With as much yogurt as Hubby & I eat (typically 8 oz. each every morning), I thought I’d get some tips from my friend Dani and try my hand at making yogurt in the Crock Pot because a) it would be cool to say I made yogurt, and b) it would be MUCH cheaper than buying yogurt.
The first batch I made was with 2% milk, so I made it for the kids (Hubby & I eat plain, nonfat yogurt). Once I strained it a little, added some vanilla, thawed frozen berries & some Splenda, they loved it! The process is quite long, especially if you strain it (unstrained = soupier a la “European-style” yogurt; strained a long time = thicker “Greek-style” yogurt or, if you strain it too long = spreadable yogurt cheese), but it’s VERY easy.
- 6-quart or larger Crock Pot
- Old t-shirt for straining (optional)
- 1 gallon milk of any kind – whole, 2%, nonfat, but NOT ULTRA-PASTEURIZED OR IT WON’T SOLIDIFY!!! (Homogenized is OK, as is pasteurized, but NOT the ultra-pasteurized kind)
- 1 cup plain yogurt with live, active cultures (Once you’ve made your first batch, you can save a cup to use for this.)
- If desired, vanilla, fruit, sweetener to add later (or garlic & herbs if you’re making yogurt cheese).
Step One – Pour milk into Crock Pot. Put the lid on, and cook it on LOW for 2 1/2 hours.
Step Two – Turn off/unplug Crock Pot and just let it sit for 3 hours.
Step Three – Take out 4 cups or so of the warm milk and whisk in the 1 cup of yogurt. Stir mixture back into Crock Pot. Put the lid back on and wrap the Crock Pot with towels (I use 2 beach towels folded in 1/2 around it and 1 beach towel folded in 1/4′s on top). Let it sit for 8 hours.
Step Four (optional) – Put t-shirt over the top of a really large bowl. Scoop out yogurt onto top of t-shirt and let the whey drip through. The longer you let it sit and strain, the thicker the yogurt will be. If you let it sit too long and it ends up thicker than you want it, you can stir some whey back in.
Step Five (optional) – Stir in any flavorings, fruit, or sweeteners you want.
Plain yogurt before straining, adding stuff, etc.:
With fruit, sweetener, and vanilla, the way the kids like it: