How Much Does a Gallon of Milk Weigh?
How Much Does a Gallon of Milk Weigh?

To many people milk is just a white liquid, similar to water, that feels a bit thicker and denser.

Milk is usually about 87 to 90% water, while the rests are proteins (3-4%), fats (4%), and milk sugar lactose – (4.5%).

The weight of milk will depend on its composition – higher the water content milk will be less dense and lighter and on the contrary – higher fat, protein, and lactose level – the milk will be denser and thus – heavier.

Have you ever wondered how much does a gallon of milk weigh? Is there a difference between fresh milk and frozen milk? How about skim milk or even chocolate one, does their weight differ?

Let’s find out how much does a gallon of milk weigh depending on different kinds of milk and what can affect their weight.

What are metric and imperial measurements?

The metric set of measures (liters, grams kilograms, centimeters, and meters) provide accurate scientific measurements that can be used widely.

Imperial measurements (liters, pounds, ounces, and inches) were more of the local method of measuring things. 

Cooking and baking conversion chart
Cooking and baking conversion chart (shutterstock.com)

Pounds, ounces, and inches are the same throughout the world, but gallon sizes do differ from USA units to the UK gallon. The USA gallon is slightly different than the UK gallon.

Milk can be measured both – by its volume or by its weight, but measuring the weight of milk is the more accurate way to know the exact amount of this product.

Different types of gallons

  • In the US one gallon is equivalent to 3.685 litres or 207 cubic inches. 
  • In the United Kingdom an imperial gallon represents 4.546 liters or 297.5 cubic inches.
  • In the USA a gallon of the same water weighs 8.38 lbs which represents approximately 8.6 – pound of milk. 

The weight differential of a gallon depends on the quantity, which gives different results when you compare milk with water. 

A gallon of whole milk that has 3.25% milk fat contains 127 grams of added fat (approximately 2400 kcal).

Apparently, 1% milk contains 39 grams of added fat when milk, while 2% milk weighs 117 grams of added fat.

How much does one gallon of milk weigh will depend on the type of milk you choose.

How is the weight of milk calculated?

According to USDA, each gallon of the whole dairy is at least 7.3 pounds (3.9 kilograms).

The amount was found accurate with some experiments. Our measurement was slightly different but our differences at this point were minimal. 

There’s another way to know the weight of your milk and this includes measuring it using a face-to-face test and how to make sure it’s milk.

What types of milk are there and do they weigh the same?

Every milk provides different functions for consumers.

There are different kinds of milk available at your local grocery store.

Each type has different advantages for the person that’s drinking it or effects on the body’s wellbeing. 

When we’re talking about dairy milk we can differentiate whole milk (3.25% milk fat), low-fat milk (1% milk fat), and skim milk (0.5% milk fat).

Different kinds of milk
Different kinds of milk (shutterstock.com)

There are also available plant substitutes for milk that are equally tasty, but suitable for vegan diets and people who are lactose intolerant.

The most popular plant kinds of milk are almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk, quinoa milk, and oat milk.

All kinds of milk we have listed have different weights because each kind has a different amount of fat in it. The less fat in your milk – the less will weigh and vice versa.

When it comes to milk alternatives, coconut milk has more fat than other types of plant kinds of milk and it is thickest, therefore it weighs the most.

Coconut milk often contains added thickeners and other ingredients. The lightest plant milk is almond milk, along with rice and oat milk. They have the lowest fat content of all kinds of milk.

What is the best estimate for the weight of a gallon of milk?

How much does a gallon of milk weigh – the best estimate for the weight of a gallon of milk is 8.6 pounds, depending on the percentage of fat in the milk.

If it is whole milk, with a bigger amount of fat it will be heavier, and if it is skim milk, with a lower percentage of fat, it will be slightly lighter

How much does a gallon of milk weigh in a plastic container?

Plastic containers don’t have much impact on the exact weight of milk. An average traditional one-gallon HDPE (high-density polyethylene) container usually weighs between 60 and 62 grams. That’s the weigh of dry gallon.

A gallon of milk weighs mostly 8.6 pounds and the number can vary depending on the sort of milk measured.

How much does a half gallon of milk weighs in pounds?

How much gallon of milk weighs varies between products: whole milk, low-fat milk, or skim milk and the same goes for a half gallon.

Most of the milk varies in its weight by the fat percentage that they contain. 

Glass of milk
Milk weight varies depending on its fat percentage (shutterstock.com)

As we mentioned in the previous section, a gallon of whole milk weighs 8.6 pounds. If we divide this number in half we will find out how much a half-gallon of milk would weigh. The result is 4.3 pounds (1.95 kg). 

What does a quart of milk weigh?

A gallon of milk weighs 8.6 lb. A quarter is ¼ of a gallon so a quart of milk weighs exactly 2.15 lb.

Quarts in glass can be heavier with the additional weight of their glass. Of course, a gallon of milk weighs more than a quarter from the weight of a gallon of milk.

A quart of milk in cardboard or plastic bottles weighs about twice that of half a gallon of milk which equals the number of glasses.

How much does one pint of milk weigh?

The easiest way to find the total weight of milk is by using simple conversion methods. 

There are two pints in a single quart of milk each. A quart weighs roughly 2.15 pounds (975 g). 

We can easily determine how one pint should weigh about half that based on current – a pint of milk weighs about 16 ounces or 1 pound (453 g)

How much does a gallon of skim milk weigh?

A gallon of skim milk weighs about 8.5 pounds (3.85 kg). 

