slow cooking expert and mom to three
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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

519 comments:

1 – 200 of 519   Newer›   Newest»
Molly said...

My son just got over the rotavirus (9 days of fun), and we've been giving him yogurt to restore his digestive tract...but it's so pricey!! I'm excited to try this! Thanks, Steph!

Alina said...

This is really awesome! I buy a couple large containers a week of the yogurt you used as a starter. I am excited to try this and save. By the way, your humor really comes through your writing...makes me laugh.

C. Beth said...

Okay, I have read a wee bit on yogurt making and it sounded daunting...but this sounds so SIMPLE! I have natural Dannon yogurt on my countertop right now, since I used it for breakfast, and whole milk in the fridge. I may have to try this! Thanks, Stephanie!

And Debbie sounds like she ROCKS; I think that it's criminal she's not already blogging.

Beth
http://cbethblog.blogspot.com
http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com

Crockpot Lady said...

Oh no, Molly! I'm so sorry to hear that---hugs to you and your boy.

Thank you, Alina! I have a lot of fun with this.

xoxo
steph

Heidi said...

Oh, thank-you! thank-you!!! I've been wanting to make my own yogurt for such a long time and never had for the "no yogurt maker" reason!

I'm making this my weekend project! HOORAY!

Abi said...

this has to be your craziest one yet. but strangly i'm really wanting to try it. my husband and i eat yogurt daily! we always buy it on sale. this type is at least enviornmental friendly.

Sheri said...

I am SO doing this! The whole milk thing, that's a little daunting.

Mrs. S said...

any suggestions on changing the procedure for a 6 qt crock pot?

The Tomball Three said...

Not only is it HUGE, I think it's probably better for you. It sounds like the only sugar really is from the milk and the fruit.

When I buy yogurt, which I love love love - but I worry about the sugar I'm eating. I like to save my sugar for cookies!

HB said...

No picky kids but a picky hubby when it comes to yogurt. I have so many thngs I want tro try since I got my Crock Pot - maybe I should go out and get another?? Thanks for the great idea!

LynnMarie said...

WOW! this does sound easy. I may try it over the weekend. I wonder if we can lower the calorie count by using non fat milk? Any thoughts?

Pokeberry Mary said...

Now that is just darn cool!!! Thanks for posting it!!
I've got a link to your blog on mine in my cooking links-- gotta love a gal that knows what to do with a crock pot!

Crockpot Lady said...

Mrs. S---use your 6 quart. The milk isn't turned "on" very long---you'll be okay. I just happened to use a 4 qt. if it was dirty, I'd have done a 6 qt.

LynnMarie, Debbie says to try the whole milk first.... I think the worry is that the lighter-in-fat won't thicken as well. But maybe that's okay and it can be like one of those fancy yogurt drink things that cost more than most of my shoes!

xox
steph

Coanheadz said...

OMG you just made my day!!! Not only am I already saving a ton of money by making baby food in the crock, now i can make her yogurt in there too?? YOU ROCK!! And its with whole milk, so its perfect for my little ones. If i was going to throw in some of the frozen baby cubes as fruit how many do you think it would take, and would i have to thaw them first??

katherine said...

Learning to make yogurt was going to be one of my New Year's resolutions because we eat a house payment's worth every month here in our home. You have just made my job a lot easier. Thank you!

1956okie said...

Thanks SO much for posting this! I've aspired to becoming a yogurt maker, but this sounds like something I might actually be able to do.

One question...I like thick yogurt (like Greek yogurt). Do you think this yogurt could be drained in a colander lined with coffee filters or cheesecloth to remove some of the whey and make it thicker (to make yogurt cheese)?? I do that with the Dannon natural yogurt when I buy it anyway; just wondered if it might work for the homemade variety or if it's too thin??

Mom Taxi Julie said...

That looks pretty yummy!

malm said...

That's so funny! I just made some for the first time also this week! I made vanilla by adding 1tbsp of vanilla extract and 4 tbsp of honey. I also add 1/2 cup of powdered dry milk to "thinken" the yogourt! No more store bought yogourt for us!!! :-D

Maricriss said...

I know you said regular whole milk, but do you think I could substitute Lactose Free milk? The less lactose for me the better, and I've yet to find a lactose free yogurt.

The Bear and The Bug said...

How cool! My son is super picky due to some past digestive health problems. For his school lunch, I make him a frozen yogurt pop recipe in the blender that I put in small containers and freeze. It defrosts more than I'd like and is runny at lunchtime. This would be a great alternative for me! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Also, do you know why you can't use ultra-pasteurized milk. I buy the organic milk and I think it is ultra-pasteurized.

K8 said...

I may have to try this out. Thanks for another great one!

Laurel said...

AWESOME!! I have to wait for those dumb sales to stock up on yogurts because my kids only like certain kinds (Oh, wait, I only like certain kinds, too). Let's see if we can do better...

Stephanie said...

Looks yummy! I've heard of making your own yogurt, but haven't yet worked up the guts to try it. But I really want to! Would you have to change anything for a 3-quart crock pot? That's the largest I have.

Laurel said...

Oh, I should have asked: Half gallon of whole milk=half gallon of yogurt?

Meredith said...

Thanks for your website! I have the Racheal Ray Indian Curry recipe in the crock for dinner tonight! I have tried several times to make yogurt at home, so this is VERY exciting to me. Do you think you can do this in a 6qt Smart Pot?

Niki said...

I'm super excited about this! I love yogurt but I get sick of eating the same flavor for 6 days in a row. This way I can customize it to suit the boys tastes as well as my own! Thanks!!

Jen said...

This looks great! I've made yogurt before but heating the milk to the correct temp is a pain. I'm going to try this method! I have made yogurt with skim/1% milk and it isn't super firm. Try draining the whey to thicken it a bit. My question is about the photo- when did you add the fruit? While it was setting up or later?

joannabug said...

Oh, wow!! I'm so excited about this!

I have twin 11-month olds and we have a very small budget, so the YoBaby stuff is way out of our league unless it's on sale.

Uggh, Molly, I'm sorry your kid had the rotavirus thing. My kiddos had the stomach flu, and a few days of yogurt (and some probiotics) really helped them out.

Merryann said...

This is SO cool!!! I used to make yogurt all the time, but stopped as my career got to be too much. Am retired now, and traveling in an RV, with no room for extra goodies - like a yogurt maker. But I do have a crockpot!!!

TheCraftyQueen said...

What about... preheating the crock pot, warming the milk in a pan on the stove, adding starter, transfer to crock pot, wrap, and sit overnight? Kinda like using the crock pot as a warmer but swapping the 2.5 hours of warming the milk for 5 minutes of work on the stove?

You'd still be using that crock pot...

I'm going to have to make some yo this weekend!

gerberdaisie said...

You can add some gelatin (unflavored, unsweetened) to this to help thicken it up as well. I'm not sure for the measurements since I have a yogurt maker, but make sure it is mixed in with something cold (perhaps the starter) before being added to the hot milk otherwise it will clump.

Cathy said...

OMG!! I was so excited when I saw this post! I'm so going to make this--thanks so much!

Catherine at Frugal Homemaker Plus said...

That high pitched SQUEEEE! that shattered your windows? Yeah, that was me. :)

OH MY GAH!!!! I used to make yogurt all the time but quit because it was a pain. (I used a cooler filled with hot water as an incubator, as I had no light in my oven, which was the suggested method in the recipe I had.)

April in CT said...

Steph!! I was JUST looking at yogurt makers last night thinking I really want to make it at home, but hate to have an extra appliance to store. This post rocks!! Thank you!

heather b said...

OMG you totally rock! Thank you so much for all the great recipes. I check your blog every day, and I can't wait to try this one (and a gazillion others - please, please do a cookbook. Please?).

I do have another whole chicken suggestion for you to try. Salt/pepper your skinned chicken well, add 1/4 c liquid smoke and cook. I got it recipezaar, and we love it at our house. I never thought to skin the chicken before, but I'll try it your way next time.

Thanks!

Bethany said...

I was wondering if you were going to try yogurt in the crockpot. I have been using my maker for the past couple of months, and just saw a page on how to use your oven.

If you want your yogurt thicker, add some powdered milk. Also, blending the yogurt with the fruit generally makes the yogurt runnier, as it breaks up the protein. Lastly, you can only save the yogurt to start the next batch 4 or 5 times, then the cultures die. I have heard that you can make a batch, and then freeze it all to use as starters in the future though. You should be able to buy a starter at the health food store, rather than the actual yogurt too.

