I used to make yogurt occasionally when the kids were younger and I had a “real” yogurt maker of sorts. It always seemed to be too much “putzing” to be worth the effort. I recently heard about making yogurt in a crockpot and I was intrigued. So I did some research on the Internet and came up with a method that worked for me. There are numerous variations out there and you will need to find one that fits into your workflow. After a few adjustments, this is the method that works for me.
Homemade yogurt is awesome! It has a smooth, mellow taste and I can eat it by the spoonful without any sweetener.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1/2 gallon of milk (I use 2%)
- 1/4 cup of plain yogurt with live active cultures. (I’ve been using Greek Gods Yogurt)
- A 2-3 qt crockpot
- Candy Thermometer
- Small blanket
Put it Together:
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat until 185 F. (Some versions call for putting this in the crockpot and heat til 185, but I find it’s faster to heat in a pan first. You may also want to add a cup of powdered milk to make it thicker, but I never have it around, so don’t put it in :-).
- Pour the milk into the crockpot and cool to 110-115 F. This may take an hour or two. I leave the cover off and put the thermometer in the crockpot to monitor.
- Remove 1-2 cups of milk and transfer to a small bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of yogurt and whisk to mix. Add mixture back into crockpot and stir.
- Cover the crockpot and then wrap it up in a small blanket. Place the wrapped crockpot in an oven that is not turned on. Turn the oven light on and shut the door. Leave in oven 8-12 hrs. (The main purpose of the crockpot in this recipe is to act as an insulator to keep the temperature constant.)
- Remove crockpot from oven. At this point you can remove the base container from the crockpot and refrigerate until later or strain the yogurt to remove the excess whey to make it Greek yogurt.
- To strain the yogurt, place a damp thin, white, cotton kitchen towel or several layers of cheesecloth in a colander. Place the colander over a bowl. Transfer the yogurt to the lined-colander. It may take an hour or two to strain the yogurt if using a towel (which is what I do). You will have a cup or two of whey which can be saved to use for baking. It can be substituted for buttermilk in recipes calling for this.
- Once the yogurt has drained, place it in jars or glass containers and refrigerate. This makes 2 ping jars.
- Enjoy!! I serve this with fresh or frozen berries and sometimes my homemade granola on top.