How to Make Yogurt at Home 3 Different Ways Today!

How to make yogurt every which way.  Instructions for Instant Pot, stovetop & making yogurt in a dehydrator. And NOPE. This doesn’t mean I now like my Instant Pot. Plus a new trick for thickening yogurt that I learned in the past month.

An ornate gold spoon full of yogurt topped with pecans and strawberry jam resting on an elegant glass filled with yogurt.

Don’t want to read my witty entertaining babbling?  Skip right to the recipe.

I started making my own yogurt because of my imaginary world.  This is the world many of us let our minds wander to when we should be thinking about insurance rates, mutual funds or other gross things.  

In my imaginary world I’m usually at the cottage (that I don’t own) and everyone is gathered around when we all realize, much to our horror, that we don’t have any butter, or bread or … in this case … yogurt.  “Everybody calm the hell down.”, I say, my arms outstretched, palms facing the ground, in the internationally known gesture of “calm the hell down”.  “We have whipping cream, flour, yeast and milk.  We’ve got this.”    

Butter as you know is made by shaking whipping cream.

Bread is made with flour, water, salt and yeast.

And Yogurt … is made with milk.  (And a little bit of yogurt.  But that ruins imaginary world where I miraculously produce yogurt with just milk.   So.)

Therefore years ago I started making my own yogurt so if I ever own a cottage and am ever stranded there with a group of yogurt starved people that I need to impress, I will be able to impress them.

Breakfast yogurt with bright strawberry jam and nuts in a stemless wineglass.

 

Yogurt Facts that’ll  make your head spin

(not really, yogurt’s remarkably dull actually)

  • You can use whole, 2%, 1% or skim milk. The higher the fat percentage the more calories your yogurt will have.
  • Do not use ultra pasteurized milk.
  • To “activate” your  yogurt, you need 2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt with active cultures.  Just look for the words probiotic or active cultures. Some people have had success using sour cream in a pinch as an activator/starter.

So the Instant Pot. The gadget I love to hate. There are two things it can do well. Make a small batch of chili and make yogurt. To be honest with you I’m not really sold on the yogurt thing. It’s more complicated than just doing it on the stove. But it does work and has some pros to it.

However, I know a lot of you love your Instant Pots so I thought I’d better show you how to make Instant Pot yogurt because 1) the instructions that come with the Instant Pot for almost everything are useless and 2) even online instructions for making yogurt in it don’t cover the little things. 

If you INSIST on buying an Instant Pot, even if you’re only cooking for one, make sure you get one that’s at least 6 quarts.

The process of making yogurt is the same no matter what you’re using to make it. 

  1. Heat milk (to 180°F)
  2. Cool milk (to 115°F)
  3. Add starter culture (yogurt)
  4. Keep at 115°F (for 8 hours)

Here’s how to accomplish that with an Instant Pot. 


Steps 1-6 in photos of making yogurt in an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Yogurt

THE HEATING PHASE

  • Pour 2 litres (1/2 gallon) of milk into the inner pot. I use 1% but you can use any kind.
  • Lock the lid on.
  • Turn the vent to “sealing”. (although I’ve forgotten this step before and my yogurt still turned out fine.)
  • Press “Yogurt” button then,
  • Press “Adjust” button. The light will switch to “more” and the word “boil” will show up.
  • Wait. The Instant Pot does its thing for 35-40 minutes, heating the milk to 180° F.
  • “Yogt” will show up on the display when it’s done.
  • Remove the lid. CHECK THE TEMPERATURE. After this part is done my yogurt is NEVER at 180° F.  It gets to 175. So I put the lid on and restart the process of hitting “Yogurt” then “Adjust” to boil again until the yogurt registers as being 180° F.
  • NEW TRICK below ⇓ (I learned this from Team Yogurt)
  • Keep the yogurt at 180° F for 5 minutes. To do this, Press “Yogurt” then “Adjust” again. This will keep the unit warm enough to keep the yogurt at 180° F.  Leave it like this for 5 minutes. Don’t put the lid back on. (doing this helps to make a thicker yogurt)
  • Press “Cancel” at the end of 5 minutes.

Steps 7-11 of making yogurt in the Instant Pot.

 

THE COOLING PHASE

  • Unplug the Instant Pot. Remove the inner pot and either let it rest on the counter until the temperature drops down to 115° F, OR put the pot in a cold water bath in your sink.  This speeds up the cooling time a LOT. (instead of taking half an hour it will only take a few minutes, so keep an eye on it)

THE INOCULATION PHASE

  • Put 2 tablespoons of yogurt (with active cultures) into a bowl and then temper it with a ladle of the hot milk and stir. This just makes it easier to disperse the yogurt through the entire pot.
  • Pour bowl of yogurt/milk mixture into the inner pot of the Instant Pot and stir.
  • Set the inner pot back into the unit.

