Make It From Scratch: Homemade Slow-Cooker Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is the best.  There truly is a difference between store-bought and homemade.  The great thing is that it's really easy to make and relatively hands-free.  A win-win!  This is one of those recipes you keep saying "someday I really want to try that".  You pin it, you drool over it, but you don't make it.  Decide today that at some point this week you'll jump in and make it.  You'll be hooked!

The nice thing is you can alter it to fit your family's preferences.  Sweeten with a bit of sugar or honey or even maple syrup.  Add a bit of coffee if you desire or swirl in some homemade jam just before devouring.  You decide!

The number one question is:  do you need a yogurt maker to make yogurt?  The short answer is no. 
You can use your slow-cooker.  The long answer is - it depends.  I have the Euro Cuisine yogurt maker and love it.  The only difference is it makes the yogurt in handy little single-serving glass jars so there's no need to transfer to another container.  If you don't own a yogurt maker, try making it in the slow-cooker first and if you find this is something you will do regularly, it's worth the investment.

Homemade Slow-Cooker Yogurt

1/2 gallon whole milk {you can successfully use any fat level just make sure your milk is NOT ultra-pasteurized}
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt {or leftover homemade yogurt}

Additional items:
food or candy thermometer
2 large towels
wooden spoon, rubber spatula or wire whisk

getting prepared!

keeping tabs on the temp!
Pour milk into the slow-cooker and turn on high.  Cook until milk registers 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  {this will differ depending on your slow-cooker, but should take 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours}.

Turn off the slow-cooker and allow milk to cool to 110-113 degrees Fahrenheit.   {another 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours}  Take the unsweetened yogurt out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature while you're waiting for your milk to cool.

adding prepared yogurt
gently adding in yogurt
Once milk is 120 degrees, stir in prepared yogurt, GENTLY {read as barely disturbing}.

ready to ferment
Replace the lid on the slow-cooker and wrap porcelain crock in towels.  Set out of the way where the yogurt can ferment, undisturbed, for 6-8 hours.  {I like to make mine in the evening and let it sit overnight}.

Carefully unwrap the crock and transfer the crock to the refrigerator to finish setting.  Do not stir it.

Once it's cooled it's ready to eat!  You can transfer it to smaller containers.  Top with honey, homemade jam, granola, whichever way you prefer to eat it.

You can also strain it in a cheesecloth-lined strainer if you like thicker yogurt. 

**Reserve 3/4 cup for your next batch so you don't have to purchase store-bought!**

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Rebecca said...

I love my slower cooker pot, who would think you could make yogurt in it. I love it! thanks

daisy g said...

I really need to get back into the habit of making yogurt. We use the cooler method, but it's basically the same recipe. It's so much better than the store-bought. Love your crock pot and your thermometer.

daisy g said...

I'm having a hard time finding organic whole milk that is not Ultra Pasteurized. Any suggestions? Thanks.