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How to Make Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

Making homemade yogurt is one of those things I have literally been meaning to try for years, ever since my friend Kelly shared this recipe with me back in 2010!  And now that I have finally gotten around to it, I can’t believe I waited so long!

Friends, this recipe is so easy to make that it is basically foolproof and I am literally kicking myself for not trying it sooner. I have made it a few times now, and even when I think I have completely screwed it up (like heated the milk to 200 degrees instead of 180) it has come out just fine.  My girls absolutely can not get enough of this stuff and I love that we can sweeten it with honey and coconut and fresh fruit (and maybe a few chocolate chips!) instead of just buying the sugar-laden stuff at the grocery store.

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

Here is what you need:

1/2 gallon whole milk
1 6oz container plain, unsweetened yogurt
food or candy thermometer
slow cooker
2-3 large towels

 

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

Step 1: Pour milk into crockpot; turn to high and heat to 180 degrees.  (This will take between 1 1/2 to  2 1/2 hours.)

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

Step 2 : Turn off the slow cooker and allow milk to cool to 120 degrees (This will also take between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.)  Let unsweetened yogurt and allow to sit at room temperature while milk is cooling.

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

Step 3: Once milk has reached 120 degrees, mix yogurt into milk and stir gently but thoroughly.

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

Step 4:  Replace lid and bundle crockpot with several towels.  Set crockpot in an out-of-the-way place where it the yogurt can ferment, undisturbed, for 6-8 hours or overnight.

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Step 5: Carefully unwrap crockpot and transfer crock to refrigerator to let yogurt cool completely. Do not shake or stir–the less you disrupt it, the better it will set.

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

Note:  My family likes our yogurt to have a softer consistency, but if you prefer a thicker yogurt, you can line a colander with cheesecloth as shown, then pour in the yogurt to strain out some of the excess water.

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

Step 6: Serve with fresh fruit, berries, chocolate, granola, or coconut…the sky’s the limit on this one!  Be sure to reserve 3/4 cup of starter for your next batch….you’ll be making it again before you know it!

 

Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Homemade Yogurt Tutorial | Easy Creamy Homemade Yogurt Recipe | Easiest Yogurt Recipe

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Have you ever made homemade yogurt?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

57 Comments

  1. Holly
    January 15 at 10:44AM

    This looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try!!

  2. Shannon
    January 15 at 11:11AM

    How long do you think it will last in the fridge? Just so I know how much I should make!

    • Anonymous
      January 15 at 01:52PM

      I make mine every two weeks and have never had spoilage.

  3. Jerilyn
    January 15 at 01:06PM

    It’s actually not water you are straining out, its whey. Save the whey and use it for soaking grains, etc.

  4. Demaroge
    January 15 at 01:40PM

    Jillee over at ‘One Good Thing’ oven a recipe that keeps the crock in the oven (no heat) with the oven light on overnight. Apparently the very low heat from the bulb keeps the right environment. Check it out.

  5. Erin
    January 15 at 02:01PM

    I know it makes 16 servings, but what’s the serving size. Could I fit it all in a 32 oz. yogurt container?

    • Danielle
      January 19 at 03:33PM

      You should have enough to fill 2.5 32oz yogurt containers! If you strain out more whey, you’ll have less yogurt but it’s more like Greek yogurt – that’s why Greek yogurt is so much more expensive.

  6. Chelsea
    January 15 at 04:23PM

    Would I be able to use soy milk for this?

  7. January 15 at 06:07PM

    I’ve wanted to try making my own yogurt for nearly as long…but I have yet to try it! It does look easy, and delicious. I’m eager to give this a try!

  8. Christine
    January 15 at 09:45PM

    Do you HAVE to use whole milk? Doesn’t seem super healthy that way, but I just didn’t know if that extra fat was needed in the yogurt process…

    • Kelsey DuPont
      April 6 at 01:00AM

      You do not need to use Whole Milk. You can use skim or 1%

  9. Karen Austin
    January 15 at 11:53PM

    Having had food poisoning twice from shop bought yogurt, this scares me a bit. I’m sure its prob safer than the shop stuff, but could someone pls ease myworry!Are the temps in Fahrenheit? I’m from the UK, and received a thermometer for Xmas to make jam easier & maybe fudge! so hoping I can do this!

    • Danielle
      January 19 at 03:26PM

      Yes, the temps are in Fahrenheit. I’ve made this many many times and never got sick. Just follow the directions and eat it within a week.

