Crockpot Greek Yogurt

At the risk of sounding like a tree hugging, birkenstocks wearing, Subaru driving, recycled bags carrying, Whole Foods shopping, granola eater (not that’s there’s anything WRONG with that!) I did what felt like a very hippie-like thing today…..I made my own yogurt! But not ANY kind of yogurt….GREEK yogurt!!  My new best food friend! In several recent posts I have gushed about how much a LOVE Greek yogurt and all the yummy stuff you can do with it, so I won’t take up room in this post with MORE gushing…but suffice it to say…it’s good stuff! So when I saw this recipe online for making your own homemade greek yogurt from scratch…I got a little excited! Greek yogurt is pretty pricey! Quite a bit more than regular yogurt….but Oh So Good….so I happily pay the price. However, if there were a cheaper, but just as delicious option…I’m all for that!

But I hesitated because it seemed fairly involved (ie. TRICKY for an amateur like myself!) and I wasn’t sure I was QUITE ready for that.  But then I happened up on Shannons Kitchen Creations and her method for making the same recipe IN THE CROCKPOT!  Now THAT sounded like something I could do!  And I DID!

After all was said and done, however, I think next time I make it I will actually COMBINE the two methods. Because the first recipe calls for using a candy thermometer and making sure the mixture is at a certain temp before moving on to the next step. The second recipe only gives lengths of time you spend on each step of the recipe. I think this is a critical difference…..as you will see further down in my post.

So what follows is my adapted version of the two recipes:

Crock Pot Greek Yogurt

adapted from Happy Simple Living and Shannons Kitchen Creations

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (half-gallon) of whole, 1%, 2% or skim Pasteurized Milk. Do NOT use ultra-pasteurized
  • 1/2 cup store-bought natural plain yogurt. (Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)

Directions

 Add a half gallon of milk to crock pot.

 Cover

   and cook on LOW for approximately 2 1/2 hours.

 


Using a candy thermometer, check the temperature of the milk. When the milk has reached 180 degrees, unplug the crock pot, remove the cover, and let it sit for another hour or so. You are waiting for the milk to come down in temperature to between 105 and 110 degrees.

 When the milk has reached that temp, scoop out 1 to 2 cups of the warmish milk and whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought yogurt. Then pour the mixture back into the crock pot. Wisk to combine.

At this point I added 3/4 cup honey. I am not a fan of PLAIN yogurt, Greek or otherwise, and since my favorite store-bought variety is honey flavored, I thought I would make my homemade kind honey flavored as well.


Put the lid back on your crock pot, wrap a heavy bath towel around the crock for insulation, and place in the oven with the oven light ON.

Leave the yogurt undisturbed for 7 or 8 hours, or overnight.

In the morning, carefully take the crock out, unwrap it and remove the lid, and check to see whether the milk has turned to yogurt.

(If your batch isn’t quite thickened, return it to the oven and check on it again in an hour.)

 Now here’s the part that makes it GREEK yogurt: refrigerate the yogurt for at least three hours to allow it to completely cool and thicken. Line a large strainer with four layers of damp cheesecloth and put inside a bowl. Pour the yogurt in; refrigerate for one hour. Pour out the liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl; this is the whey. Return the bowl to the refrigerator for one more hour, strain the liquid again and the yogurt should now look…….

… thick and creamy.

Now go ahead and eat it just like that or mix it with your favorite fruit, granola, etc.

This was my evening snack. Frozen blueberries mixed with Greek Yogurt. Yum-O!

Tasted delicious, creamy and just the right amount of sweetness. And……

I MADE IT! :-)

 



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Comments

  1. says

    Wow, Jillee! I never thought to make yogurt in the crock pot – now I’ve seen it all (for crock pot uses, that is!) I’ve been making yogurt the way my mom taught me, which is fairly straightforward, but the crock pot adds a whole level of ease and simplicity! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try it out :)

    • kate says

      I’m guessing I can’t make this out of coconut milk or coconut/almond milk blend? I am finally ready to rid my diet of the estrogens that lactating cows, sheep and goats all transfer into their milk. It’s a sad day, I know, but health reasons win out.

      Kate

  2. Brendajos says

    Ooh i am intrigued. I go through a LOT of greek yogurt. Like 3-4 qts a week! Can you tell us how much you made with this recipe? Thank you!

    • Jillee says

      Brendajos…the amount of Greek yogurt I ended up with ALMOST filled the container you see in the last picture…which is 32 ounces. You could easily double this recipe by adding a whole gallon of milk to start and 1 cup of “starter” yogurt.

