New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
  • Follow me
  • Subscribe to newsletter
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Become a fan on Facebook
  • Follow me on Google Plus

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:

«Oldest   ‹Older   401 – 521 of 521
Jennifer said...

This is wonderful. I think I may need another crock pot, or two.

Loralee said...

I've made several batches of yogurt now. With athletic, hungry teenage boys in the house, what a life saver!

I use powdered milk, which I make in double strength and it's wonderful.

I accidentally let it sit 1/2 an hour longer on the last batch before adding the yogurt and it was even thicker.

As one reader suggested, I do let mine sit for 24 hours at the end and it works great. It's tangier and thicker. Thanks for sharing!

LisaDay said...

I have just started eating yogurt and running yogurt might push me over the edge. But my son would likely love it so thank you.

LisaDay

bccap said...

I've made it yesterday. The yogurt was very tasty. Thanks for shearing!

Carolina Nightingale said...

ARGH! Still not thick enough.... not nearly as thick as sour cream, mine's more like syrup. ANd I tried thickening with both gelatin AND powdered milk. So I went to the stor and bought the expensive starter kit... hoping it actually works and I can use it as a starter again, lol!

Carolina Nightingale said...

Does anyone know if, since my research says metal can inhibit bacterial growth, using a metal crock with the whole nonstick lining will make a problem? I could switch it to a glass bowl.....

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Carolina,
ick on the thinness, I'm sorry. I'm interested to hear more about your starter kit.
If you've heard that metal can inhibit bacteria growth, then yes, I'd absolutely try placing an oven-safe dish inside the removable part. I'm assuming you've got one of those 3 in 1 pots?

you can also try cooking it a bit longer to help it yogue. This is a chilly time of year, that might help.
good luck! xoxo

Kerri Slack said...

I have real kefir grains that I use to make kefir. Has anyone else tried to make yogurt out of this and in the crock pot as well? Kefir (esp homemade from raw milk from our next-door farmer) has the highest content of probiotics. Has anyone else experimented with this? I have 5 kids and am trying so hard to feed them healthy and restore gut health but yogurt and store-bought kefir are so expensive especially for a family of 7. Thank you so much for any input you have for this. I love this article by the way. I will definitely try it!!!

~Briony said...

I can't believe I have been wasting money on store bought yogurt all these years!! This is so easy to do!!

We prefer thick yogurt so, after much trial and error, I came up with this recipe based off of Stephanie's:

http://freezeyourwayfit.blogspot.com/2011/02/homemade-yogurt.html

It comes straight out of the crock thick enough for my 18-month-old to feed himself without making a mess and when I strain it overnight it's the same thickness as cream cheese :)

The most important part is the timing of adding the milk powder and gelatin. Plus use regular yogurt, not greek yogurt, as a starter.

Sylvie said...

I am doing this in a 7 quart and have just finished the first step of heating the milk for 21/2 hours....I would love for you to convince your friend Debbie to write a blog...i homeschool my 8 and 4 yo boys with great difficulty (let's ot talk about our debt right now;)) thank you for your feverish passion with your slow cooker, it will become a favourite site to search. (even before allrecipe's because they can't crock!)

Beach Nana said...

I make my own yogurt for the health benefits. I only use organic whole milk for making kefir or yogurt. Kefir and yogurt are live enzymes, and they thrive better on whole milk. Let that be a lesson to you. What works best in nature is probably best for you.
Don't give into the lowfat hype. Our brains need fat to absorb the proper nutrients. That said, be sure your whole milk is not ultra pasturized. It will not grow. There is another lesson in nature. I will not use ultrapasturized milk as a food. If live enzymes won't grow in it, it's not a nutrient for me either.
I often use Stoneybrook organic plain yogurt as my starter because it has 6 probiotics instead of only 1 or 2. I also use more of that in the recipe, as it doesn't hurt, just makes me feel better...

BillinPhoenix said...

I found this using a Google search.
I used a 5 quart crockpot. I used Whole Foods brand whole milk and yogurt. I added 1 packet of gelatin to thicken. Followed your directions. It came out perfect.
Thanks

Adhis said...

I tried using the gelatin time and time again, and each time, my yogurt ends up with one gelatin clump in the middle even though I stirred it into the milk during the process.

Also, I do not think my crockpot stays warm enough during the last 8 hours of the process. The closest I have gotten the yogurt to what I like is by leaving the crockpot ON to the "Warm" setting.

Anybody else finding a similar situation?

Olubunmi said...

I just came across your site, and I will be using it sometime very soon. I was trying to figure out what to do with all of those little mason jars that I bought on sale two years ago. Now I can put yogurt in there. Thank you so much for this.

Lisa said...

How do I know if my starter yogurt is live/active? I see no "pasteurized" OR "live/active" on the yogurt I bought.

I am so excited to try this!

...Lisa

Anonymous said...

My family loves this yogurt. I have been making it weekly ever since I tried out the recipe. Even my 6 year old daughter who used to not eat store-bought yogurt LOVES my homemade yogurt. Thank you so much for the recipe!

proudusnavywife said...

