Saturday, October 13, 2012

Foolproof Crockpot Greek Yogurt {And I Mean FOOLPROOF!}

homemade greek yogurt This isn’t my first time making Crockpot Greek Yogurt. I posted about it back in April.

I loved it then, and I love it now. BUT….when I read this MUCH EASIER version from reader Susie E., I HAD to try it.

Not only did it turn out to be EASY and DELICIOUS…but believe me when I say it’s also FOOLPROOF!  You can’t believe how badly I executed this “recipe” and it STILL turned out! :-)

 

Crockpot Yogurt

Here is Susie E’s. recipe:

1. Pour 1 gallon of whole milk into your crockpot.

2. Fortify with 2-3 cups powdered milk to increase the proteins. (I used 3 cups.) 

3. Heat the milk in the crockpot on low until it reaches 180 degrees
.

4. Once the milk has cooled to the 95 to 115 degree range, stir in a half cup of live culture yogurt in a small amount of the warm milk until completely blended, then add back to the rest of the warm milk.


5. Put the milk mixture into whatever size storage containers you prefer and place in an oven with the light on for 8 to 12 hours to complete the culturing process. (I used a variety of different sized mason jars.)


6. At the end of your culturing time, move containers to the fridge and chill before using.

You can drain the yogurt with cheesecloth or coffee filters if you like, but I’ve found that using 2-3 cups of powdered milk per gallon of whole milk makes it thick enough so draining isn’t necessary. I use this for sour cream as well. It is supposed to last 10 days, but we always use it up before then!

homemade greek yogurt

Sounds easy enough….right?  Right!  UNLESS you suffer from terminal FORGETFULNESS like I do!

I was doing GREAT until I got the Step #2.  lol.  I had the milk and powdered milk warming nicely in the crockpot and went to do some work in the other room.

A good while later (I have no idea how long it had been!) I hear the hubster say from the kitchen…“this MILK in the crockpot is bubbling nicely!”  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!  I’d completely forgotten about it!

I sprinted to the kitchen and stood there staring at the pot. I didn’t even want to KNOW how hot it was! What the heck do I do NOW?  Well, I figured trying to salvage it was at least worth a SHOT!  I grabbed some ice from the freezer and dumped it in the milk. I kept dumping ice and stirring it in until the temperature came down to 115ish, then I followed the rest of the directions religiously. :-)

 

homemade greek yogurt

 

 

Well, despite my best efforts to RUIN IT, it turned out PERFECT!  After approximately 10 hours in the oven (I did it overnight) and then in the refrigerator for another couple of hours….it was the PERFECT consistency and the PERFECT flavor and NO STRAINING REQUIRED.

homemade greek yogurt

 

 

I immediately fixed myself a treat. Yogurt, a drizzle of honey and roasted almonds. Yummy!

homemade greek yogurt

 

 

Susie E….thank you for sharing this super simple method for making one of my favorite things! This is definitely how I will be making it from now on (with the added benefit of a TIMER!)   :-)

 




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290 thoughts on “Foolproof Crockpot Greek Yogurt {And I Mean FOOLPROOF!}

  1. TerriM

    I tried making greek yogurt in the crockpot and it took forever. Probably something wrong with my crock. The only thing I do different is using the stovetop to heat the milk. I put the yummy yogurt on my taco salad instead of sour cream at it was delicious! I’m getting low and due to make some more. I’ll be using canning jars and the additional milk powder this time. What a great idea!

    Reply
    1. Sally

      I had the same problem with it not heating. I was up all night checking the temperature. I blamed it on the crock pot as well. When it did get to temperature it was all lumpy. Hopefully it will still taste ok.

      Reply
  2. Deborah

    Sounds simply enough, but why make something that is so devoid of nutrition? Don’t want to be a party pooper, but just as a FYI ~ Powdered milk is the same thing as skim milk and has beens stripped of ALL of the enzymes and nutritional benenfits. Actually all pasturized milk is nothing more than colored water with artificial vitamins added back in. Something the USDA doesn’t want the buying public to know. Beneficial bacteria for your colon health can be obtained and will change your health in a big way. 90% of your immune system is found in your colon. It makes sense to feed it well so youcan have a strong immune system to fight germs, viruses, bacteria and absorb the nutrition the body needs. Sorry for sounding negative, it’s a great concept but be sure to use healthy ingredients ~ your body will thank you.

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      What would be better? What ingredients would be healthier? Raw milk isn’t an option for everyone. I do know some people who just take a pro/prebiotic capsule.

      Reply
      1. Lilly

        I just found this out recently, but supposedly, the big Pharma companies have jumped on this waggon, and are making Probiotics from cultures grown on GMO corn. So I would not recommend taking that road.
        What I have heard is a safe and very healthy alternative is naturally fermented vegetables, like sauercraut, pickles etc. There are some great and very easy recipes online, and You Tube, and people are raving about the flavor. You can get your own little crock on Amazon, and in two weeks you can have home made organic sauercraut or fermented veg. These used to be known in the old days to be good not just for bowl flora, but also for fighting parasited, and also now for helping balance the pH level in our bodies – making us more alkaline, thus more resistant to cancer.

        Reply
      2. Kelly

        There is a dry milk that is made with whole milk called Nido. Walmart carries and most grocery stores do also. It’s the only brand I could find that uses whole milk. It tastes terrific. I was skeptical and bought a small can of it brought it home and immediately mixed a glass of milk. Loved it!

        Reply
      3. JC

        Probiotics in pills do not make it to your intestines where they are needed. Stomach acids “denature” those probiotics so almost nothing gets to where you really need them. Best to get that kind of nutrition from food, your body knows what is real food and naturally converts and passes it on to the right place. Yogurt is gentle on your digestive system and most all of the good bacteria gets to where it is needed. The active culture in the yogurt starter is what gets the good bacteria into the milk, powdered or not.

        Reply
    2. Ashley

      The added powdered milk I’m guessing is more to make it thicker. Greek yogurt is added in. This is better than having chips and what not though.

      Is there something you have found that would still work in this recipe other than the powdered milk?

      Reply
      1. andee

        I made this recipe completely organic, horizon valley has powdered milk and there is also powdered goat milk, if you want to make it a bit healthier. Also, I used a yogurt starter instead of cultured yogurt and that had all the good bacteria you want.

        Reply
    3. Marianella

      I’ve never written before a review in my life but I had to this time. I did my yogurt following the instructions and I was a little bit sceptical but when I opened the oven the next day and saw my mason jars filled with greek yogurt without all the fuss (draining in cheese cloth, etc) I was amazed and HAPPY! I’ve done yogurt for many years and recently I started doing it in the slow cooker but I love Greek yogurt and didn’t enjoy much the draining with cheese cloth (or coffee filter or whatever). This was so easy….. you are right, it’s 100% FOOLPROOF!

      Reply
    4. abbysmas

      There are many other good replies to this comment, but I just had to add mine: the multiplication of the yogurt culture IS healthy. And no, milk is NOT water with nutrients added. There is an excellent post by a dairy farmer here that emphasizes the many benefits of pasteurized milk. (By the way, when I was a child grandma routinely gave me milk straight from the cow, with ice cubes in it and I lived to tell the tale.)
      This reminds me of the vaccination debate that will not die, which is leading to an upsurge in previously obsolete diseases so that now we need to beware of: TB, whooping cough, smallpox, etc.
      I am all for healthy foods, but let’s go into the FUTURE with them, not the past, and let’s do it with a modicum of common sense.
      Thanks! Love Jillee and love the comments, suggestions and debates!

      Reply
        1. Brad

          Because vaccines work on a theory of herd immunity. Vaccinated people can still catch the infection they were vaccinated for, FROM the unvaccinated. When individuals don’t vaccinate themselves, or parents don’t vaccinate their kids, THEY are the vector that introduces the infectious organism into the herd. It’s an all or nothing approach.

          Reply
  3. susan drew

    I just bought a yogurt maker. you just take 2 quarts of milk. Heat in the microwave for 17 minutes. Let set until room temp. Stir in the container of greek yogurt. Put about a cup of water in the warmer part of the maker. Then put the milk yogurt mixture into the warmer, cover with lid and plug in. Leave overnight. In the morning put in the fridge and by 6pm you have fresh yummy yogurt and no fear of a mistake.

    Reply
  4. Denikka Miller

    This is a great recipe. I make it weekly for my family. I haven’t used the powdered milk but I will try that today when I make the next batch. I add honey to our recipe so that it already has a little flavor to it as I have little ones that prefer a little sweetness. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
      1. DaeRae

        You do need to be careful about adding the honey to the yogurt. You can be creating an enviroment for bacteria to grown in. Instead try stevia and pure vanilla extract. I’ve found ‘sweetleaf’ stevia to be a good brand that does not leave a after taste, like some other brands.

        Reply
            1. Nancy

              Honey is not recommended for children under one year old. I’m not sure why, but I do know
              of someone whose doctor suggested it for a baby. Now that child has severe developmental delays.

              Reply
              1. Jess

                Honey can actually have botulism in it. As adults and older children, our bodies can deal with the amount found in honey. But it is dangerous for infants.

                Reply
              2. jennifer

                The reason honey can hurt infants under 1 year is because thier bodies lack the enzyme needed to break down the type of botulism spores found in honey. around one year of age, the child begins to develop this enzyme, thus enabling them to process the honey safely.

                Reply
            2. Anna

              lol, you do realize that honey would kill the bacteria cultures necessary in yogurt right? Yogurt IS bacteria cultures. Adding honey while it is culturing will kill all the bacteria. The honey doesnt just kill the “bad” bacteria. It kills all of them.

              Reply
        1. Jason

          Um, isn’t the whole idea behind making yogurt creating an optimal environment for bacteria (live and active cultures) to grow in? So of course the addition of sugars into a culture is going to create ‘an environment for bacteria to grow in.’ But if that is a genuine concern (particularly if you are using raw/unpasteurized honey that could introduce additional bacteria) then perhaps it would be best to add the honey immediately before serving.

          Reply
      2. Jenn

        Here’s a couple things about using honey. If it’s real honey and you add it above 160 degrees it will be “pasteurized” and you don’t have to worry about bacteria. However, if you add it before adding the yogurt, the honey will inhibit your yogurt from growing. It is antibacterial, so the good cultures you are trying to grow aren’t going to grow. I couldn’t tell you how much honey to use. I add homemade strawberry jam, grade b maple syrup and honey right before serving. I mix it up and put it into the kids bowls before they see it. :)

        Reply
    1. jennifer

      Just so everyone knows, you should add any additional flavorings to the yogurt just before eating, as adding these things during the making of or storing of the yogurt can begin to kill the healthful bacteria (this is one reason that in the past, yogurt was made with fruit on the bottom you had to stir in…less good bacteria was killed that way).

      Reply
  5. Erin

    How much does this make and how long will it keep? I’m the only Greek yogurt eater in my house. I don’t know if I could consume this much before it goes bad. Also could you add vanilla flavoring?

    Reply
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  7. ronna

    forget the crockpot. I use 1 quart of milk in a pyrex measuring cup (has a handle) and zap in the microwave for 7 minutes. The microwave gently beeps when the 7 minutes is up. lol. No forgetting. And usually it’s reached 180+ degrees. You bring it to 180 degrees to kill any bad bacteria in the milk. So it can go higher without problem unless it boils over then you’ve got a mess. I cool it on the stove top until it reaches 115 degrees. At the same time, I use an incandescent bulb in a trouble lite (75 watt) in the oven to heat it. It maintains 115 degrees for me pretty consistently. When the milk is still above 115 degrees, I’ll mix in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. It helps cool it a little faster and will make my yogurt nice, thick and creamy without adding in powdered milk.
    I mix in 2 Tablespoons plain yogurt (Danon, Oikos, etc.) as you do, above, but then I pour the mixture into six 6-ounce yogurt cups that I’ve saved – the kinds with lids. The pyrex measuring cup has the spout for easy pouring! and easier to wash than a crock pot. Place the yogurt cups into a baking dish and set in the oven to culture 5-6 hours. I usually do this overnight. In the morning, I take them out of the oven, slap lids on them and put in the fridge. Because I add the heavy cream, my yogurt has a “skin” on top but that’s no big deal to me once I’ve mixed it up and added strawberries, or blueberries, or whatever I’m going to eat with my yogurt.

