Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Makes Homemade Yogurt Even Easier!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Instant Pot Yogurt – so easy! I’m sharing step-by-step instructions with photos to make it easy to make your own creamy yogurt.

And (as there always is) I share a shortcut I use in the timing of making it too!

Instant Pot Yogurt - so easy! I'm sharing step-by-step instructions with photos to make your own creamy yogurt. #TexasHomesteader

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Homemade Yogurt Efforts In The Past

Making homemade yogurt was actually the very first self-sufficiency step I took decades ago.

I started making 1/2 gallon of Stove-Top Homemade Yogurt every week or so.

Heating milk on the stovetop for homemade yogurt. #TexasHomesteader

But I found it’s even easier to make yogurt in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.

So we purchased the *6-Quart Instant Pot Duo, partially because it included the yogurt feature. 

I love my Instant Pot Duo Plus 6-Quart electric programmable pressure cooker. #TexasHomesteader

Abbreviated Pressure Cooker Yogurt Directions:

Making yogurt – whether stovetop or pressure cooker – is easy:

  • Heat milk to about 180 degrees

  • Cool milk to about 100 degrees

  • Stir in yogurt starter

  • Incubate yogurt in warm environment for about 8 hrs

  • Refrigerate finished yogurt 

Making homemade yogurt just got easier using your Instant Pot. I even make yogurt while I'm sleeping. And there's a nifty trick to make flavored yogurt too. Check it out! #TexasHomesteader #Homemade #Yogurt #InstantPot #EasyRecipe #EatHealthy

What Kind of Milk To Use For Homemade Yogurt?

I’ve used different kinds of regular homogenized milk for my yogurt.

Whole Milk – Gives a thicker, creamier finished texture.

2% Milk – still a good texture – not quite as thick as whole milk but lower fat.

Skim Milk – I wouldn’t recommend making yogurt with skim milk. It seems offputtingly thin and lackluster flavor. 

What Commercial Yogurt Contains Active Cultures?

To make yogurt you’ll need to add a starter to warmed and cooled milk. A starter is simply a bit of yogurt with live active cultures. 

Once you make your own yogurt you can set some back to use as homemade starter next time. But if this is your first time you’ll need to purchase yogurt with active live cultures.

I typically buy Braum’s or Dannon unflavored yogurt with active cultures.

Can You Use Flavored Yogurt With Active Cultures For Starter?

I prefer to use unflavored starter for my yogurt so I can use my homemade yogurt in a few of my recipes (listed below).

Some say your yogurt will not make correctly if you use a sweetened or flavored yogurt even if it has active cultures.

But I’ve improvised in the past by using vanilla flavored Dannon with active cultures for my starter when I couldn’t find the unflavored version. The yogurt turned out fine, albeit slightly vanilla flavored.

How To Use The Yogurt Setting On Instant Pot

Pour a half gallon of cold milk into the inner liner, place the pressure cooker lid on top & secure it.

I’ve read that it doesn’t matter if your vent is on sealing or venting. Then press the “Yogurt’ button until it displays ‘BOIL‘. 

Instant pot yogurt setting - boil. Instant Pot Yogurt - so easy! I'm sharing step-by-step instructions with photos to make your own creamy yogurt. #TexasHomesteader

Now all that’s left to do is walk away and wait for it to do its thaaaang. It takes about 25 minutes for the milk to come to the correct temperature. 

To assure my milk had actually attained the correct temperature I checked it with my *Instant Read Thermometer. A quick check tells me I’m good to go.

How Cool Should Yogurt Be Before Adding Starter?

But you can’t add the starter yet! The milk is hot & will kill the starter, keeping it from turning your warmed milk into yogurt.

First we have to cool the milk down. Some say to around 110 degrees Fahrenheit, but I strive to cool it down to between 100 – 105. 

Cool heated milk to 100 degrees. Instant Pot Yogurt - so easy! I'm sharing step-by-step instructions with photos to make your own creamy yogurt. #TexasHomesteader

If you remove your Instant Pot container & place it on the counter, this cooling-down step takes about an hour. But you can speed it up by setting the container into a large bowl of ice water.