WOOHOO! THANK YOU so much for this recipe! We're a military family and I'm always looking for ways to save big so we can afford to give more of our money to our church and other worthy charities. This is GREAT!

Earthbag in Costa Rica said...

This was fantastic! Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe. It was so simple and my batch came out perfect. It was thick and not watery like I had expected from comments.

This was the first time I tried to make yogurt and the first time I had even tried plain yogurt and I was unpleasantly surprised by the sour taste. I thought that was the end of my newly discovered, all natural, additive free yogurt lifestyle when I came across a post by Princess_83 on yahoo answers. Princess_83 suggested the addition of honey and/or vanilla extract. This got rid of the sour taste and now I have a healthy homemade yogurt that is absolutely delicious!

Next I will try it with unpasteurized goat milk.

Many thanks!

nomadic homemaker said...

Stephanie,

Thank you so much for posting this recipe!
I love yogurt and even though I always buy it plain in large containers, my recycling facility does not take that grade of plastic and I feel so guilty tossing them in the garbage...
No more guilty feelings for me since my first attempt at making yogurt in my beloved crockpot was a success!

I used organic whole milk VAT Pasteurized and Non-Homogenized milk and Stony Field plain yogurt for starter. The quality of the ingredients matters so much here, and I think all of your readers who did not succeed in their first tries just need to make sure that their starter yogurt is fresh and has real live bacteria in it. Also, I wrapped my crockpot in a thick comforter to ensure it stays nice and warm. I tasted my yogurt after 8 hours of incubation and while the texture was great, I like mine more tangy so I let it sit for another 5 hours and it was perfect then.

Thank you again for ridding me of my yogurt container environmental guilt :)

Regards,

Tatyana

Dznymom3 said...

I'm making this now! I can't wait. I have been putting it off waiting to have the time needed. This will save us soooo much money!

Sandra said...

Thanks Stephanie! Like many others I was trying to find a method of making yogurt without buying another appliance. So many other instructions involve heating the milk in a pan, watching the temperature, etc, etc. What I love about this method is it's SIMPLICITY. Thanks again...

Diana said...

I made this last week, followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious! I made vanilla and lemon flavored yogurt by adding extracts to the finish product. I will definitely be experimenting with my next batch by using some of the commenter's suggestion (draining excess whey, adding unflavored gelatin, or adding powdered milk) to make it thicker. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

http://deananddiana.blogspot.com/2011/04/recipe-homemade-yogurt.html

Michelle ~ Harrisburg, PA said...

Phenom! That's what my 6 y.o. said when she tasted it - I can't keep this in my house my family is eating it faster than I can make it. Thank you SO much for sharing the recipe. First attempt was a little runny, 2nd attempt I added a pkt of unflavored gelatine and it was perfect consistency. Elated over the $$$ I am saving. Best part is, kids opted for NO ice-cream this week at the store and instead begged to make yogurt parfaits instead ~ oh yeah! THANKS again for a rocking recipe!

vicky said...

I know this post is very late in coming but I just tried your recipe for making yogurt and it worked like a charm. Thanks!!

Heather said...

I realize this post is super old, but whatever. I tried to slow cooker method on my first attempt at making (non-dairy) yogurt. It was pretty much an epic failure. I've found that it's much more productive to actually use a thermometer to make sure the liquid is at the right temp before adding the starter(105 degrees is ideal and 1 Tbsp of starter is plenty) and transfer the liquid to an insulated thermos/carafe. I have a zojirushi that keeps temp extremely well and the yogurt set up really well. If you keep getting thinner yogurt, it's probably a problem with keeping a consistent temp. Wrapping a blanket or towel around the crock probably isn't the best of methods, so if you're looking for a thicker yogurt (dairy or otherwise) without buying a yogurt maker, you can find fairly effective thermoses or gently used coffee makers at garage sales or thrift shops without spending an arm and a leg. I had a good really set with this method without adding any thickener whatsoever. Thanks for sharing this.

Katie said...

Yummy! I used these directions to make yogurt last week. It worked wonderful! I wrote about it and linked it back to your blog at www.ourpatchofheavenrecipes.blogspot.com

King J's Queen said...

I made this for the first time last night and it turned out PERFECTLY! I used 2% milk and I double-wrapped the crockpot to keep the temp more stable.

The consistency was just as thick as real storebought yogurt, so I didn't need any thickener at all. However, I also like Greek-style yogurt, so I took 1 quart of the finished product and am straining it. The other quart, we are eating as is.

This will become a money-saving staple in our house. We eat a small fortune in yogurt. Thanks for sharing the process!

betttzy said...

Betsy Darling says...

What a wonderful site! After reading every post, I feel confident that a diabetic can not only make yogurt in his/her slow cooker, but reap necessary health benefits to boot!

King's Daughter said...

This is a cool idea! I have a yogurt maker, but sometimes it's tied up making sour cream so this is good news. I didn't have time to read through all the comments to see if anyone added this, but you can let that yogurt strain overnight (some say it has to be refrigerated, but I just keep it on the kitchen counter)...I line a mesh strainer with cheese cloth and plop in some yogurt, then set it over a bowl and put plates or bowls or something else heavy on top of the cheesecloth (cover the yogurt of course) and the next morning you have cream cheese...to which you can add any number of things to flavor and make yogurt cheese. It's so yummy!