    Reply
    1. Becky P

      Thanks, Ronna. I am aware of some health issues related to powdered milk and was wondering what I could use as a substitute. Heavy cream is perfect! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

      Reply
    2. Peggy

      I love the microwave method. Thank you for the info :) I have used this method multiple times (am making a batch right now!) I use non fat milk and the dry milk with great results. I even use my homemade yogurt as my starter for the next batch. I have 3 teenagers and they love it. We put in fruit, honey, almonds, granola and even peanut butter and homemade fudge sauce. It is so delicious and it saves me a bundle. I was buying 2 quarts at a time for $4.99 each. Now, my cost is for the 2 quarts of milk and dry milk……for at least a 70% savings. Thanks again to Jillee and Ronna!!!

      Reply
  8. Michelle

    Oh my goodness!!! I kid you not. I was sitting here having breakfast with my kids having some greek yogurt with them and thinking how much we love it, but boy is it expensive. I wonder if there is an easy way to make it in larger quantities. I think to myself. Then ding..there is a new email. It is your newsletter with “foolproof crockpot greek yogurt”. My prayers have been answered!! Can not wait to try it!!

    Reply
      1. Michelle

        I picked up the ingredients to make tommorrow. I am so excited!! Is this close to any store boughten flavors? Our favorite is Greek God..honey flavored. I see on your post that you add honey to it. How much do you add?

        Reply
  9. ronna

    oh and when I want to make Greek yogurt, I take a strainer, lined with a coffee filter, and dump in 2 of my 6-ounce containers of yogurt, place the strainer over a bowl and set in the fridge overnight. By next morning, I have thick Greek yogurt! I save some of my homemade yogurt by placing 2-tablespoon dollops on wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then when frozen, place those in a ziplock baggie. I can use a frozen dollop to culture another batch of yogurt. I typically make six 6-ounce containers of yogurt every week.

    one of my favorite ways to eat my yogurt is to mix 2 tablespoons coconut oil with 2 tablespoons baking cocoa, a dash of salt and one packet of Splenda. then I spoon this onto my yogurt and stir quickly – I have chocolate-chip yogurt! sometimes I’ll add in some frozen grated unsweetened coconut too. YUM.

    Reply
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  11. Kathleen

    How about yogurt cheese? You take that yogurt, put it in a lined strainer ( I usually use a coffee filter) and put a weight on it, like a can of tomatoes or something, and let it drain. When you are finished the consistency will be like cream cheese. A little more tart than cream cheese, but I suppose you could sweeten it.

    Reply
      1. Gail

        I make my homemade yogurt using goat milk. Tastes great and with benefit of added enzymes found in goat milk that is not found in cow’s milk. Meyenburg makes an excellent tasting goat milk. Found near nutrition section of Fred Meyer/Kroger stores. So simple to make with my Yogormet (sp) yogurt maker; just heat milk, add culture and the maker does the rest in 8-10 hours. Uses 6 six oz jars.

        Reply
      1. Sandship

        Put the lid back on the crock, wrap the pot in a beach towel to conserve the heat. I live in the Deep South, so I just leave mine on the counter, but you could also put it in the oven wrapped in the towel.

        Reply
    1. JoAnna from Idaho

      My oven light does the same thing a friend of mine gave me this solution. Get a cooler the type you take camping or what I take grocery shopping shopping to put my frozen goods in. Boil some water check the temperature until it is about 115-120 temp. Put the water in your cooler( you want it to come to the half way mark on your jars, so you might need a couple of pots of water.) Put your jars in the water (with lids) put the cooler lid on tight then go about your merry way. The cooler keeps the water at 115 ish for a really long time so 12hours later yogurt!

      Reply
      1. Jo

        This works well. I do that all the time, except I put the hot water in a jar in the cooler (I used to use a hot water bottle until it broke…). So 2 quarts of milk will make 5 pint jars which pit perfectly into my cooler with 1 jar of hot water. It stays the right temperature.

        Reply
    2. Julie

      You could also try propping the oven door open with a towel or something just enough to trigger the light, and see if that gets it hot enough – obviously in that case you’d want to cover the container with a cloth or saran wrap or something to keep bugs out.

      Reply
      1. Debbe

        LOL I don’t even HAVE a light in my oven, it’s so old!! LOL Thanks for the tips, will have to give this a try. The boy really like vanilla yogurt. Me, too. :)

        Reply
      1. Sally

        I’ve tried a recipe that called for just wrapping the crock pot in some towels as the last step instead of transferring to containers and putting it in the oven, to keep it warm overnight (turn off the crock pot as well). Then the next morning you put it into your containers. We didn’t have an oven light either and that method worked just fine as well.