THE INCUBATION PHASE

  • Push the Yogurt button. Add or subtract with the (+) key until you reach a minimum of 8 hours. You can also let it go for 11 hours for tangier yogurt.
  • At the end of your cycle “Yogt” will appear on the display and it’s done.
  • Pour off the whey from the top (or scoop it out with a spoon) and put the yogurt in mason jars or other glass containers. 

** For extra thick Greek yogurt, strain the yogurt as shown in the straining method below.


Golden honey dripping off a wood honey dripper into a small mason jar of yogurt topped with almonds.


So that’s Instant Pot yogurt. CONVERSELY stove top yogurt has a shorter list of instructions.

Stovetop Yogurt

  1. Heat 2 litres (1/2 gallon) of milk in a pot on the stove until it reaches 180° F. 
  2. Turn the heat off, put the lid on and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Cool the milk to 115°F on the counter or in a cool water bath in the sink.
  4. Mix together some hot milk with 2 Tablespoons of yogurt to thin the yogurt then add the mixture to the rest of the hot milk. Stir.
  5. Pour into a good thermos (one that will retain the heat) and wait 8-11 hours. (or follow Dehydrator instructions)

**If you don’t have a thermos then pour the hot milk into mason jars and store them in a good quality cooler wrapped in towels for 8-11 hours.

 

Pouring 1% milk into a copper pot on the stove and testing the temperature for making yogurt.

Pouring yogurt starter culture into hot milk in copper pot and then ladeling it into jars. Copper pot with lid sits on stove for 5 minutes then cools to 115 F.

Yup. That’s it. In my opinion this is much easier and faster than fiddling with the erratic behaviour of an Instant Pot. 

The drawback is if you forget your milk on the stove while heating it, it can boil over.

Dehydrator Yogurt

To make yogurt in a dehydrator, you’re not really using the dehydrator for anything other than holding the yogurt at temperature.

Follow the stove top method up until the part where you hold the yogurt at 115°F for 8-11 hours.  Instead of putting it in a cooler or thermos you can hold it at temperature perfectly with your dehydrator.

  1. Follow steps 1-4 for stovetop yogurt.
  2. Turn the dehydrator on and set it to  115°F
  3. Pour hot milk into glass mason jars. Screw on lids.
  4. Remove trays from dehydrator and place the jars inside.
  5. Set the dehydrator timer (if it has one) for 8-11 hours. 

 


Straining

  • Dump your incubated yogurt into a sieve lined with cheese cloth or a flour sack tea towel set over a bowl or pot.
  • Let drain for up to an hour or until it has reached the consistency you like.
  • After 1 hour around 4 cups of whey will have drained away, leaving  you with 4 cups of Greek yogurt.

 

When the yogurt has finished its 8 hours of incubating it will have a lot of whey in it. That’s the liquid stuff you see on top of yogurt or sour cream that you buy at the store sometimes. 

Straining your yogurt gets rid of most of the whey resulting in a thicker, higher calorie yogurt. If you like a thinner yogurt you don’t need to strain; just pour off the bit of whey on top and you’re good. 

YIELD: NOT STRAINING VS STRAINING

  • Unstrained yogurt will get you the same amount of yogurt as milk used.  8 cups of milk will result in 8 cups of yogurt!
  • Strained yogurt will get you thicker yogurt, but less yield. 8 cups of milk will result in 4 cups of greek yogurt.*

*the exact yield depends on how long you strain it and how much whey you remove.

Yogurt in an Instant Pot after incubating for 8 hours looks like the consistency of loose gelatin.

Unstrained yogurt has a similar consistency to a very soft jello.

Straining yogurt is how you get that thick, Greek style yogurt. 

Straining whey from yogurt solids through flour sack towel in a colander over a Pyrex measuring cup.

Strained yogurt is so thick it will sit high on the spoon and even stick to it when you turn the spoon over.

Strained Greek yogurt sits high on a spoon on the left and to the right the same spoon held upside down with yogurt staying put.

I love a big spoonful of plain, tart Greek yogurt, but there are times I want to have something a little more dessert or breakfast like. THOSE are the times for toppings.

A short mason jar filled with homemade yogurt topped with home canned peaches and crunchy almonds.

Topping Ideas

  • Jam (Strawberry, raspberry, apricot etc. etc.)
  • Nuts
  • Granola
  • Canned fruit
  • Chia seeds
  • Bananas
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cocoa powder
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Poppyseeds
  • Orange slices
  • Mashed sweet potato
  • Lemon zest
  • Brown sugar
  • Apple sauce
  • Cookie crumbs


 

How to make Yogurt.

