Making homemade yogurt is not something I have tried before because I could not wrap my head around sanitizing jars and measuring temperatures, etc. I am, after all, a working mom and I can only handle so many steps! As you probably can tell by most of my real food recipes, I like easy! Homemade yogurt did not make my ‘easy’ list. Until now!
I finally broke down and make some homemade yogurt in my Instant Pot and I can now confidently share this easy homemade yogurt recipe with you! I approve – it’s easy. What’s an Instant Pot? In short, it’s a smart pressure cooker and it is a fabulous tool in any kitchen! Check out my simple explanation and video tutorial here on how to use one in general.
Alright you are busy so let’s get on with how to make easy homemade yogurt in your Instant Pot! Make sure to use WHOLE milk for this recipe so you can get it super creamy. I personally recommend using raw milk even though you are going to boil it to be able to culture it for yogurt because if you have a source for raw milk it is infinitely better than what you can purchase in your grocery store. Check out the farm we get our raw milk at in Texas and you will see how much better it is plus click here to learn how to find a good source for raw milk near you and learn what questions to ask the farmer to ensure you are getting high quality and clean raw milk. However, if you do not have access to whole raw milk, I would recommend getting a low temperature pasteurized whole milk that is non-homogenized. And definitely make sure it is organic and grass fed.
How to Make Homemade Yogurt in the Instant Pot
- 1 gallon raw whole milk or low temp pasteurized whole milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt – plain
1. Sanitize your Instant Pot.
All you need to do for this step is pour a cup of water into your Instant Pot (I also add a few drops of Lemon or Purification essential oil because it helps to really clean it and get rid of any leftover ‘stink’ from making other recipes in your IP), close the lid and hit the ‘Steam’ button and then set it for 1 minute.
When it is done, being very careful, do a quick release on the lid and then dump out the water. Now your pot is sanitized!
2. Scald the milk.
Pour the entire gallon of raw milk into the Instant Pot, close the lid and then hit the ‘Yogurt’ button. Hit the ‘Adjust’ button until it said ‘boil’ and then leave it to beep and start on its own. It should take about an hour for the milk to boil. Check out that beautiful yellow color – that’s how I know it has tons of nutrients in it! I just love my local raw milk!
The Instant Pot will stop it once it comes to a boil so you do not need to check any temperature or anything – yay! When it is finished boiling, the Instant Pot will beep at you a few times and then display “yogt”. You need be right on top of this when that happens so stick around and be aware of the beep. Unplug the Instant Pot when you hear this beep!
3. Cool down the milk to be ready for the culture.
Ok I fibbed a little. There is one time during this entire process that you do need to check the temperature and this is it. But really it isn’t so hard! Remove the pot from the cooker and put on the counter to cool down to 115 degrees F. This will take about 1-2 hours for a gallon of milk. I kept stirring to cool it down.
A digital thermometer (I have this one) is great to have and you want to make sure it is sanitized and clean as well before inserting it into the milk. Once the milk reaches 115 degrees F you are ready to add your starter culture.
4. Add the starter culture.
Now I didn’t get fancy with any starter cultures at this point but I do recommend you check them out here. My daughter loves greek yogurt and the tang of it so I used a half a cup of her favorite yogurt as my starter. Just make sure if you use yogurt as your starter that you use a high quality whole milk yogurt with active cultures. Mix the 1/2 cup of yogurt starter in well.
5. Incubate the yogurt.
Now put the pot back inside the cooker, seal the lid, plug it back in, and press ‘Yogurt’. It will display “8:00” which means 8 hours. There is no need to adjust the time at all so just leave it and it will beep to let you know it has started the incubation process. NOTE: It will now switch to display “0:00” which means it is going to count UP until it reaches the total 8 hours.
6. Set/strain your yogurt.
Now you can pour the yogurt as is into jars and let them set overnight in the fridge. However, I highly recommend straining it a bit to make it thicker. Our family loves it super thick and I have so many uses for the whey, so I let it strain in this nut milk bag for about an hour and then I dump it back into the Instant Pot pot to stir again. You can then stir and then load into your jars to set in the fridge overnight.
After straining I get a lot of whey to use for soaking grains and about 2 quarts of yogurt!
7. Add flavor (optional).
If you want to add some flavor, this is the time to do it. Once the yogurt is strained and in the Instant Pot insert again, stir in some vanilla or even some homemade jam and then load it into jars for fridge storage. I often will do one quart plain and then stir something into the other quart. Another great option is to add a few drops of Lemon essential oil along with the vanilla and some maple syrup! Yum!!!
8. EAT IT!
This easy homemade yogurt will keep about 2 weeks and will grow more tart over time.