Yogurt, we eat a lot of the stuff, and when I say a lot I mean that we can finish a half-gallon of it in less than a week. It is a staple around here. We use it in smoothies, baked goods, top it with granola, top it with fruit, eat it plain, and more. The point is when I learned that it was something I could make at home I was intrigued. When I learned how easy it was to make I was thrilled, in fact I would say I was grateful.
Today I would like to pass along the instructions to make your own yogurt. It takes time and patience, but the recipe I am sharing with you today does not require any specialized equipment, most likely just somethings you already have at home: a crock pot, and a large towel. I also highly recommend a meat thermometer, ideally a digital model.
I was initially inspired to do this from Money Saving Mom. I followed her links and learned that this can be done in the crock pot. Initially I followed the directions to a ‘T’. With time, some goof ups, and reading up some more about making yogurt, I learned how to make the perfect whole milk yogurt! (I still need to work out the consistency issues for reduced fat. (Some people have luck with various methods but either they don’t appeal to me or just don’t work for me.)
Things You Will Need:
- 4 quart slower cooker
- Large Towel (like a beach towel)/ or blanket
- Meat Thermometer (not necessary, but recommended)
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- 1/2 cup yogurt with live and active cultures (You will need this as a starter, after you have made your first batch save aside a half cup from your current batch to use as starter for the next time.)
- Pour a half a gallon milk into the slow cooker set to low.
- Let the milk come to temperature for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- After that time has elapsed, if you have your thermometer, you will want to check the temperature. If you do not have a thermometer, do not fret you should still do just fine. I have done it plenty of times without one. I have just found getting it up to 185 degrees is what it takes to get that perfect consistency.
- Once the milk is at temp, you will need to turn off your slow cooker.
- Let the milk sit undisturbed for 3 hours.
- Scoop out 1 cup of milk into a small bowl.
- Whisk your starter and your milk together.
- Pour the mixture back into your slow cooker, and stir slowly.
- After a minute of stirring, stop and put your lid back on. At this point you will need to wrap your slow cooker in the towel or blanket. You will want to make sure the unit is completely covered. (Wrapping the Crock Pot in a towel helps to slow the cooling process, which is something that is important to turn it to yogurt.)
- Let the towel and slow cooker sit in place for 8-10 hours. Do not peek. Resist the urge.
- Once your time has elapsed you portion it out into smaller containers for storage in your fridge.
- You will also need to reserve 1/2 of a cup for your next batch. (You can freeze this so it lasts longer. It will still work well when it thaws back out even if it does not have the same consistency.)
- Now you can enjoy plain yogurt!
- If plain yogurt is not your thing you can flavor it with: jams/ jellies, honey, pudding mixes, extracts (such as almond or vanilla), or top with fruit. Whatever you choose mix gently, otherwise you risk breaking the yogurt up.
***What is your favorite way to enjoy yogurt?***
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