Making your own yogurt is easy, fun and gives you that little feeling of superiority we all like to experience every now and again.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: They say it's from New York.
Keyword: yogurt
Servings: 11 people
Calories: 82kcal
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff

Ingredients

  • 2 litres milk (whole, 2%, 1% or skim)
  • 2 Tbsp active yogurt plain

Instructions

Instant Pot Yogurt

  • Pour 2 litres (1/2 gallon) of milk into the inner pot. I use 1% but you can use any kind.
  • Lock the lid on.
  • Turn the vent to "sealing". (although I've forgotten this step before and my yogurt still turned out fine.)
  • Press "Yogurt" button then,
  • Press "Adjust" button. The light will switch to "more" and the word "boil" will show up.
  • Wait. The Instant Pot does its thing for 35-40 minutes, heating the milk to 180° F.
  • "Yogt" will show up on the display when it's done.
  • Remove the lid. CHECK THE TEMPERATURE. After this part is done my yogurt is NEVER at 180° F.  It gets to 175. So I put the lid on and restart the process of hitting "Yogurt" then "Adjust" to boil again until the yogurt registers as being 180° F.
  • Keep the yogurt at 180° F for 5 minutes. To do this, Press "Yogurt" then "Adjust" again. This will keep the unit warm enough to keep the yogurt at 180° F.  Leave it like this for 5 minutes. Don't put the lid back on.
  • Press "Cancel" at the end of 5 minutes.
  • Unplug the Instant Pot. Remove the inner pot and either let it rest on the counter until the temperature drops down to 115° F, OR put the pot in a cold water bath in your sink.  This speeds up the cooling time a LOT. (instead of taking half an hour it will only take a few minutes, so keep an eye on it)
  • Put 2 tablespoons of yogurt (with active cultures) into a bowl and then temper it with a ladle of the hot milk and stir. This just makes it easier to disperse the yogurt through the entire pot.
  • Pour bowl of yogurt/milk mixture into the inner pot of the Instant Pot and stir.
  • Set the inner pot back into the unit.
  • Push the Yogurt button. Add or subtract with the (+) key until you reach a minimum of 8 hours. You can also let it go for 11 hours for tangier yogurt. At the end of your cycle "Yogt" will appear on the display and it's done.
  • Pour off the whey from the top (or scoop it out with a spoon) and put the yogurt in mason jars or other glass containers. 

Stovetop Yogurt

  • Heat your milk in a saucepan over medium heat to 180 F (almost boiling, this happens quickly).
  • Remove pan from heat and allow milk to cool to 115 F. This will take around 30 minutes on the counter or a few minutes in a cool water bath in your sink.
  • Once the milk is at 115 degrees add some hot milk to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of yogurt in it and incorporate. Add this mixture to your pot of hot milk.
  • Now your job is to keep this concoction at 115 degrees for the next 8 hours. There are a few ways to do this.
  • Pour your milk mixture into a mason jar (or similar) with lid and place the entire jar into a small cooler filled with warm water. Leave for 8 - 11 hours. OR ...
  • Pour your milk mixture into a good thermos, wrap it in a towel and leave it for 8 hours.
  • Your yogurt is now done. Store it in glass jars and refrigerate. (If you want you can strain it to make it thicker.) Straining instructions in notes.

Dehydrator Yogurt

  • Follow steps 1-3 for stovetop yogurt.
  • Turn on the dehydrator and set to 115°F.
  • Pour yogurt into serving sized mason jars for convenience (or use full sized mason jars).
  • Set the jars into the dehydrator and allow to incubate for 8-11 hours.

Notes

  • The longer you let the yogurt incubate the more tart it will be.
  • 2 litres of milk will make 8 cups of yogurt.
  • For extra thick Greek yogurt, strain the yogurt after it has set by pouring it into a cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl. In about an hour 4 cups of whey will have drained out leaving you with an incredibly thick remaining 4 cups of yogurt.
  • If your oven goes as low as 115°F then you can set the jars of yogurt in the oven for 8-11 hours as well to incubate it.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 3mg

THOUGHTS ON WHICH IS THE BEST WAY

If I were in some sort of battle that required I choose only ONE method to make yogurt for the rest of my life what would it be?

A combination of the stovetop method for the initial heating and cooling and then finishing the yogurt in a dehydrator. 

 

 

 

How to Make Yogurt at Home 3 Different Ways Today!

