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I Made Yogurt in My Instant Pot for Under $1… And it was Delicious!

Last week at my mom’s group we started talking about the Instant Pot (which I lovingly refer to as my Pot). During the conversation, I mentioned my fellow contributor Danielle’s post about things to make when you’re new to the Instant Pot. One thing led to another, and somehow I blurted out the words, “Next week I’ll be brave and try to make homemade yogurt.” Cue the panic.

After doing some research, I quickly realized there were many different methods to choose from. I ultimately settled on this recipe and started to mentally prepare myself. 

I would call myself an intermediate cook, and I am very familiar with my Pot. That being said, I was still very apprehensive about doing this! My initial thoughts were all about how easy it was to just walk into the grocery store and buy yogurt, and why would I take time to make my own? Let me tell you why: because it is cheap, delicious, and 100% doable for anyone.

Tools for homemade yogurt:

Instant Pot

Steaming rack for Pot

Glass measuring cup

Tablespoon measuring spoon

Silicone spatula

Food thermometer 

Ingredients:

Half gallon of real milk of choice (I have a toddler, so I used whole milk)

32 grams (a little more than 2 TBS) of plain greek yogurt with active bacteria cultures 

  • You can also use powdered yogurt starter, but since I had a store-bought cup on hand, I used this particular recipe.

I started out by sterilizing my equipment. The recipe stated that this was optional, but I figured if I was doing this I was all in. I added two cups of water to the bottom of the Pot, then put the steaming rack in place. I laid my tools on top of that, then closed my lid. I sealed the venting knob and set it to manual high pressure for three minutes. Once that was done I let it dry and cool on a cooling rack. 

Step 1
Pour your half a gallon of milk into the Pot and heat to 180-200 degrees

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Once the milk was in, I closed the lid and pressed the yogurt button. I set the timer for three hours so I had more than enough time to heat it. I started checking the temperature after 40 minutes. It was only reading at about 100 degrees, so I set it to the Slow Cook Less function. The whole heating process took about one hour for me.

Step 2
Cool milk to 111 degrees. 

I took the inner pot out and set it on my stove to start cooling. As soon as I set it down I removed the milk skin from the top. After a few minutes of waiting and the temperature only coming down a few degrees, I placed the inner bowl into a bowl of cold tap water and stirred it with a silicone spatula to speed up the process. I was very careful to not touch the bottom of the pot because that would disturb the forming milk solids. It took around 15-20 minutes to finally bring it down to 111 degrees.

Step 3
Prepare the starter. 

I made yogurt in my instant pot

Add half a cup of the cooled milk to the glass measuring cup, then mix in two heaping tablespoons of the store-bought yogurt. Combine these until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the Pot and gently stir together. 

Step 4
Place lid on Pot and press the Yogurt button. Set it to Yogurt Normal, and set the timer for 8-12 hours. 

I made yogurt in my instant pot

The longer you let it incubate the tangier the yogurt will turn out. I chose to set mine for nine hours, then went to bed. The directions in the recipe said to not disturb it while it cooks, and I don’t like to be disturbed while I sleep, so I figured overnight cooking was a win/win. (But let’s face it. With a toddler, you very rarely get disturbed while sleeping!)

Step 5
Stop the incubation process. 

I made yogurt in my instant pot

When I woke up the next morning the timer had just gone off. I placed the pot in the refrigerator for two hours to stop the process. When I pulled it out there was a decent amount of whey, so I did end up discarding some of it. I then placed the finished yogurt in a container and continued to chill it until I left for the group. The yogurt will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Results:
AMAZING!

I made yogurt in my instant pot

As I stated at the beginning, I was nervous to try this. After tasting it the next day, I realized I had no reason to be. The texture was a little different than I was used to, but it was creamy and tasted AMAZING! Since it was plain yogurt I did end up sweetening it with honey, but that was just my personal preference. The other moms in my group agreed that it was quite tasty. I feel overall that it was worth both the time and effort, and I am looking forward to trying this out again. It is also easy to customize by using different types of milk such as low fat or organic, and different toppings and mix-ins.

BONUS:

The whole batch cost me a whopping $.85. Yes, you read that correctly. It was a half gallon’s worth of yogurt for under $1.

Have you made yogurt in your Instant Pot? How did it turn out, and are there any tips you would like to leave? Comment below!

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