Sorry, that was a little longer than I intended.

Jada said...

Just wanted to add a tip, we've been making our own yogurt for a while now, my kids need the whole milk variety and its crazy pricy, you can make it a thicker texture by adding 2Tablesoons of powdered milk to your mixture(not sure if its GF sorry) probably when you combine the milk and yogurt for your recipe, it helps to get a thicker result, happy yogurting! Thanks for ALL your posts (doing the roast chicken tonight)

Tori said...

I also use my crock to make yogurt for my boy, but i do it slightly differetly. He loves it. Here's a recent post I did on how I do it (I make smaller batches because he's little and doesn't eat as much).

http://friedrichkc.blogspot.com/2008/10/making-yogurt-for-jack.html

One tip for thickening (especially with low fat milk, which I've used once for my husband) is to add 2 T of non-fat dry milk per quart. This helps it thicken nicely.

Barrie said...

Thank you thank you thank you! My fiance is starting a diet (and when he starts a diet, I have to start one. He's very demanding). So he brings two yogurts to work a day. He only likes a certain brand, especially when it's not on sale! He wanted me to buy 10 the other day, but it was 4/$5. I couldn't spend $10 on YOGURT! I am definitely going to try this!!

moniluvsya said...

Steph, I just bought my second crockpot since starting to read your blog. When I first read your blog, I bought a small 3 qt crock... 3 months later I am a proud owner of TWO Crock Pots! and the second is a really cool programmable one (6qt)! You're the best!

Karen said...

i seriously think you just made my week.

i heart this blog.

La Rêveuse said...

Thanks for posting this! I never thought of trying the CP--we have a yogurt maker, so use that. My husband uses natural yogurt to manage his lactose-intolerance. Without it, he is a very unhappy man. With? Ice cream, baby.

Some notes: Dannon's cultures aren't super strong, so after one or maybe two uses to restart, you'll need some fresh cultures. I buy mine at a natural foods store, and can use my own yogurt longer as a starter.

You can also add dry milk to make it creamier. This is what we do, because we like it super-thick. He eats his with honey or a spoon of jam, but I like mine plain and sour. Our daughter eats it however we give it to her.

I don't know if it's that much cheaper when you buy organic milk and add the starter and dry milk (maybe though--I haven't bought yogurt in years), but it is so much better--like the yogurt we used to buy in Paris when we lived there, or like the Greek yogurt we used to get from the Greek markets in Chicago, via a local Greek restaurant in Madison (the one on State Street. Ask. Very good.) Thick as sour cream, and so yummy.

Once you go homemade, that super sweet, gluey crap with the added pectin and cornstarch will be completely unacceptable!

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Was it sweet or is that why your kids had to add honey? My daughter hates honey so wondering if we can forgo the honey. Oh and have to tell you the crock pot rotisserie style chic was melt in your mouth good!!!! Even the bones were tender! Will make that at least once a week!!

Angie (mighty-nice) said...

Wow - that's really interesting! - As always, TFS! What's gonna happen when you hit 365 days? Will you move on to toaster ovens, rice steamers, The Magic Bullet? Say it isn't so! I'd so miss your crock pot expereinces!

Leeser said...

Thank you!!! I have tried to make yogurt on my own but it didn't thicken at all. It never occurred to me to do it in the crockpot. We love yogurt. I will definitely have to make this! Thanks again!

AJ said...

I hope you...or anyone else...will post if they try a lower fat milk. I cannot wait to try this.

How long can you store the 1/2 cup you save to start the new batch?

And if I wanted vanilla, would I just add some real vanilla flavoring?

Kristen said...

I'm so thrilled about this! My kids love yogurt and we fly through it!

The Perry Family said...

Ok, this is a silly question, but do you blend the fruit in using a blender? Does it compromise the consistency of the yogurt at all when you do this? Thanks for your WONDERFUL website. I love it.

Janel said...

do you think this would work for someone who cannot have dairy? Like using a milk sub like coconut milk or rice milk?

HI said...

Steph, this is awesome. Do you blend the fruit directly in the crockpot with the immersion blender?

Lola said...

I've been wanting to try to make yogurt at home and have seen homemade yogurt on several websites, but it seemed either complicated or looked unsafe.

Thank you for posting this. It looks so simple. I am definitely going to try it.

Lola
http://lolasdiner.blogspot.com/

Sarah said...

you are awesome! I've been looking for a good yogurt recipe and will definitely be trying this one!!!

Michelle said...

This is AWESOME - you rock! Thanks for being the ginuea pig!

ksperry said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! We buy so much yogurt. I cannot wait to try this!

Beth T. said...

This is great. Thanks for sharing it. I may have to try this. It's frustrating when you pick up some of those fruit-flavored yogurts in the store and read the ingredient list.

Do you think a fractioned recipe could work in the mini crockpot? (Is the one setting on the little guy considered "high" or "low"?)

Christine said...

Hi Steph- Sounds awesome!! i wonder if you can use this with rice or soy milk...??

http://engchik.blogspot.com/

Mrs. S said...

We make our own yogurt too! About twice a month at least. Here is how we do it:
1/2 gallon whole milk
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 cup plain yogurt (I started out using any old kind of plain yogurt now I use Brown Cow...I really feel like it made a differences. Again once you get going you can use your own as a starter, but we sometimes forget and eat it all!!)
I keep it simple, some recipes say to add powdered sugar, pudding mixes etc. This is basic and easy. You can add 8 oz of perserves if you want. I usually just add some to the kids' bowls w/ a chopped up banana and some granola. YUMM! Oh so how I make it:
Turn your EMPTY crock on low
In a saucepan on the stove mix the milk and gelatin. Bring it up to 190 degrees. Then stick in a cool water bath to bring it back down to 110 degrees. Sounds complicated but is so easy. I don't sit and watch. Just stir occasionally. Then dump into your crock and mix w/ yogurt starter. Turn your crock off and let sit for 8-12 hours. Done. It is thick and yummy every time! Oh and my crock is 5 or 6 qt.

Anonymous said...

Quick question - rookie here. How did you "blend" in the fruit? Just dump a bag of frozen berries in, or did you use a blender to chop them up and then dump them in? Thanks!

Charles said...

Anyone have any suggestions on how to make it thicker?

Nan said...

Hot tip: for thicker, greek-style yogurt, whisk in a tablespoonful or two of non-instant powdered milk. I simply use powdered milk (not the instant kind!!!!) to begin with, and use a little extra powder. Talk about cheeeeeep! It works absolutely fine.

Other tips: the quicker it "Yogues", the milder the taste. so you want your process to be really warm, without being so warm it kills the friendly bacteria.

Melissa said...

Once again another -gotta try! I am going to try this. But I wonder if I could do this with soy milk? I have one kiddo who is allergic to milk. And soy yougart is SO expensive. I might just have to try it.

Thanks again Steph!

Colleen said...

I guess there will be a bunch of out there making this recipe over the weekend! lol I have been debating about getting a yogurt maker but if I don't have to I can use that money for something else... hhhmmmm Maybe I should give you a cut of it! :-)

A JoyFilled Life said...

I'm loving all your crockpot ideas! And I can't wait to make yogurt in mine! (I have to wait until I make a store visit next week and get more whole milk.) We have a yogurt maker that I use regularly, but it doesn't hold enough for our hungry family!

Beth said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned this -- you don't have to buy the individual containers at all, even if you aren't up to making your own!
I haven't gotten up the nerve to make my own yogurt, but of course now that Stephanie has shown us the way, I might try.
I simply buy a big thing of plain yogurt, and add fruit to each serving. The "sweetened" kind is just disgusting to me at this point, and way too expensive. Plus, DD would never eat a "whole" serving, or would want three. Way too difficult.
Off to try to do the math, with the cost of milk vs. the cost of plain yogurt ...

LishaR said...

My youngest daughter will not drink milk from a cup. So we are giving her lots of yogurt instead. I may try this because we go through so much yogurt every week. I might have to buy a 4 quart crock pot as an excuse to make this. hehe.

Karen B said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I've been really wanting to try making yogurt, but didn't have a machine. 2 out of 3 of us love yogurt and eat it a few times a week if it's in the fridge. I love your blog!

Audrey said...

Could you use Lactose free milk??? My one daughter is lactose intolerant and she hates soy yogert.

