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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You Can Make Yogurt in Your CrockPot!


Day 297.

You can! You really, really can!

Posts like this get me so excited. I love finding new ways to use the crockpot. My friend Jessica has always made homemade yogurt for her kids, and after looking up what a yogurt maker did, I had the idea that a crockpot could work. But I never found a source that would walk me through the steps.

Until Debbie. Debbie (who needs to start a blog because she is an almost-debt-free homeschooling mom to six) came to my rescue and held my hand (virtually) through yogurt-making.

Thank you, Debbie! xoxo

The Ingredients.

--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)

--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring

--thick bath towel

--slow cooker (scroll down for the ones that I recommend)

The Directions.

This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!

Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.


Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.



Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.


Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.


The Verdict.

Wowsers! This is awesome! I was completely astonished the next morning that the yogurt thickened. I was so excited to feel the drag on the spoon---and sort of scared the kids with my squealing.

They each ate a huge serving that morning (they added honey to their servings) and have eaten it for every meal for 2 days. I'm actually kind of worried they're over-doing it, but whatever. They're happy and are eating real food.

This is so much more cost-effective than the little things of yo-baby I was buying for them. I haven't run the numbers, because I sort of suck at math, but it's huge. Seriously huge.

Updated 10/23 8:45 pm:

 
I have gotten quite a few emails alerting me that yes, you can use lower-fat content milk with this method. To thicken the best, add one packet of unflavored gelatin to the mix after stirring in the yogurt with active cultures. Some have had good success mixing non-fat milk powder in as well.

The way I created fruit-flavored yogurt was by taking a cup or so of the plain and blending it in the stand blender (vitamix) with frozen fruit. Although this tastes great, the yogurt never thickened back up the way the plain did. I think maybe keeping the plain separate and adding fruit daily is your best bet. Or you can try the gelatin trick.

I was able to achieve a Greek-style yogurt this afternoon by lining a colander with a coffee liner and letting the liquid drip out of the leftover plain I made. The remaining yogurt was as thick as sour cream.
 

updated again: NEAT! Tricia made an allergen-free yogurt, and you can read about it here.


A HUGE honking THANK YOU to Johanna (banana?) for doing the math:

Here’s your milk/yogurt math…you have to add the cost of electricity, starter and fruity stuff:

Where I live (Seattle area):

One 6-pack of yo-baby is $6.50 (24 ounces)
One gallon of almost totally organic milk is $3.00 (128 ounces)
One gallon of yobaby would be $34.67 or 10 times what it cost you to make it, more or less.

THAT’S A BIG DEAL.


yobaby
milk
yobaby would be
cost
$6.50
$3.00
$34.67
ounces
24
128
128
cost/oz
$0.27
$0.02
$0.27

521 comments:

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ksperry said...

Just a comment on Amy's question. I tried taking the lid off to cool it faster once and almost immediately it started to form a skin. It was gross to me so I stirred it around and put the lid back on and waited the 3 hours! :) I am going to heat the milk in the microwave next time to cut down some of the time.

Anonymous said...

I just made this yesterday and unfortunately it didn't work out for me. :( I followed your directions exactly and it is just like milk still. Not thick at all. I think that my crockpot doesn't heat things as fast as others and I should have left it turned on warm instead of unplugging it?? Do you have any suggestions for me?????

-Ashley

The Smack Family said...

I FINALLY GOT IT!! I figured out my crockpot just doesn't stay warm enough. So here's how I did it. I followed all the directions exept: after mixing in the culture I plugged my pot back on warm for 30 mins. Then I put it in one of those insulated carriers. I have a big one that I do my Sam's meat shopping in. It's insulated to keep heat/cold things. I put my crock pot in that & wrapped a towel around it. I put it on the counter & let it sit overnight & VOILA!!! Yogurt in the morning. It took quite alot of trial & error for me to get the yogurt to stay warm enough but now that I've figured out what worked for me I will be making it ALOT!!!

THANK YOU!!!

Esther said...

hi,

I made this yogurt and I think it's great! The initial start up cost for me was a little bit more price then just buying the cups of yogurt,(because I bought some plastic containers to put it in) but it will eventually get cheaper! thanks for the great idea! I love it!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I somewhat doubted that this recipe would make like the store boughten stuff.....wrong!!!! It turned out perfect!!!! I had no whey on the top and it just needs tweeking now.
I add 2 T of instand milk powder and sprinkled a "little" gelatin. To the completed batch (minus the 1/2 reserve) I added 3/4 sugar and 3 chopped canned peaches.
Next time I will add a whole package of gelatin to make it thicker.
Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and thank you all for the comments....I read them all before making my yogurt!

Sara said...

Love your blog!! While I definitely think the yogurt making aspect is really cool, I'm mostly shocked by the price you pay for Yo-Baby! We pay about $3.89 for a six pack here in St. Louis, but a gallon of organic milk costs me $5.99 (doesn't matter where I go--Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, local big grocery chain...can't find it for less than $5.99). I just thought the price differences were funny.

Amy said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I made 2 quarts of yogurt with a few minor adjustments to save time and make thicker yogurt. FIRST, I mixed 1/4 cup of instant dry milk with the frsh milk, to make the yogurt a bit thicker (this was suggested by some other websites). Also, to shorten the cooling time, I placed the crock of heated milk into the sink filled partway with cold water. You have to check the milk often, as it can cool pretty quickly this way (mine took 20 minutes.) Then I did the rest of the process as directed here. I'm free from buying yogurt! Yay!

Jenna said...

I've tried this recipe twice now. The first time I used some powered milk to thicken the yogourt (made with 1% milk). The second time I used the unflavored gelatin suggestion. I'd recommend the first way. With the second, there are sometimes bites of yogourt the consistency of jello. It is a little too jello-like for for me. The flavour on the first batch was great and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Any suggestions on how to make it even MORE thicker? I used the 1/4 c dried milk powder and 1 pkg of gelatin. Maybe adding 1 more pkg of gelatin?
notes for Jenna: I wisked the gelatin into the warm milk well to prevent clumping, also it helps if you bring your starter to a room temp to help not make the mixture too cool thus preventing the gelatin to dissolve.

Anonymous said...

If you put some powdered milk in it as well as the whole milk it comes out thicker.

irish_outlaw said...

Has anyone tried making yogurt with lactose free milk. My husband will be doing chemo and was told that his system will NOT tolerate lactose of any kind and to make yogurt using lactose free milk.

Morning said...

I found a different yogurt recipe in a book my mother gave me and I blended it with this one.

After I add the yogurt to the cooked and cooled milk, I slide the ceramic crock pot liner out and set it on a heating pad let on it's lowest setting. Then I wrap it in towels. I've had much thicker results using the heating pad.

Dove

LadyJayPee said...

With a bump or two in the road, I made this and had it for breakfast this morning. It's wonderful! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

irish_outlaw said...

No bumps in the road here and it was my first time ever making yogurt and with lactose free milk!!! It was wonderful. I used stonyfield yogurt as a starter. It was thick and less than an ounce of whey. I bought the mini servings of pineapple and mandarin oranges to add for my husband. I use a chopped gala apple. I also used a mini crockpot.

Thank you to all of you for all your input. I will be making this quite often.

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

I made this last night and my kids and I are eating it with homemade granola today. Yum! I've also been Tweeting the heck out of it on Twitter, so you are bound to see an increase in traffic, because everyone thinks it sounds fantastic. Great recipe. :)

Amy

Judi said...

I've been making lovely thick yoghurt for years, very quickly and without those electric makers or hogging up my crock pot for hours.
I use 1.5 litres milk. bring to boil, and simmer very gently for10 -20 mins. The longer you simmer, the thicker the final product as te water evaporates. Let it cool to blood heat (stick in a clean finger if you can hold it for a count of 15 its o.k)
Remove the skin. Beat about 1 tablespoon of your starter, plain live yoghurt. Add a tablespoon of the milk and mix well then add to the rest of the milk and stir well.
I put mine in one of those big glass sterilizing jars used for canning fruit, but you could use a big glass bowl. I wrap mine in an old sleeping bag, but you could use old blankets. Leave it undisturbed for about 8 hours (I usually do it in the evening) and voila in the morning lovely thick fresh yoghurt which only takes about half an hour to make!!

Esther said...

I was wondering if you could make sour cream in a crockpot?

Hanna Jean said...

I was wondering if you or Debbie knew if I could use RAW whole milk? We're able to purchase directly from a private dairy, and we like our raw organic milk! I'm not too worried about germs and bugs, just not my nature, but I was wondering that if it's not pasteurized and it stayed heated and then room temp so long, would I be incubating germs of some kind?
Thanks for the article. And really, whole milk is better for the body then low-fat milk. That's the way God made it!

Dawn said...

I have only made this with raw whole milk. It comes out great, as long as you follow the directions! It was *really* runny when I forgot to add the yogurt starter. ;-)

Laura said...

I tried this and all I got was curdled milk. Yuck! I am so excited about making my own yogurt though, that I am not giving up!

Dawn said...

My last attempt was horrible, after many successes. It was VERY runny. I'm wondering if I need to add a bit more yogurt or if maybe the yogurt (Brown Cow plain) could happen to be low on active cultures?

Candi said...

I did this and it worked terrific!!! I used fat free skim milk, then after the 2.5 hours cooking and 3 hours unplugged, I added 6 oz container of Dannon plain non-fat yogurt, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 2 small packages of unflavored gelatin. Wrapped in towels for 8 hours and then refrigerated in 4 cup containers...IT WAS PERFECT and it smelled exactly like yoplait vanilla yogurt. I've been sweetening it with honey and eating it with homemade granola, cranberries and almonds. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! I've been telling all my friends about your blog and this recipe in particular. Thanks for all your hard work!