  3. Patricia says

    I have tried this several times and it works like a charm. I usually make it plain so that I can divide my yogurt for several uses. I use it in place of sour cream because it has the same consistency and the kiddos and hubby don’t really notice to much. I don’t like wasting the whey that is poured off. I definitely think that there should be something done with it. Great post!

    • Jillee says

      That is a really good idea Patricia. I think next time I will make it plain as well. More options that way. I’m a girl who likes options. :-) I thought the same thing about the whey…but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.

      • Shannon says

        There are a million uses for whey, for example, you can use it as a substitute for water in bread recipes.

      • Debi says

        I have read online where several people use the strained whey in their baking….breads, pastries, etc.

      • Shirley says

        A friend of mine uses the whey left over from her yogurt either to make her home made bread (they still use the water to activate yeast, but replace the rest of the water with whey) or instead of the powdered whey protein to add some protein to shakes/smoothies. The bread bread comes out amazingly delicious and fluffy, I haven’t tried the whey in smoothies/shakes yet. Maybe you could try something like this if you don’t want to waste the way.

    • Lynn Z says

      Throw your whey in your garden or compost pile! I make lots of fresh mozzarella and that’s what I do. It’s full of nutrients that your plants will love.

    • Sarah says

      Hey i didnt read past your comment so i am sorry if this was told to you already but you dont have to waste the whey. you can make ricotta cheese out of it. =) here is a website that tells you howhttp://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/217-Ricotta.html

    • says

      Any place you use water in cooking, you can substitute whey… cooking pasta, beans, rice, sub for broth, use in baking, water plants… the uses are practically endless!

  4. Shay says

    You can make ricotta cheese with the left over whey. Just made my third batch of yogurt last night- my kids love it :)

      • Patricia says

        (I have seen where the whey was used for farmers’ cheese or Ricotta. I wonder… :>) I wrote this before I read this and then had issues posting it.

    • Jillee says

      I think you will be fine without the oven light. As a matter of fact…the hubster texted me this morning after reading this post and admitted that he had turned OFF the oven light when he saw that “someone had left it on”! grrrrr. lol.

      It’s just to add a wee bit of warmth. You could turn on the oven for like 30 seconds and then turn it off and would probably get much the same effect.

  5. Sharon says

    I too love the Greek Yogurt and have been looking for a simple recipe to make it. I will be trying this recipe. Thank you for the post.

  6. Jeanne says

    Wow- This is wonderful! Everyone in my house enjoys greek yogurt and as I was reading I was thinking of the awesome flavors I could make using frozen strawberries, bananas, pineapple, mangoes, etc! And I can make sure we are eating low fat varieties. Now all I need is more milk, more 1 cup containers, a raid of the frozen fruit section…. :)

  7. Ally says

    Whey is a wonderful addition to bread, if you make that. If you garden it feeds your plants beautifully.

  8. Christina says

    I am a university student and I make my own yogurt in a crock pot as well! Since my boyfriend and I eat 4 containers of greek yogurt a week I calculated that we save between 30 and 40 a month with minimal effort! Also I freeze my whey if I don’t use it within a couple days and add it to breads and baking which is nice.

    I couldn’t find/didn’t look very hard for cheese clothe so I use a clean white dish towel instead, which worked great. I have always used 3.25% milk (homogenized) as I heard its more difficult to get a thicker constancy with lower milk fat concentrations. Do you mind sharing what milk you used?

    • Jillee says

      Great stuff Christina! That is awesome. I’m glad you mentioned the dish towel. I’ve read people who’ve used dish towels, tea towels, even paper towels.
      Since we drink 1% milk…that’s what I used…but I was wondering the same thing…whether I might get a creamier yogurt with the higher fat milk. Interesting idea. Thanks for sharing!

      • Cathy says

        I have made many batches of yogurt using NONFAT SKIM milk in the crockpot and strained it for Greek yogurt. It turns out wonderfully! (my recipe does not call for checking temperature with a thermometer or refrigerating before straining either…) Still almost always turns out well for me. Once in awhile it will be a little less firm.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Crockpot Greek Yogurt So what follows is my adapted version of the two recipes: adapted from Happy Simple Living and Shannons Kitchen Creations After all was said and done, however, I think next time I make it I will actually COMBINE the two methods. Because the first recipe calls for using a candy thermometer and making sure the mixture is at a certain temp before moving on to the next step. The second recipe only gives lengths of time you spend on each step of the recipe. […]