  10. Hayley
    January 16 at 11:17AM

    Just curious, how is it homemade yogurt when store bought yogurt is one of the two ingredients?

    • miji
      January 18 at 01:16AM

      You need the yogurts cultures as a starter for the first batch, after that your are culturing with a small bit of your own homegrown yogurt. I suppose you could buy the culture separately for your first batch but its a lot more convenient to grab some yogurt with live cultures from the grocery store 🙂

    • Danielle
      January 19 at 03:30PM

      It’s worth noting you don’t need store bought yogurt every time you make it. From your own batch, keep a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and use that. Once you start the process you need to make the yogurt weekly, otherwise you’ll have to start over with the store bought yogurt.

    • Anonymous
      May 4 at 05:04PM

      You only need the store bought yogurt once. You need the live active cultures to make yogurt. But after the first batch you just save back 3/4 of a cup to use to activate the next batch.

  11. January 16 at 02:52PM

    This is a really cool idea. I remember sitting in the cafeteria in college eating a cup of yogurt when my nerdy engineering friend came up and sat with me to eat his lunch. As we sat at chatted he said, “Isn’t it amazing that you are eating something that can literally grow more of itself?” In that moment I had to stop and put the yogurt down. lol

  12. January 16 at 03:37PM

    You can make yogurt without crockpot. Pour milk in stainless steel pot and bring it to boil on stove. Be careful when it starts boiling and rising in the pot, turn stove off immediately. Move pot to trivet or something and let it cool down to room temperature. Add little yogurt and leave it for 8-10 hours and your new big batch of yogurt is ready. Depending on season and the quantity of milk, you will have to experiment with how cool the milk should come down and how much yogurt to add. Once you have homemade yogurt you can save little at end of each batch to make new one. Also you can freeze homemade yogurt in little container to make new one, if you think you are not going to make it continuously. Yogurt in refrigerator wouldn’t go bad for about 2 weeks; it will just get sourer as days go by.

  13. January 17 at 09:34PM

    Can you make it with half and half or cream? I follow low carb and don’t want the milk sugars in regular milk 🙂

    Also you say there’s 16 servings – what size is a serving? 1/2 a cup?

    Thanks!

    • Anonymous
      November 23 at 08:49PM

      I have made great yogurt with straight heavy wipping cream or half & half or a mix of the two. Heavenly!

  14. Pat
    January 18 at 01:29PM

    What kind of yogurt do you buy that has no sugar added. I live in canada and have a real hard time finding it.

    • Danielle
      January 19 at 03:38PM

      Plain Greek yogurt will work too. The key is to not get something with fruit added. Flavors won’t really make a difference in my experience. A vanilla yogurt will work. What matters is the bacteria!

  15. Anonymous
    January 20 at 11:20PM

    Hey Ruth,
    So I tried this recipe this weekend and it came out pretty lumpy. I’m not really sure what happened. Has this ever happened to you? If so, how do you avoid that? Thanks for the recipe! Hopefully I can perfect it next time!

    • Emily R
      January 20 at 11:21PM

      Oops. I forgot to add my email so I know if you respond. Thanks!

    • Anonymous
      November 23 at 08:52PM

      Do not let the milk boil. Take it up to 185 degrees, then cool to 100 -110 degrees. Boiling will cause grainy yogurt.

  16. January 29 at 01:35PM

    I made this yesterday, turned out great! The kids loved it!

  17. Dan Leeder
    February 1 at 11:08AM

    A word or words are missing from Step 5 of the recipe. Are the missing words critical to the recipe?

    • Ruth Soukup
      February 3 at 03:22PM

      Hi Dan,
      You can find step 5 in the recipe print out. In the post, steps 2 & 3 were combined and then the pictures and the numbers don’t match. So sorry for the confusion. 🙁

      • March 29 at 09:08PM

        Anna!! Great to hear from you. Absolutely you can use lower fat milk for the yogurt. It will turn out great. The drain time won’t be too telrrbiy impacted. Let me know how yours comes out! And let’s catch up soon

  18. dj
    February 23 at 11:13AM

    pls send icecream ingrediant

  19. jessica
    March 9 at 08:52PM

    If you wanted to mix sugar in to have a sweetened yogurt how are when would you do that? Thanks!

