Sunday, May 30, 2010

Homemade Yogurt Made in a Crockpot

This is my favorite new recipe.  I have made around 10 batches of homemade yogurt in the past couple months. I found the recipe at A Year of Slowcooking.  Who knew it was so easy?  I didn't really eat a lot of yogurt to begin with but I saw this and knew that I had to try it.  Now I eat it almost every day in one way or another. I make smoothies.  I eat it with a variety of fruit with a squirt of amaretto agave nectar. I add it to my blueberry muffin batter.  I have put it in soup.  My newest passion is homemade frozen yogurt.  YUM!   

I used whole milk in my first batch, because I read that you should start here when you are new at making yogurt.  I then went to 2% and now I only use 1%.  It worked equally well with all of them.  You aren't supposed to use ultra-pasteurized milk, but I accidently bought some organic milk that I didn't realize was ultra-pasteurized.  By the time I realized what I had done I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  I had no hope of it turning out.  But, it did!  I was shocked! 

So, this is how I make the yogurt. The only three ingredients you need are a carton of plain yogurt that has active live cultures, some fat free powdered milk and half a gallon of milk (not ultra-pasteurized).  This is the yogurt I have used as a starter.

The two tools you need to make your yogurt is a thermometer and a crockpot.  This is my crockpot that I use.

I pour the milk into the crockpot.  Turn it onto low and heat for 2 hours.  I then turn the crockpot off and let it cool to about 120-130 degrees.  This is very important!  If it is too hot the live bacteria will die.  If it is too cold the bacteria will not grow.  I check the temperature with a candy thermometer.  Once it is cooled to the correct temperature, I take the yogurt starter that has been brought to room temperature and mix it with 1/2 cup of powdered milk.  The milk is supposed to thicken the yogurt.  I then add two ladles full of the warmed milk from the crockpot to the yogurt mixture.  Mix well.  Then, I gently mix in the yogurt/milk mixture into the rest of the warm milk in the crockpot.  I put the lid on the crockpot and then cover the crockpot with about five blankets.  I leave it like that for about 24 hours.  AND THEN!  I have homemade yogurt!

I usually put my milk in the pot around 6:00.  Let it heat until 8:00.  It cools in about 2 hours to the correct temperature.  I add the yogurt and powdered milk and then I cover it before I go to bed.  When I get home from work the next evening the yogurt is ready. 

There are many methods online for making yogurt.  Some involve putting the yogurt mixture in a cooler with warm blankets.  Some involve setting the pot on a heating pad.  I didn't put this much effort into mine and it turns out perfect every time!  The only time mine did not turn out was when I forgot about my milk heating in the first stage.  It cooked for about 4 minutes.  Way too long!  I had to dump it out and start over again. 

So some people ask:  Why would you make your own yogurt when you can just go buy it at the store?  There are several reasons.  First of all, I know what is in my yogurt.  There are no preservatives, chemicals or sugar.  Next, it is super cheap.  One carton costs around $1 each at the store.  I make about 8 cups of fresh yogurt with very little effort and about $2.  Why wouldn't you make your own? 

Note:  This yogurt is not super thick.  If I want thicker yogurt I strain it in a coffee filter over a bowl. 

I have let it strain for 2 days and it turns into the consistency of softened cream cheese.  This worked very well in my fruit tart I made. 

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

I am posting this at Make It From Scratch.  Come check out the other posts!


  1. Very interesting post and it looks delicious. I've never tried making yogurt and must after seeing this! Thanks!

  2. Daphne, what a great blog! Reading through your entries reminded me of all the goodies the 3rd grade teachers at WES got to try. Miss you!

    I've been wanting to try my hand at homemade yogurt for some time. I never thought about using the crockpot. How simple!

  3. Great to hear from you Rene'! I'm glad you came to check out my blog. I miss everyone in Winona. I hope you are doing well.

  4. I'm so glad to hear about your yogurt success, Daphne!
    thanks so much for sharing your results---I'm so happy to be of any and all help to you and your family.

    xoxo steph