Ready to make your own Greek Yogurt?
I know it sounds scary and like a ton of work, but it’s not bad at all.
In fact, most of the work is done without you – the hands-on time for this process is minimal. You just need to be in the house at the right times to get to the next step.
The process I use is the one I found here (my modifications in bold):
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 or paper towels in a colander since I don’t have a cheesecloth.
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.
The first time I made my own yogurt, I didn’t strain it to make greek yogurt, and it’s still delicious! It’s not as tart as some other yogurts, but is just as creamy and has a great texture.
The most important thing to have is the pasteurized milk.
Most milk in the grocery store is ultra pasteurized and that will not work when trying to make yogurt or cheese.
The milk I get is from a local dairy in Virginia, and I buy it at Kroger.
You can check to see if there are local dairies at Eat Wild. A local dairy will be likely to offer pasteurized milk and maybe even more products! I know Homestead Creamery offers milk, cream, butter, and ice cream (which is amazing).
After making this last batch of yogurt into greek yogurt, I’m fairly sure I’ll be doing this as much as possible.
Not only is it delicious, it’s homemade, local, and cheap to make!
I paid $2.99 for a half gallon of local milk, I already have a crockpot, and the only other thing you need is 6 oz – 1 cup of plain yogurt. If you buy the plain yogurt, it might be $1. Or, if you already have yogurt at home, you don’t need to buy anything but the milk.
I do feel a bit like a hippy making my own yogurt in the crockpot, but I don’t mind.
If you have some extra time to get this started on a weekend, it will be done before you know it and you’ll be left with freshly made, creamy yogurt.