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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    • Laura says

      Her picture shows the jars in the oven without lids. :) Probably better that way for expansion/contraction of product and container.

  1. TerriM says

    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!

    • Sally says

      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.

  2. Laura says

    This sounds a lot simpler than the methods which need to be drained. Thanks for the recipe. Have you ever tried making this in a half batch?

    • Tina says

      Exactly what I was thinking if it only lasts 10 days I don’t know if I can use that much that quickly. And comments anyone.

      • Kristal says

        You can freeze greek yogurt. I do it all the time. Just pull some out a day or two before you need it and it thaws out perfectly!

  3. Deborah says

    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.

    • Amanda says

      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.

      • Lilly says

        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.

      • Kelly says

        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!

      • JC says

        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.

    • Ashley says

      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?

      • andee says

        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.

    • Amy says

      The Greek yogurt in the recipe IS the beneficial bacteria. It grows and multiplies during the oven portion of the recipe.

    • Marianella says

      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!

    • Kristal says

      The powdered milk is for extra proteins, hospitals and dieticians do it all the time for people that are nutritionally compromised.

    • says

      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!

      • Laura says

        Just so you know, the whooping cough outbreak started in vaccinated children, not the other way around.

      • Brad says

        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.

    • Scott Brown says

      Of course it’s always better to use the most natural ingredients obtainable –in this case true organic milk products (there are bogus ones out there, do a web search on which companies are for real and which are blatant liars). However, heating milk for long periods kills enzymes and bacteria (in this case potential competitors to acidophilus and and other lacto-bacilli). Which is, of course, what you must do to make yogurt.

      If the lacto-bacilli like the milk environment enough to reproduce and make yogurt or kefir, it means the milk must still have food value. If it were utterly devoid of nutritional value, nothing would grow in it. What you get from the resulting yogurt is protein, reduced lactose (consumed by the beneficial bacterial culture), probiotics and B vitamins. I.e., good stuff.

      Granted you can get your probiotics from pickled cabbage, but try putting fresh strawberries on a bowl of sauerkraut and you’ll notice the difference. So will your kids.

  4. susan drew says

    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.

  5. Denikka Miller says

    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!

    • says

      How much Honey would you add to this recipe? My Husband and I add our own flavoring, but my children will only eat the “kids” flavored variety of yogurts! Uuugh!

      • says

        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.

      • Nerissa says

        Why would honey create an enviroment for bacteria to grow in? Isn’t honey anti-bacterial? Still edible from Pharaoh times…

      • Nancy says

        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.

      • Jess says

        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.

      • jennifer says

        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.

      • Anna says

        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.

      • Jason says

        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.

      • Anna says

        Uh, since honey is antibacterial, it would KILL the yogurt cultures lol. They are bacteria too. They cant eat sugar that kills them.

      • says

        Jason was saying it’s best to put the honey in right before you eat it, which is after the incubation happened. The yogurt cultures are finished their duties at that time.

      • Jenn says

        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. :)

    • jennifer says

      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).

  6. Erin says

    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?

  7. ronna says

    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.

    • anna says

      this sounds fantastic, but what is a “trouble lite” ? and you leave that on overnight in the oven? cheers!

    • Becky P says

      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.

    • Peggy says

      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!!!

  8. Michelle says

    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!!

  9. ronna says

    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.

    • Brandi says

      Are you serious? You take the time to make homemade yogurt and then POISON it with Splenda? C’mon, man.

      • says

        It’s better than putting in sugar, what if the person is a diabetic or needs to keep their sugar levels low? Sure they could use stevia, but it’s not something known by lots of people.

        Not everyone can eat as they wish.


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