Do you love lattes and cappuccinos, but don’t love the price tag that comes with it? Or maybe you just don’t have the time to go to a coffee shop every day. If that’s the case, an electric milk frother may be the perfect appliance for you! In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about electric milk frothers. I’ll cover what they are, how they work, and when to use them. I’ll also give you some tips on choosing the right one for your needs. So whether you’re a coffee lover or just looking for new ways to make your favorite milk based drinks, read on for all the information you need about electric milk frothers!
What Does a Milk Frother Do? How Does It Work?
A milk frother is a an appliance that is used to create foam from milk. This foam can be used to top off coffee drinks or as an ingredient in other recipes. Milk frothers work by using a spinning whisk to create air bubbles in the milk. These bubbles are then stabilized by proteins in the milk, which creates the foamy texture.
There are two main types of milk frothers: handheld and electric. Handheld frothers are manual and require you to hold the frother yourself, it will also require that you heat the milk separately before frothing it. Electric frothers, on the other hand, do all the work for you. They typically have a built-in heating element, so they can also be used to heat milk. Electric frothers are also often automatic, meaning they will turn off once the milk is heated and frothed to perfection. In fact, they can also create cold foam for your iced drinks.
Electric vs Handheld Milk Frothers
As I just mentioned, there are two main types of milk frothers: handheld and electric. So, which one is right for you? It really depends on your needs. Handheld frothers are great if you only need to froth a small amount of milk at a time, and if you don’t mind heating your milk in a microwave or on a stovetop before frothing. Electric frothers are ideal if you want to froth larger amounts of milk, or if you want an appliance that can do both heating and frothing.
So, Does A Milk Frother Heat Milk, Too?
Only electric frothers have the ability to heat milk. If you need a frother that can both heat and froth milk, don’t buy a handheld frother. Instead, get the ‘pitcher’ type of electric milk frother.
Handheld frothers are the less expensive option, they are battery operated and fairly cheap. Electric frothers are not necessarily expensive, many are sold at a very budget-friendly price point. They do need to be plugged in and will require more clean up that a handheld frother.
When Should You Use a Milk Frother?
A milk frother can be used anytime you want to add foam to a beverage or recipe. This includes coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, as well as hot chocolate, and matcha. You can also use milk froth to top off desserts like pies and cakes, I’ve personally used it to froth cream just for that purpose (you’ll want to use the cold froth setting for this one!).
Types of Milk You Can Froth
You can froth any type of milk with an electric frother, including skim, whole, soy, almond, and oat milk. The type of milk you use will affect the taste and texture of your foam. For instance, a foamy latte made with soy milk will taste almost the same as one made with cow’s milk. The only exception is that it might have a slightly different flavor. Almond milk produces foam too, but it is lighter in texture and has a nutty aftertaste. If you want your cappuccino to be rich and creamy, oat milk would be the best choice.
With milk alternatives, results vary from brand to brand, too. It’s hard to predict the type of foam you can get from almond or oat milk. This is an important detail to keep in mind, because many people will think it’s the frother that is doing a bad job, when in fact it’s the milk. Different fat content in each type of milk lead to different foam densities. You can always experiment until you get the froth you are aiming for. Dairy milk, on the other hand, is guaranteed to make you a great thick foam.
Frothing Other Type of Dairy
Can an electric frother froth Cream or Half and Half?
Yes, you can use an electric frother to froth cream and half and half. Just keep in mind that the higher the fat content, the richer and creamier your foam will be. So just like it is with milk alternatives, results will vary also when using cream or half and half.
To What Temperature Does a Frother Heat Milk?
The answer to this question varies depending on the frother. Some will only heat the milk to a certain temperature, while others will have an adjustable temperature setting going up to 160F. In general, most electric frothers will stop automatically once the milk reaches around 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some people like their milk foam at a lower temperature while others prefer it hotter. It all comes down to personal preference. Just remember that the higher the temperature, the more quickly the proteins in the milk will coagulate, which can make your foam less stable.
And if you happened to be a fan of Iced coffee, make sure to pick a frother that will also make cold foam. I’ll make sure to recommend some at the end of this post.
Frothing vs Steaming
A milk steamer, or a steaming wand, is a part of traditional espresso machines. These wands jet hot steam through milk to heat it and create microfoam or froth.
A milk frother, is an appliance that you can buy on its own, and sometimes it is built-in into some coffee machines. It’s a more convenient way to heat and froth milk, whether or not you have an espresso machine.
Steam wands and electric frother create different foam consistency. But apart from that, the idea of a frother is to help you heat and froth your milk with a press of a button, at a small cost compared to buying a full espresso machine just to make specialty coffee drinks. Steaming milk isn’t something you can do separate of an espresso machine.
What Else Can You Do With a Milk Frother?
Can a Milk Frother Heat Water?
No, a milk frother can not heat water. It is only meant to heat milk and create foam. Frothers have heating elements to bring milk to hot temperatures, it is not designed to bring water, or other liquids to boiling temperatures.
Can You Use a Milk Frother to Make Hot Chocolate?
Yes, you can use an electric frother to make hot chocolate. Just add your favorite chocolate powder or syrup to the milk and froth away! The chocolate flavor will be evenly distributed throughout the milk and you’ll have a delicious and foamy hot chocolate in no time.
Can Coffee Be Frothed with the Milk?
