How to Make Yogurt

Believe it not, it’s super easy to make yogurt! I started making my own yogurt when I was in high school. Back then, the method I used to make yogurt involved putting the milk mixture in a mason jar, then setting the jar in a casserole dish of warm water. That got put in the oven (turned off) overnight. In the morning, I either had a quart of yogurt – or a quart of sour milk.

Homemade yogurt in a frosted martini glass topped with strawberries

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How to make yogurt in 4 easy steps

I used to make yogurt every week, and got disgusted with the iffy results. That’s when I discovered that there were yogurt makers! I got my first yogurt maker back in the 80s, and have always had 100% perfect results.

Milk, light cream and a glass measuring cup for making yogurt

What you will need to make yogurt

Milk and one small container of yogurt with active cultures (you can use plain yogurt, or vanilla if you don’t mind a faint vanilla flavour).

If I have a little whipping cream in the fridge, I use that in the mixture, since it makes a thicker yogurt. You can also use soy milk, but it must be less than half of the mixture, otherwise the yogurt won’t set.

My batches are normally 1 cup of cream, 2 cups of soy milk, and 2 cups of whole or 2% milk, and this makes 8 jars of yogurt.

Step 1

Pour the milk mixture into a sauce pan, and heat at medium until the milk is just about to boil.

Heated milk for making yogurt, with a thermometer to measure when it is cool enough to add the starter

Step 2

Let the mixture cool to 110-115 degrees. Most yogurt makers come with a thermometer that has an “add starter” range marked on it.

Add at least two tablespoons of the active culture yogurt, which is your starter. Stir until smooth.

After your first batch, just save a few tablespoons of yogurt to start the next batch.

Red enamel measuring cup and yogurt starter

Step 3

Carefully pour the mixture into the cups that come with the yogurt maker, and put the plastic lids on.

The yogurt maker comes with small containers with lids for making yogurt at home

Set the timer for 10 or 11 hours for the best results.

Yogurt maker with the timer set for 11 hours

Step 4

Once the yogurt has finished “cooking”, place all the jars in the refrigerator and chill.

That’s it!

Homemade yogurt.

Now that you have a batch of yogurt, you can add vanilla extract, bananas, strawberries, or anything you like.

A NEW way to make yogurt

The Donvier brand yogurt maker I have been using for years, and in the photographs above, is no longer available. 🙁

One of the small kitchen appliances I bought is an Instant Pot 6-quart DUO pressure cooker. This model has a yogurt making function, so I decided to try it.

All I can say is, “WOW!” Every batch of yogurt comes out perfect.

There is a cold start method for making yogurt, which uses ultra pasteurized milk. Some recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, and still others use coffee creamer. This is not the method I use.

The Instant Pot comes with a manual, and I used the manufacturer’s recommendations for making yogurt the traditional way by boiling the milk first. This is done automatically when using the Yogurt function, and it is not done under pressure.

All you do is add the milk (and cream like above), and push the “Yogurt” button. The Instant Pot beeps and notifies you when the mixture is ready to cool.

Like with the yogurt maker above, the mixture needs to cool to 110-115 degrees before adding the starter.

Once the starter is added, press the “Yogurt” button again, and set it for around 10 hours. The Instant Pot will shut off automatically, and all you need to do is put the yogurt in the refrigerator!

Perfect results every time!

If you use this method, and find that the yogurt is not thick enough for your liking, once cooled in the fridge, you can strain it through cheesecloth. The results will be closer to Greek yogurt.

What to do with homemade yogurt

Make frozen yogurt popsicles

In the summer, use plastic popsicle molds to make peach or strawberry popsicles. YUM!

Yogurt cheese

You can also use your homemade yogurt to make yogurt cheese! It’s a soft cheese, somewhat like cream cheese. To make it, put yogurt in cheesecloth, and let it drain overnight in the fridge – or use the Donvier wave container.

Once the yogurt has drained, add herbs and/or spices and a little salt.

My favourite mix is a little oregano, basil and garlic salt. This is great on crackers!

What do you think? Will you be making your own yogurt?

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