Instant Pot Makes Homemade Yogurt Even Easier!

by Texas Homesteader ~
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I’ve made yogurt for years, neigh decades. It was the very first self-sufficient step I ever took. Back then looking at those non-recyclable (in my area) plastic yogurt tubs that I was forced to throw away, I just figured there had to be a better way.

And there WAS.

I started making 1/2 gallon of Stove-Top Homemade Yogurt every week or so since then. I’ve never looked back! But now there’s this Instant Pot craze. So I took the plunge. And there’s a yogurt setting on mine too. Hummmm…

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

Jump Jump to Recipe

 

Abbreviated Directions:

Now for you folks who want to see the abbreviated instructions for Instant Pot Yogurt just to decide if you’re interested in pursuing making Instant Pot yogurt, here ya go:

  • 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

Yep, it’s really just that easy. And those instructions are the same whether you’re using your electric pressure cooker’s ‘Yogurt’ button or making it in a pan on your stove top. Easy/Peasy!

Which Electric Pressure Cooker?

Now I feel ‘Instant Pot’ has become an all-inclusive name for electric pressure cookers.  Kinda like ‘coke’ is the prominent name for all kinds of colas, or Kleenex is the prominent name for tissues. So not all instant pots are actually an Instant Pot. LOL! Which one to choose?

RancherMan & I typically research our purchases to find where the real quality lies. We look at durability and customer reviews, and only then look at price. It’s not a good deal if it doesn’t perform like I need it to, or craps out quickly necessitating another purchase.

After researching I decided on the actual *Instant Pot Brand electric pressure cooker. It got the best reviews for customer satisfaction and longevity.

What Size – 8 Quart? 6 Quart?

I first experimented with the *8-Quart Instant Pot for a while by borrowing my sister’s cooker. But I decided it was just too much for our household of 2. And storage space was an issue too.

So we purchased the *6-Quart Instant Pot Duo. Partially because it had the yogurt feature included. But I’ve already been able to make many things in this IP. So far I’ve been very pleased with it!

Making Instant Pot Yogurt

Now it’s time to make my first batch of yogurt using this beauty. I first made sure the Instant Pot was clean and well aired. This will assure my finished yogurt doesn’t have the slight remnant flavor of the Savory Instant Pot Roast I last made in it. LOL!

Then I poured in 1/2 gallon of whole milk. In the past I’ve used either whole milk, 2% and even skim milk when making yogurt. I wouldn’t recommend skim milk yogurt, I could never quite get it to turn out right. The 2% option is my favorite. Nice & thick but lower fat.

But RancherMan prefers whole milk. He feels the resulting yogurt is just a touch richer & thicker. And if I can get that handsome man of mine to have yogurt for breakfast as opposed to all the less-healthy options out there, I’m certainly going to placate him!

Heating Up The Milk

When the milk was poured into the pot I placed the lid on top & secured it. I’ve read that it doesn’t matter if your vent is on sealing or venting, so I left it on sealing. I figured it’s probably less heat & humidity being poured into my kitchen that way.

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

Then I pressed the “Yogurt’ button until it displayed ‘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 took about 25 minutes for the milk to come to the correct temperature. I was alerted by a tone from the IP.

To assure my milk attained the correct temperature I checked it with my *Instant Read Thermometer. This is the same thermometer I use when I’m making stove-top yogurt too. A quick check tells me I’m good to go.

Cooling Down The Milk

But we 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 between 105 – 100.

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. You can speed it up by setting the container into a large bowl of ice water.

Adding Your Starter

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, which is simply yogurt with live active cultures. I’ll stir in around 1/4 cup until it’s fully incorporated.

Once you make your own yogurt you can set some back to use as 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.

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 using Dannon with active cultures in vanilla flavor for my starter. The yogurt turned out fine, albeit slightly vanilla flavored. It actually added a nice subtle hint of vanilla.

Incubating The Yogurt

Now all that’s left is to incubate the yogurt. So I press the ‘Yogurt‘ button until it shows 08:00 (which is 8 hrs I’m after). 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.

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

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 it will turn your warm milk into homemade yogurt. Filled with probiotic goodness. Once its incubation time is done the IP will beep signaling it’s done.

Make Yogurt While You Sleep

I now 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 put the finished yogurt into the fridge. Yogurt making has never really been this easy before! LOL

Homemade yogurt isn’t quite as hard & rubbery as what you may be accustomed to with commercial yogurts. They add thickeners & additives to theirs. Homemade yogurt is more silky. It comes out of the Instant Pot thin enough to pour into jars. But it thickens as it cools.

Single-Serve Convenience

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 it in the fridge.

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

Serving Suggestions

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. And I often also use it as a low-fat sour cream substitute too.

But if I want yogurt for breakfast I’ll sweeten it with some Harvested Honey from our apiary and maybe a handful of 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)

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 I’m *totally* gonna try that too!

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!

5 from 1 vote
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Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe - 1/2-Gallon

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
Resting Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 25 minutes
Author www.TexasHomesteader.com

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

Instructions

  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

~TxH~

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