Jade, Will and Illy said...

Wow, what a cool idea! Who woulda thunk you could make YOGURT in the crock pot!?!?! Not me, that's for sure! You're brave for trying, and awesome since it workes :D

Astrid said...

I'm soooo excited to try this! I've been thinking about making yogurt for a long time and I have lots of friends that make it (but not with the crockpot). This looks the easiest out of all the recipes I've seen.

We LOVE yogurt around here. We LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat it with honey. MMmmmmm!

Charlotte said...

YES you CAN use lactose free milk! And you don't need to use extra powdered milk to thicken- just let the yogurt ferment longer. I leave mine out for 24 hours and it is super thick and creamy- just a bit tart. My kids won't touch store bought yogurt- to 'gluey' as one commenter said. I also drain off that clearish liquid that seperates on top- which helps the thickness factor. One more thing- I scald my milk on the stove first to rid it of any other bacteria- you know, besides that good bacteria that makes it yogurt :) Other bacteria fights the good and makes it less thick. Just have to let it cool down to about 100 degrees before adding the yogurt- so as to not kill the good bacteria.

Ceejay said...

You did it! I love Greek yogurt, but am willing to spend a lot less and make my owm. I will use the plain Greek yogurt and hope that I can clone it! I have a yogurt maker but no directions, as it came from #1 daughter. Why is it that anyone that gives you appliances never remembers to give you the directions???
Thanks Steph, as you can see I am # 68 or so in the postings. This was needed!
Huggs, Cait

MrsSpock said...

Hey- what a good idea! I am bookmarking this one!

Ceejay said...

You did it! I love Greek yogurt, but am willing to spend a lot less and make my owm. I will use the plain Greek yogurt and hope that I can clone it! I have a yogurt maker but no directions, as it came from #1 daughter. Why is it that anyone that gives you appliances never remembers to give you the directions???
Thanks Steph, as you can see I am # 68 or so in the postings. This was needed!
Huggs, Cait

We're Blessed said...

I have a question...my crockpot has these settings: 4hr, 6hr, 8hr, & 10hr...What setting should I use for the LOW setting on this recipe?

Oh, and your kids can never have too much yogurt!!! Thanks!!!

Amie said...

This doesn't have much to do with your post, but you must go look at it right now. I love Kristen Wiig and she nails this Jamie Lee Curtis impersonation. (and there's yogurt involved) http://www.hulu.com/watch/17002/saturday-night-live-activia-yogurt

ashley said...

I have been making my own yogurt with this recipe for a few months now, and it turns out great every time.
I did read a few different places that it is ideal for homemade yogurt to be consumed in 5-7 days at most, so I just half the recipe: four cups of milk, and stir in 2 tbsp. of starter. It works fine:)

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great idea! I am all for it! Question - when you say store the starter for the next batch...do I want to keep that separate from the rest? In the fridge? Do I do anything to it in order to make another batch or just add it in like I would have before?

lf said...

oh my goodness! your blog is AWESOME! i can't even remember how i ended up here but i also love my crockpot. some of my friend accuse me of being a walking infomercial for crockpots. AND i've been wanting to make yogurt! thanks so much!

Crystal said...

Aaaaaaaaaaargh!!! This is awesome, and maddening at the same time because I just got back from the grocery store. And we don't buy whole milk anymore, boo-hoo!!! You. Are. Amazing. I am excited to try this one. Thank you for all your great ideas!!

CatHerder said...

HOLY COW!!! (no pun intended) I was JUST looking for a yogurt maker on amazon a few days ago but couldnt make a decision...i had actually read you could make it on your VCR or other warm appliance that is plugged in all the time...i opted out on that (cats running around you know)...so this I WILL DEFINATELY MAKE...right now i have a potroast in mine (used london broil, carrots celery potatoes and onion) and boy does it smell good. thanks for your blog...!!!

Cheri Sicard said...

When I was in my early 20s, I used to make yogurt in a slow cooker. I had kind of forgotten about it, so thanks for the memories and the gentle nudge to give it a try again.

Chrispy said...

I will jump on the band wagon of saying thanks for this. I have the yogurt maker that my mom used with me when I was a baby. I use it occasionally but I really hate having tons of appliances and this would allow me to eliminate an appliance. Even though it will be sad to say good-bye to my yogurt maker that my mom used to introduce all new foods to me.

I'm excited to try this. I wish I had plain yogurt at home right now.
Does anyone think that you would need to make adjustments to have ceramic containers inside the crockpot during the last step? I prefer to use my yogurt containers.

Canadian Saver said...

You are a genius!!!

I am definitely going to try this :-)

Kat said...

I cannot WAIT to make this. We eat almost all organic and this will save me a TON of money! Yeah for the Crockpot!

Anonymous said...

No way! This is great. I had given up on the idea of yogurt in the crockpot after I found out how hot the warm setting is. I never thought of wrapping it in a towel. However I know remember reading that this was how the dutch cooked their meals during the occupation-boil things in covered pots, wrap them in blankets, and let them "cook" all day. Thanks for trying this Stephanie!
Michelle

The Plis family said...

OH MY WORD!!! This is really cool! I have a tiny little yogurt maker, but it is more work than this! very very cool! I can't wait to try!!! :)THANK YOU CROCKPOT LADY!

heather said...

Thanks Steph. i hadnt made yogurt in a while cause i hate babysitting it on the stove and the way i do it is using my pinky finger as a human thermometer, lol.

1) to the people who asked about making it thicker, if you dont want to buy powdered milk all you have to do as one person asked if line a collander/large strainer with cheesecloth. this way u can decide the exact consistency you want it and obtain varying degrees of thickness based on your preference.

2) also, if you like it more sour as i do, just leave it on your kitchen counter longer. the longer it sits out the more sour it will get.

3) lastly, i have used 2% and lower fat contents of milk many times. the result is a thinner yogurt with the lower fat content you use. also, as i strain mine, the higher fat content yields more actual yogurt and less of the yellowish liquid that drains out.

question: does anyone have an exact recipe for how to season it as they do in the arabic restaurants? i can tell its finely minced cucumber and garlic but im not sure how much to start off with of those ingredients....

Angela's Kitchen said...

Woo! I am so pumped about this! I have to do my coconut yogurt like this now! Thank you and thank you Debbie. Guess what I am doing this weekend??

Allison said...

I know this may seem a little odd, but I'm wondering if this would work for human breastmilk? I have heard of people making yogurt with it, and it would be great for my son because he's still too young for cow's milk. Your article says that pasteurized and homogenized milk is okay, but breastmilk is neither... any idea? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Possibly the best recipe on the net right now....

CatHerder said...

HEATHER: Just search "Tzatziki recipe" I got mine off recipezaar...i make it once a week to go on chicken souvlaki...tried to click on your name but there is no link..good luck!

Crockpot Lady said...

Allison, not odd at all. If it wasn't a huge undertaking to re-lactate, I'd try it myself!

xox
steph

Boki Mame said...

Totally amazing. Your awesomeness is... is... is... the most crockpotting awesomest.

$5 Dinner Mom said...

Thanks for posting this Stephanie! I was thinking I needed to get one of those fancy yogurt makers (perhaps I will for Christmas?), but this is GREAT! Can't wait to try it!

Heather said...

Sounds like fun! I just need to go get some cute little containers so the kids & hubby will enjoy taking it to school/work in their lunches.

Thanks!!

Pink Dogwood said...

Oh my - I'm excited to give this a go! Sounds super easy. Thanks for sharing.

ksperry said...

Silly question time. My crockpot came with a travel case that I assume is insulated. Would this work better/worse/no different than a thick towel?

JoAnnC. said...

Thanks for posting this! Can't wait to try it with raw milk and some vanilla bean!

Melise said...

I can mess up just about any recipe you put in front of me...but I used another recipe for homemade yogurt that worked great (and I did it on the stove, but the warming phase would work in the Crockpot as well).

"I use a gallon of the best organic milk I can find (1 percent, two percent, or whole milk, as you please) and slowly bring it to a boil. Many recipes specifically state one should avoid boiling, but our Albanian violin teacher told me that with American milk, boiling gives the yogurt a lovely texture. It's true; when done, the yogurt slides cleanly off the spoon instead of sticking.

After the milk has boiled (and stir it constantly, so it won't burn), let it cool to the point where it won't burn your finger, but still feels very warm - maybe 105 degrees Farenheit.