279 Comments

  1. Rebecca Hengen says:

    I began making my own vegan yogurt last year. I use unsweetened organic soy milk from the grocery. Vegan yogurt is hard to find in the stores in my area and it is expensive when it is available. One day I had no vegan starter and I looked online for an alternative. Imagine my surprise when I found this article that explains using chili pepper stems. Amazingly it works great! Once I made the first batch using the pepper stems, I just continued to make sure to save a bit of each batch to start the next and it’still going strong after several months. I discovered that the best way for me to incubate at the correct temperature was to use the bowl of my crock pot. It is large enough to make a half gallon at once. I heat the milk on the stove and heat the crock pot slightly as the milk is cooling. I remove the bowl and put the milk in. I cover with the lid and wrap in a heavy towel and put it in an out of the way corner of my kitchen counter away from drafts. So far this is working great. I had a lot of failures before settling on this method. I still can’t get almond or coconut milk to set, so soy milk is the one I use. I make it at least once a week. http://www.wildfermentation.com/yogurt-cultured-by-chili-peppers/

  2. Jody says:

    If I make my own yogurt however can I expect John Stamos to pop into my kitchen, feed me yogurt and tell me I’m beautiful?

  3. Sheryl says:

    I only have one question. How long did it take you get that glass so clean? Nice pics, as usual. Your efforts do not go unnoticed!

  4. Sondra says:

    Love your site and your enthusiasm for new and different things you have tried and want to share. Sharing is good. Maybe not in the grocery store, LOL. Been there and done that. Looks are legion and predictable so I don’t do it anymore.

    Home made yogurt is great but store bought is easier for us lazy souls out here in lazy-land! Here’s a couple of tips for straining yogurt. Use flat in the bottom paper coffee filters to drain yogurt in a sieve or colander in the refrigerator. Much easier to clean out the finished product. Now Karen, time to make Kefir. Super easy and delicious, provided you like the taste of buttermilk plain OR add some flavors to it. Yes, that works too. Just don’t put it into pancakes because you will kill the good microbes that are beneficial to your health. Make salad dressings, smoothies and cold things.

    Now, what’s next on your quest for food knowledge and skills development? Artisan breads? We all wait with anticipation your new discoveries because you make what sounds difficult easy!

    • ronda says:

      Karen HAS done bread … I just don’t remember when tho. There’s a recipe for 3 loaves of bread on this site somewhere!

      • Sondra says:

        Yes, I know about the bread. My attempt at humor. Karen is a very adventurous and gifted soul with a desire to learn new skills and share. I applaud her every effort to help the rest of us learn and make our lives better!

  5. Maryanne says:

    Great post (and timely – I just started to include more yogurt into my meal plans). :)

    Umm… side note – your post is dated March 28, 2017 but the comments are dated from July 15, 2012. Did I miss a time warp? It hurt my brain a little to see it first thing in the morning. X(

    • Maryanne says:

      Sorry, Karen. I see now that some posts at the bottom of the comments section are dated for 2017 – guess it was a time warp with a fast forward. Feeling safer about the day now :)

  6. Cynthia Jones says:

    I am totally confused. This post came into my email box today and as I scrolled though the comments I came across mention of “the fella”. Then I checked the dates and they range from 2012 to 2015, nothing from 2017. Did I skim the post too quickly or is there a glitch somehow or a time warp happening? Note, I refrained from saying “The Dreaded Fella”.

  7. anne says:

    Have you tried making yogurt in an Instantpot yet?

    • Roberta Bremmer says:

      I use my Instant pot for yogurt…works great. Also, I use extra large, flat bottomed coffee filters to drain the yogurt instead of cheeseclosh….works much better for me.

    • Roberta Bremmer says:

      I use my Instant pot for yogurt…works great. Also, I use extra large, flat bottomed coffee filters to drain the yogurt instead of cheesecloth….works much better for me.

      • Anne says:

        Thanks so much I’ll try it!

        • Roberta Bremmer says:

          I do the heating of the milk on the stove then cool it before using the Instantpot to maintain the temp. I found that was quicker than doing the entire process in the Instantpot.

  8. susanna lee says:

    YOU CRACKED MY ASS UP!!! Thank you for the recipe.

  9. Deb says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. I can’t wait to get started!!! I really love a good ‘healthy’ yoghurt with lots of probiotics. By making your own yoghurt in this way, do you get all those great live cultures that a quality store bought yoghurt has?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Deb. Yes! It’s those cultures that actually turn it into yogourt. That’s why you need to add a tablespoon or so of it into your milk. As it sits overnight the cultures grow and grow. :) ~ karen!

  10. Kathy says:

    I just recently fell in love with Icelandic Skyr yogurt and will try to make it based on all of the comments in this blog. BTW, I love a tsp of real maple syrup in my plain yogurt. So yummy!!

  11. Brenda says:

    I love banana cream Greek yogurt, I can’t wait to try this recipe
    How would I go about making a flavored yoguart?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Brenda – Just make your regular yogurt and then add in the flavourings you want afterwards. Although Banana Cream might be a difficult one to create. You’d probably need to add mushed up bananas and possibly some vanilla and sugar. To flavour mine I usually just put a dollop of strawberry jam in it. ~ karen!