        Reply
    1. Debbe

      I haven’t researched it, but isn’t your homemade yogurt going to have the same amounts of protein grams, etc, as whatever live culture yogurt you use in your homemade yogurt?

      Reply
      1. Heather

        Grams of protein will have nothing to do with your starter yogurt. It has to do with the protein content of the milk.

        Here’s how you figure out the protein content of the yogurt:
        1) Figure out how much protein is in the milk you’re using, plus the protein in the milk powder. (Check the nutrition box, it’s just protein grams per serving x servings.)
        2) Now you have the total protein content of your whole batch.
        3) Divide by number of servings you plan to get out of the batch–typically Greek yogurt servings are 1/2 to 1 cup.
        4) You now have your protein content per serving.

        You will lose a miniscule amount of protein (and a lot of lactose/carbs) if you drain off the whey, but using the milk powder makes it thick enough that you don’t need to drain it so the math is easier.

        Reply
  12. Sandy

    I suppose you could use raw milk, but when you heat it to 180 you destroy the reason you want to use the raw milk. I think you could probably make yogurt by a kifir method though and retain all those useful beneficial bacterias.

    Reply
    1. Christa

      I used goats’ milk and went straight from the utter to the oven with the pilot light on. Worked great as I wrapped the jar with a towel as soon as I finished milking to keep it consistent in temp til i got back to the house.

      Reply
  13. Chrissy

    I made this last April when she first posted it using one percent, using the stovetop method. It turned out great. I only used a half gallon of milk (8 cups) and by the time it was done there was less than a 32 ounce container of yogurt. It’s good and easy but now I am waiting for the price of milk to go down. And how do you figure calories per serving? How many calories are on concentrated milk?

    Reply
  14. shari

    Heating it higher or longer won’t hurt. Heating simply breaks down milk proteins and destroys some bacteria that might be in there. As long as you let it cool before you add your yogurt culture not a problem.
    My time schedule finds that heating 8 cups of milk in the micro for 15 min and then letting it cool – about 3 hours in the summer – works just as well as the crock pot or heating on the stove. Add culture and the pop in the oven, I loosely cover mine and then put a towel over it until morning when I dump it into the colander to drain.
    There is no difference in Greek Yogurt and regular except for the draining process.

    Reply
      1. Debbe

        I have not had good results at all from freezing dairy. It changes the texture too much to be palatable, to me, anyway. I’ve frozen milk, cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt. I don’t like the texture once it’s defrosted, altho I guess the taste doesn’t change that much. Note: I researched that cream won’t whip once it’s been frozen, but haven’t tried it myself.

        Reply
      1. Charpps

        My husband has been using the Ganeden supplements for several years now and he hasn’t had any problems with dairy products either. Lactaid did not work for him at all.

        Reply
  15. Elaine

    Does anyone know if you could use a non dairy milk for this yogurt….with the exception of the starter amount, of course?? We try to stay away from cow’s milk.

    Reply
  16. RL

    HELP! Does anyone know if this method will work with almond or coconut milk? I don’t have a lactose problem, just we like almond and coconut milk and thats what we always have around. Will using regular milk powder and regular yogurt (as a starter) to almond and/or coconut milk as a base be a problem?? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Mary Alice

      When you consider that almond milk and coconut milk are chemically completely different from cow’s milk (the ingredient in this recipe), I don’t see how it would be possible to make yogurt from them using this recipe. Ask Google your question.

      Reply
    2. Julie

      Give it a try with a small amount and see what happens! I do know of someone who had luck making yogurt with a strange starting milk – don’t remember if it was soy or almond or what though.

      Reply
    3. Heather

      I know soy yogurt exists, so I imagine you could use that as a starter and make it with soy milk. Always worth a shot! But you may want to do a cost comparison against store bought soy yogurt vs making it yourself, sometimes those kinds of specialty foods don’t have the same cost benefits making them yourself.

