Just call me Pioneer Annie over here, because this week I finally took the plunge and made my own yogurt. We had a gallon of milk going bad, and since I’m working from home these days, none of my regular excuses applied. Enter this easy, though time-consuming, Instapot yogurt.
I am going to start with that time-consuming concept. There is barely any hands-on time with this method, but making the yogurt can take 8-12 hours, and you do have to check on it periodically. This is a perfect activity for any day you’re stuck at home like so many of us are right now.
The texture of this yogurt mimics the standard Yoplait, store-brand feel. In fact, in order to make yogurt, you have to start with a little yogurt, so mine came from a couple tablespoons of plain store-bought yogurt.
If you’re interested in greek yogurt, this is a great tutorial to get you that thicker texture. I’ll also include a note for how to get a thinner, more European-style set when we get to that step. That’s part of what I love about this process — I’m fully in control of how my yogurt turns out!
Another thing I love about Instapot yogurt is that I can control how I flavor my yogurt. In college, I used to treat yogurt like a dessert — it was cheap, it was delicious, and it was chock full of sugar. I still absolutely love it, but I no longer have the metabolism of a 20 year old.
Below the yogurt recipe, I’ll include a low-sugar berry/stone fruit puree you can use for flavoring. You can also feel free to just sprinkle berries, nuts, and other toppings on. Again, how much or how little sugar you use is completely up to you.
- 1/2 gallon whole milk pasteurized
- 2 tbsps plain yogurt with active cultures
- Pour milk into your Instapot and place the lid on with the top set to "Venting."
- Hit the "Yogurt" button twice. The display should read "Boil." Allow the Instapot to boil your milk. This will take approximately 30-45 minutes. When the Instapot is finished, it will beep and the display will change to "Yogt."
- Remove the lid and check the temperature with a food thermometer. The milk should be 180 degrees. If the milk is lower than 180 degrees, close the lid and press the "Yogurt" button twice to boil the milk more. Check again after 10 minutes.
- If your milk is at 180 degrees, you can choose to boil it for 5 more minutes to get a firmer set. If you choose not to boil the milk again, you will get a softer, European-style set. To boil the milk a second time, close the lid, press "Yogurt" twice. The display will say "boil" again. Set a timer for five minutes and end the process when the timer beeps.
- Remove the inner pot from your Instapot and allow it cool on the counter. When the temperature reaches 116 degrees, you're ready for the next step.
- There will be a thin layer of milk skin on the top. Gently remove it with a spatula.
- In a small bowl, place the 2 Tbsp of plain yogurt. Add 1/2 cup of warm milk and whisk to combine.
- Pour the contents of the small bowl into the rest of the milk and whisk to combine.
- Return the inner pot to the Instapot and close the lid. Press the "Yogurt" button once. Program the pot for anywhere between 8 and 12 hours. The longer you leave the yogurt to incubate, the tangier it will be.
- Begin checking your yogurt every hour after 4 hours of incubation. Your yogurt is done when you can insert a spoon into the pot and it will remain standing on its own. You can continue to incubate the yogurt after this time for tangier yogurt.
- Remove the inner pot and place on the counter. Cover the yogurt and allow to cool to room temperature. Once the yogurt is cooled, stir it, then place it in airtight containers and refrigerate!
Berry/Stone Fruit Yogurt Flavoring
- 4 cups chopped fruit fresh or frozen, berries or stone fruits work best
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- In a sauce pan, place the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice. Simmer for 10 minutes or until fruit is very soft.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the water.
- Add dissolved cornstarch to the fruit. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Mixture should thicken.
- If you'd like a smoother flavoring, allow the mixture to cool, then run it through a blender until you reach the desired texture.
- Add to your yogurt and enjoy!