Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Making Yogurt In The Crockpot

Yogurt is easy to make in the crockpot! I follow these instructions from A Year Of Slow Cooking and have found it to work great.

When I first started making yogurt, I used a small yogurt maker that I picked up at Goodwill. It worked ok and made 1 quart at a time. But when I discovered that yogurt could be made in the crockpot I was eager to try it! Not only would I be able to make more at a time but it would eliminate the need for the yogurt maker and instead be made in the crockpot which can be used for lots of different recipes.

While yogurt making in the crockpot is super easy, you do want to plan to make it on a day when you're going to be mostly at home. And I find that setting the timer helps me to not forget about it!

  1. Pour a half-gallon of milk into crockpot. Put lid on and turn to low. Let cook for 2 1/2 hours. (Or until just below boiling.)
  2. Turn crockpot off and unplug. Let set for 3 hours. 
  3. After about 3 hours the milk will have cooled down to about 110-120 degrees. Sometimes it takes a bit longer; I set the timer for a few more minutes and come back and check the temperature. I don't usually use the thermometer; I just test it with my finger. If it's too hot, it will kill the cultures in the yogurt starter you're about to add. Too cold and it won't work either. I guess a good way to explain it is that it should be just a bit warmer than lukewarm. I've done it both a  bit hotter and a bit cooler and it has worked so not too scary! If in doubt, use a thermometer until you get a feel for it!
  4. When milk is right temp., scoop out a cup or two of warmish milk into a bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup of plain yogurt into milk. Any plain yogurt will work as long as it contains live active cultures. Stonyfield Farms organic plain yogurt is one of my favorites to use.
  5. Pour milk/yogurt mixture into crockpot and mix gently to combine the yogurt.
  6. Keeping crockpot unplugged, wrap with towels to cover and keep it warm. Let set to culture in a non-drafty place for 8-10 hours or overnight. I place mine in the bay window which is a nice sunny spot in my house! At the end of culturing, the milk should have thickened to make yogurt. Place crockpot in refrigerator to help it to thicken up a bit more.
  7. Eat!
  • Homemade yogurt will not be as thick as store-bought.
  • For a thicker Greek-style yogurt, line a strainer with cheesecloth or tea towel. Pour yogurt in and let whey (the liquidy stuff) drain off, leaving a thicker yogurt. Draining longer will result in a kind of yogurt cheese,similar to cream cheese, which I think is delicious with crackers or celery!
  • Pureed fruit or jam can be mixed into yogurt. We like to keep it plain and add fruit or honey right before eating.
  • The longer it cultures, the tarter the yogurt!
  • Save a half-cup of yogurt to add to your next batch. I like to drain it some before adding so it's a little thicker. 
  • For more information and pictures, go here
  • Previous posts I've written about making yogurt--Homemade Yogurt, Yogurt In The Crockpot, Steps We've Taken To A Healthier Diet.
Happy yogurt making!

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them.


gail said...

thank you Mary Ann! you make it sound so doable. great instructions. i'm definitely giving this a try.

tea said...

Thanks for sharing this, Mary Ann!