I then add about 1/2 cup of starter yogurt, which is at room temperature. I put the top on the pan, wrap a blanket around it and either leave it in a very warm corner, or put it in the oven with the door closed, to keep it away from drafts. I may add a closed jar full of very hot water to the interior of the oven to keep the temperature warm. Just warn your family not to turn the oven on!

Within four to five hours you should have lots of lovely homemade yogurt. I then transfer it to the refrigerator, and let it chill. The weight of the yogurt will actually cause the whey to separate. It's very good for your heart, so you can either stir it in, or use a turkey baster to remove it if you like a thicker yogurt. I save any excess whey and use it when I make treats for my dogs - they love it."


This is Melise again. I originally found this on the Chocolate and Zucchini blog, in a comment posted by Louise Denegre on December 4, 2005 2:57(http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2005/10/yogurt_cake.php)

I have made it a couple of different times...usually, I do it in the evening and then wrap the pot in a towel and stick it in my unlit oven (which doesn't have a pilot light) overnight. It has worked a bunch of times for me.

It was SUPER fun to do...and really does save money on yogurt (especially when I was on Weight Watchers and chowing down on yogurt and fruit a couple of times a day!).

Melise

MaryP said...

A friend bought me a yoghurt maker because she knows we eat it a lot, and I wanted to get away from all those plastic containers. It was a lovely thought... but it came without instructions! ARGH.

But NOW, now I can make my own -- with the crockpot I've had for YEARS.

This is too exciting. Thank you!

(I guess you don't know anyone who wants/needs an instructions-free, never-used yoghurt maker, huh?)

creole said...

Any ideas on how to make yoghurt that's more custard style?

Zimms Zoo said...

I made yogurt a lot before morning sickness struck. I always used the powdered milk (reconstituted) and never had a problem. I use the hillbilly housewife recipe.

This is a great idea. Hubby started on a better eating plan and this will be awesome. 8 people eat lots of yogurt!

lydia joy said...

This sounds awesome!! Can't wait to try it!!

Out of curiosity, what is going to happen to your blog when the year is over, it's not going to vanish into cyberworld somewhere is it. It would be ashame not to have access to all these awesome recipes!!!

theMom said...

If by Greek Style yogurt, you mean you drained off the liquid and used the creamy stuff, you can use the whey (liquid) for many things also. It is full of pro-biotic organisms and other good stuff.

Add it to baked goods. It adds moisture to the final product and helps with the stick-togetherness, both problems which so often challenge GF bakers.

Pre-soak your oatmeal (or other whole grains or dry beans) in water with a little whey added. I do two cups water, one cup oatmeal and about a tablespoon of whey. It sounds gross, but helps to kind of pre-digest the oats which can be very difficult for some people. Soak it for 10-24 hours. I also add about another cup of water and a tsp or so of salt during cooking. I've never had much luck having crock pot oatmeal turn out, but perhaps you could figure that out, too. I know many people who do it.

If you are really brave you can try all sorts of other natural pickling stuff with the whey also, but I am not going to go into details here since it is kind of off the subject.

And with regard to the whole fat milk, you could always use the "use whichever school of dietetics suits your needs" rule. There are more and more studies all the time showing that dairy fats are good and necessary.

I love your blog. Thanks, Mary

Alyss said...

There is no reason to be afraid of the fat in whole milk. Milk comes out of cows as a whole food and the more you mess with it the less healthy it is. Ultra pasturized milk is sold in Europe in shelf stable packaging because nothing, not even the bacteria that spoil milk, will eat it.
Also, there is no reliable science to back up the fact that dietary fats have any relation to heart disease, but lots that saturated fats are important for brain development in children. Did you know they feed skim milk to hogs to fatten them up? :)
Read this for more info on fats:
http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/skinny.html
And this - says the same thing but was in the New York Times, so it has to be true, right? :)
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E2D61F3EF934A35754C0A9649C8B63&sec=health
This looks a great recipe! I am going to try it this weekend :)

Theresa in Mèrida said...

If you are vegetarian and don't want to use gelatin (you know the whole gelatin is made from cow hoof is not a very vegetarian thing, what I do when I make yogurt is add a quarter to a half cup of powdered milk to make it thick. I make yogurt all the time but only one liter at a time. I use the boxed milk available here and it works fine.
regards,
Theresa

Mom2three said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I've wanted to try it many times, but you make it seem really do-able. I'd love to try this with my daughter helping!

Heather said...

The yogurt loses its "gel" when you blend it with the fruit--I've done that before, too. One way to overcome this is to make a fruit puree in the blender, then simply stir it in the yogurt by hand.

I make my own yogurt with an ancient yogurt maker given to us by a friend. We use vanilla and sugar and it comes out tasting wonderful.

I'm glad you did this post! I'm going to share it with my Mom!

Becca said...

I can't wait to try this tomorrow...we have skim milk though, I'm a bit confused as to the consensus as to if that will work of not, and what additional measures I need to take...thanks! We've been wanting to try to make yogurt, and this looks the easiest, by far!

Anonymous said...

I recently bought a yogurt maker and make it frequently.

My family likes to add in their flavorings separately. Sometimes my husband will add a touch of maple syrup or honey with some fresh fruit. My youngest adds a squirt of chocolate syrup. I don't eat yogurt, but if I did it would be with a generous dollop of LEMON CURD. This seems to be the big fav among all of them.

Kelley

Jesica said...

I KNEW IT!

Nothing to do with yogurt - LOL - but I've been reading your blog all year, watching your ingredients, and thinking "I bet she lives near me."

You do.

I'm very smart.

Thank you for your blog - I LOVE it, it inspires me!

Debra said...

Thanks for this. I have been using the crockpot as a water bath (on warm) for our yogurt, never thought to actually put the stuff straight IN the crockpot! With 5 kids who at yogurt everyday, it is EXPENSIVE to buy!

To make thicker yogurt, add powdered milk. For this amount, I would add 1/2 cup of it to make it as thick as store bought yogurt.

Katie said...

I think this is awesome, and cannot wait to make it! Quick question for the people who have successfully made yogurt before: Can I add a sweetener? And, if so at what stage?

My daughter likes her yogurt sweet and finding one at the store without high fructose corn syrup limits our flavor options so I really want to make my own!

Thanks in advance for your response!

LaFemmeNicole said...

I recently learned a neat trick for making Greek yogurt from homemade yogurt (I'm a klutz, so I usually end up with most of the yogurt stuck to the cheesecloth).

Pour the still-warm yogurt from your crockpot into a container with a large surface area (like a 9x13 pan with a lid). Refrigerate until it cools and sets up. Cover top with paper towels and refrigerate until they are soaked with whey. Replace them or add paper towels to absorb more whey, and repeat until it reaches the desired consistency.

Alternatively, I used one layer of paper towels and then layered a clean kitchen towel on top, then rung it out well and replaced as it absorbed the whey. Its heavier weight seemed to help.

I used this trick to make a quart of 2% Greek yogurt for frozen yogurt this summer, and it was both spectacular and thrifty!

Amy said...

You are SO amazing, Steph, I can't believe you cracked the code on making yogurt in your slow cooker. You are the WOMAN!

Stacy said...

I've loved making yogurt at home for the last year! I just make it in my oven, which is great. To make strained "Greek" yogurt, I drain the finished yogurt through cheesecloth or muslin in the fridge. It does reduce the volume by half, though.

You can also buy frozen yogurt cultures instead of store-bought yogurt as a starter. I've always used the recipe and found great resources - including soy yogurt - at http://fiascofarm.com/dairy/yogurt.htm (I am not affiliated with the site in any way!)

Sara said...

Thanks so much! I tried this last night and it turned out amazing!

I used my 6qt and here are the adjustment I made (someone asked): cook for 3 1/2 hours on low, then let it sit covered for 3 1/2 -4 hours before stirring in the starter. I still used 1/2 gallon on milk (I used 2% with 1 cup dry milk stirred in to thicken it and it really worked) and 1/2 starter.

Anonymous said...

I woke up this morning to a crockpot full of yogurt!! Thanks!! I used unhomoginized, organic whole milk, and when it was done there was a skin of yellow on top. The whole thing is now draining in cheesecloth in the fridge. Since there are only 2 of us, I don't know if we will eat it all in the next week, but we will sure try! Next time, I'll just make less. Thanks for another great idea!
Rebecca in Manhattan

downwithdebt said...

