Update Homemade Yogurt 11.01.2018: Since posting this guide about a year ago, I made a few changes to hopefully make this fool proof formula. We hope to send a recipe update soon, but in the meantime, here is my new direction.
1) I rarely use formula, but it adds protein
2) After the cycle boiling, simmer or fried select and warm milk to 185 degrees. You can make yogurt from milk heated to less than that, but tend thicker 185
3) Cool to 110 degrees
4) add 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup start
5) Add sweetener, if used, after boiling 5 cycles after incubation, relax yogurt in the refrigerator 6 hours or overnight before stress (this is optional)
6) I wait to add vanilla until yoghurt is stress. Let me know if this does not work for you, and I will go back to the drawing board! Happiness homemade yogurt!
(FORMULA CAN BE FOUND IN at the bottom of this article).
I tried making homemade yogurt 3 times before. The thought that I could make my own yogurt seems like a pure superhero, so I did my best efforts.
First, it is wrapped-the-average-in-towel-to-10-hour method, check it often for the correct temperature. It is really time consuming and almost did not turn out.
Then I tried a method thermos. It just did not taste right.
Finally – I tried a crock pot method that I can not ignore on Pinterest – which I promptly determine lump homemade yogurt and a lot of effort, and I will stick to Yoplait.
Fast forward a year or more to now, and my sister told me that she makes yoghurt in your pressure cooker. homemade yogurt you say? Ya. Over there. Never do that again. But wait – a pressure cooker? Like a mother of us used as children when potato exploded in our kitchen? It was a new idea.
But seriously, yogurt discomfort exploded around my kitchen? Thanks, but no thanks sis – do not care.
It’s a good thing she knows me well, because she was at my door with a pressure bottle cook homemade yogurt and granola some to go with it. “Geee, thanks sis. (Ahem). I’ll try. You’re (ahem) sweet”.
The next day, I decided to brave and just put some in my mouth. I stood there with her suggested toppings – and has focused on the resourcefulness to accept the kind of gift I can give her a report.
Life yogurt, my love has changed then and there. This tool is very smooth and silky smooth and very tasty! Her Yogurt nothing like yogurt I’ve done in the past, and I have to know how she did it so I can do more and more. She opened her eyes toward me with new modern world without the pressure cooker explodes in your face and cooking things like rice, steel cut oats, meat, fried bean re, vegetables, casseroles and all natural yoghurt – with one button!
She lent me her immediate pressure Cooker Pot (which I keep for too long) to perform a series of batches of yogurt and vanilla beans.
Now I have my own Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and make yogurt every Monday to enjoy throughout the week. I am delighted to be able to share our process with you today, as well as tips for success and diversity. I hope it will be useful to you and you will come to realize how great of an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker is and what it is capable of. I will share a lot of resources and suggestions for cooking apply your yogurt at the bottom of this article, so be sure to read through.
FULL DISCLOSURE: THE LINKS ON MY SITE FOR THE INSTANT POT ARE THROUGH MY AFFILIATE ACCOUNT WITH AMAZON. AMAZON IS A GREAT PLACE TO BUY YOUR INSTANT POT AS THEY ACCEPT RETURNS OR DAMAGES EASILY. IT WOULD BE SO GREATLY APPRECIATED IF YOU WERE TO USE MY LINKS FOR ANY INSTANT POT PURCHASE, AND USING AFFILIATE LINKS IS A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE BLOGGERS. WE RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION AT NO EXTRA CHARGE TO YOU WHICH ALLOWS US THE ABILITY TO SHARE THIS INFORMATION FREE OF CHARGE. I WAS GENEROUSLY GIVEN THIS INSTANT POT BY THE INSTANT POT COMPANY IN ORDER TO PROMOTE THEIR WONDERFUL PRODUCT AND SHARE THIS STEP-BY-STEP YOGURT PROCESS WITH YOU. THANK YOU!
REAL QUICK, BEFORE WE GET INTO THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS MAKING YOGURT AND YOUR FREE RECIPE PRINTABLE, I WANT TO SHOW YOU MY 2 FAVORITE WAYS TO EAT MY YOGURT.
Any seasonal fruit is yummy with this yogurt, but I particularly like peaches which flavor very well with the vanilla I’ve added to my yogurt. Unless you like plain yogurt, I think some type of sweetener is needed. I only ever add honey or real maple syrup – and prefer the syrup with the peaches. My kids will only eat it if I sprinkle some brown sugar on top so I do that for them.