Anonymous said...

Well, I am from India and we eat yogurt everyday. I would like to add two things here.

1) You dont need to have a crockpot to make yogurt. We use a regular utensil which can go on a stove top and heat the milk at very low. It takes about an hour or so and you can tell it is done when you see the milk is about to rise. Once you have done this a couple of times, you will not have to baby sit.

2) Once the milk which has been heated, comes down to room temperature, you can stir in the starter. One thing i want to add about the starter, the one you get from the store might not be that good. It probably contains one type of bacteria. You will have to read the labels. Almost 80% of indians, make their own yogurt. If you have anybody in your neighborhood, just get a little from them (i am sure, they wont refuse) and that will do.

Anonymous said...

I want to try this on my 1.5 Quart Slow Cooker, but am unclear on the concept. I know I need to reduce the ingredients by half, but am not sure if the times also need to be halved or just reduced by a third or ???
Hmmm...

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Anon,

the rule of thumb is that if you are going down in size with your crockpot and are also decreasing the amount of ingredients (which you are!) you don't decrease the amount of cooking time. Crock-Pots work best when 2/3-3/4 of the way full, and the cooking time reflects that.

good luck!
xoxo
steph

C said...

I've made this twice now. the first time, it was fairly watery (even using 2 packets of gelatin). The second time, I had to finish thawing the saved yogurt just when it was time to add it. It was slightly warm when putting it in the pot. The yogurt turned out perfect!!!

Anonymous said...

boo, did not work for me--followed instructions to the letter. Don't know if my crock was too high in the beginning (the low is VERY high compared to my 1st crockpot), or if it got too cool (the milk wasn't even warm when I mixed in the yogurt). Used Fage yogurt as the starter, but it was still milk the next morning. It is April, so the house is not chilly. Can't decide how often I want to pour milk down the drain and try again adjusting different factors... boo hoo

Jennifer said...

I've been making this yogurt since I found this blog and only once has it not turned out and that was because I had to use a different crockpot, an older one I have... I ♥ this yogurt! I cant stand store bought yogurt anymore. Heres what I add to my own bowl... 1/2 a can of small drained mandarin oranges, 1/2 cup of drianed crushed pinapples, some crushed pecans and a dash of cinnamon... so yummy! :)

danica said...

Do you know how much yogurt this makes? Just curious, since you said it lasts 7-10 days, and I'd be the only one eating it.

kellie said...

i tried this last night and woke up to yummy yogurt! i also strained some too, like you suggested and it was deliciously creamy. :):) thanks so much!

Steve and Ali said...

I've made this with skim milk and using nonfat yogurt as a starter. I do the powdered milk method because, as someone said earlier, the gelatin clumps up and grosses me out even if I whisk it in. So I drain it using coffee filters and a colander, which makes it thick and creamy enough that you'd never know it was fat-free. I've been really excited about it, but my kids weren't as into as I was until. . . I bought some of those plastic Popsicle thingys at Target, added some jello powder at the end just to flavor, and poured it into the molds. Wow. . .the kids are obsessed! Some mornings they've even had pops for breakfast (I figure it's more nutritional than a Pop-Tart!) Actually, if you're going to freeze it in molds, no need to drain off the whey since it doesn't matter how thick it is. I can't keep up with the demand right now. I like that I'll be able to make whole-milk pops for the kids (they have trouble gaining weight) and skim-milk, sugar-free pops for me. I am so pleased!

pambi said...

Thank you for this idea. I will make some for my grandson, as soon I get to the store that sells good milk. As for the Greek style yougurt, save the whey! It is used in many nutritious recipes put forth by The Weston Price Foundation. Also, let it drip longer, through cheese cloth, and the product will become cream cheese. I am so excited, if a little behind the rest of you!

Jenna said...

I've been making this yogourt for a while using 1% milk and starter from previous batches. I've been adding the powered milk and I even tried the gelatin to thicken it. We've been enjoying it but it was always separated in to solid and liquid and the consistency wasn't quite right. The last batch I made I used 2% milk and a new starter. Wow! What a difference, the consistency was great. It was much smoother and creamier. I'll definitely use the 2% milk from now on, or even try whole milk. Thanks again for the recipes!

Dawnie said...

Absolutely amazing. I used 2% milk, added a 6oz cup of plain organic yogurt - nonfat, as that's all the store had - and added a packet of instant nonfat dry milk. I heated the milk on the stove to 190 degrees, and cooled it in a cold water bath, because I got a late start and wanted to speed things up. Then I wrapped it in a warm coat and left it alone for only about 6 hours. It is lusciously thick and creamy; every bit as thick as sour cream, without draining, and there was no whey on top at all. I had worried because frankly I don't like the taste of plain yogurt, and was afraid that I wouldn't be able to flavor it to my liking; I'm so used the the super sweet storebought stuff. But I added a dash of vanilla and a spoonful of honey to my bowl and YUM! It has a wonderfully creamy, mild flavor. It doesn't take much to flavor it, either. Thanks, Steph!!! I don't think I'll every buy yogurt again, except as a starter!

amorsalado said...

I am so thrilled to have found this. I eat yogurt every day, and it's expensive and hard to come by sometimes.

I've done my tweaking, and now I have a vegan yogurt that doesn't break the bank and that I don't have to travel to another town to find.

Thank you so much for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add more heaping praise to this post. I have made this recipe at least 4 times so far, and the yogurt has come out great each time!

For those asking how to adjust for a whole gallon of milk, I tried this in my 6-qt crock -- I increased the cooking time to 3 hours and doubled the normal amount of nonfat milk powder I added in the starter stage (which ended up being around 6 tbsp). The resulting yogurt ended up a little more "watery" than I usually get with the 1/2 gallon, but after straining it, I still got a wonderfully thick yogurt (just more to strain out).

I also just tried this with 1/2 gallon of 2% milk and 1/3 cup milk powder -- it came out just as thick as the whole milk recipe!

One more thing -- I made this
frozen yogurt recipe with the homemade yogurt, and it was amazingly tasty with fruit. Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

FeatherBunkle said...

We love vanilla yogurt here and I have a TON of vanilla beans--do you think I could throw a bean or two in the crockpot while the milk is simmering? What's your take on it?

EML said...

I am so looking forward to making this recipe. I am just wondering how much yogurt do you actually make with this recipe?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Been looking for an excuse to buy an adorable little mini crock pot; now I have one!
Thanx!

SunsetHill girl said...

Yippee ! After two failed attempts at making yogurt the non-crockpot way I found this recipe and it worked. I have a basic Hamilton Beach pot with a warm, low and high setting. Couple of questions to you who have done this a lot... after 3 hours on the low setting my milk was only at 160 degrees so I cranked it up to high for 15 min and got the milk to 180 which is what my non-crockpot recipe called for. Did I need to do this or would have 160 degrees been enough ? (used my cheese thermometer)

Question 2... I wrapped my crockpot in a towel and wrapped an insulated bubble wrap around that. Could I have left the crockpot on the warm setting instead ?

Thanks for your help.

Bridgett said...

To the woman who asked about making it with breast milk: Pasteurization is about killing the bad bacteria that can make you sick. You should be able to make the yogurt with out pasteurizing the milk first, since your baby drinks it unpasteurized. But, I would talk to your pediatrician first since there are some things infants shouldn't have, like honey, because their immune systems can't handle the bacteria in it.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering--how hot can the air temperature be before it is too hot? I used to live in Texas and now live in Georgia, and I refuse to use air conditioning unless I absolutely positively must do so or melt. My melting point is pretty high. In Texas that meant that in summer my kitchen temperature could easily hover around 115 or occasionally higher. I would draw the line and turn on the AC when the inside temperature got to be around 95 or so...at night. Here in Georgia it is so much more humid, so I give up and turn on the bedroom AC around 85 or 90 degrees. The kitchen, though, can still be in the 90-100 degree range, especially if I have been using my oxy-propane torch setup in the breakfast nook. It's no problem when the AC is on; I can take the crockpot and set it up in the bedroom where it is cooler. But before I have the AC on, how hot can the ambient room temperature get before it is too hot?

Jamie said...

Has anyone tried this with breastmilk? I'd love to make some for my son and daughter with it :).

a South Carolina geek said...

I'm a fan of the drinkable Kefir. Can it be produced the same way? Is it simply the "runny" yogurt everyone thinks is the "failure" when it's not gelled enough?

SavvySuzie said...

I just made this for the first time and it is AWESOME! I've been giddy all morning :) I made it in my 6 quart crockpot with whole milk. I let the half cup of starter yogurt (Stonyfield Farms) get to room temp and when I added that I also added 1/2 cup of powdered nonfat milk...it was thick, creamy and DELICIOUS this morning!

Queen Jaw Jaw said...

Can I ask how long your "starter" will be good for use? It's a dumb question, isn't it? If so, let's play like I'm invisible; 'k?

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Queen Jaw Jaw,

not a dumb question! I don't know for sure, but I would think the starter would keep in the fridge for about 10 days, the same way store-bought yogurt would.

--steph

liz said...

Just to add my comment to the cacophony of thank-yous--than you! I started doing this a couple weeks ago and it's been working great! I even made delicious "cream cheese" out of it using the colander-and-coffee-filter technique.

Anonymous said...

I have a half gallon of milk that has slightly soured/spoiled in the refrigerator. Can I use this safely to make more yogurt in the crockpot, or will it simply result in yogurt that tastes yucky or is unsafe to eat? Thanks.

d said...

i live in seattle and i only pay $3.50 for a 6-pack of yo baby.

Joe Barfield said...

