There are so many reasons why I make my own yogurt. I’ve been making yogurt now for over a year and I have no reason to buy from the store now. It really saves me so much money and its a great way for me to get the calcium I need since my system doesn’t like calcium supplements.
What I use to make yogurt
- Whole Milk
- Yogurt starter or already made yogurt
- Candy thermometer
- Wide Mouth Mason jars with lids
- Instant Pot
I only use whole milk since it has much more vitamins in it, which my body needs. I know some people use 2% milk, but whole milk will make the yogurt much creamier and thicker. I use either Yogurtmet or Cultures for Health yogurt starters. I have also used my own yogurt as a starter and you can use yogurt from the store but be sure it says Live Active Yogurt Cultures on the packaging.
The equipment I use is the Taylor candy thermometer, mainly because its not that expensive and works well for this process. I use large mouth Mason jars and the Mason white lids (I love those lids) since they fit inside my Instant Pot the best.
Yes, I use an electric pressure cooker to make my yogurt. I have tried using one pot on the stove, but I ended up using several pots in the process. One to cook in and one to cool down the jars before adding the culture. I also had to use a cooler for the jars to sit in while the yogurt was incubating.
I wanted to use just one pot for the whole job and make clean up easier.
How I Make My Yogurt
Put the steamer rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water to help the milk steam. Set in 4 clean Mason jars and add the milk to the bottom rim of the jars.
Twist the Instant Pot lid in place and make sure the vent on top of the unit is turned toward “sealing” and the unit is plugged in. Push the Steam button and adjust the minutes to 1 minute. It takes about 25 minutes for it to run the cycle and naturally let the steam release on its own. In all from the time you start the steaming process until you can start checking the temperature of the milk is about 90 minutes.
I next unplug the Instant pot so it won’t keep the pot warm. When you remove the lid to check the temp of the milk, you will see a skim on top of the milk. That’s very normal and all I do is take a spoon to remove it and discard.
I next add my thermometer in the milk and wait for it to get to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 50-55 degrees Celsius. That temp is crucial for making thick yogurt. It will take several minutes to get to the right temp. Just don’t walk away from it for a long period of time. This is when I usually do some kitchen chores so I am close by. I have ruined a few jars of yogurt because I didn’t wait for the temp to get to 120 degrees and added the yogurt starter anyway. All I ended up with was watery milk.
After you reach the correct temperature, divide the yogurt starter in 4’s and add it to the milk and stir well. Follow the directions of the yogurt starter for how much to use in each batch of yogurt. For my batch of 4 pint jars, its one packet. If you are using yogurt already made, just put a heaping tablespoon in each jar and stir well. I have also put in a small amount of vanilla in the milk to give it a bit of flavor. I love it either way.
Twist the Instant Pot lid in place and make sure the vent on top of the unit is turned toward “sealing”. Plug the unit back in, and press the Yogurt button and set the time following your yogurt starters instructions. It ranges between 4 – 6 hours. If you are using real yogurt the time would be 6 hours. Now you just wait until the time is up and your yogurt is done. The instant pot is not heating up in this process. Its just keeping the yogurt at a level temperature while it incubates. “Yogt” will appear on the display once incubation is complete.
After the timer has gone off, remove the lid, place the lids on the jars and set in the fridge for a few hours to completely cool off before you enjoy. It will last about a month in the fridge.
When you spoon out any of the yogurt, you will notice a watery substance when you open the jar later. This is called “whey” and is normally drained from yogurt you get from the store. I just pour it off and spoon out what I want to eat. Don’t mix it in the yogurt or it will make it runny. I have read articles on how to drain this off after you make your yogurt, but that was a step I don’t care to do and makes the process even longer.
This method is the easiest of all the methods I have tried. For 4 pints of yogurt, it costs me about $2.00 which is the price for a 1/2 gallon of milk. If you use your own yogurt for starter, its even cheaper.
One of the cons of making your own yogurt is its a bit time consuming. The process from beginning to end takes about 8 hours. But 4 – 6 hours of that time, the yogurt is just incubating and you can go on with your day.
Why I Make My Own Yogurt?
- Its cheaper
- I know whats in my yogurt
- I’m not throwing a bunch of plastic yogurt cartons in the trash
- The Instant Pot method has much less cleanup
- It tastes great
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