I could make a lot more yogurt at once this way, too...thanks for posting!

myrab51 said...

I have been looking at this page for a few months. I finally got up the nerve. I just finished pouring the milk into the crockpot. Wish me luck!

more of Jesus, less of Michele said...

I tried this yesterday. It turned out just as liquid as milk - didn't set up at all. I'll try the gelatin or powdered milk next time. Also, it looks curdled. It doesn't smell bad, just looks curdled. Does anyone know what might have caused that? I used whole milk and I followed the directions exactly except that the ending time was at 1:30 in the morning so I just let it sit until I woke up. My crock pot is old (70s) and has low, high, and auto shift settings. I used low. I can't think of any other variables.

superscar said...

Hi, I used ultra-pasteurized milk and it was excellent. I think people don't understand that ultra-pasteurized is less processed, not more...

The Cleaner Cook said...

Despite the fact I've been reading your blog for YEARS now, I am only now discovering the fact I can make homemade yogurt in my crock pot. Words cannot express how excited I am about this!

Cleaner Cooking in Chicago
http://cleanercookinginchicago.blogspot.com/

Nicolas said...

Excellente post! Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca Parker said...

Yikes! I accidentally added the yogurt at 180. Can I add it again at 110 or have I ruined this batch?

Small Town Girl said...

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I've tried making homemade yogurt before and absolutely failed. I eat a lot of yogurt and use it in baking a lot, so this is fantastic. I can't wait to try it. I love everything I've read so far. I can't believe I just found it.

Beth H. said...

This is SO easy! How wonderful to know I can make homemade yogurt without buying one more appliance. Our children LOVE it. I found yogurt jars on Amazon so now can make individual servings - easier for my children to enjoy at snacktime. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

MrsSpock said...

I've started making this and it is working out great! I made it Greek style by straining with coffee filters.

Jimi Ripley said...

I tried this last night. I used a mixture of whole and 2% milk with a generous splash of cream (using up remainders) in my 6 1/2 quart Programmable Touch Screen Crock Pot Slow Cooker. After 2 1/2 hours, the milk was only around 150 degrees, so I scooped it into an alternate container and nuked it until it reached 180. Because it was getting late, I cooled the milk in an ice bath until it reached 108 degrees, then I added my starter (1/2 cup of Fage Greek yogurt) and 1/2 cup of powdered milk. I poured the milk mixture back into my still warm Crock Pot, covered it with two towels, and went to bed. Eight hours later, I unwrapped to find that the milk had indeed yogued, though it was on the thin side. It tasted delicious, and I immediately added it to my morning smoothie.

I have been making yogurt in a Yogourmet yogurt maker for a couple of years now, which is why I had the thermometer handy. I wanted to try this method as a possible way of reducing the number of appliances in my kitchen. I'm not quite ready to get rid of the yogurt maker; it produces thicker yogurt, even before straining. That said, I'm not ready to give up on the slow cooker method. Next time I'm going to try heating for longer initially (to skip the microwave step) and setting my Crock Pot to warm for the first 30 minutes.

Rebecca Berman said...

OMG I can't say thank you enough I have tried so many recipes for homemade yogurt and this was the first that actually worked - it came out a little thinner than I like my yogurt but I'm going to let it "cook" a little longer in the crockpot - plus I strained some and got some yummy greek style added a little honey and had the best breakfast ever today

Rebecca Berman said...

I started my 2nd batch and went to add the milk to my 1/2 cup of yogurt and found that someone had plugged in the toaster to the same outlet and since they are both white cords I unplugged the wrong one - now my milk is at over 220 degrees dang it - I hate wasting food - now I have to wait till my next day off to make more yogurt - darn it

Judi said...

Hi Stephanie!
Fabulous. I'm going to give his one a try too. It looks good and sounds easy enough. Great pirce also.
Judi

Tammy T said...

I have not read all the comments so maybe this is not news to you, but I have started making a gallons worth of yogurt in the same way. Just add a little more starter and leave the crock on for an hour longer. Works great.

Then I make Greek yogurt by laying a kitchen towel in a strainer and pouring the yogurt in. I generally leave it over night. I end up with about half a gallon of yogurt (thick creamy, dreamy yogurt)and a half gallon of Whey! I love having whey in the fridge there are a ton of things to do with whey. I use it my whole wheat bread recipe instead of water. (Makes incredibly moist fluffy wheat bread) I also use it in place of butter milk in many recipes. You can put it in smoothies. The list goes on. Just a few ideas though.

Katie said...

Any tips on making vanilla flavor? Obviously I'm thinking vanilla extract, but I have no idea how/when to use it.

riddhi said...

I have made yougurt at home for last 30 years and has come out perfectly everytime.
Howevr, since last 5 weeks (tried 12 times), it is coming sticky or stringy and I cannot understand why.
I have changed culture like Dannon Yougurt, culture from a friend etc to no avail.
Any idaes?

littlesky said...

