After seeing Andrea make her own yogurt and then reading about her friend’s crockpot yogurt adventure, I knew I needed to try it myself.
Every few months for the past 2 years, I would start looking up yogurt-making machines online…checking prices…reading reviews…but we just don’t have room for another appliance. As much as I wanted one, I couldn’t justify buying it because I knew I had no place to keep it in the kitchen. Besides – if I end up with any new appliance soon, it better be a kitchen-aid ;)
As soon as I saw something about making it in your crockpot, I decided I had to give it a shot. I already have a crockpot, after all, so I might as well try!
After googling “homemade yogurt crockpot” and reading through a few recipes and tips, I picked this recipe to try. My thoughts/changes are in blue.
Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot
8c (1/2 gallon) pasteurized milk ( NOT ultra-pasteurized)
1c active culture plain yogurt (to use as your starter)
3qt (or larger) crock-pot
large thick beach towel
1) Turn crockpot on low.
2) Add milk; cover & cook on low for 2-1/2 hours to 3 hours.
3) Unplug crock-pot. Keep lid on, and completely wrap crock-pot in large, thick beach towel, for insulation, and let sit for 3-4 hours. (It seems like it’s ready to me when I dip a spoon in it and the spoon is sort of slightly coated, rather than the milk running right off the spoon like water, if that tip helps you! – When I was ready to add the yogurt, I did this spoon trick, but mine still just looked like milk. I added the yogurt anyway, since it had been 3.5 hours.)
4) At the end of 3-4 hours, in a small bowl, whisk 1c (I only added 6 oz. plain yogurt) active culture plain yogurt (to use as your yogurt starter) with 1-2c of the milk from the crock-pot. Return it to the crock-pot.
5) Keeping crockpot unplugged, completely re-wrap in heavy beach towel.
6) Allow to sit for 8 hours. (I’ve let it sit for 10-12 hours!)
7) Yogurt will have thickened. Don’t be alarmed when you see a watery looking glob in your crockpot. You’re not done yet! You need to separate the watery whey from the actual yogurt. To do this, simply ladle yogurt into a basket-shaped paper coffee filter (3-1/4" base) within a fine wire mesh strainer and allow to drain into a bowl. (I set up an "assembly-line" with 4 bowls & 4 strainers to speed up the process.) I let it sit for about 30 minutes or more, so it comes out quite dry. I strained mine in two batches using coffee filters since I don’t have a cheesecloth.
8) Then run the drained yogurt through the blender to make it creamier. *I didn’t do this step at all – my yogurt is creamy!
9) Serve with favorite fresh or dried fruits, honey, or jam/preserves.
10) In a non-reactive container (non-metal), set aside 1c as your starter for your next batch.
11) Store in covered container and refrigerate. Will stay fresh for 7-10 days.
I could have let it strain even longer, but I just couldn’t wait! This yogurt is SO good – it’s actually not as tart as storebought yogurt, which I love!
I used some local milk, too.
All the Kroger grocery stores here sell milk from the Homestead Creamery, a dairy in Virginia, that still packages their milk in glass bottles.
It’s a little more expensive than the other milk in the store, but worth it! It tastes amazing. You actually pay a $2 deposit every time you buy a bottle, but the best part is that you can rinse out the bottles and take them back to Kroger and get your deposit back! Then the creamery cleans the bottles and reuses them. Neat, huh?
I’ve been thinking of doing some more yogurt experiments (trying different milk %, trying my hand at coconut milk or almond milk yogurt, etc).
Speaking of…does anyone know if you can even make yogurt from almond milk?