We make yogurt with half & half. It is wonderfully fulfilling and we don't get cravings for snacks like we did with the low-fat stuff. It's great to have something we can eat for breakfast AND for dessert!

juliecache said...

I am very excited to see how my yogurt turns out in the morning. Thank you for your post.

P May said...

First of all, a BIG HUGE THANK YOU for this recipe! I've been using it for several months, and it has always turned out. I've made yogurt for years, using a method that was relatively easy - I thought! - until I read about your method. Also, to address a few of the comments and questions. I would never use spoiled milk, you will just end up with spoiled yogurt. Yuck! Also, I use Stoneyfield for my starter; I put the leftover yogurt in an ice cube tray and freeze it, and pop the frozen cubes into a plastic bag and keep in the freezer until next time I make yogurt. Then I take out however many and let them thaw at room temp. Your own homemade yogurt will tend to lose its "oomph" as a starter after a while. I also stir at least 1/2 cup dry milk powder into the milk before heating it up. It always turns out nice and thick. I usually use 2% milk. We often use sugar free jello powder to flavor and sweeten our yogurt. Years ago, I pureed canned peaches and added to the yogurt, and did like the one lady mentioned, put it into freezer pop molds and froze them for the kids. They loved them! So thanks again!

Anonymous said...

To South Carolina--

To answer your question about kefir (about a month late)--kefir is very similar in taste and consistency to a runny yogurt, but is produced using a completely different culture. You have to have kefir grains to make kefir, and yogurt cultures to make yogurt. Also, kefir can be cultured at room temp. However, if you end up with runny yogurt I imagine it would be a fairly satisfactory kefir-like drink.

Anyone having actual experience with kefir-making should correct me if I'm wrong--I've only read about it as of yet :).

Robin said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and LOVE this recipe!
I do have a question, if you strain your yogurt what can the remaining liquid be used for? Anything? I hate to throw out anything...

Carol Summers said...

Dude, I just made yogurt with 1% milk, 1/2 cup Dannon plain, and 1 pack of gelatin. Then I mixed a cup of grapes, 1 banana, and 2 TBS honey with 2 cups of the yogurt. OMG too sweet but so delicious!!

Thank you so much for sharing this idea!

ksperry said...

I don't know why I can't leave well enough alone. I've made this several times and have a "recipe" that works well and turns out the way we like it. But I had to go any try adding pudding mix and after sitting all night it is still completely liquid. No more experimenting! LOL

Anonymous said...

This makes ~8cups or ~60oz of yogurt per week right?(leaves 4oz for next week's starter).

Doing the math I get $0.09 per oz for DIY and $0.13 per oz for Store bought. I think your cost example isn't as useful since your getting scammed on that yogurt and yo-baby isn't a good representation of what an average person eats. But if yo-baby is the absolute only store bought yogurt you can give your child then it is what it is.

Anyway the Raw data:
Store bought Danon from peapod.
8 containers for 2 people for 1 week. Most people I know don't eat yogurt daily.
$.80 per 6oz container x8 times per week=48oz or $0.13oz
=$6.40 per week

DIY.
1/2 gall milk $2.25
15oz frozen berries ~$3
not counting the starter yogurt because you only need it once.
=$5.25 per week
Makes 8cups or 60oz per week.(leave 4oz for next week's starter). This makes DIY ~$0.09 per ounce.


So you get 60oz vs 48oz and it costs $0.09oz vs $0.13oz. Maybe you can eat the extra 12oz, maybe not. So at a minimum it is $1.25 cheaper per week DIY, for my example of 2 people who each eat yogurt 4 times a week.

If you eat yogurt everyday and have a family that also eats yogurt daily this could add to the savings. Because then you would buy whole gallons of milk and possibly larger/cheaper quantities of fruit and then the price per oz goes down more. So I'm betting you can save more money BUT if you use expensive fillers for the DIY you could end up matching or even going past the store bought price. So keep that in mind. If your one of those weirdo's who only eat's plain yogurt then you'll save an absolute ton on yogurt. :-)

Btw how long does your DIY yogurt last? I've read only one week. If it could last a full 2 weeks then you would really add to the savings by making larger batches. My example was based on your recipe which makes enough yogurt for one couple for one week.

I welcome any thoughts.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Anon,

thanks for your math! I didn't do the listed math, a reader named Johanna did, who lives in Seattle.I greatly appreciate another calculation, thank you.

I would feel the most comfortable saying that the yogurt lasts about a week in the fridge. I have no science to back it up----just mommy gut.

We have 2 little ones in the house, and they each (if allowed) eat 2 containers of yogurt a day. I eat one, and my husband tries to get another, if there is any left. ;-)

So, a huge batch usually doesn't even last a whole week in our house.

we like us some yogurt!

xoxo steph

Dean said...

This is awesome. For those folks that are getting thin yogurt, you have to start with a good starter. Buy the freshest yogurt you can in the dairy isle and look for the best "best before" date. You also want to make sure that it says "Active culture", so that the bacteria is still alive, hence the best "best before" date.

You also have to make sure the temperature when you add the starter is NOT above 55C or 130F. If it is, you are going to kill the lactobacilli culture. You can never go over this temperature! If you keep your temp as close to 50C to innoculate and hold it there for about 1 hour, then let the temp drop to as low as 35C, you will get wonderful THICK yogurt! If you want it thicker, you can drain as others have suggested, or you can add 1 tbsp per litre of skim milk powder prior to cooking. This will make the yogurt thicker without resorting to gelatin.

Homemaker101 said...

I love this!! I made yogurt and am eating it right now- and have some in the freezer to make Frozen yogurt. My son is Diabetic Type 1(he is 12 years old) and loves yogurt. I have had to make several dietary changes and it can be hard since sometimes the better foods can be very pricey. Thank You for this posting and I am looking forward to many more!!!

Anonymous said...

I've been using this method for a few months now. It's very forgiving so when I go a little long or need to go short on timing, it still works great. I am using Fat-Free milk with great success. I am using Pasteurized Organic milk. I even tried it with soy milk and that worked fine after draining 48 hours. Instead of using powdered milk or gelatin to thicken, I take the fresh yogurt and drain it in a "permanent" coffee filter. (This has no visible holes, it looks like a solid fabric in the bottom but is porous). Sometimes I drain for up to 48 hours with an occasional stir to loosen up the thick stuff at the bottom. But I SAVE the LIQUID. It's WHEY! I use it to replace milk and water in various recipes. For summer, I started freezing it to put in smoothies. People pay money for whey so keep it.
I have been using Stoneyfield Farms yogurt for starter. Stoneyfield has a culture no other American yogurt has that has been shown to help the immune system ward off the common cold. We started eating Stoneyfield daily last August and noticed our rate of colds went way down.

CLY said...

Sounds great, I have been thinking of trying it, this info makes it a no brainer. Will let you know how it works.

Amethyst said...

I am trying to make this right now. I have a 2-quart Rival crock, which fits 1 litre (4 cups) of milk with a little headspace, so I'm trying it in there. It's too small to do much else with.

I'm in Canada, and I'm trying Astro brand live culture yogurt as a starter. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Julie said...

yay! Thanks so much for this. I have been wanting to try it for a year and finally did it this weekend. DD was asking recently where cheese comes from and in the past we've strained store-bought yogurt to make a cream-cheese type spread. So yesterday we started with milk and a little stonyfield yogurt and woke up to yogurt! This morning we poured that into a strainer lined with coffee filters and are making cheese. If we get enough, I plan to let her help me make a small cheese cake out of it (also in the crockpot--it's the only way I have done it!).

wheee!! I love edible science experiments.

Vera said...

oh man, I missed this blog entry the first time it was posted. I have been loving this blog since I found it in mid August 2008 (when I was breastfeeding a new baby in the middle of the night). But now I really love it for the yogourt directions. We've been talking about making yogourt at home for months but previously found recipes involving pots, and jars, and other things that made it really complicated.

Pothuset said...

Thank you for the tip using the slow cooker. I am Dane and here in Denmark on a small island called Funen (Fyn) we make a very special cheese you can't find other places in the world, even in France! Making that particular cheese we need both some warmth to make the cheese and some herbs to smoke it. I usually put the bowl with the milk on my stoker, but the stoker is often turned off in the summer (and in the winter there are no herbs!)
Next time I'll try making the cheese in my slow cooker.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a crockpot to try this, I've never found one in France where I live and can't use one from the states...I do make all my jams and jellies, and I've found that if you just scoop a spoonful of homemade jam into plain yoghurt you don't need honey or sugar and at least you know that there are no preservatives!

Merry said...

I tried a recipe in of making yoghurt in the oven...I don't think I did it right because my husband and I were sick for two days! Luckily the kids didn't eat any! Now I'm scared to try again.

Emily said...

My mom follows your blog regularly and sent me this post because she knows how much yogurt I normally eat. As a grad student, the cost certainly is attractive, and I think I'll be trying this!

MistressTalia said...

I use my crockpot, but think I have a simpler method. I put 2-3 inches of water in the crockpot (The water in the crockpot keeps it warm longer than just having the milk in there, so this works well even in winter). I use two 2 quart jars, put 3 1/2 cups raw milk in one, 4 cups in the other with a dairy thermometer, cover both with a tea towel, turn crockpot on to high. When milk is between 100-110 degrees, remove 1/2 cup milk from the larger jar, mix with 1/2 cup yogurt from previous batch, pour equally into the two jars. Remove thermometer, cover jars with crockpot lid, turn off crockpot, throw a blanket over it and leave overnight. In the morning, put lids on jars and put in the fridge, you've got a half gallon of yogurt. This method id so easy, I can do it while doing dinner and dishes with no extra time in the kitchen at all.