I quit buying yogurt since it went up 100% in the last year and a half. I am going to try this, it sounds great since I should not have any sugar, and this would allow me to control the ingredients!

susiejwll said...

I can't wait to try this! I just got some plain yogurt at Whole Foods today for my friend and she is going to repay me with some apples. Maybe we can both make yogurt with them. Sounds delicious, fun and economical. Thanks!

kate said...

I made this yesterday with skim milk and 2% fat Greek yogurt. Both were on clearance at my local Giant since today was the pull date. It is still draining in my frig but is a bit thinish. I will try adding the milk powder next time. Tastes great though! I am making if for my pooches too. They get clostridium more often than I like and yogurt was a recommended addition to their diet. I has worked wonders but was getting pricey. i am glad this worked out!

Jennifer said...

Thank you soooo much for this post! My daughter loves yougurt, but organic is soooo expensive! I am definently going to try this! THANKS!

Sarah said...

oh my, I made this last night and it's FABULOUS!!! and i flavored it myself with a little honey and some strawberries and it's SOOOO GOOOOD!!!

(um, i'm a little excited?)

Thanks for sharing!!!

Janel said...

DAIRY FREE ATTEMPT

ok for all those dairy and soy free I attempted to make this with coconut milk...hey so delicious just came out with a coconut line so I thought it might work. Well sad to say it did not work. Even after being in the refridge for 24 hrs it still never thickened and it smelled sour I was brave to taste and it was bitter. I added in strawberries and still very sour, way too sour more sour than sour cream. SO I tossed it down the garbage disposal and it stunk up the whole house.

If anyone else has success with dairy free let me know. Maybe it would work with soy but my family can't tollerate soy. bummer and you guys think regular yogurt is expensive try the coconut one it is $1.75 for 1 and goat yogurt is just as expenisve too!. We only buy it and eat it on rare occassions.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I came back to read results, and I have to say: You get a GALLON of organic whole milk for $3??? I am absolutely green with envy. We pay around $6 per gallon here (in DC, but it was the same when we lived in NV). I may make Hubbie move us to Seattle.

Crockpot Lady said...

not green, Johanna lives in Seattle---so those are her numbers. I have no idea what a gallon of milk costs here (sf bayarea)---we mostly drink soy. I bought a half-gallon for this recipes, and I'm pretty sure I paid over $3.

xox
steph

Leann I Am said...

I did it. I made this last night. It rocks! It's going to take a lot to get my family to eat it, however. They are picky and a little freaked out that I made it by leaving milk out for hours. Plus, I think they look forward to the little plastic containers with the pictures of fruit on the side!

I also made the chicken broth and it's on the same page:

http://ishouldhavebrediguanas.blogspot.com/2008/10/channeling-martha-stewart-and-roseanne.html

Sean and Janet said...

Hey Stephanie! I, too, share your obsession with crock-pot cooking! I have written cookbooks too and enjoy traveling and teaching cooking classes and sharing information about different brands. Keep up the good work!!! - Janet Eyring

P.S. FYI...I own 33 crock-pots.....I know crazy, but I knew you would understand:)

Susan said...

I never thought of making my own yogurt, but my son LOVES it - breakfast, lunch , dinner, snacks...we spend a small fortune on the stuff! I am definitely going to try this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!

momma2boyz said...

Oh, my word! This sounds AMAZING and I've officially put this on my "fun thing to do today" list! I'm off to start my yogurt! Thanks for such an amazing post / recipe! I can't wait to see how this turns out!!!!!!!!!! BTW, I LOVE your blog! I've already spent hours on here and I plan on spending many more! What a fun place!
Thanks so much!
blessings,
Sarah

leanandgreen said...

Awesome! Besides the savings, I like that you don't have to buy yet another gadget with a gazillion little pots and lids store. Does anyone know if you can make yogurt out of rice milk or soy milk?

Carrie Mae O said...

I'm tickled this Yoghurt by Crock is listed here! I knew it could be done! Say, when you strain your yoghurt to make it 'Greek', use the liquid that comes out of it in bread recipes. That is pure, protein-filled WHEY. You can substitute less-costly, all-purpose flour for bread flour if you use your free whey instead of milk or water when making homemeade bread, even in a bread machine.

dbailey said...

I made this, actually made it, and have never felt more accomplished. I'm terrible at baking, and scorch most things on the stovetop ... even managed to burn the mac & cheese recipe I found on this site, in ... wait for it ... THE CROCKPOT. I'm putting a quart of this yogurt in my mother-in-law's fridge with a note that says "Surprise!" Vindication is mine.

Lucky Mom said...

Never thought I would ever even aspire to make yogurt...but after reading this, I did...had some for breakfast this morning. it was delicious! already planning on making more!

Mrs. Nichole J. said...

Thanks for the link love!

I am SO excited about how mine turned out!!! No more store bought! :-) Im excited about the less sugar content to of homemade yogurt. :-D

Thanks so much!!!!
Nichole
http://blog.handmadebycole.com/

Leah said...

I made this yesterday (with the unflavored gelatin option) and let it sit in the fridge overnight with paper towels and a kitchen towel. The result is HEAVENLY! WAY Way too much yogurt for my family. A good problem to have!

Emily said...

I'm fairly new to crockpotting and I was wondering if it makes a difference if my crockpot is bigger. It's a 6.5qt. Does this change the length of times?? If so do you have any idea how much time?

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Emily, in this situation, the time should be the same. You might want to add another towel under the crock for a bit more insulation.

Usually, a larger crock will hasten cooking time (crocks work the best when 2/3 to 3/4 full) but this is a weird one----the extra air in the pot might cool the milk down quicker, which means maybe you'd want to use another towel.

xxo
steph

Stephanie said...

I just made this and it turned out wonderful! I was wondering when I went to bed how in the world it would thicken up overnight but it did just that! When I lifted the lid this morning I smelled yogurt! Tastes great. Thanks!

Teechur said...

I made this yesterday and have another batch going right now. Here was how I did it...same as the original with a slight modification.

8 cups skim milk
1 package fat free sugar free vanilla cook and serve pudding
1/2 cup (or so) fat free greek yogurt for starter

Put it in crock pot on warm for 2.5 hours.
Let it sit unplugged 3 hours.
Took out 2 ladles of milk, mixed with starter (which I had mixed with pudding mix).
Mixed back in.
Wrapped the whole she-bang in a towel and tossed another blanket over it for good measure.
Went to bed.
Slept the sleep of the just.
About 8.5 hours later it was yogued! (I love that word) It was't as thick as I'd like, but I did scoop some out and mixed some berries and Fiber One with it for a pre-run snack.
Headed out for my run. Had coffee at the coffee shop (left yogurt on counter). Searched high and low for cheesecloth. Found it. Ran home.
Put yogurt in strainer lined with cheesecloth. Started a new batch (got ff dry milk this time, so I won't use the pudding mix).
Took dogs to dog park. Park was too wet. Sad dogs had to suffice with sitting in van barking madly at other dogs. Note to self: wear boots next time.
Went home and checked on yogurt. PERFECT! The consistency of Fage!
Scooped out about 1/2 cup, sprinkled a splenda packet over it, added frozen blueberries.
OMG it was the bomb! No, it was the bomb-diggity. Yes. I went there.

The pudding flavored it like a very nice, subtle vanilla...very very slightly sweet. I might do a batch with lemon pudding mix (fat free sugar free...I've got over 100 pounds to keep off). This one I'm doing with the skim dry milk because I'll let it sit all day while I'm at work tomorrow so I can make tzatziki with it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this was touched on in any posts (you have so many!) -- temperature control is a very important issue with making yogurt if you want to beneficial cultures to survive and thrive. Temps too low or high will kill them and the range of what of what works is fairly narrow. Any idea of how much variability there is in slow cookers? The starter I use - a free-dried product - says that after getting the milk to a boil, it needs to cool to 111-113 F. Then the starter is added, poured into jars and then incubated. I mention this so people can check to see what temps their slow cookers are if they want the cultures to thrive.

jenn said...

thanks so much for the info! I never made yogurt but have been searching online. One thing only, don't you have to scald the milk to kill the bacteria? Then you cool it or something? I want to try this but am a little hesitant. thanks

Liz McD said...

I really want to try this, but I'm curious if there's a way to keep the yogurt for longer. I'm not sure I could eat all of this in 10 days, especially if I need to make another batch in that time to avoid buying more yogurt as a starter. Will it freeze? Is there anything else I can make/do with it that will help it keep?