    • Ruth Soukup
      March 10 at 01:21PM

      Hi Jessica,
      I would suggest you use honey to sweeten the yogurt. Or you could also try a fruit pie filling like cherry, apple or blueberry for a sweeter taste. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Anonymous
      November 23 at 08:55PM

      I have added 1 to 3 Tsp of sugar to the milk when I inoculate it. Never had a bad batch. The sugar will offset the tartness.

  20. May 18 at 11:07AM

    Do you have the nutrition info on this???

  21. Anonymous
    June 6 at 09:30AM

    Is this safe for pregnant women?

  22. Anonymous
    June 21 at 09:12AM

    Can you use lactose free milk?

  23. Janine
    September 16 at 02:42AM

    Thank you for the recipe. Tried it yesterday. The only issue is that the yogurt is very runny, is there any way of correcting this?

    • Ruth Soukup
      September 16 at 05:54AM

      For a thicker yogurt you can strain it through a cheesecloth. I’ve tried it and it does work but the process is a little messy! 🙂

      • Anonymous
        March 26 at 04:40PM

        I think a cheese cloth strainer is from the olden days where they had nothing else. paper towel or coffee filters are fine for straining. You can get filters from yogurt machine companys.

    • Anonymous
      November 23 at 08:57PM

      Try letting it “cook” longer. I let mine cook for 10 to 11 hours. It comes out very firm, like soft cream cheese. Yummy!

  24. Ralph Fuller
    November 23 at 09:00PM

    Great site! I love the ideas.

  25. andrea
    February 19 at 06:55PM

    I made this recipe and after sitting for 8 hours, it was still watery, it did not thicken at all. I brought the temp to 180 then back down to 120. My house is very cold but I wrapped my crockpot with extra towels. Any ideas on what went wrong?

    • Anonymous
      March 26 at 04:44PM

      120 f might be to high for the starter. I use 90f to 110f and mine have been fine.

  26. Taryn
    February 24 at 09:13AM

    I would like to do this with a whole gallon of milk, does it work to double the recipe or would I have to do it twice?

    • October 2 at 05:49PM

      I have done this with a gallon of milk a few times …. works out well

    • Anonymous
      March 26 at 04:51PM

      You can use any amount you like, it is the crock pot size that makes the difference. The formula is all the same. 185f first, second , about 110f, third rap let set 8 – 12 maybe more hours, chill for 6 hours or so and enjoy, if you like straining will make it thicker.

  27. February 28 at 04:47PM

    Thank you so much for writing this! Yogurt is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now and seeing this finally gave me the nudge to do it. I made my first batch on Wednesday. It smelled so good when I first opened the crock pot! Had some in my granola this morning.
    I’m trying to figure out if this will actually save us money… If my math is right it seems promising. We get 2 gallons of milk for $6, and a 5.5 oz container of Greek yogurt costs anywhere from 79 cents to a dollar. Half a gallon of milk weighs about 69 ounces, so that’s a little over 2 cents per ounce vs 14.3 cents per ounce for the store-bought yogurt. I think. So as long as it takes less than 7 ounces of milk to make an ounce of yogurt we’re good, right? (Of course if we’re really going to get technical I’d have to factor in the cost of electricity plus depreciation of the slow cooker, but those seem pretty negligible in this case… and making your own yogurt is way is more fun. Ha.)
    Anybody know how much this recipe makes if you strain off the whey to make it similar to Greek style yogurt? I should have measured it but it’s too late now because I ate a bunch already 😀

  28. Gaye Baxter
    June 20 at 01:05PM

    I have made yogurt in a stainless steel pot. I used a heating pad on low heat under the pot and covered the top with towels. The bacteria that culture (grow ) in the yogurt are warm loving bacteria. So the added heat from the heating pad cause the yogurt to set better ( become more firm).

  29. msjodi777
    August 13 at 07:36PM

    My milk is in the process of cooling back down, so I can add my yogurt starter. Have been wanting to try this and finally just did it. I’m thinking that instead of honey or sugar to sweeten the yogurt, I’m going to try one of my fruit butters (we have apple, peach and sweet potato butters – they are 3 different butters not one – in the fridge.) Can’t wait to see how that tastes. <

  30. September 21 at 08:45PM

    I confess I was surprised when this method worked for me, even with the cheapo store yogurt as a starter. It was a pleasant surprise. I linked to this in my Pancake Mix Fix post. Thanks for sharing.

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