Father of 4 said...

We used to eat Yoplait Think and Creamy Lemon. Well they stopped making that. Any way to use this reciepe and make a think lemon yogurt??

Nathan and Natalie said...

Thanks for this recipe. I have made yogurt on the stovetop several times and this is SOOO much easier! I add 1 c. powdered milk to the 1/2 gallon of skim milk at the beginning. Then I heat it for the 2 1/2 hours. But because of my previous yogurt making experience, I knew that I needed to get the milk cooled to 122 F-130 F. I checked the milk temp with my digital cooking thermometer and found it at the perfect temp after just 1 1/2 hours of cooling. For those people who aren't having it turn out, it would help to check the temp with your thermometer. (Milk hotter than 135 F will kill the yogurt). THen I added the yogurt, covered with the towel, and let it sit all night. PERFECT!! Thanks again!

ashley said...

I doubt this will be seen as this post in quite old and I need an answer pretty soon, but I'll try anyway.

My helper thought plain yogurt meant vanilla. That is all I have right now. Will this still work? Its Yoplait very vanilla.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Ashley,

hmm. I honestly just don't know. My gut tells me it might work, but the Yoplait is what concerns me. Does Yoplait make an organic/all natural yogurt? I think the only kind of Yoplait I've seen has high fructose corn syrup and some other filler-type products that just won't "yogue" as nicely as an all-natural organic, full-of-good-for-you-bacteria version.

I hate sending you back out the the store, but I'd hate having you waste a bunch of time and milk, more.

I'm sorry.

xoxo steph

Vanessa said...

Thankyou for posting this! I have been thinking about making my own yogurt and started to do some research, and my first thought was: I bet I can do this in my crockpot! I can't wait to try it this weekend, thank you!

Charlotte said...

I accidentally left out a step yesterday which may have caused me to make a discovery! I made this once before, but felt the yogurt was a bit runnier than I would have liked... still, it was good enough. Then yesterday, my second time making the yogurt, I didn't look at the recipe and forgot to add the cultured yogurt to my milk after the initial 3 hours. It wasn't until I let it sit another 8 hours that I remembered that step. So, since the milk seemed to be ok, I added the yogurt at that point, and let it sit another 8 hours. Result: the final product had a bit more density to it!

Ariel said...

I am eager to try making greek-style yogurt with this recipe (my kids eat tons of it, and it's expensive!) Where do you get a coffee filter big enough to handle this much yogurt? I tried to buy one today (we don't use them at home), and they were so tiny!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Ariel,

You'll need to use a few coffee filters. Put a pasta strainer into a bowl in the sink, and open a few filters, and overlap them in the strainer. Then pour all of the yogurt in on top of the strainers, and put the whole bowl/pasta strainer into the fridge. Leave it overnight, or for as long as you'd like, and the whey will separate into the bowl, and the yogurt left in the strainer on the filters will be thicker.

xoox steph

Penelope51 said...

Just found your blog two days ago and I LOOOOVVVE it! But seriously when I was reading posts by people saying that the recipes were so good they nearly peed themselves I thought "Good grief, it's a recipe for heavens sake. Get a life!"

I take it all back and more. I did the yogurt overnight and... AWH..... MAH..... GAWD!!! Can't believe how amazing it was! I was telling everyone at work and even called up some friends and told them they've gotta try this. Prior to that I'd really only used my slow cooker for stews. Not anymore! Thanks for the inspiration. (And bonus points for no more plastic yogurt tubs!)

Penny

Danielle said...

I just wanted to let you know that I posted a link to this post on my blog, The Happy Wife, today. I also posted in a (large) Yahoo group I belong to. It was for a post I wrote about the health benefits of yogurt and I also have a giveaway attached to the post so it should drive some traffic your way. Here is the link for you:
http://juanshappywife.blogspot.com/2009/08/wellness-wednesday-benefits-of-yogurt.html

ldsmom2201 at yahoo dot com
The Happy Wife
Homeschool Unit Studies

better-than-ewe said...

(A hundred years after everyone elses comments...) I am so excited to find your recipe! I don't usually get around to following blogs, but yours made me want to get back into the habit!

So, we figured out a little math. If I buy yogurt for my family, I would spend about $90-$180 per month. ($90 if its just hubby and the 4 year old, $180 if we all want in on the action.) To make enough for everyone, it will cost.... $40/ month! That's making enough for the WHOLE FAMILY! Saving up to $140/ month is my idea of a good thing!

Thanks again for the recipe! -Erika

KatRatVet said...

I've been making this for awhile now and just love the results. I've found if I use a cup of yogurt as a starter (instead of 1/2 cup), my yogurt comes out much thicker. Especially after being refrigerated.

Has anyone tried doubling this? I'm only home long enough to make it on weekends and one batch doesn't get us through the week. I can make two batches in two crocks, but would much rather be able to double it. If anyone has tried, please let me know the results. I'd hate to waste a whole gallon of milk!

Thank you so much for posting this recipe. And for all your other recipes. I can't wait to get your book Steph!

Da Sound Guy said...

I had to let you know that ever since the BlogHer (?) conference, I've been telling every friend I know about this recipe. I've made several batches exactly as the instructions say and it's awesome. Thanks!

Rox said...

EPIC FAIL!

I was so excited last night that I jumped in with both feet. I have a large group of yogurt eating people here, so I decided to double the recipe.

I followed the recipe exactly, only to find at the unveiling this morning.......milk soup. No thickening at all. I even had added 2 pkts. of knox gelatin.

Any idea who and where the failure began? The end is not pretty. I wonder if I can take out half the milk soup and start over again?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

oh no, Rox! I'm so sorry.

I think the problem was with the doubling. There was a lot of milk in the pot, and it probably didn't get up to the proper temperature. I don't know exactly what the temp is in order for it to "yogue" properly, but I think someone has written it in one of these comments...

I hate wasting food, and I'm so sorry this happened. As for taking out some of the milk and re-using it, I am not the right person to ask. I'd suggest not to, because I freak out about bacteria, and I'd hate anyone to get sick.

Hopefully there is some more advice in the comments and in all the links you'll find under the post.

xoxo steph

Jessica said...

I just made this yesterday and it's great! I put half in a container in the fridge as is, and strained the other half over cheesecloth overnight in the fridge, it's a wonderful thick consistency now!
This was so easy and so good!

I was thinking about adding vanilla from a vanilla bean possibly once the milk has heated up, anyone know if this would work well?

Shanda said...

I'm so excited about this post and how easy it looks to make in the crockpot. Thank you SOOO much for sharing! I feel as excited as you did in your initial post. Yay! You are great!

sawback said...

You guys crack me up, this blog is such a total kumbaya group hug.

Anyhow if you want really thick yoghurt it's easy, just add 1 Cup of powdered milk to your 1 Gallon of milk. If you want it thicker, add more. Thinner, add less.

That's all.

$3.00 for a gallon of organic milk? Wow, we pay $10 here in Canmore, Alberta.

Amy said...

I made yogurt in my microbiology class, but it tasted bad and was really complicated :-) I will have to try this--one question--do you know how long this yogurt will keep in the fridge?

Thanks!

cjbell said...

We started making yogurt when we were in Algeria & milk products weren't available. I like the idea of heating the milk in the crockpot - easier than on stove & thermometer. But try pouring the warm milk, once you add the yogurt, into a heated stainless steel thermos. Seal it up & let it sit undisturbed for the 8-12 hrs. (we made yogurt using a litre of UHT milk, so a 1-qt thermos worked.)
Next, to get the thickness you want, do the straining thing. We used a homemade napkin fm quilting cotton fabric; cheesecloth works, too. Line a large sieve/strainer, and set over a bowl or something. You don't have to let it sit so long that it gets super-thick. Just stop when you like it.
I suspect the reason your yogurt thinned up after blending w/frozen fruit is the water content of the fruit. Blend the fruit separately, and perhaps drain off the excess liquid (make a concentrate) and you might like the results better.

Anonymous said...

What a perfect day to read your year ago blog post. I make homemade yogurt too - never did it in a crockpot though. My recipe is from an old cookbook from 1979. I cook the milk on the stove til it comes to a boil, stirring frequently as it warms up more. Let it cool to about 100 degrees Farenheit, and add 3 tablespoons of live active Dannon Naturals plain yogurt for every half gallon of milk. Then I bottle it and put it in a pot of hot water that's on a heating pad set so the temp stays around 100 degrees Farenheit for about 5 hours.

I used to make Vanilla flavored - but now we are more into making yogurt cheese by draining the yogurt, or leaving it plain and sweeten and flavor it later on with honey, cinnamon, fruit, jams, etc.

Next time if I'm not in a rush, I'll try the crockpot verion if my crockpot is free that day!

Thanks for posting!

C and G said...

Just found this recipe a few days ago and I've tried it three times now. The first two times were a bust. It was user error though - the first time I had to set my alarm for midnight to mix in my starter and I set my alarm for noon :) the second time I was supposed to turn the crock pot off before I left on an errand and I forgot and came home to scorched milk - LOL!!! Thankfully organic milk was on sale @ the store this week and I was able to get a half gallon for 64 cents with a coupon!

Ok the details: I did use Ultra pasteurized milk - i'm not really sure why you're not supposed to use it. I also mixed in a packet of unflavored gelatin (I HATE runny yogurt) to my starter and let it sit @ room temp while my milk was cooling. My crockpot only needed to cool for about 2.5 hours before the milk was @ a good temp for introducing the starter. This third try worked like a charm - nice firm yogurt!!!

loves_t'weet said...