I just want to let you know I found this blog a few months ago. I love it! I made the yogurt and it turned out amazing. I don't buy yogurt anymore, well except for the occasional "starter culture". It's a huge hit around my house. I have told a lot of people about your blog and the great yogurt you make.

Once again Thanks!!!!

Go Bronson! said...

Oh gosh!!!!!!! Im excited to try this!!! There is a home made spicy chicken chili in my crock right now but I think there may be yogurt in it by the weekend!! Thank you and Debbie for the ideas!!

Heidi S said...

My Grandmother always made her own yogurt. When she passed away my mother started using the yogurt maker. I was hoping it would eventually pass to me, but it died. I can't afford to buy one so I have been really trying to clip and save on yogurt any way I can. It is a staple in my diet because of a digestive disorder. I realize this post is a couple years old, but I thank you for keeping it up. I can't wait to try it!

mamaof2saving$ said...

I am curious on what I can do with whole milk that is a few days past sell date? Can I make this with the milk past the date? If not, what can I do with past dated milk? any ideas would be great cause I absolutely hate wasting food.

Cookie Queen said...

So, made this last night, let it sit over night, in the fridge now, still not solid what so ever. what did i do wrong? i mean i know it wont get as solid as store bought yogurts, but mine is completely drinkable!! any thoughts on how to save it or what i did wrong?

Lystessa said...

Tried out some yogurt with half & half the other day (back and forth between stovetop and oven to keep the temp around 110) and it finally set, very suddenly. After being in the fridge it's very thick! But I only made a cup, just to see if I could do it.

I bought a crockpot today and this is my first attempt with it. I used my own yogurt from that first batch for the starter. It's pretty cold in the house so I hope I don't have to re-heat it tomorrow to get it to finish setting. Thank you for posting this thorough tutorial!

Alissa said...

I milk my own cow and this morning pored the milk directly into the slow cooker and am making my yogurt for the week. I have been doing it this way for over a month and my family loves it! Oh by the way if you have fresh cream you can make butter in a food processor in about 2 minutes. Just saying the sky is the limit!

Andrea said...

Just made this last night/this morning and it is perfect! I used 2% milk and left it wrapped in the towel for 9 1/2 hours because I forgot, and it really is perfect. Mine was still warmish when I got it out this morning, but my house was 76 all night (dang hot houston weather...) THANK YOU!

mamaof2saving$ I used past date milk (sour milk) in place of buttermilk for pancakes and waffles.

Jennifer Chrisman said...

Well, the first time I made this it was a huge success! It wasn't as thick as we'd like and I had read the comments about powdered milk and gelatin. So, the second time I made it, I added 1 packet of gelatin. The result (after refrigerating the next day) was great except there were large chunks of gelatin in the bottom. So, I got the great idea of putting it all in my blender. BAD IDEA! It all turned to soup. Then I made a blueberry gelatin to add to it. This did not help. So, now we have blueberry yogurt soup. It's tasty, but I'm disappointed in my choices. I'm assuming my blending must have affected the structure of the yogurt. Anyway...my QUESTION is how do I add the gelatin without it clumping? I read one comment that you add it to something cold, which seems counter to how gelatin is typically made. HELP!?!?

Joyce said...

This is wonderful to know; I've been wanting to make my own yogurt, too, but didn't want to buy a yogurt maker (tiny apartment kitchen, tinier budget, LOL).
Would it be possible to use goat's milk instead of cow's milk? I have so many allergies, including sugar, I have to do things differently.
Thank you so much for posting your information on making yogurt via slow cooker!!!

Kitchen Benchtops said...

oh wow. probably the best yogurt ever! thank you so much for sharing your recipe.

LindaT said...

OK - so I'm only a few years late. But I have to say, this yogurt is delicious. So much better than store-bought, and I did know that from my old Salton Yogurt Maker days in the 70s. The Salton is long gone, but my crock-pot lives on and makes the best yogurt. Even without sugar or flavoring, it's tangy, not tart, and creamy. In the morning with Bob's Red Mill Muesli. Yum.

Swa said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful idea!

I agree with the last comment by Amy, those 3 hrs are really unnecessary and just lengthen the whole process, which is already long enough due to the actual incubation time.
I did make it with your method this time, however next time I will heat the milk in a double boiler to 180°F, simmer for 10 min, and let it cool, as I have done it before. This is much quicker and allows you to start the actual yogourt making without a 5½-hour delay, haha!
Anyway, this method worked much better than when I incubated the yogourt in Mason jars in an Excalibur food dehydrator before. That thing even has a setting for yogourt incubation, but it didn’t work quite as well as the slow cooker method.

I used a big oval one, I don’t know exactly how much it holds, probably 6 quart, but I made your recipe in it and it was fine. I added ½ cup of skim milk powder right when the milk was hot, and made sure to whisk it in properly.
I also used whole milk. I personally don’t believe that milk should be any lower in fat anyway, or any dairy products for that matter, as it takes away much of the rich flavour (and it’s well documented that dietary fat does not equal body fat).

The other thing I did was to check the temperature frequently. I had a cheese thermometer hanging in the slow cooker the entire time, and when the temperature dropped below 110°F, I turned it back on to warm until it was around 115°F, then turned it off and wrapped the towel around it again.

