Equipment Needed

  • Instant Pot
  • Jelly Bag or Cheese Cloth (jelly bag is best)
  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Thermometer (Quick Read or Candy)
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Non-Metal Whisk
  • *All equipment needs to be bacteria free.  Make sure your equipment is thoroughly cleaned.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Whole Milk – ½ Gallon, I use Oakhurst (use any really good pasteurized milk)
  • Greek Yogurt for Cultures – It must have active cultures.  I buy a single serving container of Plain Greek like Chobani (it has active cultures).  Yogurts with active cultures will print this on their containers.

NOTE:  When using the Instant Pot, you do not need the lid as it will not be building pressure.  You can use a plate or another pot lid.  If you do use the Instant Pot lid, you must take out the rubber seal.  This seal holds flavors from other meals you have prepared and it will taint your yogurt.  Trust me, I tasted chili in my yogurt as I did not heed this warning the first time I made yogurt.  I now use another pot lid that rests over the Instant Pot.  I have also used a large plate.

  1. Pour ½ gallon of milk into the Instant Pot. Press the yogurt button twice until you see the word “Boil”.  Let your machine do its work.  The machine will beep when it is done.  What is taking place in this step is the Instant Pot is doing what is called a “scald”.  It will heat up the milk to a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the temp of the milk when your machine beeps, make sure it is 180 degrees or a bit higher.  If not, then repeat this step.
  2. Take the metal container out and place in an ice bath of cold water. Using a non-metal whisk, lightly swirl the top to get the film off.  Let the milk cool to a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  This only takes about 5 minutes or so.  It can be colder but not higher.  Take the pot out of the water.  Wipe down the pot and you may have more film on top that needs to be removed.  Ladle out some of this milk, like 1/3 of a cup into a bowl, add 3 heaping tablespoons of Chobani yogurt.  Whisk it till it is smooth.  Pour back into the pot.  Whisk around, be careful not to touch the bottom of the pot.  You will have scalded bits on the bottom.  Let them be, do not disturb.
  3. Place back into the Instant Pot, press the Yogurt button till you see the word “Yogurt”. Choose your time for either 8 hours, 10 hours, or 12 hours.  I used 11 hours hahaha – seriously I do.  The longer it incubates, the more tang it will have.  I did 8 hours first and it was good, but I like tang and 8 hours didn’t give me the tang.  So, I chose 11 hours.  Just because I could, 🙂  I started mine at 7 in the morning and I did not want to wait up all night.  There is still more work.  By the way, if you stick a spoon into the yogurt, it will stand straight.
  4. Scoop yogurt out into a Jelly Bag or Cheese Cloth that has been placed into a fine mesh strainer that sits over a large bowl or pot.
  5. This is the stage where the whey is being separated from the yogurt by straining. I strained mine on the shelf for 2 hours.  Empty the bowl of whey down the drain or pour whey into another container.  Use the internet to see how you can use whey.  It is loaded with healthy protein.  Whey is great in protein smoothies.
  6. Now place strainer back in the bowl and place in the fridge for another 2 hours or over-night. The longer you strain the yogurt in the fridge, the thicker it will become.  I like mine thick, thus I leave it over-night.  If you do not like thick yogurt, just do the 4 hours.
  7. In the morning, scoop into glass (sterilized) jars. I use two pint mason jars.  You will get 32 ounces of yogurt.  Remember pint jars are 16 ounces.  🙂
  8. It will be thick, creamy, and delicious. Add vanilla, honey, or maple syrup when you eat.  Delicious with fresh berries and homemade granola.
  9. Store yogurt in the fridge (will last about a week) and save some for your next batch. You will need active cultures when making another batch.
  10. You will never never never eat store bought again.
  11. You can freeze yogurt. Freeze 3 tablespoons if not making another batch right away.  I make about a batch every week.

NOTE:  Be careful not to get any water in the yogurt at any point.  Your lid will sweat.  Remove gently.  I created the ice bath of water ahead of time (few minutes before time was up) as not to get any water in my yogurt.  When finished, removed lid gently.  NO WATER IN THE YOGURT!!

Cheers, Drew Frederic

Published by Drew Frederic

Photographer, Artist, Poet, Chef, and Photojournalist.

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