During the cooling down period a skin has probably formed over your milk. Some people stir it back in but I find it never fully disappears. So I like to remove it at this time.

It’s easy, I just slide a spoon along the skin to gather it up & remove it. 

Remove milk skin from cooled milk. Instant Pot Yogurt - so easy! I'm sharing step-by-step instructions with photos to make your own creamy yogurt. #TexasHomesteader

Now that your milk is a safe temperature it’s time to add your starter. I stir in around 1/4 cup of active-culture yogurt starter until it’s fully incorporated.

How To Incubate Homemade Yogurt

Now all that’s left is to incubate the yogurt. Press the ‘Yogurt‘ button again until it shows 08:00, which means it will incubate at a warm temperaturefor 8 hours. 

Incubate yogurt 8 hours. Instant Pot Yogurt - so easy! I'm sharing step-by-step instructions with photos to make your own creamy yogurt. #TexasHomesteader

Most folks like 8 hours incubation for their yogurt. But those who like it more tangy might opt for 10 hours, which you can do by pressing the ‘+’ button until it shows 10:00.  

Now your hands-on part is over until your yogurt is finished. Oh boy, those cultures will get right to work for you.

Presto/CHANGEO your warm milk turns into homemade yogurt. Filled with probiotic goodness. 

Once its incubation time is done the IP will beep signaling it’s done.

SHORTCUT: Make Yogurt While You Sleep

I often time my homemade yogurt procedure to look like this:

  • Pour milk in IP at 8:30 pm, press yogurt-BOIL button. Snuggle on the couch with RancherMan & watch TV.
  • 25 minutes later during commercials, check that milk reached desired temp and place pot on counter to cool. Snuggle on the couch with RancherMan & watch TV.
  • 1 hr later check to see that milk has cooled, add starter & place pot in IP, press Yogurt-0800 button and go to bed.

The next morning I place the finished yogurt into reusable canning jars. Then into the fridge they go. 

Yogurt making has never really been this easy!

What Is The Texture Of Homemade Yogurt?

Homemade yogurt isn’t quite as hard & rubbery as you may be accustomed to with commercial yogurts. The commercial guys add thickeners & additives to their yogurt. 

But Homemade yogurt is more silky. It comes out of the Instant Pot thin enough to pour into jars. But then it thickens as it cools.

How To Make Single-Serve Homemade Yogurt

Some people jar their yogurt in big quart jars for their fridge. But my preference is single-serve convenience. So I’ll spoon it into 1/2-pint glass jelly canning jars and store them in the fridge.

I always have an ample supply single-piece screw-top lids since I’ve learned where to Find FREE Canning Jar Storage Lids

I've found many places to get lids that fit regular-mouth mason jars for FREE! #TexasHomesteader

It’s grab-n-go convenient. Oh, and no trash! Those glass jars & reusable lids can be washed & reused for years.

Recipes That Use Homemade Yogurt

I make my homemade Instant Pot yogurt unsweetened so that if need be I can use it as an ingredient:

In my Buttermilk Biscuits that RancherMan loves. 

A low-fat sour cream substitute – just add some lemon juice.

My Favorite Healthy 1-Minute Creamy Salad Dressing.

Healthy Chocolate Fudgesicles

But if I want yogurt for breakfast I’ll sweeten it with some Harvested Honey from our apiary and maybe a handful of granola & fresh blueberries. 

Yogurt, granola, blueberries, parfait. Instant Pot Yogurt - so easy! I'm sharing step-by-step instructions with photos to make your own creamy yogurt. #TexasHomesteader

RancherMan prefers it much sweeter than I do. He’ll typically stir in some homemade Pear Preserves or maybe Wild-Plum Jelly.