I will definitely be using the slow cooker for incubation from now on, but for the initial heating of the milk I will use the traditional method.

I allowed the whole thing to incubate for about 8 hours, then strained it through a cheese cloth and came out with a small bottle of whey as a bonus, which is a delicious and healthy drink if you just add a bit of fruit juice for flavour.
The yogourt came out rich and thick, only next time I will let it incubate for a little longer, because I like it rather tangy.

Thanks again for this method. I hate having silly appliances in the house which only serve one purpose, so this is amazing. :)

Bridget said...

HI!! I just found this on Pinterest and I'm super excited to try it out. I only buy yogurt on sale with coupons because it's too expensive to keep as a staple but my family loves it. Question:
Has anyone added vanilla extract to theirs?
I want a vanilla yogurt rather than just a plain yogurt. Any suggestions?

debcom said...

Could I do a smaller batch in a snmaller crock? I have a 2 qt crockpot I would like to try this in. Also, I LOVE lemon greek yogurt, do you think adding in some lemon pudding mix to the starter would make lemon yogurt?? I am excited to try it next weekend :)

outtakesontheoutskirts said...

I am trying this today! This will save me so much money if I can get it to work.

Elizabeth said...

This is really easy and delicious to make! I followed the directions, and when it was done drained it in a colander lined with cheesecloth to get nice thick yogurt. This will become a staple in my house, thank you for sharing the recipe!

radgirlmartin said...

What would happen if you added fruit flavored gelatin for flavoring. I enjoy lemon and lime flavored yogurts. I guess I will find out in a few hours!!

Bridget said...

Does ANYONE know if it has to be a PLAIN yogurt for the starter or can I use a vanilla yogurt for the starter? I want to make all vanilla flavored anyway so will this matter?

Please help!!!! ;)

Emilia said...

Wow, I am so excited to try this. I do not like yogurt but my little girl loves it and it is so good for her but also ends up costing a lot of money. I am excited to try out this recipe to and to start saving a little money. I think I might try and strain it a bit to make it into greek yogurt.

Trisha said...

I also make my own yogurt using a different method. I just wanted to add that yogurt will last longer than 7-10 days. Store bought lasts about a month and I have used it weeks after the expiration date. The cultures in yogurt keep it safe to eat for quite some time. As long as it's not mouldy or sour, it will be fine to eat. It usually doesn't last that long, but I have eaten it after a month, usually in the back, of the fridge.

Tamsyn Spackman said...

This is an older post, but I still found it, and I tried it over the night. It turned out so well! I'm glad for the comments about adding 2 tablespoons of powdered milk, I think that helped. I got a crock-pot for Christmas and found your blog in my research, and I am excited to try more of your recipes. Thank you!

teresa said...

Would yogurt made in this fashion be good to use for making frozen yogurt?

Summer said...

If you want to keep your yogurt vegetarian you should try using ground chia seeds. These are great for thickening vegetarian puddings. Thank you for the great tutorial. I am going to try this with my 2percent milk and the chia seeds!!!

Summer said...

Oh, another idea I just thought of.... What if you made a fruit spread(simple syrup and fruit or fruit and honey) and layer that at the bottom of your yogurt instead of mixing in the blender. So after you yogurt has set it would be like a, fruit at the bottom kind of thing. Just a thought for those who end up with watery yogurt. :-)

Kartingmom said...

YUMMY! Made this yesterday. Used 1% milk, Lowfat yogurt and let it sit for about 2 hours longer wrapped in the towels. turned out very thick and like Greek yogurt. We added a tablespoon of blueberry pie filling to our bowls. Very yummy - like fruit on the bottom yogurt.

GinaB said...

I tried this, and it was really easy and good. I used nonfat plain yogurt and fat free milk. It was a little runnier than yogurt you would buy at the store, but it definitely tasted better and was less sour. I used the same measurements that are posted here, but added 1/2 c. dry milk powder. Thanks for the recipe!

Healing Naturally from CFS said...

I would love to meet your friend Debbie who is a homeschooling mom of 6, do you have her contact info, as I am new to the homeschooling lifestyle and also an Urban homesteader :)

Tanya said...

This looks like a nice easy recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Emily said...

I just made this and it turned out great! I used 2 T. of unflavored gelatin like some of you advised and it worked great. When the yogurt was done, it was the consistency of the drinkable yogurt like someone had said. I thought I had messed it up, but I put it in the fridge and it set up overnight. It was like Greek style yogurt in the morning.

pao pao said...

I tried this recipe for the third time today: The first time I used 1% milk and the gelatin trick. It was terrible!
The second time I used 2% milk and no gelatin, and it was ok, although I had to drain the yogurt using cheese cloth -- as if I were making goat cheese. The whey wasn't so appealing, but the yogurt turned out creamy and yummy.
Today I tried this recipe again -- yes, I'm stubborn. I used WHOLE MILK, and that made a world of difference. The yogurt turned out creamy just after sitting overnight in the crock pot, and there is no need to draining it. DELISH!!! So easy, thanks so much for sharing this recipe

HS_Diva said...