  12. Maril says:

    Thank you Karen this was awesome to find and I’m going to make yogurt tomorrow. I’m so excited because I love Liberte Greek yogurt but it is $ 8.00 per 1 liter tub here in Canada. I’m hooked on the coconut flavor. I hope I can get it to work. Wish me luck.

  13. Pam says:

    It’s even easier with a yogurt-maker (available at Walmart and elsewhere). For the $30 ot so it costs it’ll pay you back in no time.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve never really understood the need for a yogourt maker. I guess I’m not sure what it does! ‘Cause to make yogourt all you do is heat milk until 180 degrees the let it cool to 115. I guess you don’t have to worry about keeping it in a thermos for 6-8 hours. ~ karen!

      • Pam says:

        Yes, you just put your milk & a little yogurt in the glass jars provided, place in the container and turn on. No heating or temperature measuring required. And overnight: yogurt. :)

      • So because you posted a link about yogurt making in today’s post I decided to check out how you do it. I have been making my own yogurt for about 40 years now but you never know what you might learn or discover. It is pretty basic though. Sometimes I would add non instant skim milk powder to the milk to make a thicker yogurt, sometimes just strain it, now I just scoop out some yogurt and create a well, which I collect the whey in to pour off and use elsewhere. This response though was to be about the yogurt maker. I have used the same yogurt maker all these years and I love it. It is made by Yogotherm http://yogotherm.com/yogurt-maker/ I recently saw one for sale and the design hasn’t changed one bit. Oh the pattern on the outer casing yes, but the actual design, nada. You place your yogurt after mixing, into the plastic pail, then place that into the “yogurt maker” a thickly styrofoam lined plastic shell, much the same as a cooler only it fits the pail to a tee. No need to add warm water or wrap in a towel, it maintains the temperature perfectly. Screw the plug in type yogurt makers, this baby is a beauty and I swear by it. F#@#%n A.

        • Karen says:

          I actually just used 2 large thermoses last night Linda and it worked perfectly. Perfectly! When I took the temperature of the yogurt this morning it was 110 after 8 hours so that’s pretty good! ~ karen

        • Fantastic!!!! Great idea and yet along the same design!!!! I always make a large amount so that is one of the reasons why I LOVE my Yogotherm. However if I decide to make smaller amounts that would be an excellent way to go. Now that I think of it I sometimes have more than the container holds so I use a mason jar and this styrofoam form that I got something in but forms around the mason jar perfectly, same effect as Yogotherm. It’s a little fussy though (two sides I have to squish together and hold in place with an elastic) so next time I will try the thermos idea instead. See, you never know what you might learn or discover :-)

  14. Jennifer says:

    Why heat the milk just to cool it? Why not just heat to 110 and add culture?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennifer. Some people heat their milk to 180/185, some do not. Heating the milk to this higher temp. changes the proteins in the milk which gives you a thicker more tangy yogourt. ~ karen

  15. Kara says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I will make some this afternoon! However, I do have one question — Can I swap cow’s milk for a lactose-free milk like soy or almond milk? My husband is lactose intolerant but LOVES yogurt. Or would a totally different process be needed for lactose free yogurt? I would also have to find a lactose free starter mix, I’d imagine….

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kara – I’ve had others ask about the soy or almond milk yogourt. I believe it *can* be done but I’m pretty sure you need different directions for it. Sorry! ~ karen

  16. Robyn Leigh says:

    Is there a source for the active cultures other than buying yogurt in the store to get started?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Robyn – Yes, you can buy yogourt starter from health food stores, but it’ll cost you more and be harder to locate than just buying an individual sized container of plain yogourt. Good yogourt only contains milk and cultures so it’s not like you’ll be getting a whole bunch of weird stuff if you don’t want to. Also, it’s only a Tablespoon in an entire batch of yogourt so even if there is weird stuff it’ll be pretty diluted. ~ karen!

  17. Janis says:

    Well I’ll be…my yogurt’s done and it turned out great! So mild. My husband just got home from work and I gave him a little taste. He has a real sweet tooth and was surprised how good it was. He said it would need just a little jam. No jam for me….it’s going down straight! Now on to my next quest….to de-mystify sour dough. Picking up a start from a friend tonight!

  18. Janis says:

    The most fun part of reading the posts? I have discovered “fellow sisters” who have my same quirky sense of humor! Thanks!

  19. Kathleen says:

    This was so simple to follow with the steps with photos. I’ve made candy, so this was SO easy. And the yogurt was great. I used the method with the cooler and the hot water from the faucet. Worked great!!

  20. Jillybean says:

    Can you use vanilla Greek yogurt as a starter?

