Homemade caramel from sweetened condensed milk
Homemade caramel the easiest/most dangerous way possible
Step 1. REMOVE THE LABEL No matter which way you go from this point removing the label is the very first step.
Choose your method
Slow cooker caramel:
Completely submerge the cans of sweetened condensed in hot water in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Go for an extra 2 hours if you want it thick and dark. Remember to keep filling the water so that the can are constantly submerged throughout this process. Remove and cool on the counter for about 30 minutes OR submerge can(s) in cold water for 10 minutes, before opening.
Stove top caramel:
Completely submerge cans of sweetened condensed milk in water inside a large pot. The larger the pot, the more water - the less often you will have to fill during the cooking process. It is so important to keep the cans submerged at all times - I will illustrate why here in a moment.
For the stove top directions boil for 2-3 hours. 2 hours produces a thinner lighter version than the 3 hour darker thicker version. Once the cooking time is up let cool for 30 minutes or submerge in cold water for 10 minutes before attempting to open the can.
Lesson Learned The Hard Way
I can’t stress the importance of making sure there is water covering the can. When I fist attempted to execute this recipe around 7 years ago I was a full time student, a full time employee, and a single full time mother. My schedule was packed but I have always had a passion for cooking so I squeezed in learning new techniques any chance I could. It was around 8 pm by the time I had gotten my daughter to sleep which is when I started the process. I was going with the two hour direction and I was still in my work clothes so I figured it would take me roughly that time to wind down from my day. I turned on the TV and sat down on my bed laying backwards with my feet still touching the floor. I woke up some 5 hours later to what can only be described as a shotgun sound. Completely forgetting I had been experimenting in the kitchen just hours before my mind raced to the worst case scenario. Someone with a shotgun had come to kill me. Well thankfully it wasn’t that, but something almost as horrific. The water had boiled out of the pan heating up the can of caramel to the point that it exploded, making contact with the ceiling fan and getting strewn from one literal end of my apartment to another. Take it from me you DO NOT want this to happen to you. Pics or it didn't happen...