Also, Wegman's makes a type of skim milk that is called "skim rich." It's thickened with carageenan and it has a lot of thick texture of fattier milk. Do you think this would be sufficient to thicken the yogurt, or should I still add some gelatin?

Chris said...

I tried this today. It didn't come out thick at all. Maybe my milk wasn't "fresh" enough? I'm going to try leaving it out overnight and see. Will I have to toss it if it doesn't thicken? I didn't add any powdered milk. Maybe should try that next time? Thanks so much for the idea!

Jen4 said...

This is soooo cool :)
I made it last night for the first time with skim milk and lowfat strawberry yogurt and it worked... yay.
I added to my own cup some frozen blackberries that I picked this summer and a tsp. of sugar, it was good but I would like it to be alittle sweeter. How do I make vanilla yogurt?
Love your blog!!!!

Ilona said...

It's my understanding that it IS the bacteria that makes yoghurt. If you kill it, it won't gel at all. We tend to think all bacteria is bad for us. Some is, but lots is good. Without the bacteria that LIVE RIGHT INSIDE YOU, you wouldn't be able to digest your food. (If I remember my grade 10 science class correctly.)

We're loving this home-made stuff. Yes, it's not as thick as store-bought, but it makes TERRIFIC smoothies, we've used it instead of cream in soups. I'm trying it with the gelatin this time, but really? That's just aesthetics. The slightly runnier stuff is more natural, after all.

We tend to way complicate this stuff. Nomadic tribes in Turkey have been making yoghurt for eons -- without safety inspectors electricity, or thermometers. (Or even crockpots, I guess!) And they've lived to tell the tale...

shanbecca said...

I am seriously giddy about discovering your website, Stephanie, and I can't wait to try your recipes. I'm a student and just my husband works, so yay saving money!

I just completed my first batch of crockpot yogurt and am so excited :) I have been eating Yoplait everyday for years and, while it's quite tasty and has live cultures etc., I've always been a little freaked about not just the sugar, but the high fructose corn syrup. Ew! My husband and I are super excited to try different flavors.

I have had a 5-quart crockpot (a big boy) for like 5 years and have used it maybe 3 times. I've always been unimpressed with slow-cooker recipes/cookbooks that I've seen/purchased and am stoked to finally have fifty bucks I spent on the thing pay off. YAY and thank you! :)

p.s. Thank you especially for some vegetarian stuff--I bought my 'pot when I still ate meat, and honestly, I purchased it because I wanted to make a pot roast in it. Since becoming vegetarian, I figured it would just become a dinosaur or I would give it away, which is sad. But now we have reconnected :)

shanbecca said...

I almost forgot--We are also super happy about less waste! The recycling facilities in our city are not great, and the plastic containers in the trash killed me. We use reusable containers for as much as we can, and now yogurt is included!

Dawn said...

I have my first batch of raw whole milk yogurt going in my rather large crockpot. Only fills the pot up about half - hope that works out OK. We've been buying a lot of Stoneyfield Organic yogurt but have been wanting to get away from the pasturized/homogonized milk products as much as possible.

If the pot can handle the volume, can you double the recipe and if so how would you have to adjust the times?

Thanks!

Rebecca T said...

Okay, even after reading all the comments, I was skeptical about how thick the yogurt would actually be. I have to say, it's thicker than I thought it would be! Although, after mixing in fruit/flavoring, it got runnier again (which is to be expected). I did use low-fat (1%) milk, next time I think I'll use whole and add powdered milk as others have suggested.

I followed your instructions exactly except used 1 cup of starter yogurt (my mistake) and let it cultivate for 12 hours (that's just when I got up this morning). It was quite tangy, next time I'll stick to 1/2 cup starter and shorten the time.

But - my little girls love yogurt and they both ate a helping of banana yogurt this morning - it wasn't even chilled yet and they thought it was good.

(Note: I added three large pureed bananas to one quart of yogurt, so you'll have about 1 1/2 quarts of banana yogurt). I wasn't planning on adding any sweetener, but my 2-yr-old informed me it needed something. So I added a little sugar, then she said it was yummy (probably due to it being a bit tangier than we're used to).

I also made a quart of vanilla yogurt by adding vanilla extract and some sugar to taste. I would have used honey as a sweetener, but the youngest is 9 months old and can't have honey yet. So I used regular sugar.

Tara said...

I made this on Saturday and was beyond thrilled with the results. I followed your recipe exactly. This is the best yogurt I've ever had! We added chopped up banana, a handful of blueberries and a little honey to a bowlful for breakfast. Yummy!

Thank you SO much for this awesome recipe! I'll never buy Yoplait again (sorry Yoplait!).

Mrs. Olsen said...

I had no idea! I have been casually pricing yogurt makers for about a year and am pumped I don't have to buy another appliance. I also think storebought yogurt is disturbingly sweet, so this will be great for the fam. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

For the lactose intolerant, lactose is broken down through the fermenting period. So, you can use regular milk while making yogurt but be sure to ferment for 24 hours minimum... voila, lactose free yogurt!

I learned this during my research on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), and I was going to have to buy a yogurt maker... now I will have one less appliance in my house. THANKS!!

Tabitha Teeter said...

Anonymous just address the lactose question earlier. Just wanted to add that I have a lactose intolerance and can eat yogurt fine. It's the one dairy product I can enjoy.

I started a batch of yogurt this morning since my daughter loves yogurt in her smoothies. I'm going to go get a thermometer to make sure I add the culture when the milk is at the right temperature.

Thank you for the recipe and all the tips. As long as it works, we will be liberated from the plastic containers and my dog will gladly help us out with any extra whey, as suggested.

Tabitha Teeter said...

Update: It worked great!

Rebecca said...

I'm so glad I found your site! I knew that ther had to be a way to do this. We've been getting milk every morning from a local rancher, so I'm looking for good ways to use the surplus (not that there's a whole bunch of surplus!). I think I need to try this tomorrow!

Thanks again! I'll be stopping by again soon! Great blog, btw! :^)

Engchik said...

Hey Steph! i tried this over the weekend, wrapped it up, woke up this morning too...a bunch of funny smelling milk!!!! on the bottom there seemed to be some yogurt but otherwise, it's just milk, which sucks, because i wasted an entire half gallon of milk and some yogurt! what did i do wrong?

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Engchik,

I don't know! But I'm so sorry that it didn't work well for you. I wonder if it didn't get hot enough, or didn't stay hot enough? I know our house is absolutely freezing overnight now, and it wasn't 6 weeks ago when I tried it.
eep, I'm so sorry.
xox
stpeh

engchik said...

hi steph- i think my freezing house DID have something to do with it...i'll try it again and insulate it better!!!
btw i made the dijoin chicken...YUM! thx!

ksperry said...

My kitchen was too cold at night for this to work well, so my last two batches I put the wrapped crockpot in the oven with the light on. It stayed nice and toasty and turned out perfect!

Anonymous said...

Question. What kind of yogurt is the natural yogurt used as a starter? Any available at Trader Joes, Sprouts or Sunflower?

Crockpot Lady said...

hi anon, yes--any full fat all natural yogurt should work. Steer clear from ultra-pastuerized. this time of year the house is awfully cold, so I'd do what ksperry did.
xox
steph

tessler said...

My oven light isn't working right now so I preheated it to "warm" and then let it cool down some before putting the heavily-wrapped crock in it. It worked perfectly!

And my husband tasted the yogurt this morning and said, "Wow, that's pretty good!" AND HE DOESN'T LIKE YOGURT! I now have hope that he might, just might, eat it! WOOOHOOOOO!! Oh, wait... that means less for me......

Anonymous said...

Does the good bacteria in the milk get killed in the cooking process in the crock-pot? I didnt' really say this right, did I?

Rachel R. said...

Where are you all finding non-ultra-pasteurized milk? ALL the milk here is ultra-pasteurized.

And, btw, for those who are concerned, there is no need to worry over the bacteria in the MILK being killed - the bacteria you need to make the yogurt is in your starter; that's why you use a starter.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Rachael,
our grocery store carries a local milk supplier, Berkeley Farms, and the milk says it's homogemized and pasteurized, but doesn't say ULTRA pasteurized. That's what I bought.

xox
steph

Ruth Rep said...

