling the finished product when transferring it to your cup or mug. You may find that it is slightly more expensive than other options available on the market today.
Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Warmer
This is another budget-friendly milk steamer, but still works very well and has appealing aesthetics. It can hold 4.25 ounces of milk for frothing and 8.5 ounces of warm milk for those times you don’t need to add froth.
There is an easy to see minimum and maximum milk level indicator to let you know how much milk you have poured into the carafe, and the carafe is detachable for easy pouring.
This device is made of sturdy materials, giving it a more durable feel and appearance, and the stainless steel carafe cleans easily and is vacuum insulated. Being vacuum sealed lets you keep the milk at the 110-degree temperature. This machine heats the milk too.
Pros of the Secura:
- Can make both hot and cold froth
- User-friendly and intuitive to operate
- Very easy to clean
- A free cleaning brush comes included in the machine
Cons of the Secura:
- It can only heat your milk to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (the ideal temperature for steaming milk is 140 degrees)
- It is a single whisk frother
This is also a suitable device for those who need a milk steamer at a budget price. It does create a good layer of froth, but the fact that it can only heat your milk to 110 degrees Fahrenheit can leave you somewhat underwhelmed (especially if you like your drinks piping hot).
Overall, this is an excellent device for the amount that you will be paying for it.
Nespresso Aeroccino 3
The name of it sounds like it should be futuristic and amazing, and the machine doesn’t disappoint. Nespresso has been constructing quality milk steamers for years now, and if you see a product from them at a discounted price, we strongly recommend you pick it up.
The Aeroccino 3 is the upgraded version of the Nespresso Plus (which is already an outstanding device) and has some subtle, but effective, changes made to it.
It comes in two different color options (red or black) and produces rich, creamy foamy layers of milk at temperatures that are even higher than what is recommended for the perfect cappuccino at 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pros of the Nespresso:
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Runs quietly
- Impeccable temperature controls
- Extremely durable
Cons of the Nespresso:
- Cost more money than many other machines
One of the most overlooked aspects of this frother is how quietly it runs and how quickly it heats up and froths your milk for the perfect level of sweetness. If you are a cappuccino or latte “nut,” then you have to have this product.
Looking for a recommendation on a great espresso machine? Here are my top picks.
Wrap – Up
Knowing that there is an easier, and cheaper, way to get morning lattes is a liberating feeling. Gone are the days where you have to wait in 30-minute lines for your drink that may or may not have been made to your liking.
Finally, you can get high-quality cappuccinos tailored to fit your taste buds from the comfort of your own kitchen.