      Reply
  17. Isobel

    @ Deborah ~ though I’m sure you were trying to be helpful, it is really not helpful at all to inform people that what they are making is “devoid of nutrition” without also offering suggestions as to what to use instead. “Be sure to use healthy ingredients” is so vague a statement as to be practically useless to those who actually want to heed your advice and create a more healthful product. What exactly would you suggest people use instead of powdered milk? Is there a better process for making Greek yogurt that you would be willing explain? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Erin

      I use a heating pad. Just lay it flat on the counter or floor, put it on low, set your container on it, and throw a sweater or blanket over the whole setup to insulate it. Check the temp in a half hour or so. If it’s 90 degrees or under, bump it up to medium (you want it to incubate between 100 and 115. In my experience, higher temps yield thicker, more sour, and quicker yogurt. Lower temps yield milder but also thinner yogurt.)

      Reply
  18. Mindy

    Shana Z. – you don’t actually need an oven at all. If you have a heating pad and a cooler (like what you’d take on a picnic) you can still make the yogurt. You may need to check the temperature frequently while it’s “cooking” to make sure it stays within the correct range, but it works!

    Reply
    1. ronna

      your aim is for 115 degrees, give or take a degree or two. This is the temperature the culture needs to turn that milk into yogurt! For my oven, the appliance bulb isn’t warm enough, yet the lowest oven setting is too warm. That’s when I discovered the trouble light with a 75-watt bulb. In the winter I use the trouble light plus the oven light turned on. In the summer, if it’s really warm, I switch to a 65-watt bulb. I need to stock up on incandescent bulbs!!!

      Reply
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    1. ronna

      I saved and re-use plastic yogurt cups with lids. They are the 6-ounce type of plastic cups. I simply wash with hot water and dishsoap and have never had any issues. You only need to maintain 115 degrees and that’s not warm enough to melt the plastic. I use a one-court Pyrex measuring cup when heating the milk to 180 degrees (in the microwave). The Pyrex measuring cup allows for easy pouring into the yogurt cups after the milk has cooled to 115 degrees.

      Reply
  20. Comet

    @Deborah—I am pretty sure that any of the hundreds of dairy farmers here where I live would be HAPPY to educate you in the theory and process of milking. And what happens to that milk after it leaves the dairy if it is not processed on-premises.

    Most milk is temperature treated (Pasteurized) to KILL GERMS that can KILL YOU like TB. Now you may THINK TB is an 18th century quaint sorta disease found only in sappy romances but it is a very real problem even today and if not controlled will get back to being an everyday killer instead of something that most people don’t have to worry about unless they have AIDS or other immune disorders. One of the ways to prevent this is to keep the milk supply CLEAN.

    Once the milk has been heat treated it is broken down into several forms–cream; “whole milk” which is the entire milk spun so that the cream (butterfat) mixes and stays mixed with the rest of the milk etc; and then the other % like 2% and 1% and skim.

    There are fairly strict laws in every state about how this can be processed and sold. And recently there have been new rules to make it possible for farmers to sell RAW MILK. But—there are still RULES about the cleanliness of this. And they are there for GOOD REASONS.

    Having done my own dairying and having seen many other dairys and their fine products I can tell you—the “myth” you are broadcasting here is completely untrue. The various forms of milk available are milk—not “Water with some vitamins added in”—and the REASON Vitamin D is added in is to PREVENT the devastating consequences of RICKETS—another quaint 17th century disease—except when it is NOT. There has been an UPSURGE in rickets the past few years—due in part to LOWER MILK CONSUMPTION by mothers having their kids drink other beverages like soy milk etc and not add in Vit D to their kids diets. Also the the emphasis on complete coverage with sunscreen at all times for everyone has cut down dramatically on the amount of Vit D our bodies–and our KIDS bodies—can make from the sun.

    One of the reasons yogurt and other fermented milk products–cheese. kaffir etc–developed was to SAVE the milk in a HEALTHY format. The temps used to “cure” these are exactly the temps found in the deserts these products came from. Milk untreated has a short “shelf life” and the “original” starters were rennet—found in nursing kids stomachs—and wild yeast cultures. Think how long you can keep a hunk of Cheddar–one of the longest aged cheeses–vs a cup of milk on the counter. Pretty impressive huh.

    While I am sure you didn’t mean to make your comments here hurtful with out something to back them up they just come across as being snotty. I–and most of the readers here—would be happy to debate these things with you –but back it up with some facts please.

    Reply
  21. Renée

    Wow! I promised myself I was going to learn how to make my own yogurt but after reading a few on my most trusted blogs it still seemed very complicated…until now. I am going to try this week! One question; what kind of thermometer do I use?