I've been making this yogurt for awhile now and am still learning. I've had batches that came out runny and also batches that came out not sour like yogurt should be. My 2 mistakes for these 2 problems were not using "fresh" yogurt starter and also the other problem was not checking periodically on the "wrapped in towel bundle in the oven" that it was slightly warm in the oven.
Remember when making in winter & summer, you have to adjust the temperature that you maintain.
Hope this helps for all you who just can't make it turn out.

Jenn said...

Just found this recipe today and I can't wait to try it! I have various digestion issues and IBS so have been told only to eat Stonyfield and other really expensive, plain yogurt. Unfortunately, adding honey or maple syrup irriates the IBS so I don't get many flavour choices. Since to get the low-fat varieties to thicken up with this recipe you have to use gelatin or powdered milk anyway - has anyone tried just adding a pack of sugar-free flavoured Jello? I think I might try it. That certainly would give you an assortment of flavours to try! Just have to be careful with aspartame consumption, but at least it's sweetened and not plain! I'll report back if it works.

kkw said...

I followed the recipe and made yogurt twice. I didn't add any gelatine, yet the yogurt was very thick after culturing for 16+ hours. The yogurt became even thicker after straining through the coffee filter papers. I now join the growing chorus of folks who highly recommend this recipe.

Anonymous said...

I made this yogurt the other day and it was delicious. I have another batch working now. I did drain mine and the consistency and taste were perfect. Thanks so much for your recipes and blog.

RrrriotGrrrl said...

I'm curious if you can freeze this yogurt? I've never heard of freezing it... If freezing is okay, does it change the consistency any?

Also, my crockpot has a 'keep warm' selection on it. Should I keep it on that setting for a few hours, in the last stage of towel wrapping, then let it cool?

Katina said...

I tried it and it is wonderful!!!! I'm so excited! It has a great flavor, not as tangy as store bought yogurt.

Thanks!

Cyndy from NY said...

I can't believe I read through all 299 comments over the last several days :) ... I made my yogurt yesterday, it is soft, but still yogurt. I used greek yogurt as a starter and it has a nice tang but not too much. I made it during the day, so I did plug my crockpot back in for 5-7 minutes twice over the 8 hours to make sure it stayed warm enough. Thanks for some great yogurt!

Lori said...

This is wonderful. So glad I found it. I buy the big tubs of plain and flavor my own but we are going through that like crazy. I was just talking to my husband tonight about getting a yogurt machine. You just saved us 50 dollars.

I wanted to mention that I just saw on Dr. Oz today that yogurt IS naturally LACTOSE free. The reason being is that the active cultures digest the lactase enzyme. So they do it for you.

Thank you again.

Holly said...

I have made several batches of homemade greek yogurt and am trying it in the crockpot today. I am going to do what I normally do with the pot and stove, but it will take loger (but leave less messy dishes) in the slow cooker. So here are my thoughts....heat the milk until it is 200 degrees. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until 104 degrees. Take your starter and add some of the lukewarm milk to it in a bowl ans wisk to get a thin consisteccy. Without disturbing the skin on top of the milk, stir in your starter. Then cover the crock with a towel and place in your oven. I actually turn my oevn onto 105 degrees. LEt it sit for 8-12 hours. This will give you a pretty thick yogurt. To make it really nice and thick, line a colander with 4 thicknesses of cheesecloth (damp), place over a bowl and dump the yogurt in. Put in in the fridge at this point. In two hours you will have super thhck, creamy yogurt. Let it drain longer and it is mor elike cream cheese.

Vita said...

Just found the blog & love it. Starting this week, using the blog for meal planning (starting w/french onion soup--which was a hit). Tried the yogurt recipe & happy with it. Changes: 1/2 gallon TJ's cream top whole milk & 1/2 gallon TJ's cream top 2% milk (yes, ambitious) in my huge crockpot. Added 1 cup storebought yogurt & roughly 1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk @ the 5.5 hour mark. Sat overnight 11 hours; a bit tart--will try prescribed 8 hours and use all lowfat milk next time. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've been making your yogurt for a year now and just wondering if you or your fans have any ideas for adding different flavors?
My most common is adding 3/4 cup sugar and about 1/2 strawberry homemade jam or just vanilla extract 1 tbsp for plain vanilla & same amount of sugar.
I'm interested in figuring out maybe a lemon meringue flavor.
Any ideas?

bbmoser said...

I love the yogurt and especially the Greek-style. Any ideas what to do with the left-over "yogurt water?"
It tastes like yogurt - maybe in pancakes?

thgilrats said...

I did some reading and found that if you keep the milk at 180-190F for a while before cooling and adding the starter (I tried 1 hour) the proteins change slightly and are able to absorb more water.

The result is thicker yogurt without the added gelatin.

Jessica said...

I love greek style yogurt, but with recent salary cuts and rising costs, greek yogurt at $1-$2 per cup, isn't in our budget. This recipe solves that problem. I made this today, and wow, it worked perfectly. Thanks for the great recipes, many of which I've tried, and loved. Working full time, and having a toddler, leaves me little time to cook meals, or I have to precook them the night before. I've starting using my crock 3-4x a week, and we are eating great meals with little effort.

bluamaryllis said...

I've just re-discovered my crockpot and discovered your blog. Excellent start to 2010. Thanks.
Maryse

-leese said...

Help! I only have instant dry milk in the house and we like the thicker yogurts. I want to try to make this recipe later today if I can find out an answer. What would happen if I go ahead and use the instant type of dry milk? would my batch of yogurt spoil? should I even bother? help help help!

The Ericksons said...

Wow! I'm living in India for 2 years and having a hard time finding fruit flavored yougart for my kids! YEAH I'm excited to try this!! They also don't have sour cream here and I've heard you can substitute yogart for sour cream is some recipes! YEAH!!!!

Melodi said...

I made this yesterday. We ate it this morning. The 9 year old and I loved it! The two year old who loves yogurt took a bite, started crying, then dumped it out on the table. She's in a mood today. I'm sure she'll like it later. My husband is really looking forward to trying it too. Thank you for posting this recipe!

-leese said...

Well, I did make that darned yogurt, and darned if it was no good. It came out like a drinkable yogurt. I tried to save it, but could not. I do not know where I went wrong, but I think it may have been:
1. the "instant" dry milk
2. temperatures may have been wrong? the first cook was at just about 122 degrees, and while it sat with the towels in the oven with it's light on, the yogurt temp was just under 100 degrees.
3. the starter yogurt I used was Dannon Activia, and it seemed runny then. I could pour it into the measuring cup (slowly, but still pourable)

Any thoughts?

Tanya Leigh said...

This is awesome! Do you think it would work to double the recipe??

Raven Davis Chitalo said...

So, I know you posted this ages ago, but I just tried it & I wanted to say THANK YOU!! I am so excited by my new organic homemade yogurt. No chemicals or preservatives, my favorite flavors, etc. It's just so cool!! And other recipes are great too, but this is just something so new & different I had to express my excitement!

Anonymous said...

Only problem is that YoBaby has omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and ARA, which aren't present in this sort of recipe. I'd add a packet or two of Babies Only packets to the finished product to make a truly equivalent product. Hooray!

zanjabil said...

Thank You for this method. Before I found this way I was using my oven to make it. This made my yogurt come out perfect.

sallyjocox said...

I just made a gallon of this and it is AMAZING! It has the most gorgeous nutty flavor...best yogurt I've ever had. The first time I tried it I didn't let it sit long enough and I didn't heat it hot enough because it was sort of stringy which we didn't like. But this time I noticed one of your posters said her Albanian piano teacher told her to heat it to boiling (gotta trust those "old country" folks who have lived on fermented foods for centuries!). I just turned the crock pot to high and let it sit on high for about an hour (after the initial 2.5 on low). Then I cooled it til it was (as you said) "warmish" and then mixed in the starter and tucked it in for 10 hours or so. Totally different this time! Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

This. I. NEED. to.try! I love yogurt and always wanted to make my own.
Some ideas looked unsafe, or just plain questionable. This looks the easiest, and yes, I DO have a crockpot for once.

Allison said...

Just linked to you here:
http://mommyprincessof2.blogspot.com/2010/02/yogurt.html. Hope that is OK. I cannot wait to see how my yogurt turns out.

Alice said...

OK--I've tested this doing several things and here are my results:
1. Fat free milk with the gelatin--looks thin fat free and tastes ok.

2. fat free milk with no gelatin but I did add powdered dried milk. I heated the milk on the stove-maybe to 100 degrees (maybe less). Let it cool then added the active yogurt (I only had flavored varieties--no special brand so I used lemon). Poured this mixed batch into a crock pot and used the towel method. Wowsers! This is the ticket. No lemon flavoring came through.

3. Can you really use 1/2 cup of this as a starter? Does it really work or will the next batch be thinner?

Alice

Danielle said...

I am so excited to give this a try..sounds amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Danielle

Kari said...

How would you figure out the nutritional content of the yogurt when it's done?

Marijke said...

My parents always made their own yogurt while I was growing up, and I have tried to do it, but thus far my results have been just so-so. This recipe will help a ton. Thanks for posing!

Marijke said...

LOVE it! I have been experimenting with making my own yogurt but was never truly happy with the results. I think this recipe is the icing on the cake!
Thanks for the post!

Julie said...

I tried this last night. My house is typically ~71 degrees with the heat on. But it feels colder than that once the sun is down. I think the running of the crockpot on high for a bit and then dropping it back (or boiling as stated, then putting into the crock) would be best. I woke up to what just looked like milk in my crockpot with a yogurt tang. I whipped in 2 packets of gelatin and I have it in the fridge. If it does not turn out, then I will try once more at higher crock temp and maybe higher fat content milk.