My favorite healthy granola to add comes from this recipe on Pinch of Yum. This yogurt mixture makes a wonderful breakfast or afternoon snack.
The other mix I love is fresh strawberries, a dollop of strawberry jam, and a swirl of honey – topped with granola.
Mix it all up and take a bite.
That image above makes me drool every time. Homemade yogurt doesn’t have as much of the tang found in store bought yogurts and this method I’m about to share makes it so thick and creamy.
First, let’s talk about the food and supplies you will need.
- Instant Pot
- The newest Instant Pot model is currently priced at $$$ on Amazon. It may seem pricey but it is definitely not just for yogurt. It can replace the need for a rice cooker or a general pressure cooker and even a slow cooker crock pot. It saute’s, steams and keeps food warm. My pressure cooking loving sister has 5! and rarely uses her oven or stove any more. She pointed out to me that the best unsweetened yogurts are super expensive and for the cost of a gallon of milk (assuming you are using your own yogurt as a starter) you can have up to 3 quarts of yogurt and at least a quart of buttermilk. So that is less than $4 for all of that! She has seen sugar free yogurt at natural grocers for $8 a quart. This pot can definitely save you money over time! I am just getting warmed up to it’s possibilities but excited to try more. Christmas gifts anyone?
- 1 Gallon of Milk
- We like to use 2% for a creamier yogurt. You could up the cream with whole milk or try a low fat with 1%. The recipe/instructions that follow are for a gallon of milk. Adjust if necessary for a smaller yield.
- Yogurt Starter
- We won’t go into a science lesson (because I don’t like science) but to make yogurt you need a starter – which is simply 1/4 cup of plain yogurt. You can preserve some from your last batch or purchase a small container of plain yogurt. Make sure it has live active cultures.
- Vanilla (optional)
- Adding vanilla adds a great flavor to this yogurt. The amount you add depends on how potent you like it. I add 1 Tablespoons, my sister adds 1-2 teaspoons. We also like to scrape 1 vanilla bean and add it to the yogurt, for more flavor and beautiful vanilla specks in our yogurt.
- When all cooked, you need to strain the whey from the yogurt. Our favorite product for that is these Nut Milk Bags, bought HERE. They work wonderful! You can also use cheesecloth, I’ve heard.
- Powdered Milk
- This helps to thicken up the milk and is optional. Only a small amount of 3 Tablespoons is needed.
Pour the entire gallon of milk into the pot, which is off at this point.
Add 3 Tablespoons of powdered milk.
Stir with a whisk until powdered milk is incorporated and dissolved. We recommend using a whisk that is rubber coated (like THIS one) or stirring and handling the yogurt with something that is not metal. Because the pot is metal, if you were to use a metal whisk it is possible to get a hint of the metal on metal taste that can transfer to foods. Some people notice this more than others.
Now you can close the lid so it is locked in place. I keep the pressure vent switched to sealed, but I don’t think it matters with yogurt because you are not pressure cooking it. (If non of this makes sense because you haven’t used an electric pressure cooker – I highly suggest reading the manuel or watching youtube videos showing how these function).
Plug the cooker in and press the yogurt button.
Quickly after that, press adjust once, and the screen will display boil. Scalding the milk is the first process of making yogurt. You need to get it to a certain temp, but you simply don’t need to worry about that because the cooker will stop the boil setting when it is finished. This boil process takes approximately 1 hour for a gallon of milk. You could essentially boil on the stove till you hit about 180 degrees Fahrenheit, but then you would dirty another pan and you would have to watch it to not scald the bottom. Pushing a button is so much easier.
When it is finished boiling, the cooker will beep at you a few times and then display “yogt”. It is important to be aware of this beep and unplug the machine right after.
Now you need to cool the yogurt to around 110 degrees Fahrenheit. I speed this up by removing the inside pot and letting it cool on the counter. I whisk every once in awhile to release heat if I’m in a hurry.
At 110 degrees you are ready to add the starter and vanilla if desired.
Dump in the 1/4 cup yogurt, and 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract. (Pure is best).
Mix these VERY thoroughly.
All that was the hardest part (which it shouldn’t have been that hard). Now put the pot back inside the cooker, seal the lid, plug it back in, and press yogurt.