  21. sue says:

    I enjoyed reading your hilarious bit on yoghurt making and your beef cut knowledge! Thank you for sharing! After reading your piece, I am threatening my family that the next yoghurt consumed in our household should be from our very own kitchen! Cheers!.

  22. penny says:

    I just want to say that I love your blog! I also have a question, I tried making yogurt in a crock pot and unfortunaly it did not come out well at all. I was basically left with watery milk with a ton of clumps on the bottom. It tasted okay-ish, not rancid or anything it just wasn’t yogurt. I will have to give your method a try, maybe my crockpot was too warm and it killed the bacteria. Yum, bacteria!

  23. Cat says:

    So, I made yogurt yesterday for the first time in a long time. I followed a combo of instructions and when the cooler wasn’t keeping my batch warm enough I threw it in the oven on warm and let it sit overnight. Stove still on. So, Ive got what looks like…lots of whey and…gooby cheese? What to do now? Strain the whey out and go for Greek?

    • Karen says:

      You may have made cheese instead of yogurt by putting it all in the oven. :( If that’s the case you need to start again. Chances are the cooler will keep it warm enough. If you’re worried, wrap the whole thing in a towel. Next time just wait it out and see what the result are. ~ karen!

  24. Judee says:

    I have also used a similar heating pad method – for lack of my crockpot. It works well at gatherings (July 4th) where you want to keep a pan warm, of lasagna in my case. Works for rolls too!

  25. Bettina says:

    Woke up to my first ever batch of homemade yogurt and I can hardly contain my excitement!!! It is fantastic! I used organic full cream milk and the starter from the organic yogurt we usually buy. I will not go back to store-bought – it is far too easy (and a lot cheaper) to make yourself. And the joy…thanks, Karen!

  26. Dee G says:

    I do same process but double the milk for 2T starter. I keep the inoculated milk in the pot and set it on a heating pad at medium for 7 hours. (I wasn’t using that heating pad anyway – it was nice to find a new life for it.) Then into the fridge overnight to finish setting. Whisk and strain and voila!

    • Karen says:

      Good thinking with the heating pad Dee. I use mine to start seeds! I’m not sure I know of anyone who uses their heating pad as a heating pad. :) ~ karen

  27. Emily says:

    I was thinking about actually doing this recipe guide, but with all the steps…I guess I just wasn’t up for it at the time so I just went and bought some yogurt.

  28. adrienne says:

    Hi Karen!

    I was given a store bought yogurt maker for Christmas and of course it’s basically the same method you use – except I have to find a place to store the thing. In the included literature, it’s mentioned that pulling a starter from your previous batch is only recommended 3-4 times as it will eventually dilute and produce very runny yogurt. I find this counter intuitive, but thought I’d see if you (or anyone else here has) experienced this supposed phenomenon?

    ;) Your biggest fan in Atlanta,
    Adrienne

    • Karen says:

      Hi Adrienne! I have not found that. Which doesn’t mean it’s impossible … it just hasn’t happened to me. Good luck with our new(ish) machine! ~ karen

  29. Dee says:

    You are not making yogurt from scratch, you are expanding a commercial culture.

    • Karen says:

      Dee – I can’t be bothered to type this response out again, so I’ll just cut and paste it … “In order for someone, anyone, even yogourt manufacturers to make yogourt they need a starter. Bacteria. You can either buy the bacteria in powder form which is difficult for most people to find. OR you can use a tiny bit of yogourt or sour cream as your starter. There are no other options. That is indeed how you make yogourt. And this method is exactly how commercial yogourt makers make yogourt.” So no. I’m not scientifically making bacteria. But I don’t start by creating cow DNA to make a hamburger from scratch either. ~ karen

  30. Ojibajo says:

    I’m a little confused. If you are using yogurt to “make” yogurt, aren’t you are just buying yogurt and stretching out the amount of yogurt that you already have? You’re not really MAKING anything that wasn’t already there.

    • Karen says:

      Ojibajo – Yes actually you are making something that isn’t there. In order for someone, anyone, even yogourt manufacturers to make yogourt they need a starter. Bacteria. You can either buy the bacteria in powder form which is difficult for most people to find. OR you can use a tiny bit of yogourt or sour cream as your starter. There are no other options. That is indeed how you make yogourt. ~ karen

  31. Shirley says:

    I have an Easyo yoghurt maker (plastic jar with insulated container you fill with hot water then put the jar in.) Could I use that to make your yoghurt recipe?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shirley – Absolutely! The yogourt makers just take the guess work out of it. They usually recommend you use store purchased “starter”, but you don’t need that. All you need is a tablespoon of yogourt to get things going (and growing). :) Good luck! ~ karen

  32. Jim says:

    I’ve been making yogurt for years. I can often go more than 12 months using the tablespoon of starter from the last batch (only interruptions come from vacations longer than 3 weeks). My scheme is to put my yogurt cups (in a dutch oven or other heavy pan for temperature stability) into my oven with the oven light on (except in the summer when no extra warmth is needed ((Seattle))). I leave it in the cozy oven overnight. Very simple to do. Also, I’ve never sterilized jars or lids and never had a failure either.