Ok, we live overseas and our selection of milk is a bit limited. I strongly prefer organic whole milk, and all I can find is ultra-pasteurized. Can you tell me, why is it so important NOT to use ultra pasteurized? I imagine it has to do with needed some bacteria, but I don't really have an option :(

Carina said...

Dear Crock Pot Lady!! I just LOVE your website and I confess I've been lurking for quite a few months. Lurking and using lots of your recipes... One of the first ones I tried was the yogurt. I grew up in South America on drinkable, low or full fat yummy yogurt and I've had the hardest time finding affordable, low-fat, yummy drinkable yogurt here. Until I made it myself with your recipe. I absolutely loved the results, it was perfect from the first time. I used 2% milk. My husband loves it too, and now that we have a baby that just started drinking yogurt we are saving even more money with the crock pot! Which is why I convinced my husband that I needed another one, and got it for Xmas! YAY... Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes, I love how easy, versatile and affordable they all are.

Kristi said...

I want to say, thank you, thank you, thank you! And thank you to whoever pinned this on Pinterest! I had tried making my own yogurt several years ago, but it was time consuming. This was so easy! We used fruit preserves to flavor our yogurt. I have linked from my blog post of my experience to here. Thank you so much!

Tammy said...

Yeah! I made it

Shari said...

It worked! I used an 8-quart slow cooker, and after adding the yogurt culture, I set it on "warm" for a few minutes, then unplugged it, wrapped the towel around it and hoped for the best. In the morning, it wasn't very thick, so I lined a colander with a thin dish towel and let it drain while I got ready for work. An hour later, I had the most amazing, thick, mild and delicious Greek-style yogurt imaginable, and several cups of whey for bread making or sipping straight. I bought a yogurt maker a few months ago which makes individual serving jars and have been itching to make bigger portions which I could strain to achieve a thicker, richer product. This recipe is wonderful. Thanks so much for posting it!

Mike said...

I am so going to try this! Thank you for posting. My son is a yogurt eating machine, this will save us bundles.

meredith said...

oh my gosh. i just did it for the first time ever.......... i am never buying yogurt again. i left the batch for about 9 or 10 hours, and it was already thick when i came back. the yogurt i started it with was already pretty thick so i'm wondering if that has anything to do with it. also i'm sure temperature regulation plays a pretty important role! anyway thank you so much for sharing! this is seriously the best start to my week.

Judithet said...

Yogurt cannot be made with lactose free milk. It is the action of the bacteria on the milk sugar that turns it into yogurt. But--and here is the beautiful part--yogurt is lactose free! The bacteria cultures use the lactose to turn the milk into yogurt. Yogurt is the perfect food for people who are lactose intolerant.

Missthang said...

Hi -- I'm trying to follow a GAPS/SCD type diet and both call for fermenting yogurt a full 24hrs to eat up all the lactose. Any suggestions as to how to do that using the crockpot method?

Thanks!

jpatti said...

I do it similarly, but with a few twists.

I use quart sized mason jars, usually two for a batch. I put the jars in the crockpot, with a total of 7 1/2 cups milk, and fill the crockpot with water. I throw a dairy thermometer in one of the jars and a towel over it.

While fixing dinner and doing dishes, I keep an eye on it. For raw milk, I want the temp to be 100-110. For pasteurized milk, I want it to be 180, then turn off the crockpot and let it go down to 100-110.

When it's down, I remove 1/2 cup warm milk from the more full jar, mix it with 1/2 cup yogurt, then pour half into each jar. Stir, turn the crockpot off, put cover over the jars (it will be above crockpot), then wrap the whole thing in a thick comforter or sleeping bag until morning.

If too thin, you can either let it keep going (I'd raise temp back to 100 and rewrap) or strain through a muslin cloth for more Greek-style yogurt.

For fruit, either just add fresh, or make a syrup by blending fruit pieces with a bit of honey or water/stevia.

Michelle said...

This yogurt is fantastic! I made it just like you wrote and it turned out great! It is tart, but I'll get used to it!

Rosemary said...

I've made yogurt in an Oster yogut maker for years, but I thought I'd try this. I got a quart of cheese & a quart of whey. The cheese is good, but I don't need quart at a time, and I used the why in baking. But what I really wanted was yogurt.

BirthDrama said...

I have a huge crockpot, will this still work?? Worried about wasting /ruining it!

kb said...

Thank you so much for sharing this and your experiments with the slowcooker. I have used this recipe from your website many times, and it has been my favorite go to for making yogurt for smoothies. I have told others about it.

Brandi K said...

Thanks so much for this! I just got my crockpot about a month and a half ago and I'm trying to use it more to save us money. My kids eat yogurt every day, so making it would save soooo much money. And it sounds easy enough to do with little ones running around. Can't wait to try it. Thank you so much!

we3ernes said...

Just wanted to let you know that there are people still "discovering" and using your recipe!

I have a newer crockpot that heats rather fast and cools rather slow (it has a sealable lid). So the only thing I did differently is to use temperature rather than time to differentiate between steps. As per one commenter's suggestions I heated the milk to 190 and then cooled it to 110. I then placed the towel wrapped crockpot into a warmed oven overnight.

