Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yogurt in the Crockpot

My family eats a lot of yogurt.  A lot.  Since moving to England, I haven't found a plain yogurt that won't break my bank and tastes good.  So at the recommendation of my friend, Nikki, I've started making my own - and we love it!  I should have been doing this a long time ago, especially since it's stinkin' easy.  I took most of my notes from here, along with a few other sites that offer suggestions and this is what I've come up with.  You've got to try it!  A bowl of this with some homemade granola and blueberries has become our breakfast of Payne champions!

I've made four batches so far, and each batch has been better than the one before.  It's not as thick as the Greek yogurt you can find in the store.  But it's also not as bitter, which I like.  If you are set on having a super thick texture, try this method.

You'll need:

-1/2 gallon of whole milk (I've always used organic)
-1/2 cup plain yogurt to use as a "starter".  It can be store bought, or 1/2 cup reserved from a homemade batch.  I've used Greek-style, but I'm guessing any full-fat yogurt would work
-a couple of towels or a blanket

Turn your crockpot to low and pour in milk.  Cover and allow to cook for two and a half hours.

After two and half hours have elapsed, turn off cooker, unplug from wall and allow to sit, still covered, for three hours.

After the three hours have gone by, add the starter yogurt and use a whisk to gently mix.  Recover.  Then cover and wrap the entire crockpot with a large bath towel or blanket and leave on your counter for eight hours.

After the eight hours have elapsed, you're yogurt is done!  I normally lift the entire crockpot out of the base and keep it in my fridge until I have time to decant into smaller containers.

Tips I've picked up so far:
- Don't mess with the yogurt unless you have to.  When stirring in the plain yogurt starter, 4 or 5 figure-eight motions with the whisk is all you need. 

-I usually start the process at 4 or 4:30pm, which makes me done for the day by 9:30 or 10pm and then it's ready at 5:30 or 6am

-After 2 or 3 times of using your own yogurt as a starter, go back to 1/2 cup store-bought so the yogurt doesn't get too runny

-update: I tried it for the first time using non-organic milk.  I noticed a big difference in taste and texture that I didn't like.  

Uses for plain yogurt:
-substitute for sour cream
-with granola and dried or fresh fruit for breakfast or snack
-in smoothies . . . strawberry, blueberry, and banana is one of our favorites
-blended with a little bit of orange juice concentrate and then frozen for creamsicle-ish popsicles
-use instead of milk for biscuits, pancakes, or cornbread

I'd love to hear any of your ideas or tips . . .


  1. Funny, I just posted about this yesterday! We are LOVING homemade yogurt at our house too!

  2. I like yogurt in chocolate cake--kinda lends a buttermilk-like tanginess to it.

    Too bad we're attempting to go dairy free, or I would totally try this.

    So glad you're doing well across the Pond! :)

  3. I'm glad to hear the yogurt making is working out for you! It's hard to go back to store bought yogurt once you've tasted homemade.

  4. I am definitely going to try kids eat yogurt like it's going out of style, so it would be great to not have to buy so much!

  5. We've been making yogurt for almost a year... SO GOOD. Here are the instructions I followed:

  6. How much does this yield? We are definitely going to try this.

  7. Half a gallon is supposed to equal eight cups, but I've never measured it exactly. I always get four full jars like the ones you see in the picture above (old Adam's peanut butter jars) plus about 1 cup more.


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