  33. Starlett says:

    I have spent the past 20 minutes in your blog so far…and I’ll be back as soon as my stomach muscles quit hurting from laughing. I haven’t had that much fun, with no energy expended, in a very long time. I’m anxious to get back to the blog, but, life calls and I must answer. Thanks for all the great info and the laughs!!!

    • Karen says:

      Welcome to my site Starlett! You’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I expect you to have read every post I’ve written by the time I post my next one which is … in about 4 hours. ~ karen!

  34. jean aldridge says:

    wow karen! thank you for your timely response! i am going to give it another try but this time i will put a heating pad on low heat in cooler or do what you did and put hottest water out of tap into cooler around yogurt. the recipe i looked at said just wrap a towel around it and set it in cooler. i will also use your amounts of yogurt to milk. thank so much for the advice. sorry for the all lower case letters i am feeding baby. jean-in texas

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I didn’t even notice the lower case. :) ~ karen!

      • jean says:

        KAREN!! I have been meaning to send you an update about my yogurt making endeavors! The yogurt making is going well. Your tips worked perfectly and I am now a ‘professional’ yogurt maker. I was wondering if you ever added vanilla and sugar to your yogurt to make, well, a vanilla yogurt? Right now all I do is add maple syrup for flavor. If you do/have use(d) vanilla and sugar in the past I would love to know your measurements. Otherwise, let the experiments begin.

        jean-in texas

        • Karen says:

          Hi Jean – Great! I’ve added all sorts of things to my yogourt after I’ve made it. I usually add raw sugar or honey and berries. Sometimes I make my own fruit on the bottom yogourt by dropping a spoonful of Strawberry jam into the bottom of a cup and putting the yogourt on top. ~ karen!

        • jean aldridge says:

          thank you. wink.

  35. jean aldridge says:

    Karen! I tried a recipe for homemade yogurt from 101 Ways Homemade. I made her choco yogurt recipe. However, my yogurt never firmed up. I turned to your post that I remembered reading a while ago. My husband says try again-I will-but I didn’t learn anything yet so I may make the same mistake again…as in I have no idea what I did wrong because I followed instructions carefully. Please instruct me on what the “Art of Doing Things Master” would do in this case. Oh-to jump start the trouble shooting-I used Homogenized milk, Greek Yogurt with live active cultures, heated the milk to 180, let cool to 110. The amount of milk was 4 cups the amount of “yogurt starter” was 1/2 cup. What should I do differently next time? Sincerely, jean-down here in Texas

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jean – It sounds like you did it mostly right. For 4 cups of milk you only need a Tablespoon or two of yogourt though. Once you let the milk cool and mixed in your starter, did you keep it at 110 – 115 for the next 8 hours or so? If you let the temperature drop below that the yogourt won’t firm up. Also, after 8 or so hours the yogourt won’t firm up completely. It’ll still be slightly runny. To make it thicker like a Greek yogourt you have to strain it for a couple of hours. Just dump it into a cotton cloth or a few layers of cheesecloth, wrap it up and let it hang over a bowl in the fridge. The whey will strain out of it into the bowl and what remains in the cloth will be thicker greek style yogourt. Good luck! ~ karen

  36. Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much, your post is funny and enjoyablt to read. I will be heading to the grocery store tomorrow to get some milk and yogurt. I have one question? Have you ever heard of adding powdered milk to your yogurt to make it thicker? By the looks of your yogurt it is nice and creamy so you may have never had to do anything like that but I was just wondering :) Thanks again, Sincerely Tiffany

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany – I have tried adding powdered milk. I don’t find it really thickens it all that much and definitely not as much as straining it. With straining, you lose some volume but gain flavour and richness. ~ karen!

  37. Alisha says:

    Yes! I feel so creative. You should make butter. It’s just as easy!

  38. Alisha says:

    Made it last night and had it for breakfast this morning with some hemp hearts and papaya. SO good. Just in time too because today is the start of my 14 day sugar cleanse. It makes me happy to know I can have sugar free yogurt anytime with all that important probiotic stuff.

  39. Mara says:

    Do you know if you can make this with non-dairy milks (i.e soy milk, flax milk, coconut milk, etc)? I’m vegan and it is so hard (and expensive) to find a good non-dairy yogurt. Right now I use Silk yogurt to make my smoothies when I g

  40. Janey says:

    Wow! Whenever I heard about making yogurt it seemed really complicated, but you inspired me to try it and it’s so simple. My 16 yr old son loves it and now he asks me to make more. He loves to put it in the blender with fruit and make smoothies! Thanks for healthy-ing up my teenager!