Rose said...

Absolutely awesome - I've been looking at yogurt makers and trying to decide which one would be best to get and then I stumbled into your post. THANKS SO MUCH - this is going to be great. I really enjoy my crockpot and have for years - not sure why I didn't think of this before. Not certain of the significance of "Greek" yogurt is. How is it different than the regular brands you buy in a store. I remember having a Salton yogurt maker back in college days - wish I had kept that thing sometimes but now I have an alternative. Looking forward to trying it. Thanks Steph - great post!!!

jpatti said...

I use my crockpot differently.

I put two quart-sized jars in it (one with 3 1/2 cups milk, one with 4 cups milk). Then fill up the crockpot with water. Put a dairy thermometer in the jar with the most milk and cover the whole thing with a clean dish towel (since the lid won't go on with the thermometer sticking out. I do this before starting dinner.

Sometime after dinner, when the milk has gotten to 100-110 degreees F, I remove a half cup of warm milk from the jar with the most milk, whisk it in a small bowl with a half cup of room-temperature yogurt, and pour it into the two jars evenly.

You can raise the temp higher (180 - to pastuerize it) and then let it lower to 100-110 before adding the yogurt. I don't do that because I use raw milk and want it to stay raw. Plus it's easier my way, but the higher temp method will give you a thicker yogurt.

I remove the thermometer and put the crockpot lid on to keep "stuff" out of the yogurt. Then turn off the crockpot and cover it with a blanket. The warmed water in the crockpot adds a bunch of extra warm thermal mass so it stays warmer longer than if you did the milk directly in the crockpot.

Next morning, I put lids on the jars and fridge them.

It does come out thicker in the summer than in the winter (my kitchen is pretty cold in the winter). I use whole waw milk and sometimes even add cream (if I've got some to use up), which thickens it up quite a bit. The cream is pastuerized, but not ultra-pastuerized, and from pasture-raised cows (same as the milk). In my state, milk is the only thing farmers can legally sell raw. I don't use dried milk for anything, as I think it's unhealthy. Gelatin would be OK by me, but I don't really know if the stuff will be thick every time until it's done. So if I want it thicker, I drain through a muslin-lined colander.

I use fresh or frozen fruit in my yogurt most often, but also add a sugar-free DaVinci syrup of one flavor or another (I have a large colleciton of these). If doing berries, I'll use the same berry flavored syrup (Blueberry, Raspberry or Strawberry). But yogurt is also darned good with the Kahlua or Caramel flavored syrup and no fruit at all.

Quran said...

Thanks for the nice blog. This is very useful and interesting.I read this and my self very appreciate with this blog. I have natural Dannon yogurt on my counter top right now, since I used it for breakfast, and whole milk in the fridge. I may have to try this!

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

Have a batch in process right now. Unfortunately, found out my 4 quart crockpot no longer heats up so transferred the milk to a larger crockpot. Hoping it still works. I'll let you know! LOL

Anonymous said...

Ebony b michigan
I want to make yogurt from breast milk for my baby dies it have to be pasteurized first? I won't be able to make a half gallon so how do I adjust for my 4 qt crock pot? Also I'm making some regular vanilla yogurt for me and I wanted to add cream so it would taste lake la creme but the cream I found is ultra pasteurized is it ok ti use that in addition to my regular pasteurized milk or di I need to find non ultra pasteurized cream. And how do I make it vanilla and yummy? Last time extract and sugar made it gross Tia!!!!! U are awesome

Adam said...

For those are are a little more sciency inclined, I used a thermometer to test for knowing when it was 110F. Apparently, temps above this can start to kill the cultures.

Jennifer said...

This was so inspiring!!! All of my coworkers are a bunch of microbiologists, so of course they felt the desire to chime in when I told them that I was going to make my own yogurt. They told me for safety and textural reasons, to change things up a bit. I haven't made it the original way, so I'm not sure what the end product difference is...

Essentially, I brought the milk up to a temperature of 180 - 190 F on the stovetop, and then let it cool (stuck it in the snow for 10 minutes) down to about 110 F. During the cooling process, I turned the crock pot to low to let it begin to heat up so it could properly incubate the yogurt overnight.

Once the milk cooled, I skimmed off the skin that formed on the top, took out about 2 cups, and put it in a bowl. I then added a packet of unflavored gelatin to the 1/2 cup yogurt starter and mixed it up. I mixed the yogurt/gelatin mixture and milk and then stirred it into the rest of the brew in the crock pot.

I unplugged the crock pot, wrapped it in a blanket, and let it sit overnight. As initially excited as I was to see it the next morning, I am also a new mom and in a fog and completely forgot about it. It sat for about 10 hours before I remembered it. To be honest, I was shocked that it turned out as amazing as it did. It's amazing with a little ripe banana or homemade fruit preserves. Like many of the other posts have commented, we will NEVER go back to store bought yogurt again (except to occasionally buy plain yogurt as a starter since you shouldn't spread your homemade yogurt out beyond 5 batches because the cultures begin to lose their potency).

I've also began to feed it to my 7 month old after getting the okay from our doctor. She loves it with just a little added mashed banana. Yum yum!

Ritianne said...

Thank you so much. I tried it out yesterday with soy milk and normal natural yogurt and it was great. I scalded the milk on the hob as I started it out sixish in the evening. Meanwhile I heated the slow cooker for around 30 mins with a glass of milk (from the full amount of milk, not additional). When the milk was about to boil I poured it in the slow cooker and let it rest for around 2 hours. I added the yogurt and swithed the SC on 'keep warm' as my kitchen is fairly cold - around 15 degrees Celsius - for around an hour. Oh and yes I had sprinkled around 1 tbsp sugar in the milk as well. When I switched the SC off, I wrapped it in a small blanket.

This morning I had the freshest ever yogurt for breakfast, with just a sprinkling of cinnamon and sweetener!!

Kristen said...

I have always wanted to try to make my own yogurt & thanks to you I can with my crockpot! I love your humor... you sound like me in the kitchen trying something new. Thank you so much for sharing! I love your blog & I am so glad I found you!

mona said...

You all are crazy. Iam from India and every home in entire country make yogurt at home.They don'thavecrock pot. You just warmmilk and when it is luckwarm you mix starter yogurt couple of spoon and cover it.On othe day morning you put into freeze and it is ready.Yogurt there is part of dinner or lunch.

Anonymous said...

I know it's been a while since you posted this, but I just got around to trying it and it was a HUGE success! I've tried making yogurt using other methods and I just got a runny mess (which wasn't a total loss since I used it to make yogurt pops with organic jelly)I'm even more excited as I have half of the batch straining more for some yogurt cheese as well as Greek yogurt. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment, Mona, we but are not in India and this is not an everyday thing for us! My husband and in-laws are Iranian and my in-laws were making their yogurt like this regularly when they first came to Canada due to the cost-effectiveness and my husband was making his yogurt like this because he has ulcerative colitis and since yogurt is, as well all know, so good for the digestive system and colitis is an intestinal disease, he was eating a lot of yogurt. This recipe is how they were all making it. Only tasted the plain yogurt. Will have to try adding some fruit.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised so many people use gelatin. With a good culture, the yogurt gets thicker the longer it incubates, especially if you add some nonfat powdered milk. Why would you want to fake what the culture should be doing naturally? It's like using cornstarch instead of roux to thicken gravy -- a big unappetizing cheat in my opinion.

Amanda said...

I tried it yesterday and it worked great--thank you. Not sure I agree with the cost savings math though in the Seattle area--a gallon of organic milk is about $6, not $3, but maybe you meant for a half gallon. THANKS again!

Debbie said...

Hi Crockpot Lady,
You are the best!!! My daughter (39 and disabled) was just diagnosed with gastroparesis and I have to puree all her food which by the way is a very limited choice. One of the things she loves to eat is yogurt. She eats 2 cups of vanilla Yoplait yogurt a day and even though I buy a large container it still only gives me 4 servings so I got the thinking, how hard can making your own yogurt be? I typed in Google make your own yogurt and yours was the first link I clicked on. I made some yesterday using whole milk and at the end added some vanilla and honey. It's delicous and the best thing is I know what's in it. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.
Lizzy's Mom

C'est Moi said...

I know this is an old thread... but I have a large crock pot and a large family, so I want to make this using 1 gallon of milk. What are the cooking/warm/cooling times for this amount?
Thanks!

Carolee ~ ArtPodStudios said...

Hi Great article! I have been making my own yogurt with Fresh Goat's Milk. Goat's Milk is a very low fat easy to digest milk. I make mine with 2 quarts of the milk, 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk AND 1 envelope unflavored gelatin. After the yogurt has thickened, do not scoop it out, instead slide it into glass containers, put a lid on and refridgerate for at least 8 hours. Mine comes out a thick creamy yougart. To flavor the yogurt I like to put the fruit in when I am ready to eat it. What really tastes good is 1 tablespoon of fruit preserves, the kind not made with sugar, but sweetened with natural fruit juices. Delicious!

dhan said...

whether the difference between kefir and yogurt?
Which is better between them?
whether kefir has the same flavor of yogurt?

Anonymous said...

I've made this yogurt a couple times, and really loved it! But I noticed a couple other websites that use thermometers to keep an eye on the temperature, and I was just wondering, does anyone know if it's totally safe to use use the crockpot and not watch the temp? So far I haven't had any problems (and it doesn't seem like anyone else has either), but I just want to be cautious when dealing with dairy and bacteria :)

Jens said...

It didnt work out for me, ive made it on stovetop before and it came out much thicker, and that was just using milk, i used heavy whipping cream and milk this time, im just leaving it on warm and adding in some more yogurt and hope it turns out :P

Leigh - Puddle Magic said...