I was concerned it wouldn't work as my milk said "Ultra-pasturized" and my yogurt was an older container, but it came out well and is now draining in the fridge!

For a few folks who wondered about how long this would keep. I keep the larger (quart?) size containers of yogurt in my fridge for three and sometimes four weeks. Also there is no need to put this in a bunch of small containers (unless you are transporting it). Just put all of your plain yogurt in a larger container and dish it out for each meal. Flavor it just before eating, that way each person can choose exactly how they like it.

Laurie Laliberte said...

Many thanks to we3ernes for that added info. I just stirred up my final product from my first batch and I'm so excited about the results. I love yogurt but I should be as dairy-free as possible, so the next time I will use almond or rice milk and see how it goes. Yogurt and small amounts of cheese are the only dairy I still use. I'm so excited at the results some of your followers have shown with alternative ingredients.

Thank you, Stephanie, for your blog. It's been an inspiration. You were the first person I though of when I was told I needed to go gluten-free. Although I know my way around a kitchen quite well, changing my whole approach was a scary prospect. You've made it so much easier.

Shauna Huber said...

I have to admit, I was extremely hesitant about this recipe but I seriously love my crockpot. And all the other recipes for make your own yogurt seem so time consuming. I figured I would give this one a try, and if it didn't work, I would be out a quart of milk, oh well. This morning, I had perfect whole milk yogurt in my crockpot and I can't tell you how excited I was! Thank you so much for this and other recipes on your website I have tried. Awesome!!

La June 52 said...

Just a comment on the frozen fruit causing it to not thicken back up... frozen fruit will have ice crystals which = water.

Jen said...

I am coming into this very late, but could I use vanilla yogurt for my starter or does it have to be plain? I didn't see if this was addressed in the comments...

Take It from Meg said...

You can also drain your yogurt after it has set. Place a few layers of cheese cloth or paper towels in a sieve and let your yogurt sit in it for a 1/2 hour. The yogurt will be surprisingly denser by that time. Also, you know have 1 1/2 of whey to throw into a loaf of bread or batch of pancakes.

Lindsay said...

Needing some help!! I have been making crock pot yogurt for over a year now and it has always worked out great for me. But the last 2 months or so I have been making it weekly hoping to have it turn out. I'm using organic pasteurized milk and was buying individual stonyfield greek yogurt to mix in. It has been working like a charm up until a couple months ago. I figured my kitchen was too cold so started putting the crock wrapped in a thick towel in the oven with the light on overnight to keep it warm. It worked once or twice but for some reason it's failing me again :( I dread the thought of buying store bought yogurt again but I'm ending up spending more trying to get this to work.
Any pointers??

Ed Harrigan said...

Hello! I'm just trying your yogurt recipe today and am VERY excited. However, I was wondering about how to achieve a greater protein content. We have switched to Greek yogurt because of the higher levels of protein. I saw your note about using the colander to achieve a "greek-like" consistency but didn't think that making it thicker would concentrate the protein.

Bonnie Carlson said...

I am an American living in New Delhi, India (Moved here two months ago and will live here for 3 1/2 years total). My kids have gotten sick a few times each already (the famed Delhi Belly) and everyone keeps telling me to have everyone eat lots of yogurt while here (and take pro-biotics as well). The local yogurt isn't the texture we're used to, so I sent for a crock pot and just got it and was looking for a recipe for crock pot yogurt. Thanks for posting! And for that reminder that if you strain it, it gets thicker. That'll make it more palatable to my kids. Thanks again!

Barbara Montag said...

I tried making yogurt in the crockpot twice - unsuccessfully.
After reading your post I'm going to try it again.
Now I'm excited too - thanks a bunch!

Blissful Baker said...

Hello! I was wondering what I did wrong? :( I did this yesterday and my milk did not become yogurt. I did use fat free milk, but added a package of gelatin? Is there anything I can do to fix it so I didn't waste all that milk? Thanks!

Mastabattas said...

For everyone that's added vanilla flavouring, at what stage did you add it?

Go Granny said...

I can't thank you enough for this recipe!!!!! It does turn out great. I had stopped making yogurt in my yogurt maker as it was always flopping. This is incredible. I am in the midst of the procedure once again and had to stop in to say thank you big time!!!!

dznangl said...

I plan to do this soon! Just a couple side-notes, draining the yogurt to make it 'greek style' will also remove some of those lovely cultures we're working to get!

It's possible as well (for those that don't care to use store bought) to use live cultures you get from a health food store.

Substitute pectin to thicken instead of gelatin which is ground from all manner of animal by-product, for you vegetarians and pescetarians!

Marsha Ward said...

Awesome!!!! Thank u for this....my grandmother used to make home made yogurt but she called it something else (Lebanese!). I used to BUG her for hours until it was done and she alwayssss served it w Syrian bread, I would rip off pieces and dip it into the yogurt, my mouth is watering as I type! She passed quite a few yrs ago and never wrote recipes down....she was an incredible cook....and my father was the only...very spoiled!! Lol!!!...child and he has no idea how to make it!!! I'm excited to try this and see if its what I remember hers to be!! ;) Thanks again!