I modified the recipe a bit. I use 3 cups of nonfat powdered milk, 7 cups of water, and 1 can of evaporated milk. Procedure is exactly the same. The resulting yogurt has a wonderful texture, and it is replacing my evening ice cream treat. And talk about cheap....

Anonymous said...

Aaaaah! I just wanted to tell you I tried this yesterday convinced that it wouldn't work after reading so many other website on how to make yogurt and so much that needs to be done in order to do it. Your steps seemed just too simple. So I started it in the late morning which meant I had to make sure I was awake at 11:00 pm for the finished product. The reason I was even looking for how to make yogurt was because I had 3 gallons of raw milk that had soured already but didn't want to throw away. I simply followed your recipe to the letter and used Stonyfield organic plain whole milk yogurt and it turned out fabulous!!!!!! I couldn't believe it! My house was even cold with the temps being 0 degrees outside yesterday for the person who thought it may be the cold weather. Thank you so much for the instructions and may Our Lord always keep you in His care.

Anonymous said...

Some people have asked about making yogurt from vegetable "milks" (soy, rice, coconut, etc). Yogurt cannot be made from vegetable milks because it is changes in the structure of the milk protein that makes it thicken. The protein in soymilk makes tofu - essentially soy cheese. Coconut milk has little and rice milk has almost no protein.

Mother Hen said...

Well, I've been wanting to try this for a while and finally got around to it today. Worked like a charm. I used my 6qt crockpot and I just wonder if I could have done a whole gallon. Do you know if and by how much it would throw the time off?

Jenny said...

I saw your recipie on Jane4girls' blog - I LOVE your blog - I cant wait to check everything out!

I have some close-dated milk that I want to use up so I'm trying this, but my kids (and myself) like the flavored (not fruit chunk stuff). Do you think I can add some instant pudding (lemon)? or flavored gelatin? I might let the kids do that (1/4 tsp. at a time!) when I give it to them... they're used to "eating" Gogurt (ugh!) and I like Yoplait custard-style (thick and creamy)

Anonymous said...

WOW! You're awesome! I've read a million recipes for yogurt and they all just seemed too complicated....this is so EASY!

Also, I just learned an AMAZING and simple biscuit recipe that uses the homemade yogurt: 2 cups flour, 1 cup yogurt, mix together, drop on floured pan, bake for 10 minutes in 400 degree oven. Great with cheese, garlic powder, or cinnamon sugar (not all together!) sprinkled on top.

I know you're GF so this wouldn't work for you -- but wanted to share it for others out there. I don't know too much about GF cooking, but if anyone knows how to modify it to make it work, I'm sure it's you!

Thanks -- love this site!

*Lizi

Jen on the Run said...

I made this last night! I used whole milk and a packet of gelatine powder. It is pretty thin, but it tastes great. I don't have coffee filters, but I am running some of it through a paper towel, hoping to create the same "Greek style" effect. My 2.5 year old is currently enjoying a strawberry smoothie. Yay for yogurt in the crock!

Penny said...

Hi! Found my way here by way of a Weight Watcher's board. Thought I would share a method for making yogurt (plain, ff though this can be for any% milk) that is a little quicker, once you get the hang of it. Total ACTUAL "messing with it time" is under 1 hour, with most of that "waiting" while the milk heats and then cools.


Supplies:

4 quart Pyrex measuring cup
candy thermometer
towel
heating pad
large stock pot (for incubator)--or can use ice chest
1/4 cup dried non fat milk (to make it firmer)
3.5 cups ff milk
2-3 tablespoons pre-made yogurt, to room temperature
1 quart glass canning jar
An "out of the way" place where the yogurt won't be disturbed.

Note: I do the following to "prepare"...

Heat water in a kettle and pout into glass canning jar, just to make extra sure it is sterilized. I'll pour out this water while the milk is cooling down.

Turn on the heating pad.

1. Mix dried milk and ff milk together in the measuring cup.

2. Microwave for about 8 minutes and then check temp. You want it to be between 190-200 degrees. If it isn't there yet, re-heat for two minutes and check again. Then do it in 1 minute increments. This way you can get a general time for YOUR microwave. Mine is about 10 minutes. YMMV

3. Put hot milk in the fridge and let it cool down until it reaches 115-118 degrees. (You can also do this is a ice/water bath but then you have to stand over it and stir...so I don't do this).

Timing is around 30 minutes but I do it for 25 and then check it, adding 5 minutes, then a little more until it reaches the right temp. (The last few minutes of heating and cooling to the right temps can happen kind of quickly)

4. Put the 2-3 T of room temp yogurt into the canning jar. Pour one cup of cooled milk in the jar and gently shake it so the yogurt and milk combine. Pour the rest of the cooled milk in and contine to gently shake until combined. (I just turn it up and down while walking to the laundry room.)

5. Place towel over heating pad and then place jar on towel. Wrap towel around jar and then place stock pot (or someother large container over it) and let it sit for a minimum of 3-4 hours. The longer it sits the more "tang" it will get. DO NOT BOTHER it for the first 3-4 hours. This temp should be around 110-112. I put my heating pad on high but YMMV.

6. Refrigerate overnight.

I do this in the a.m. when I'm having my coffee and waking up/checking computer.

Some of the temps may vary a bit so I just sort of took an average. It didn't seem to matter that much. AND, as one website said, the first batch will be the hardest because you will WANT to check it...and then it gets stringy if you move it around during that critical incubation time.

I love it!

I flavor mine AFTER it is made so I'd "justgoogleit" to find out about/when to add flavor to it.
__________________

Penny said...

What does my last comment have to do with a crockpot? I forgot to add that if you were to test the temp in your crockpot, you could incubate the jar in there, again, covered with a towel*the jar, not the crockpot). Almost the same principle that you posted but maybe a little easier to clean up?

Gigi said...

Does any of this stuff have to be sterilized before using? I was hoping to try this recipe but not sure how I would go about sterilizing a crock pot!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Gigi, I sure hope not because I didn't!
xoxo
steph

Anonymous said...

This has to be the easiest Yogurt recipe I've seen. I made it last night (added 2T of dry milk) and it came out great. Best yogurt I've ever tasted.

Thanks!

Josh and Sabrina said...

so i made this last night. it's a tad bit runny, no spoon dragging for sure... i think i used too much milk (1 carton) or it might be because i bought fat free yogurt by accident... not sure. next time i'll change both variables & pray for better results. Even with the mixed results, my 2 yr old LOVES it. I mixed some pure maple syrup in it & then she shook some sprinkles on it too :D sprinkles garnish everything around here.

Barbara said...

I've been wanting to make my own yogurt with raw milk- cannot wait to try this!

Anonymous said...

I make this a lot now. I use non fat milk and put 2 Tbsp dry milk in with the yogurt. I also drain it at the end using coffee filters and a colander to make it a bit thicker. I like that I can control how thick it ends up. Very delicious!

Ellie Raduns said...

For those of you who like a thicker yogurt, try to obtain grass-fed jersey cow milk. Jersey cow's have the highest butterfat content which helps the milk set-up best! No gelatin or pectin should be required with yogurt if the milk used is "healthy" ie: cow's haven't been feed a diet of corn... http://alternativecooking.blogspot.com.

For those of you scared to eat natural whole milk don't be. You won't gain weight by consuming whole milk! You actually will have a harder time losing weight on skim milk. True story...

Crockpot lady. Thanks for this trick in the crockpot! This is great and will definitely shorten the time spent making yogurt!

Anonymous said...

I was searching for a yogurt maker when I came across this site. Now I will just use my crokpot. I am excited. yogurtlover

Dandy said...

as a yogurt lover myself I go thru probally 2 ~ 750m; containers a week... I'm going to try this!!

I usually just like the plain vanilla have you tried adding vanilla extract to the mix while it's cooking or when it's cooling??

Jill said...

Just followed this recipe perfectly using 1 day old organic whole milk from a farm--this morning it definitely is very runny--I'll try straining it with coffee filter and try it out--a bit disheartened though, I was so excited. I guess we'll have to try the powdered milk next time and make some bread today with the left over whey from straining!

Gigi said...

I made a batch yesterday and it was good but runny. Today I added instant skim milk powder to the 2nd batch and the consistency is more to my liking. I bought the instant by accident but it worked well. We'll be eating a lot of yogurt over the next few weeks as we have 'whey' too much.

Anonymous said...