Okay, so i'm a little late to the party, but I still wanted to thanks for posting this! I can't wait to give it a try!!

shannon said...

Thanks for posting this recipe. I make mine with 2% milk and this is so easy and way cheaper than buying yogurt from the store. I strain mine to make Greek Yogurt and eat it with fresh berries or use the yogurt in smoothies or frozen yogurt recipes.

hali and emily said...

I am newly addicted to making yogurt with your recipe/plan! LOVE it. and yes, I put it through a coffee filter (in the thingie into the coffee pot!) and in the end, it is basically like eating sour cream...I am selling my silly yogurt maker. -- Emily

Sharyn said...

HI,

I was so excited to try this. Mine did not turn out - it never really got thick. I know you said it would not be super thick but mine was just a bit thicker than the milk I started with. It smelled like yogurt. I am wondering if my low setting is too low and did not get the milk warm enough. Will it work in a larger crock pot - I have a 7 quart one that I know heats better.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so Much.

We eat a lot of yogurt and I always prefer to eat homemade so
I borrowed a Crock Pot from a friend.. wanted to test it first before buying one.

The result is spectacular.

I used a 5.5 quart Crock Pot with 3.25 % Milk. Followed the recipe and times exactly.

I will be making this on a regular basis from now on.

Thanks !

Michel, Montreal Canada

Anonymous said...

Just a question. I have a 6% Balkan Plain yogurt with active bacterial cultures that I will use for starter, but was wondering if I us 2% milk would that thin it too much? I will also be using a 5-6 qt. crockpot, so do I need to adjust the measurements at all?
Thanks for posting this...my 2 year old son eats a large container of yogurt per day...you're a life and pocketbook-saver.

Daphne said...

I have been making this successfully for about 3 months now. It is so easy and delicious! I won't ever buy store bought again. I posted about it on my blog and gave you a shout out. Thanks!

http://foodjunkiefromtexas.blogspot.com/search/label/Yogurt

Zora said...

I just tried this, it was supposed to be ready now, I was soo excited.......and it didn't work. I have no idea why, I followed all the tips I found here, used milk powder, put the slow cooker in the oven over night because my house is so cold. I'm frustrated and disappointed. I want to try again soon, but don't really know what to do differently. What I've got now I divided into two containers, one of them I wrapped in the towel again and put it back in the oven, the other one is in the fridge. And for now, I guess we'll have Lassi.

Melissa said...

Love this recipe. I have made it a half dozen times. My best results are with whole milk, Greek yogurt as a starter, and 2 tbsp of powdered milk added with the yogurt. I also just discovered an easy way to add flavor once it is done. Just mix in a scoop of freezer jam (made with no cooking necessary- just add 4 cups of mashed berries to 1 1/2 cups of sugar mixed with the no-cook freezer jam pectin and you're done). So easy!

Anonymous said...

I just did this last night. I used a 7QT oval Kitchen Aid slow cooker. I heated the 8 C of 2% milk on the stove until it hit 180f. I let it cool until 110f. I took out 2 cups of the milk and added it to 1/2 C greek plain yogurt, and 1/2 C powdered instant nonfat milk. I poured the mixture back into the milk, and gave it a stir. I briefly heated the cooker on "buffet," before adding everything, and unplugging it. I wrapped the whole darn thing in a down comforter and went to bed. I left the yogurt for 12 hours. It looked great. I strained off much of the whey with a large fine strainer and coffee filters, while it rested in the fridge. 3 hours later, it was to the creamy consistency of a high-end greek yogurt. I am VERY impressed with the results, although since I reduced the amount of yogurt by draining off so much whey, it isn't more cost efficient than buying Greek Yogurt from Chobani. I will probably keep making it though, because it is so fun to do it, and thoroughly tasty!

Alissa said...

I'm late in this commenting game, but I tried this with AMAZING results. For flavoring, I bought a single serving size bottle of cherry-pomegranate juice and simmered it on med-low for about 30 mins until it reduced. While it was cooking, I threw in some brown sugar and a good measure of ground cardamum. Now, I just keep that in the fridge and add a little scoop to each container of yogurt.

The pomegranate makes the yogurt even more sour, which I happen to like, but you could certainly reduce any other kind of 100% juice for a sweeter flavoring. I'm thinking about flavoring some homemade kefir this way as well...

Anonymous said...

My post of June 18,2010. Mistake in my reporting. I used 1% milk, everything else correct in my post of the 7qt oval. Worked fantastic. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Wow, amazing. I just wanted to leave my two cents here on how I made my first (and perfect!) batch of yogurt.
I read a few different blogs on making slow cooker yogurt and combined the ideas from all of them that made the most sense to me.

8 cups milk, I used whole because it's what I had

1 cup starter plain yogurt

Warm on low 3hrs, unplug, wrap and let sit 4hrs, remove 1 cup warmed milk and wisk with 1 cup starter yogurt. Add back to crock. *TURN SLOW COOKER BACK ON FOR 30 MINUTES* then unplug again, wrap and let sit for 8-10 (even 12) hours. Perfect, thick yogurt. No need for the gelatin or powdered stuff.

I removed all of my yogurt from the crock and scooped in into a colander lined with cheese cloth and put it in the fridge to drip off the excess whey while it chilled down and it was so thick and creamy and delicious!!!

Carrie said...

I just made some yesterday, and I was so excited to see that it worked! Thank you!!!

Sean said...

I just made yogurt for the first time. I took a cheesemaking class in the East Bay, and she does it in jars in a cooler with hot water. It worked OK, but I think I might try your method next. Sounds easier.

Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying making yogurt in the crock pot. I have been making yogurt myself for about 40 years. Oh dear, has it really been that long? I've used all sorts of methods. I like this the best. I wish I hadn't given my yogotherm yogurt maker to my daughter though. I hope she's using it. It's just a extremely large mouth thermos without power to incubate the yogurt in.

I made a mistake last time and used a gallon instead of 1/2 gal and it worked well just following the rest of the recipe correctly.

Anyway, this is a terrific method. Thanks so much for the posting!

Crystal Hartmann said...

For the concern about thickness.........ever thought of using buttermilk?

Julie Cardona said...

Has anyone tried freezing this yogurt? how did it turn out?

Jeanine said...

I've made this yogurt numerous times with great results. I usually start it at 7:00 AM or 4:00PM. If I want the yogurt thicker-just strain it. Save the whey liquid and use in pancake recipes in place of milk.

Amanda said...

A friend pointed me to this recipe when I was looking for a homemade yogurt recipe without fancy equipment. I'm thrilled to say that when I woke up this morning there was a TON of homemade yummy yogurt in my crockpot!!! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

I see a lot of smoothies in me and my girls future! Good thing I just bought a bunch of fresh strawberries too. YUM.

rhiannon said...

THANK YOU for this. so much better than the other ways...

i am trying it with 1/3c of dry milk added to see if that will thicken it, but otherwise it's amazing. :)

peanut said...

Cool!

I just found this (via your comment on Soulemama's post). I have a mini-crockpot I swiped when my mum cleaned out her kitchen. It'd make just enough yogurt for the two of us :)

Anonymous said...

Cocoa Coffee Yogurt
To 4 C heated milk, I added 1 split vanilla bean, 1 T instant expresso powder, 2 T Van Houten Pure Soulble Cocoa powder, 1/4 powdered milk, & 1 sachet (1gm)powder Stevia for sweetner. Strained the milk mixture before the setting process to remove any vanilla bits or undissolved cocoa. I know all these extras defeat the purpose of the economical & time savings, but nice to be able to have a finished product tailored to what you like. Still cheaper than the store bought coffee flavored yogurt. I live in Singapore and 1 small single serve container of yogurt is very pricey. In addition to wrapping the crock in a towel, I placed it in a thermal insulated bag used for grocery store shopping. Placed on my warm Singapore porch. One good way to use this warm weather.

Amy said...

I am doing an elimination diet and can't have milk (along with many other things). Have you or anyone else tried this with alternate milks (soy, rice, almond)?

Rachel in KCMO said...

I just found your website and I am excited to try some of the recipes....ESPECIALLY this one! I have seen recipes for home made yogurt, but the recipes I have read didn't sound easy enough. What can I say...I am a lazy cook! :)

Gail said...

I made yogurt for the first time yesterday -- using your wonderful instructions -- and it is SO GOOD!!! I can't believe how easy it was, and I was so excited to take the lid off the crockpot this morning and see that the milk had turned into thick, creamy yogurt -- like magic! I had some this evening with homemade granola and felt just like a hippie -- a healthy, money-saving hippie! Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe. By the way, I used 1% milk and lost track of time and heated it for more like three hours instead of 2 1/2, then insulated it half an hour later than I was supposed to, and it didn't seem to matter at all, so I'm thinking yogurt is pretty forgiving and flexible... which suits me fine!

Paula Adams Perez said...

FYI, I make yogurt all the time, and I am dairy intolerant. I use soy milk, or a can of coconut milk and some soymilk together. Make sure your starter yogurt has NO dairy! So Delicious coconut milk yogurt is a good starter and comes in plain or vanilla. I use a tablespoon of plain gelatin to thicken a batch. Non-dairy yogurt is SO EXPENSIVE, this is a great way to save money. You can use your own yogurt to start the next batch, but I find that it gets tarter and tarter as the generations go on, so I usually buy a new starter every 2nd or 3rd batch.

Jennifer said...

I just made a batch with Lactose-Free milk. My kids LOVE IT!!!! Going to play around with it a bit next time to thicken up (Hubby's request). The ate a good portion of it after getting home from their fathers house...so I don't think it will last very long here! =)

Henderson Family Happenings said...