Robyn Potter said...

Thanks for the slow cooker tip for making yoghurt. I have been thinking of buying a yoghurt maker and came across your great tip. I dragged the slow cooker out straight away and set to work.
Now I wait. Robyn Perth Western Australia

Haley Holden said...

Do you know the different temperatures the milk/yogurt has to get to during the different stages of this process? When I was looking into getting an actual yogurt maker, it said that there are certain temperatures the milk and yogurt has to get to in order for the bacteria to thrive. Thanks.

Cheryl Norman said...

The yogurt will the thicker if you don't stir. Stirring makes it soupy. Gently fold in added ingredients.

Katie Lewis said...

This has to be the best cooking and saving money post on a blog I have seen yet. We probably spend $12 or more on yogurt each week, and don't eat as much of it as I bet we would. I am going to try this today and I think I will puree some berries to add in kind of like those fruit on the bottom kinds. This is just so, so awesome! Thank you.

momswebs said...

For those of you with issues with honey added to the Yogurt to make it more palatable (especially for kids) try the pure cane sugar. I use the raw washed type because I LOVE the slight flavor of sorghum molasses. There is also pure beet sugar, but that's harder to find unless it's highly processed.

vincette hubbard said...

I have been making yogurt for about 2 years per the blog "Salad in a Jar " but am trying your method today for fun and info will let you know in am the result . I always strain as I like the Greek type and use it almost exclusively for sour cream-----when no one is watching!!!



Alan Grant said...

Another way to thicken it is for every gallon of milk, add 2-3 cups of milk powder. It doesn't matter if the milk is fat free 1%, 2% or whole. Also, I jar the proto yogurt after the culture is mixed in and put it into the oven with the light on.

Everything else is the same - and when you use home-made jam as the mix.... oh yeah. It's delish.

Kelly Flores said...

Thank you, I have been using your recipe now for quite some time and it has turned out great! My whole family loves it. We bought a few preserves to dollop on the yogurt and it acts as the perfect sweetener.

Jennifer Eden said...

What a great way to make yogurt! For the people who want to make yogurt from coconut/soy/almond milk, you have to give the starter something to eat. Milk has lactose and galactose, but the others don't. If you add 1/4-1/2 cup of honey, agave, or other simple sweetener, that will work. Also make sure your starter has live active cultures. Finally, whole milk is best (over 2% or skim)...the fat content is only slightly higher, and you'll get a richer more fulfilling yogurt.

Charlotte Childers said...

I can't believe how much this recipie has changed my life. First time I made half a batch as I had had some yogurt disasters. This is easy, it is by far the most delicious yogurt I have ever tasted and is so rich and so high protein that it is helping with weight loss even though I add fruit and nuts right before I eat. Having made it both ways I think the difference between straining and not straining is like night and day and the addition of powdered milk is sheer genius. The directions said not to use instant but that was all I could find and it turned out terrific. Since that is all I use the powdered milk for it last a very long time and so the expense is minimal. Thank you again!

CHAOSMomNJ said...

Hi Stephanie, I just tried making this last night. Followed the directions to a tee. I used a 1/2 gallon of regular milk, and a 1/2 cup of Fage plain yogurt. I was worried last night when I wrapped it up that it didn't seem that warm. Prayed I didn't wake up to sour milk. It sat wrapped on the counter for 8 1/2 hrs. overnight. This AM it was very liquidy, so I thought, ok, maybe after it sits in the fridge awhile, it will firm up a bit. Just checked it after being in the fridge about 7 hrs., and it's still liquid. I had high hopes. :( Any thoughts?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi ChaosMom (great name!) -- yuck. I hate wasting food. I'm not really sure -- it does sound like you are right in that the milk and yogurt didn't get hot enough to "yogue" but I'm not sure why. This is certainly a kitchen science recipe -- the comment above share how other readers checked internal temperature of the milk, etc., and they might prove helpful to you.

but that's not really going to help you this morning, I know. I'm sorry, I know how discouraging it can be to follow directions perfectly and not have it work out. Because every machine is different, I really don't know in this case what happened. yick.

CHAOSMomNJ said...

I ended up putting the crock back in and cooking it on high for a short time, then low for a total of another 2.5 hrs. left it overnight again and stuck it in the fridge, but I think the milk was sour at that point. I dumped it. :( Maybe I will try again one day but put it on high for a short time, then low. I saw a comment in there somewhere about someone that did it in a 6 qt., and it has to cook longer in there. Maybe that was the problem.

Unknown said...

You can strain the yogurt through a cheese cloth to make greek yogurt.

a.ahandmade said...

I use buttermilk and it works and I use some to make chezz too

«Oldest ‹Older   401 – 521 of 521   Newer› Newest»

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! I will try my hardest to answer questions as they come up, but if your question gets buried, you may try me on twitter or facebook.

Due to a CRAZY amount of spam, anonymous comments are no longer allowed. Please use one of the free account services listed.

Happy Slow Cooking!

 
You are using Internet Explorer 6 which is unable to render this web site properly or display the drop-down elements in the main menu. Please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or try installing Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox instead.