About a year ago I wrote a post about trying the famous crockpot yogurt recipe. I made several batches that way, but found that with each batch my yogurt was runnier and I just wasn’t enjoying it. So, I tried a few other methods and I am finally ready to share with you 2 yogurt methods that have been working for me.
Making homemade yogurt is very frugal, plus you know exactly what is in your yogurt. The money savings coupled with the healthfulness of homemade yogurt makes it worth the effort to make it yourself.
The first thing you will need is a crockpot and some milk. I have been using a gallon of milk at a time, but you could use as little as one quart. The recipe I am sharing makes 1 gallon of yogurt.
1 Gallon of Milk
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt*
1 Cup Powdered Milk
*If using store bought yogurt make sure it says something about “active cultures” on the packaging. You can also use homemade yogurt.
1. Pour 1 gallon of milk into a crockpot and turn it on high.
2. Heat the milk until it reaches a temperature of 185 degrees. It took 3 hours for my crockpot to get the milk to that temperature.
3. Cool the milk to a temperature of 115 degrees. It took 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach that temperature.
4. In a bowl or measuring cup, take 1 cup of the milk and mix in 1/2 cup of yogurt (store-bought or from a previous homemade batch) and 1 cup of powdered milk. Gently swirl this mixture into the crockpot but don’t stir too much. If there is a skim on the top of the milk in the crockpot, remove it before adding the yogurt mixture.
5. Put the lid on the crockpot, wrap towels around it, and place it into your oven but do not turn the oven on. Leave the crockpot in the oven for 8-10 hours.
You should now have yogurt. The yogurt should be around 90 degrees. Put the yogurt into containers and store in the refrigerator.
What if you want to make a smaller amount of yogurt? For 1/2 gallon of yogurt you would need to use 1/2 gallon of milk, 1/4 cup of yogurt, and 1/2 cup of powdered milk. For 1 quart of yogurt you would need to use 1 quart of milk, 1/8 cup of yogurt, and 1/4 cup powdered milk.
I have also successfully made yogurt in quart canning jars.
1. Pour milk into the jars (You can do just one at a time.) and put them into a pan of water. Heat the pan until the temperature in the jars reaches 185 degrees, just like with the crockpot method.
2. Remove the jars from the water and set them on the counter to cool to a temperature of 115 degrees.
3. Remove any skim that has formed and add 1/8 cup of yogurt and 1/4 cup powdered milk per quart jar.
4. Put caps on the jars and wrap towels around them. Place in the oven for 8-10 hours. If you are making more than one jar you could put them all into a crockpot and wrap the whole thing with towels.
Alternatively, I have used a heating pad set on low to keep one jar warm. I did check the temperature with that method because I didn’t want the jars to be too hot. I have even heard of people using a cooler to keep jars of yogurt warm for incubation.
During the incubation process the goal is to keep the yogurt around 90-100 degrees. If you want to check on your yogurt during the 8-10 hour process to check the temperature you can. However, don’t leave it uncovered for long or you could drop the temperature too low. I did not check on my yogurt and it was just fine.
If you find that after refrigeration you have liquid at the top of your yogurt that is what is called whey. You can remove this before eating the yogurt. However, don’t throw the whey out because you can use it in smoothies or other recipes.
You can obviously eat your yogurt as is, or you can add in fruit or other flavorings of your choice. Another way to use your homemade yogurt is to turn it into frozen yogurt. Would you like to know how you can make your own without an ice cream maker? Here’s the recipe.
- 1 Quart Plain Yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- ¾ to 1 Cup Sugar
- Mix all ingredients and place in a shallow bowl or a pan with sides.
- Place in the freezer.
- Stir with a spoon every hour until frozen.
- Serve or put frozen yogurt into a lidded container and return to the freezer until ready to serve.
Please let me know if you have any homemade yogurt making questions or if you need anything clarified.