I made this with fat free milk with gelatin added and it was fabulous. My friend who is Lactose intolerant used coconut milk, no gelatin, and it was the best yogurt I have ever had in my life!!!!! I will use this forever now. (I live in the Philippines and we can fresh coconut milk!) Yummy!

Orion said...

Hi!

Love your recipe! Worked great - I tried a variation and wanted to share since it worked very well.

Instead of putting the Crockpot into blankets or towels, I put it right into a cooler. it's nice and insulated and worked wonderful!

Thanks for your post - My family now enjoys fresh yogurt daily!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I made yogurt years ago in a yogurt-maker, but I've been itching to try it more simply. PERFECT!

For those whose yogurt isn't turning out, remember you're growing bacteria. They need a comfy environment to grow well! This means the right temperature and no stirring (they don't like to be disturbed). Since every crockpot differs, use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.

Basically, you need to heat the milk to around 180-190* F, to kill off any malingering bad bacteria. Then cool to around 110* F, which is a good temp for the yogurt bacteria to grow. If you end up with yogurt-smelling milk, then the bacteria didn't grow. Either it was dead when you put it in or the temperature killed it, or it got stirred or bumped too much.

I made mine w/1 gallon 2% milk, and I kept the thermometer in the milk and the crock in the heating base. I turned the crock on low as needed to keep the yogurting temp around 110* F.

I strained the yogurt when it was done, and now have about 3 quarts of greek-style yogurt and 1 quart of whey. Which I'll put use to reconstitute veggie bouillon for soup tonight.

THANK YOU STEPHANIE!

mamacantrix said...

Oooh! I'm so glad I found this! There's a gallon of raw milk sitting in my refrigerator just waiting for this!!! I didn't read through all 376 comments, so I don't know if anyone else tried with raw milk, but I'll let you know.. :)

Anonymous said...

I cannot buy non ultra pasturized milk where I live. Believe me I've checked everywhere and we do not have any whole food or health food stores around. All organic brands are ultra paturized in this area. Can I use ultra pasturized to make the yogart? I don't want to waste the milk. Thanks.

TinyShoppes said...

My husband wants sweet fruity yogurt. Can the sugar be added during the cooling down process. If I process the fruit and let the liquid drain, can that also be added during the cooling down process without the yogurt being watery. Someone also mentioned adding pudding. Can that be added during the cooling down process or the cooking process without making the yogurt watery. I'm going to make some plain for me, because I don't want added sugar. But my husband just wants to open the refrigerator and dig in, without all the fuss of adding stuff. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I read ALL the comments and really enjoyed it. Many good suggestions. Thank you all.

Camper said...

My first try and I made great yogurt. Doesn't even need sugar! I added pure vanilla extract in the beginning of the recipe and 1 cup of instant powdered milk. I used plain non-fat Chobani Greek Yogurt as my starter. I made 1 gallon. One gallon whole milk, 1 cup instant powdered milk, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract and 10 ozs Chobani Greek Yogurt. I used a Suzanne Somers crockpot. It took 3 hours to heat milk,powdered milk & vanilla extract to 180 degrees. When temperature got down to 113 degrees, I tempered in the yogurt. I covered the crockpot in a carryall cover & towels & left it sit for 11 hours. Great tasting, inexpensive yogurt.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if this is redundant, but re: trying to make the yogurt solid, I found that the milk solids and the gelatin did not help, but what did help was adding an extra blanket (in addition to the thick towel) to keep the whole thing warmer. Big difference! I also find that sticking the whole crock in the fridge (after it's done) for another 8 hours or so causes it to get thicker still. Haven't tried this with 2% yet, just whole...

Theresa said...

This is so exciting! I have been wanting to make my own yogurt since finding out that my daughter has Crohn's Disease. Thank you so much! I have linked to your article from my blog, Diet and Health in My Little Corner www.dietandhealthmlc.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Wow I am SOooooo Excited to try this but I already have your cranberry sauce recipe in my crock pot right now :)

Can you please give me an example of what name brand you are using for your starter?

And at the end when you are putting it into individual containers are you adding the fruit then or do you not mix the fruit until you eat it? I was thinking you could do kind of a "Fruit on the bottom" setup if there was a issue with mixing it. I like the idea of it being kind of a grabby type food and the kids not having to mix there own fruit each time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I can only find ultra-pasteurized, organic milk in my area. Do you know if there is any way to modify the recipe so that I could still successfully make yogurt with ultra-pasteurized milk? Would increasing the amount of the starter help?

secretsofawannabehousewife said...

I have truly never been more excited to try a recipe. Thank you for reposting this!

Anonymous said...

I just found your site. My comments about the home-made yogurt isn't particularly timely but does have merit. I have a herd of dairy goats so use the goat milk exclusively. I am eager to use the slow cooker for my yogurt.

For those who wish to use raw milk (either goat, cow, or yak), start with strained milk to remove any dust particles. I make a gallon at a time. To pasteurize,heat slowly over medium fire. Using a cooking thermometer, bring the milk to 145* and hold it for 30 minutes. This will remove the "unhealthy" bacteria but the "healthy" bacteria will not be removed. Cool to 112* and blend in 1/3 to 1/2 cup of good quality starter (Brown Cow, Dannon, Stonyfield, etc). (Don't bother with "plastic" yogurt - check the ingredients on the container. If there are more than 3 ingredients, it's probably "plastic"). Also, stir in about 1/2 c. milk powder which will add extra protein and assist with the thickening.

Here's where I will change my processing to the crock pot method. Use low setting wrapping in heavy towel for insulation, for about 6 hours. Longer may increase the "sour" taste.

I'm eager to use the slow cooker to culture the yogurt. Please do not be afraid to use the raw milk. Even though it seems to be a complicated process, it goes fast and each step does make sense. Best wishes!

The Goat Lady of Northern Michigan

LSP FARM said...

I will have to try this! Might try it with fresh goat milk... I'm still working on goat milk cheese..

Alexi said...

I do realize it has been a while since anyone has posted on this recipe, but I'm really hoping SOMEONE can help. Can you freeze it after it is done? I make all our baby food, but with three little ones (Stephanie, I know you understand this), I can't justify making yogurt once a week. I tend to make everything for an entire month (in just a few days). I'm wondering if I can freeze the plain yogurt, and at the beginning of the week, thaw it in the fridge and add fruit as my little one eats it. I am SO excited to finally use this recipe. I found it shortly after you posted it, but never needed it as bad as I do now! Our youngest (8 months old) has a whole lot of health problems, and yogurt is so good for her.
Thank you for all your recipes that have helped me feed my family the best! My celiac son, who is 2, has quite a palate from all the slow-cooking I do with your recipes. Completely honest here; I use my slow cookers with your recipes AT LEAST 5 out of 7 nights a week!!! It saves me SO much time and money, your book/blog are such a blessing to our family!

Alexi

Paula said...

I was making apple sauce in the crock pot this morning while researching online how to make yogurt. Then it hit me, why not make yogurt in a crock pot? I googled it and came to your page. How wonderful! And you seem to have the exact same crock pot as me. I'll try it this afternoon.

Cortney said...

I love this method and have been making yogurt this way for more than a year. Absolutely excellent.

Wrote about it in my blog here...
http://www.cortneyives.com/cookery/the-new-broke-american-kitchen/item/31-a-celebration-of-slow-cooker-yogurt.html

Yolanda said...

Thank you. I am going to do this tomorrow, trying it with my own goat milk. I hope it works out!

Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) said...

Just made my first truly successful batch of homemade yogurt, following your recipe! Thanks a bunch for posting it. Linked to it in a post on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Delicious! Tried this recipe out last night for the first time, and it is fabulous! I've shared this recipe and your blog with several friends. I'll be watching out for your tomorrow - have fun!

Anonymous said...

It's been a long time since someone posted here. I thought I'd contribute a neat flavor my aunt used to make.

She'd use frozen orange juice concentrate to flavor her homemade yogurt. I think she probably had flavored it with vanilla extract first, then added about a tablespoon of the OJ to one serving size (about a cup) of yogurt.

It tasted like an orange creamsicle!

libby said...

I tried this yesterday for the second time (the first time did not turn out well). The second batch of yogurt came out super yummy although a bit runny, so I am putting it through a sieve with cheese cloth over it today to sift off some of the excess water. It's turning into yummy thick greek style yogurt before my eyes. YUMMO!

lim said...

I've made this a few times and it's always worked very well. But last night I accidentally put the milk on high for 2.5 hours, then, realising it was too hot, let it cool for 4 hours, then stirred in the yoghurt.

The next day, the milk had not yogged (presumably the temperature was really just too high). So I put the slow cooker back on low for about four hours, strained the contents, and made cream cheese! It's really nice and just as easy as the yoghurt.

The Fredricksons: Brian, Britney, Salty, and Jerry said...

I am trying this as I type. Currently my crockpot is in it's insulated case, wrapped in a towel :)

A few readers mentioned turning their yogurt into cream cheese by cooking it longer and straining it. I am extrememly intrigued. I tried to look thru the comments to find details, but didn't. Do you know how to do this?

Anonymous said...

I was told by my cousin who owns a yogurt machine that it has to cook longer than 4hrs to remove the lactose and sugar from the milk. Suggestions?

Elizabeth said...

I know that this post was from a long time ago, so you probably won't see this, but thank you so much for posting this! I tried it last night, and I think it worked out really well! :)

Nicole B said...

I tried this last night and it was so easy! Turned out great! I am sharing it on my blog and linking directly to your blog post here.

Wonderful recipe! THANKS SO MUCH!
Nicole
http://momalwaysfindsout.com

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