All of my dreams have come true. I’ve learned how to make Greek Yogurt in an Instant Pot and I am obsessed. Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt is what the cool kids are doing.
As you probably know by now, I love yogurt for breakfast. I especially love it when it’s thick and creamy Greek Yogurt. Things kind of crazy when my friend, and owner of La Barba here in Utah told me that she’s making yogurt in her Instant Pot for their shop. Um, yes. I tried it, it was amazing and I’ll never go back. She also blogs at Vintage Mixer and is totally living in Europe for a few months so seriously, she’s kind of one cool kid, with kids. 😉
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. In college I was trying to still eat like normal, but on a ridiculously tiny budget. When yogurt would go on sale I’d buy a few and considered it my splurge on groceries. I know, it’s the little things, guys. Anyway, I couldn’t afford granola so I’d wait for granola bars to go on sale as well and break some up over my yogurt for breakfast.
It’s really hard to be in college and try to balance so many things, but I LOVED it. I loved being on my own, I felt totally capable of sticking with a budget and the feeling of accomplishment from excelling in my classes but I hated trying to figure out how to cook for just one person. I soooo wish I would have had an instant pot back then.
In fact, that should totally be the new graduation and wedding gift of choice. Think about it, one little appliance that can do everything. Even the kids who go into a dorm room could make themselves a real roast with their roomies every now and again and not need a stove at all!
How to Make Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt
To make instant pot homemade yogurt or Greek yogurt you only need two things, milk and a starter. Your instant pot (or slow cooker) will take care of the heating, and the fermenting, especially if you bought this Instant Pot 6 qt 9 function (our personal choice) with the yogurt button which makes everything extra easy.
If you think making this yogurt is easy, you will love our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet that makes cooking all the basics extra easy!
Must Haves for Making Homemade Yogurt
Ok, this isn’t a MUST, but it sure will make your life easier. Buy yourself this 6qt 9 function Instant pot.
Weck 1/2 Liter Jars for yogurt storage. They are cute, easy for the kids to open and keep a good seal in the fridge.
Thermometer- You really do need this. It’s a great thermometer and you need to make sure your milk has come to a specific temperature, so you need it. If the Lavatools isn’t a price you’re comfortable with, we’ve used this cheaper Thermopro one, and it does ok.
Nut Milk Bag– If you plan to make Greek yogurt, which you should as it’s our favorite, make sure you get a nut milk bag to strain out the whey and liquid. For half the price you could also use a cheesecloth, this is the one I have.
Which Milk for Homemade Yogurt
Homemade yogurt does best made with 2% or whole milk. We don’t buy either on a regular basis, so we go with whichever is on sale that week.
Yogurt is the easiest yogurt starter. That’s right, regular ol’ yogurt, plain yogurt, Greek yogurt etc. The most important thing is that the yogurt must have ACTIVE cultures so check out the ingredient list to make sure it includes Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. In fact, many now say, contains active cultures without you even remembering those names. Once you have made homemade yogurt, the homemade yogurt can be used as the starter. Winning!
How is Greek Yogurt Different Than Regular Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a little different than regular yogurt. Both yogurts are heated, cooled and bacterial cultures are added. The mixture then ferments and you end up with creamy yogurt.
This is where the difference comes in, Greek yogurt is now strained to remove whey and lactose, leaving behind an even thicker and creamier yogurt.
Why is Greek Yogurt Healthy for You
Greek yogurt has almost double the amount of protein than a regular yogurt which will help you to keep a healthy waistline.
Make sure you grab the nonfat Greek yogurt and then the fat isn’t as bad, otherwise it has about 3 times the saturated fat.
There’s about half the sodium in Greek yogurt.
Finally, there’s generally half the amount of carbohydrates, but if you add in honey or other sweeteners that number begins to rise.
How to Make Homemade Greek Yogurt
You actually only need to do one thing to take homemade yogurt and make Greek yogurt. The trick is knowing when to strain homemade yogurt.
After the yogurt is totally done, place a large piece of cheese cloth over a strainer and pile in the yogurt. Wrap the cheesecloth over the yogurt and twist the top, squeezing out the liquid as you twist.
Set the cheesecloth in the strainer and put the whole thing in the fridge overnight to drain out the liquid.
In the morning, store the yogurt in a plastic container with a lid.
How and When to Sweeten Homemade Yogurt
You don’t have to sweeten homemade yogurt at all. It gets tangier the longer you let it ferment, so just don’t take it past the 6-8 hours and it won’t need as much sweetening. But if you do want to sweeten it you should use a natural sweetener like honey and or vanilla which won’t add as much sugar and fat and it will blend in easier.
Sweeten homemade yogurt after you have heated it the first time and are about to let it ferment.
Can Homemade Yogurt be Frozen?
You can freeze yogurt, but we advise against it. Frozen homemade yogurt, or even store bought can take on a harsh, acid like flavor. It’s texture also become runny and grainy. It’s still healthy to eat frozen yogurt, but it won’t be very pleasant.
How Long Does Homemade Yogurt Last in the Fridge?
Homemade yogurt will last for about 2 weeks, if you can get everyone to stay out of it. We recommend you eat it within a week so that you can use a little starter to begin a new batch, and to keep the one you’re eating nice and fresh.
My Homemade Yogurt Didn’t Set
Your yogurt probably wasn’t kept warm enough during incubation which is why an instant pot really is so important as it does that hard work for you. Don’t worry though, failed yogurt can be salvaged by re-heating it carefully over low heat back to 110 degrees and incubating it for the second time.
Culturing your homemade yogurt for too long, at too high a temperature, or with a starter culture lacking active cultures can cause yogurt to separate or turn lumpy. If your yogurt turns lumpy, strain it to remove the whey, then using a whisk, beat the yogurt solids in a bowl until it turns smooth.
Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt
Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt
- 1 Gallon Milk preferably whole or 2%
- 3 Tablespoons Plain Greek Yogurt with active cultures we use Fage Plain.
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or to taste
- Honey for serving
- Begin by heating the milk to 180°F - 200°F by placing the entire gallon of milk in the inner pot. Close lid, venting knob position doesn’t matter, and lock it.
- Use the Yogt function button, and press it repeatedly until it says, boil. Or use the adjust button to reach "boil". Allow the milk to heat for 1 hour to get the milk to at least 180°F. The Instant Pot screen will usually change to “yogt” when the boiling is done, depending on your model. Giving the milk a whisk usually does the trick, but if it hasn't reached 180, press saute and continue to heat until it reaches 180.
- Remove the inner pot and place it on the counter to cool until it has reached 110 degrees. Remove any of the skin that forms off of the top and whisk in the 3 tablespoons of yogurt starter.
- Stir in the vanilla now or we like to do it later so it doesn't get strained out.
- Place the pot back in the instant pot and hit yogt again. Adjust the time to 7 or 8 hours, up to 10 hours depending on how tangy you want the yogurt.
- Stir in the vanilla here if you want more flavor.
- Remove the yogurt into a container to refrigerate, or if you want greek yogurt, place a nut bag or cheesecloth over a strainer and allow the liquid to be strained out in the fridge over night.
- Stir in honey to taste for serving.
A while back I shared our 2 ingredient instant pot applesauce recipe on an instagram story and now I share it here along with how to can applesauce.