I tired this last Sunday and it turned out great! I added a pack of vanilla pudding, the kind that has to be cooked when I added the plain yogurt and it was thick enough for my critical husband. It tasted great so it will be a weekly thing for me now. I made chili this past week and like to put sour cream in it but didn't have any. I added some plain yogurt and I couldn't tell the difference. In the mornings I add a little 100% maple syrup and it's great! Thanks you some much for sharing your knowledge. Your blog is really GREAT!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Alice

Talentetta said...

There seemed to be a lot of failures in the comments, so I had success my first time by doing a combination of the original method and a few others:

I started out with 8 cups 1% non organic milk that I bought on the expiration date for $1/gal. Then I waited for several days past that, and it still tasted fine, so I thought I wouldn't be out anything if it didn't work.

I tested my new crock pot temps by filling it halfway with water and using a thermometer on low and hi settings. My low was about 140, and my hi was about 200. I read that bacteria is killed after 2 hours at 140, so I started out with the milk on low for 2 hours, then bumped it up to high for 30 min or so, like Melise's method of boiling the milk. I turned it off and left the lid off until it reached 105-109, an hour at least.

Meanwhile, my 1/2 C of Activia had been sitting out to come to room temp, and was mixed with 1/4 C nonfat milk powder (not instant). My milk is old, and there is a distinct "powdered milk" smell to it. Made me wonder if it would take over the taste of the yogurt.

I put a pizza pan in an electric oven, set the crock pot on top (since it was resting unlevel on the plain rack), and covered it with 3 towels folded in thick layers. I also added a qt canning jar of water I heated in the microwave 4 min, and covered, in the oven (Melise). I turned on the oven light. The bulbs were putting off some heat, and the towels were right up to the bulbs on top.

I went to bed, and woke up 3 1/2 hours later, opened the oven, and it was toasty warm, the jar of water still very hot. Slept again, and checked the yogurt after 11 hours. It was very firm, only about 1/8" of whey on top, if that much. It did have that "powdered milk" taste, but I now have Activia-type yogurt for basically free, since the milk was so cheap, and there is a money-back rebate on the Activia, up to $12. I have it chilling in the fridge, after which I will experiment with hiding the powdered milk taste with honey, pureed home canned apricots, other fruit, jam. I will also mix it with my carton of sour cream to stretch that, maybe straining it first to thicken. And I've got to freeze some for starter!

Oh, I also preheated the oven to bake muffins as soon as I took the yogurt out, and it registered 144 degrees. Definitely warmer than my house, sitting out on a counter!

Sharon said...

After resolving to eat healthier this year, I was looking at the ingr. in store bought flavored yogurt and was not impressed. I started searching the internet and found your recipe. It actually worked! I'm thoroughly excited about discovering your blog. Can't wait to try more recipes. Thanks!

Joy said...

I made this last night, and it is awesome!

I made it in a 6 quart crockpot, and used 2% milk. I cooked it for 3 1/4 hours on low instead of 2 1/2, then let it sit for 4 hours instead of 3. When I added the starter back in, I put my crockpot on WARM for 1/2 hour, then unplugged it and wrapped it for the night. It ended up sitting for 12 hours on top of my counter, but it was perfect, though thin, yogurt.

I blended about eight large strawberries with some honey, and mixed it into about half of the yogurt. I then strained the other half to thicken it, using a flour-sack tea towel in my colander, and I'm saving the whey to use in my next batch of bread as recommended by an earlier poster.

I mixed the thickened yogurt with the fruit-blended batch, and the thickness and texture and taste is just. so. perfect.

Thanks for the recipe, and to all the posters for their suggestions!

I can't believe how much I enjoy this yogurt! (And the children will get used to it, too! LOL!)

TS said...

This is great, great, great! It would take me $12 to buy this amount of organic yogurt at Trader Joe's and it takes me $6 to make it at home! Works every time, Thank you!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the recipe!
I will be making this monday, next...we have a party this weekend & my fridge would be filled! We go through so much yogurt around here every week, it is nuts to keep buying it!
We have a great microdairy nearby with AWESOME milk prices, so this is BIG! God Bless, I'll let you know how it all works out!
PS: I'll be back for some more crock ideas.
Pax, EJT

The Smack Family said...

Hi! I just don't get it! I've tried like 4 times now every varation, on the counter in a towel, in the oven....
My yogurt doesn't yogue. The batch I tried last night is still warm but it's basically just warm milk. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. My crock has a warm function on it, should I try leaving it on "warm" all night? I REALLY want some homemade yogurt & can't seem to figure it out....

I've been using skim milk & adding a cup of instant powdered milk & 6 oz of yogurt.

TIA for any advice/suggestions you can give!

Pam said...

Stephanie,

I was turned on to your blog after your year of crockpotting was already over, but I absolutely love it and have been helped tremendously! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your recipes and experiences with us. I really appreciate it. Quick question on the crockpot yogurt. I have tried this twice already and both times I used 2% rather than whole milk and ended up with yogurt drinks rather than yogurt. Not a problem, my children like yogurt drinks too. But this time I'd like it to gel more so I am going to use the unflavored gelatin you mentioned in this post. Do you know about how much gelatin to add to the crockpot? Have you experimented with this? If so I'd love to hear about it!

Again, thanks so much for maintaining such an informative and helpful and funny blog!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Smack Family, I don't know. I used a 4 quart round crockpot, and did exactly what I described. It was a warm time of year, and my house was probably around 65-68 degrees inside. I do know that straining through coffee filters or cheesecloth really helps separate the whey. Email me directly and I can try to trouble shoot.

Hi Pam,
I would use the whole packet of unflavored gelatin. Have you tried straining the yogurt through cheesecloth or a few coffee filters? I lined a pasta strainer with coffee filters, and was surprised at how much thick yogurt remained behind. it could also be that your house is getting too cold at night, since it's winter. I have had readers say they have used a heating pad under their crock during the night or wrapped it in an electric blanket with good results. I am so sorry I don't have more concrete advise---it's kind of trial and error.

xoxo
steph

Stephanie in Canada said...

Hi CrockpotLady!

I just tried this yesterday/last night for the first time! I really wanted to get away from the skim milk powder that's in commercial yogurt.

I followed the directions (almost) exactly. I used a 4 quart crock. I used 1 1/3 L (1 bag of milk from a 4L), which would be between 5 and 6 cups milk. I used homogenized (3.5%) milk, which is the closest we can get to whole.

I used Astro Natural Balkan style (plain) yogurt as my starter. I'm almost certain I had less than the 1/4 cup recommended.

I reduced the 3 hour cooling time a bit, because we keep the house cool in winter (about 69F). I wrapped it up really well with towels and left it for 12 hours instead of 8 (because I didn't want to get up at 4am).

This morning, it was like Xmas morning - unwrapping my crockpot. It was beautiful and thick (thicker than I expected based on the instructions) and creamy. I tasted some, even though the thought of room-temp yogurt was a little gross... and it's delicious! Nice and tangy!

Thank you so much!!!

Beth said...

Hi Crock Pot Lady! Just wanted to gush at you a little - made yogurt in my crock pot yesterday and I could not be more thrilled!! I live in a very remote part of Yukon Territory (Canada), so we don't see much fresh milk. I used reconstituted dry skim milk powder, adding extra powder. I also added the gelatin with the starter in the hope that it would set and it did!!! Wonderful flavor, mild and slightly tart. My family thinks I'm the bomb!! So many thanks to you. You're definitely the bomb, too!

Denise said...

I was thinking of buying a yogurt maker but really didn't want to spend any extra money.
I was searching yogurt and came across your wonderful website. Last night I started the yogurt - I added the 2 tablespoons of dry milk, whole milke & stoneyfield yogurt as a starter. I followed steps as you had them and I wrapped in 2 towels and woke up this morning and voila! Yogurt! Amazing. It thickened even more after I put in the refrigerator. I strained some to make greek yogurt which is great because it cost $1.89 for a small Greek yogurt in our area. The yogurt is delicious. Thanks you so much. I have to check out the other recipes as well. You are a delightful person for sharing this info. Thank you!

Barbara said...

I just did this with raw milk and it turned out so good! Thank you SO much!!!

Amy said...

I'm wondering what is the purpose of having the heated milk sit for 3 hours after the initial heating? I've looked at several methods of making yogurt, and usually the milk is heated, then cooled until it's just warm before adding the culture. I'm thinking maybe it would work just as well to take off the lid & allow to cool before proceeding, which wouldn't take 3 hours. What do you think? By the way, I love your blog. Thanks.

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