If you’re thinking of adding the coffee to your milk as it’s froths, or before, it can be done but I wouldn’t recommend it. Here’s why:
When adding milk to an electric frother, you’ll want to keep in mind MAX lines. You will start with a low volume of milk and it will nearly double as it froths. Adding coffee to that will only mean you’ll have to use very little milk in order not to exceed the max line. You’ll want to use the correct ratio of milk for your coffee to taste good.
What you can do is froth coffee on its own, which is known as whipped coffee or Dalgona coffee!
Can You Do Latte Art With a Milk Frother?
The type of foam a milk frother produces is usually to dense to use to drawing latte art, but it’s definitely not impossible. Latte art requires milk to be ‘thinly’ frothed, or what is professionally known as micro-foam, which is only produced when steaming milk. It can be harder to produce that type of foam with an electric frother, but here’s one tutorial that can help you out.
Drinks You Can Make with a Milk Frother
- Flat Whites
- Hot Chocolate
- Dalgona Coffee (Whipped Coffee)
- Foamed Milk
The possibilities are endless! You can add hot froths milk to make any drink you would usually buy from a coffee shop.
How To Pick The Right Frother for You
1- Pick Between Handheld or Electric Automatic Frothing
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a handheld or automatic machine. If you want the most affordable option, portable and easiest to store, then go with a handheld frother. These give you the ability to Froth directly into your cup, so you can stop when it reaches the desired consistency. On the downside, they don’t heat milk.
An electric frother, on the other hand, comes with a wider range of uses, and most importantly, it heats the milk and froths it. It is easier to operate, as it’s a matter of a press of a button and everything else will be done by the frother. The downside of an electric frother is that it can get expensive if you want more advanced features, but they are still available in a range of prices fit for every budget.
2- Adjustable Temperature vs Non-Adjustable
If you decided on an electric frother, now you’ll want to pick between one that can allow you to adjust the milk temperature, choose from several hot temperatures, as well as cold foam.
A non-adjustable frother will only heat the milk to a certain degree set by the manufacturer. But it will most likely also make cold froth, too.
3- Non-stick Coating Type
Electric frothers use different type of nonstick coating to make cleaning the jug easier and effortless. But different brands use different type of coating:
Teflon coating is the most popular, but it’s also my least favorite. It works great at first, but starts to chip and peel over time. And once that coating is damaged, you can’t use the frother any more as milk will most likely stick to the interior of the jug.
Ceramic coating: this is a more durable coating than teflon. It’s less prone to peeling and lasts a longer time.
Stainless steel: this isn’t a coating, exactly, but the material of which the jug is made of. If you find one that is made of stainless steel interior and exterior, it will be the most durable as it’s a solid material that does not burn or break.
4 – Electric Base vs Induction Base
Frothers that are attached to the electric base are popular, and they do work as they should. The only problem is the fact that they can’t be immersed in water, making them harder to clean.
Induction based frother, on the other hand, have a jug that separates completely from the based which holds all the heating elements. The jug won’t have any electric coils, therefore, it will be dishwasher safe and completely safe to immerse in water if you choose to wash it by hand.
Popular Electric Milk Frothers
Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother
The popularity of an Aeroccino comes from the popularity of Nespresso’s espresso and coffee machines as they’re usually sold as a bundle. But an Aeroccino frother is also sold on it’s own, and any one can buy it.
Breville Milk Cafe Frother
Despite being one of the expensive ones out there, Breville’s Milk Cafe is still a popular pick, and for a good reason!
It checks all the points you want in a frother:
- It is induction based.
- It has adjustable heating settings.
- It’s stainless steel and dishwasher safe.
- It’s a large capacity jug that can froth up to 3 cups in one go.
- It allows you to add ingredients as you froth.
Maestri House Milk Frother
This is a good alternative to Breville’s Milk Cafe. It features variable adjustable temperature settings, milk capacity up to 21 oz, and simple digital controls. It uses induction heating, too. The jug is fully stainless steel and is dishwasher safe.
Maestri House’s Milk Frother also gives you several milk froth thicknesses to choose from. I find it to be reasonably priced for the features it offers, making it a budget-friendly pick.
Which of These Milk Frothers Will Make the Thickest Foam?
I would say these frothers make comparable froths. The thickness of the foam they produce will depend on the quality of milk you use. Like I mentioned earlier, full cow’s milk, cream, half & half or non-dairy milks, they all produce different quality of froth depending on their fat content. Also, you’ll want to use cold milk (if you ‘re using an electric frother). Room tempterautre milk produces very thin foam.
Is a Milk Frother Worth It? Who Should Buy One?
If you love lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos, and want to save money by making them at home, then a milk frother is a great investment.
With a good quality milk frother, you can make professional tasting coffee drinks without even leaving your kitchen.
A milk frother is also a great gift for any coffee lover in your life. It’s a small appliance that takes up very little counter space and can make a big difference in the quality of someone’s at-home coffee drinking experience.
If you are on the fence about whether or not to buy an electric milk frother, I would encourage you to read some reviews of popular models to see what other people have to say. You may be surprised at how many people absolutely love their frother and can’t imagine making coffee any other way!
Milk frother, actually, are not for coffee lovers only! If you are a tea drinker, you can use a frother to make matcha lattes, chai tea, or any other tea-based drinks.
If you have young children (or adults!) at home, a milk frother can be used to make hot chocolate and other wintertime treats.