He always tops his yogurt with a handful of Pumpkin Granola that I adjust specially for him by not adding dried fruit. (because dried fruit in cold yogurt gets kinda tough & chewy)

Adding Jello To Homemade Yogurt

And how about this nifty trick? A dear Homesteader Facebook follower even suggested that she jars up about half of the unsweetened yogurt for her hubs and then stirs a box of sugar-free jello into the remainder for the grandkids before jarring up their sweetened version.

OMGosh RancherMan *totally* loves it this way! But, you know, then again – RancherMan’s a big kid himself.  

Homemade yogurt is made easier in an electric pressure cooker such as Instant Pot. I even flavor some with sugar free cherry or strawberry jello. #TexasHomesteader

So go ahead & take the leap. However you like it, be proud of yourself. You’ve just taken a step to eco-friendly (and BUDGET friendly) self sufficiency.

Way to go!

Did you make this yogurt? Please rate the recipe in your comment below!

Homemade yogurt with granola and blueberries. #TexasHomesteader
5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe - 1/2-Gallon

Creamy homemade yogurt made easy in a pressure cooker. Commercial yogurt often has added gelatin & thickeners (often along with some chemical nasties I'm afraid.) The taste of the homemade yogurt can't be beat, is significantly cheaper and healthier for you. And no more plastic yogurt containers go to the landfill! #TexasHomesteader

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot, Probiotics, Yogurt
Prep Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Incubation Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 25 minutes
Servings 2 Quarts



  • 1/2 gallon 2% or whole milk
  • 1 8-oz container unflavored yogurt with active cultures (such as Braum's or Dannon brands)

(If making sweetened yogurt you also need)

  • 1 cup sugar or your choice of sweetener
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla



  1. Place 1/2 gallon of milk in Instant Pot and add lid. The venting lever can be open or closed, it doesn't matter.

  2. Press 'Yogurt" button until the display shows "BOIL" The IP will bring milk to proper temperature (This step takes about 25 minutes.)

  3. IP will beep when the milk has reached approximately 180 degrees. Test with instant-read thermometer. (If making sweet yogurt, add sugar now and stir well to dissolve.)

  4. When 180 degrees has been reached, remove pot & place on counter to allow milk to cool to approximately 100 - 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This step takes about an hour.

    To speed cooling, fill sink or large bowl with ice water. Then place the pot with milk in the cold water.

  5. When milk is at a safe 100 - 105 degrees, add yogurt starter and stir well to incorporate. (if making sweet yogurt, add vanilla now).

  6. Place IP pot back into pressure cooker and replace lid. Press 'YOGURT' button until the display shows "08:00". This will keep yogurt at incubation temperature for 8 hours.
  7. After 8 hours your IP will beep, signaling the incubation time is through. Pour slightly-thickened yogurt into jars and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

Yogurt will firm a little more upon cooling, although it's a more silky yogurt than the ones in the store since they add gelatin & thickeners to the commercial stuff


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Tagged in   Our favorite breakfast ideas. #TexasHomesteader  Our our favorite recipes cooked in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. #TexasHomesteader  

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5 thoughts on “Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Makes Homemade Yogurt Even Easier!

  1. Thelma Briggs

    5 stars
    The instant pot really does make this yogurt a cinch. I’d never considered using sugar-free jello for flavoring, but I tried the strawberry-flavored sugar free jello and it was wonderful. So many flavor options that way with no extra fat or calories. Love this recipe!

  2. Jackie Marshall

    5 stars
    I was wondering why in your stove top method you used the dry milk as well but don’t with your
    instant pot?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You can use the exact same recipe in both stove top as well as instant pot Jackie. I guess over the years I’ve just kinda quit adding dry milk. It does still benefit the yogurt by making it a little thicker and adding some protein too. But I ran out of dry milk once so I just made the yogurt without it and it turned out fine. So simplicity and frugality won and I often just leave it out these days. But you bring to mind a good point, I should probably at least add it into the IP yogurt recipe and note that it’s optional. Thanks for pointing this out. ~TxH~

  3. Joe

    5 stars
    That sounds so easy, I have to try this.


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