    Reply
  22. Beth

    I just made this today, in fact, I am not finished. It takes FOREVER!! I finally ladled milk into a pan and heated it on the stove to get it up to temperature, since it had been 6 hours on high in my crockpot and it was still at 175°. If you make this plan on it taking a very long time. I’m still working on getting it cool enough to add the yogurt and put it in the oven. It’s cold here so I’m going to warm my oven on the “keep warm” setting and shut it off before I put the yogurt in. I’m thinking next time I will heat it on the stove just to avoid the extra 6-7 hours of prep time.

    Reply
    1. Heather

      Strange! My crockpot takes exactly the 2.5 hours on low that Jillee’s original recipe called for, just to get it to 180.

      But really, 175 is close enough. You’re ultra-pasteurizing it at 180 for 20 seconds, but you can do the same thing by getting it to 160 for 5 minutes.

      Reply
  23. Sarah

    Loved the old way of making this but tried this method tonight. Crossing my fingers as I made one mistake. I forgot to put the powdered milk in before cooking. I just went ahead and put it in and made sure it was well disolved right before I added the starter. Hope this will not make any significant difference. Wish me luck!

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      OK FYI do not do what i did! I have kinda thick warm milk this morning….Oh well I wish I could reprocess this but I am afraid to do so. I did put the honey in after it had cooled to 110. Don’t think that could be the problem as I have always done that and had no problems. Guess you should not put the powdered milk in that late!

      Reply
      1. Linda

        Bummer!!! Don’t you hate when that happens?! You take the time to make something homemade, you try to be frugal and save a few bucks….then it doesn’t turn out!!! I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. The EXACT thing happened to me. I forgot all about the powdered milk too. I also didn’t add it until the milk had cooled and then added the starter. Mine turned out great. I was surprised though – figured I would be throwing mine out this morning. If you read on in the comments though, some have reheated the milk to 110 degrees and reprocessed before and it worked the second time around. Better luck next time.

        Reply
  24. Megan

    I have tried making yogurt many times, with several different starters, but I have never achieved a thick, greek-yogurt type of result. My yogurt has come out very thin, or thick but stringy! I have yet to achieve a uniformly thick consistency. Please, please, please tell me what yogurt starter you are using. Thank you!

    Oh, and to all you folks using honey, stir the honey in after the cook has finished. Real, natural honey will actually prevent the growth of yogurt cultures. Yeah, I looked that one up after a major yogurt debacle last year!

    Reply
    1. ronna

      @ Megan. I use plain Danon or Oikos – any plain with live cultures will do. I have used powdered milk in the past – for each 32 ounces of water, I used 1 and 2/3 cups of the dry powder. I then started using 2% milk and would add in 1/3 cup powdered milk to that. Now I use whole milk but I first pour in 8 ounces of heavy cream (the kind you get for whipping) and then 24 ounces of whole milk. My yogurt comes out nice and thick. Commercial yogurt uses gelatin or other thickners to make them the almost pudding-like consistency. And when adding the culture, mix it in a small bowl with warm milk first. I also use a strainer when pouring into containers – it helps keep globs out.

      Reply
    2. Moira

      I used store brand whole milk and Fage plain yogurt. Each jar is very thick n creamy. I scooped each one into my blender container to add homemade vanilla, cinnamon, and honey. The blender process thinned it down a good bit, but I’m hoping it will thicken up when it chills again.

      Reply
  25. AmyLW

    @Megan That’s because honey is hydroscopic. It prevents bacteria from growing. That’s why honey never goes bad. They’ve found honey in pyramids that was still good. :) Anyways, good point.

    Reply
  26. Kerrie

    Hey there, I’m very excited to try this recipe as I love Greek yogurt! Few questions though – do you use plain greek yogurt as the active live culture yogurt? Can I add vanilla flavoring to each individual quart (so I don’t have to make it all vanilla…). Also, how long does this last once it’s in the fridge? Seems like it makes a lot so I don’t want it to go bad! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  27. Christina

    Well, it isn’t actually foolproof. I’ve made this twice before and it came out perfectly. The recipe I had called for 1/2 gallon of milk and both times it came out perfectly, and I always used it up and never had any leftovers, so this time I decided to use a whole gallon of milk.. It figures the time I use more that would be the time it doesn’t come out right.. well I was making this last night, and I fell asleep while waiting for the milk to cool, and I’m guessing the milk wasn’t warm enough when I added the yogurt.. It’s sitting now but I’m pretty sure it’s not gonna thicken up.. is there any way to save this batch? :(

    Reply
    1. Megan

      The cultures don’t die from being too cold, they are merely dormant. Heat it back up to 110 to activate the cultures then leave in oven with the light on as you normally would. Make sure your milk is still good first though… wouldn’t want to make it with rotten milk!