It will say “8:00” which means 8 hours. I suppose you could adjust that time, but no need. Don’t touch a thing more and it will promptly beep at you signifying it has started the incubation process. The display will say “0:00” which means it is going to count UP until it reaches 8 hours.
Now you just forget it for the rest of the day/night and let the pressure cooker do its thing. When 8 hours is up, it will beep again. (By this time it was night and I had to flip on nasty overhead lighting for my pictures. Sorry.)
You could at this point, stir your yogurt and put it in jars to set overnight. But I don’t recommend that quite yet. Straining the whey yields a much less runny product, and I am certain you will like it better. My sister and I fill our nut milk bags with the yogurt and place a bowl underneath to catch the whey. I then hang it on cupboard handles to strain.
It’s a bit funny, but it works.
How long you let this strain will impact your final results. I find I really really like it thick, similar to a greek yogurt – so I let mine hang there for up to an hour. My sister does hers for 1/2 an hour, and yields slightly more yogurt than I do. You may want to experiment with your batches.
This next step, I found to be quite important. Rather than emptying the yogurt from the bags to the jars to set, it is best to empty the strained yogurt back into the already dirty instant pot and stir it once more. This gets rid of any lumpy yogurt and gives it a consistent consistency. This is also the point where I slice open a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds to mix into my yogurt.
Then it is time to place the yogurt and whey in jars or containers to set in the fridge overnight.
Lets talk about yield, real quick.
When I strain my yogurt in the nut milk bags for an hour, I end up getting about 2 Quart size jars full.
This batch was slightly less (I think I left it longer than an hour and someone drank a bit of my milk beforehand). My sister’s 1/2 hours strain gets her about 2 1/2 – 3 jars. However, I want to be sure you don’t think all that whey is a total waste. DON’T THROW IT OUT! The whey mixed with a scoop or 2 of yogurt can be used as a substitute for buttermilk. My kids love my buttermilk bran muffins I make with it. I’ve been searching other recipes that use buttermilk which I’m excited to try.
Here are a couple of things you can do with your yogurt, besides just eating it up.
- Use it in place of sour cream (best if you don’t add vanilla).
- Try mixing 1 cup of yogurt with 1 cup of milk and honey to taste. Throw it in the ice cream maker and you have healthy and delicious frozen yogurt.
If you need to justify the purchase of the Instant Pot, let me help. Spending that much money just to make yogurt seems difficult to fathom.
Here are some incredible pressure cooking sites that use the electronic pressure cookers. You can glance at the recipes and methods they use to get a feel for all the amazing things it can do.
When you are sold and ready to buy, click the link below!
INSTANT POT ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER – BUY HERE!
And for more amazon favorite recipes, check out our NEW COOKBOOK titled Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook
Please feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer them! I would also love to hear if you have any comments, such as – do you love/hate homemade yogurt? What mix-in’s do you use? Have you ever tried the Instant Pot? Or anything you could add!
Finally, here is a printable recipe, with very general directions. Use the recipe card for quick reference once you’ve gotten a feel for how the pressure cooker works.
HOMEMADE YOGURT WITH AN ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER
- 1 Gallon 2% Milk
- 3 Tablespoons Powdered Milk (optional)
- ¼ Cup yogurt with active cultures
- 1-2 Tablespoons Vanilla (optional)
- 1 Vanilla Bean (optional)
- ½ cup sweetener (optional)
- Nut Milk Bags
- Instant Pot
- Pour milk in pot.
- Add powdered milk if using and stir.
- Lock lid in place, plug in cooker.
- Press yogurt.
- Press adjust until display reads “boil”.
- When boil cycle is finished (about an hour), check the temperature and use the saute function to warm to 185 degrees F. Unplug cooker, remove pot and place on cooling rack. Cool milk to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix in yogurt starter and sweetener if using.
- Lock lid in place and turn on cooker.
- Press “yogurt” and incubate for 8 hours.
- Chill yogurt for 6 hours or overnight.
- Strain yogurt for ½-1 hour.
- Place yogurt back in pot and mix to distribute evenly. Add vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds at this point, if desired.
- Place yogurt in jars and set in fridge overnight.
- Add your favorite mix-ins and enjoy!
If you liked this yogurt recipe, you may want to try making Homemade Ricotta Cheese in your pressure cooker as well.
Here are some pin friendly images for you to use on Pinterest!
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