  41. Christina says:

    Oh poo…
    Mine didn’t turn out. I used the oven method (turned it on to 115, put the jars in and turned it back off) I also turned the oven light on for good measure and left the yogurt in for almost 7 hours. It came out tasty and quite tangy, but barely thicker than milk.
    :( Where did I go wrong? Think my oven didn’t stay warm enough?

    • Karen says:

      Christina – The oven could have been the problem. It’s hard to say. Try one of the other methods (using a thermos, a cooler or the crockpot) The only other thing I can think of is you didn’t add enough or added too much yogourt. Did you use yogourt with active bacterial cultures? ~ karen

  42. Mariam says:

    Hi! Finally made the yogurt. It is out of this world. Maybe I got lucky with the first time, but just wanted to say THANKS for planting that crazy idea in my head.

    Now, about that chicken coop….

    Not woman enough to even dream of it.
    -M

    • Karen says:

      Mariam – You didn’t get lucky. It is *that* easy to make and tastes that good every, single time! Congrats! ~ karen

  43. Rhonda "SmartyPants" says:

    Ta-da! Made my own batch of crockpot yogurt last week and it is better every day. I set aside the requisite 1 cup starter for the very next batch ‘cuz I’ve been converted….. I will now make up some cards that say, “Rhonda . . . Yogurt Maker” with all the pertinent contact information.

    Thank you for the post, Miss Karen, and thank you to all your followers who so generously shared their tips and tricks, successes and failures. I couldn’t have done it without all of your help. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…smack! Thanks a bunch.

  44. Liz says:

    That sounds like a lot of work and just as expensive as buying it. I used to make my own yogurt in mason jars with a heating pad set on low using a non-instant dry milk powder. That milk powder has however become difficult to find and when you do it is very expensive. It did make GREAT yogurt though.

  45. Deb says:

    Take your yogurt one step father and make a batch of paneer cheese. Bring 2 litres of whole milk just to the point where it starts to form a skin on the top. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 mason jar of yogurt and gently stir. The yogurt / milk mix will start to form lumps which is what you want. Keep stirring gently till all you have are lumps floating in a clear whey. Strain thru cheesecloth squeezing as much of the liquid as you can from it. If you like it slightly salted now is the time to add a pinch. Wrap it up tightly in the cheesecloth set in the bottom of your strainer and add weight to it and let it sit for a couple of hours.

  46. Diane Stairs says:

    hey there…I haven’t read all the comments on homemade yogurt but….I make it in the slow cooker….soooo easy, it does all the work, you leave it over night to cool and then strain through cheese cloth…tastes “almost” better than the real thing I bought in Athens. You can just google “slow cooker greek yogurt” for the recipe.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane – Yes, several other people say that’s how they do it, but I wanted to make sure I was providing a recipe that didn’t need any special equipment. I know a slow cooker isn’t exactly crazy, out there kitchen equipment but not everyone owns one. (me for example!) :) ~ karen

  47. Janelle says:

    While you’re doling out unsolicited (yet valuable) advice at the grocery store, you should hang around the pharmacy section. If you see anybody taking out a prescription for antibiotics, you should command him/her to make yogurt…because of the gut/yeast thing. Those people are the most in need of yogurt making advice.

  48. Dee G says:

    That should be PUT the lidded pot…

    And another thing…I use a piece of cotton for straining – like a men’s hanky. Don’t buy that cheesecloth crap anymore.

  49. Dee G says:

    I’ve made yogurt for years. It gave new life to a heating pad – out the lidded pot of cooled and inoculated milk on a heating pad set at medium for 7 hours, or until set. I am now using a multidopholus from the health food store to start the yogurt – about 1/2 tsp per quart. It takes a little longer to set, but the taste is incredible…

    Be careful about watering your plants with too much whey. I use whey to jump start lacto fermented pickles…4 Tbs. per quart and you can cut the amount of salt to 1 Tbs.

    Great post!

  50. Erin says:

    Guess I’ll add my two bits!

    I make yogurt at the end of the day. I stick to the same temps and methods you’ve posted. Instead of a Mason jar (which looks way nicer,) I put the yogurt in a glass bowl with a lid that seals very well. I wrap the bowl in a towel, stick it in the (cold) oven and go to bed. In the morning, there’s yogurt. You’ve got to keep from tap-dancing in the kitchen, or otherwise jiggling the yogurt for that 6-8 hours.

    If it’s really cold in the house, I’ll put the oven on “warm” then turn it off before putting in the towel-wrapped bowl. Yes, one towel is designated as the yogurt towel. Thanks for the tip on making it Greek style. Yum.

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