      Reply
    1. Gail

      I use a powdered yogurt starter–Yogourmet freeze dried yogurt starter. There are two kinds; I use the one that shows strawberries in yogurt. I find it at New Seasons. Trader Joes and other type stores probably have it also. You can also go to the Yogourmet website and see if they have a store locator. One box contains enough packets to make 6 qts. of yogurt. Very economical to make this way.

      Reply
  28. Christina

    Megan – thank you. I re-heated it and i’m letting it sit again. It seems like it’s getting thick but the whey has separated and I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

    And I use Fage greek yogurt 2% as the starter and the first two times I made it it came out perfectly. I just get the single serving (7 oz cup) and add the whole thing.

    Reply
  29. Elaine Hansen (@HeartWorkGuides)

    This recipe is not much different than the one I have used for more than 30 years. AND you don’t have to use a crockpot. You can heat the milk on the stove – you just have to put the thermometer in the pot and pay attention to the temperature. Also, I too use powdered milk to make it creamy and firm. I’ve also used 2% milk instead of whole milk.

    On the starter yogurt, I use plain. I typically pick a brand without preservatives or chemicals added. Now that organic is so readily available, I would switch to one of those brands that I like already.

    Reply
  30. Robyn

    I tested my oven overnight and it only got to 85 degrees with the light on. I don’t think that the temperature of 115 degrees will be maintained overnight if my oven is only 85 degrees. I guess I will try wrapping my crockpot in towels as another commenter suggested.

    Reply
  31. Nancy

    I let my yogurt develop in a cooler. After heating and cooling the milk (on the stove) and adding the yogurt culture I pour the milk into quart size canning jars. Put the lids on, put them in a small cooler and fill with the hottest water you get coming out of your tap. Fill the water to just below the rim of the jars. Shut the lid, let sit 4-6 hours, chill then strain. Voila – yogurt.

    Reply
  32. JrzyTmata

    This can be done with a lot less prep time.
    I find using regular pasteurized milk has better results than the ultra pasteurized. use 1, 2 or whole. whatever your preference.
    Heat the milk on the stove, using a candy thermometer to 175-185, stirring often. If you don’t have a thermometer, just heat until it just starts to bubble around the edge of the pot
    Cool the pot in a sinkful of cold water. Add ice to the water to cool it faster. stir the milk and in about 5 minutes, the temp reaches 115,
    Add some room temp plain yogurt. I don’t bother mixing a little bit separately then adding. just drop a dollop in there while stirring rapidly.
    Pour the milk mixture into containers, the little 1/2 pints mason jars are nice for individual servings.
    If you want fruit on the bottom, put your favorite jam in the jar first, then add milk mix.
    I put a lid loosely on the top, but it’s not necessary.
    A gas oven with a pilot flame is perfect for the culturing. Mine keeps a steady 110 degrees. Ideally, you want 105-115.
    Let it culture for 8 to 12 hours.
    If it separated and has a yellowish liquid (whey) on top, you can pour that off, or mix it in. Put the jars in the back (coldest) part of the refrigerator for a few hours.
    Save some starter yogurt from this by freezing in ice cube trays. then transfer to a ziplock bag when it’s frozen. You only need one thawed cube to start a new batch.
    Strained the yogurt for a thicker greek style. Strained overnight for a soft spreadable cream cheese that has more of a cottage cheese taste. very good on crackers.

    Reply
  33. Cheri

    What can I do if I can’t get my oven to 115 degrees? Can I use my crock pot turned on to low and the lid partly off? It seems to maintain 116 degrees that way. But when I put the lid on all the way and turn it off, it cools down way too fast. If I leave the lid on all the way, it heats up above 115. I have only tried to maintain the temperature using water. I want to make sure this will work before I waste milk.
    I love your website and can’t wait each morning to get your emails with the new day’s post.
    Cheri

    Reply

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