Skimmed milk is fat free milk or non-fat milk that contains only 0.2% of milk fat. The liquid used as a replacement for the extracted fats is heavier than the fat itself.

Once the fat is removed and replaced with liquid the mass from skimmed milk or fat free milk weighs about 8.5 pounds or in metric system – 3.85 kg.

According to Engineering Clicks, fat weighs less than water – that is why the cream rises when the liquid is more solid and this makes the fat more easily replaceable.

How much does a cup of skim milk weigh?

A cup of skim milk weighs 226.8 grams.

How much does a gallon of 1% milk weigh?

A 1% gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds (3.9 kg).

1% milk is low fat milk with 1% milk fat.

As the milk’s density increases the weight of the milk may change a little bit, depending on the temperature and the amount of milk packaged in the same type of carton as milk.

How much does a cup of 1% milk weigh?

A cup of 1% milk weighs 240 grams (8.6 oz).

How much does a gallon of 2% milk weigh?

A gallon of 2% milk reaches a weight of nearly the same as whole milk, which is 8.4 pounds (3.81 kg). 

As we mentioned in previous sections, the weight of milk will depend on the content of fat in it. The more fat – heavier the milk will be.

Milk cream
Fun fact – Milk cream is actually lighter than milk (shutterstock.com)

As the name says, 2% milk or reduced fat milk contains a total of 2% milk fat.

How much does a cup of 2% milk weigh?

A cup of 2% milk weighs about 225 grams.

How much does a gallon of whole milk weigh?

A gallon of whole milk (3.25% milk fat) weighs 8.6 pounds.

Whole milk is cow’s milk whose fat wasn’t skimmed at all.

This type of milk retains all of its fats and it is a bit thicker than other kinds of milk.

Whole milk is also called “regular milk” because its amount of fat wasn’t altered.

How much does a cup of whole milk weigh?

A cup of whole 3.25% milk weighs 240 grams (8.6 oz).

How is milk fat calculated?

In the process of calculating milk fat, the dairy processor is skimming milk fat that creates on top of the liquid.

After calculating the weight of the fat it adds it back to the milk.

The amount of fat that is returned to liquid depends on the type of milk.

For example – 2% milk will be returned 2% of milk fat.

Excess fat is used in butter, cream, or other dairy products production.

How much does a gallon of chocolate milk weigh?

A gallon of chocolate milk weighs 8.6 pounds (3.9 kg), like whole milk, while a gallon of chocolate syrup weighs nearly 10.5 pounds or 4.8 kilograms.

Chocolate milk is made by adding chocolate syrup or chocolate powder and sweeteners (sugar or high-fructose corn syrup) to milk.

Chocolate milk
Chocolate milk (shutterstock.com)

It’s similar to whole milk, although skimmed milk is used in its production because chocolate adds fats and sugars. 

Depending on the ratio of the chocolate mixture to the milk you use, chocolate milk may get heavier than other forms of milk.

Which is heavier cream or milk?

Milk is heavier than cream.

It’s a common misconception that cream is heavier than milk.

When we think about cream, we imagine a thick off-white liquid that contains a lot of fat and that is denser than milk.

It sounds funny, but fat molecules are lightweight and they float to the surface of the liquid.

The cream is actually lighter than milk which is why it rises to the top of the milk, where it can be easily skimmed. 

Which is heavier, a gallon of milk or water?

A gallon of milk is heavier than a gallon of water.

A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds or 3.785 kg at room temperature, and milk weighs 8.6 pounds, which makes milk heavier than water.

Milk contains around 87% water. The rest of its weight consists of various fats and substances (protein and lactose) that make the milk much denser than water. Lower water content means a higher density of milk. 

For this reason, milk is heavier than water, because it has a bigger density. 

Does Frozen milk weigh more?

No, a gallon of frozen milk weighs the same as a gallon of liquid milk.

An interesting fact is that a frozen gallon of water will weigh less than a gallon of liquid water, as the water becomes less dense when it is frozen. However, milk remains the same. 

The only difference you could notice is that milk can become grainy when it thaws. 

Milk fat is used to make butter and other dairy products
Milk fat is used to make butter and other dairy products (shutterstock.com)

The grainy texture is created due to the fat in milk. Fat separates while freezing and the bigger the fat content the more grainy your milk will look.

This is perfectly normal – just shake your milk well before using it, so the components come together.

How to unfreeze milk?

First of all, when freezing milk remember to pour off 1 cup or 8 ounces of milk from the gallon, as the milk expands while it freezes. 

Unfreezing milk is easy – just put it in your microwave for 10 minutes or leave it in the sink for a few hours so it defrosts naturally. Milk won’t lose its nutritional value by freezing.

Does the weight of milk matter in cooking or baking?

Yes, weight or amount of milk is crucial in cooking and baking and makes a difference between a beautifully fluffy cake or the one that’s dense and flat.

Recipes typically use volume rather than weight to determine how much milk to use, but weighing ingredients is more accurate than using volume measurements.

0.93 US fluid ounces (volume) of milk is equivalent to 1 ounce (weight) of liquid. UK measurement is slightly different – 1 UK fluid oz of milk equals to one ounce (weight) of milk.

If you want to weigh your milk to get a proper amount for your recipe, you should purchase a weight scale

If you prefer or your recipe calls for calculating milk in volume in milliliters, you can simply look at the volume printed on the milk container. 1 liter equals 1000 milliliters.

Final thoughts

It’s widely accepted that a gallon weighs about 8 pounds. These values are slightly different depending on the type of milk that is bought – whole milk, reduced-fat milk, or skimmed milk.