Key Words - POWDERED or INSTANT denotes a process. Simply "NONFAT DRY MILK" is used generically, but "causes most of the confusion".
1. Powdered (aka: REGULAR) is considered a double CONCENTRATE and stronger than Instant. The best storage life of powdered milk is in #10 cans, which is 3-5 years for taste, up to 10 years - the flavor goes way downhill. Has 6 months life, once opened, with 5-7 days once reconstituted.
2. Powdered milk alternatives, combining sweet dairy WHEY, dairy solids, and nondairy solids, can be used the same as regular powdered milk. It's a nice choice, being lower lactose level than milk, many people who are other lactose intolerant are able to enjoy them. (My personal choice is Morning Moo. I use it in most recipes calling for fluid milk, particularly breads. Not for puddings, ice cream or yogurt, due to on it's own, it will not set up and thicken). Best when purchased in #10 cans, store up to 10 years. Same as powdered, quality is best when use within 5 years. Has 6 months life, once opened, with 5-7 days once reconstituted.
3. Instant Dry Milk is actually the most commonly sold type of dry milk. Sold in boxes, has 6 months shelf life, with 5-7 days once reconstituted.
I find Morning Moo tastes more like fresh 1% milk, but the others should taste like fresh skim milk. When fresh, since the milk-fat has been processed out. No nonfat dry milk will ever taste like 1%, 2% or whole milk.
There are differences between the above types:
Many people are unaware of the differences.
So when sharing recipes, take special note, especially if
YOU (use or prefer) one type of dry milk over the other.
1 cup Powdered Milk = 2 cups Instant Dry Milk, as the larger instant granules take up twice as much room (in measuring cups and in your pantry storage).
Instant nonfat Dry Milk dissolves easily in water. Whereas powdered milk (or whey alternatives) just floats on top, waiting to be blended.
Powdered Milk vs. Instant Dry Milk:
Instant Dry Milk with it's larger granules, seemingly melts in water. Yet it doesn't mix was as easily in homemade mixes. Powdered milk is a "powder-fine" granule, which blends well with flour, powdered sugar or cocoa, but it needs to be blended smooth, with liquids.
Milk Sold In #10 Cans:
Purchase Powdered Dry Milk (Vacuum-Sealed, #10 Cans). Powdered Milk is sold in #10 cans (Yield: 20 quarts). Although it's often hard to locate, and not always sold in grocery stores. It's readily available where food storage supplies are sold (or purchased online). UNOPENED cans are good for up to 3-5 years.
Milk Sold In Boxes:
Purchase Instant Dry Milk (Small & Large Boxes) if convenience is what you need. Instant Dry Milk not only melts “instantly” into water with a simple stir, but is also commonly sold in grocery stores and price clubs. The very large boxes (make 20 quarts) but it's much better to buy smaller sizes. BOXED, Instant Dry Milk is NOT vacuum sealed, consider “opened” with the clock ticking (before purchased!).
For quality and freshness, the rule of thumb, is to re-vacuum-seal and use opened dry milk within 6-Months, for the best quality and freshness. Rotate, rotate, rotate your milk storage!
Never buy any in big bags (50 lbs) and store in buckets! Otherwise you can chalk it up to a bad experience, as CHALK is what becomes! That classic “off-taste” that people really detest… is most often a sign of stale dry milk! If not, and it was stored fresh my guess… those who still dislike it, don't like drinking skim milk either. After <gasp> 6-12 months, it CAN still be used for cooking. However, reseal.
Vacuum-Seal In Freshness:
I reseal dry milk ASAP with a home vacuum-sealer! Reseal contents in vacuum-seal-able canisters. You can also use affordable Mason jars. You'll also need a wide-mouth jar sealer attachment. A #10 can powdered milk fills almost (4) wide-mouth quarts jars (Ace Hardware sell 2-qt jars).
Transfer dry milk, using a canning funnel. A flexible cutting board, shaped into a cone works nicely. Punch a small hole in the canning jar lid, with a push pin and cover it with black electrical tape (makes for a terrific release valve).
I like to fill a wide-mouth quart Mason jar just half full with water, add 2/3 cup (or how much in recipe) and blending a slurry with a hand-stick, immersion blender. Then add more water, cover and shake. (Note: Pulse to blend in a regular-type blender, as they're designed incorporate in a lot of air.)
Blend in a pitcher with both beaters. For Mason jar, either a reg-mouth or wide-mouth jar, fill jar just half full with water, add 2/3 cup (or how much in recipe) and blending a slurry with just one beater! Add more water, cover, shake.
Lots of people like these (use for juice and other drinks too).