Whenever I mention to someone that I’ve made my own homemade yogurt in the past, I tend to be met with astonishment! It sounds really impressive, I’ll give you that, but making yogurt at home is actually quite easy! A few years ago I came across a method for making homemade yogurt in your crockpot, and I’ve been using that method ever since! It hasn’t failed me once, and I assure you that if it were possible to mess it up, I would have managed it by now. I’ve made every mistake you can possible make during the process, and it still turns out great every time. I’d go so far as to call this method “foolproof!” :-)
Here’s how you can make your own deliciously creamy and totally foolproof yogurt right in your own kitchen.
Foolproof Crockpot Yogurt
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 2-3 cups powdered milk
- 1/2 cup plain, organic yogurt with active cultures
- Cheesecloth (optional)
Pour the entire gallon of whole milk into your crockpot.
Stir the powdered milk into the milk in your crockpot. Adding powdered milk increases the protein content of the finished yogurt, and also gives it a thicker and creamier texture.
Turn the crockpot on Low, and heat the milk until it reaches 180°F (around 4-5 hours). Turn off the crockpot and allow the milk to cool slightly.
Once the milk has cooled to somewhere between 95-115°F, scoop a small amount of the milk out and add it to the 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with active cultures. Stir the yogurt and milk well until completely blended, then pour the yogurt mixture back into the rest of the milk.
Transfer the milk mixture into several jars or an enameled dutch oven, and place in your oven with the light on. Let the yogurt sit in the oven for 8 to 12 hours to complete the culturing process. DO NOT stir, jostle, or jiggle your yogurt during this time!
At the end of the culturing time, move the container(s) to the fridge and chill well before eating.
If you’d prefer more of a Greek-style yogurt, you can go ahead and drain it bit with some cheesecloth at this point. (I usually skip this step, because I like the thickness as-is.)
Frequently Asked Questions
I received a LOT of questions back when I first shared how to make crockpot yogurt, and a lot of them I didn’t have answers to! But it’s been a few years since then, and I’ve made this yogurt several times since then. Now that I’m armed with more knowledge and experience, I’ve put together a little FAQ that should (hopefully) help answer any questions you might have during the process!
Can I Use Skim Milk?
Yes! You can use skim milk instead of whole milk, but it may cause the finished yogurt to be a bit runny. Strain it with some cheesecloth after incubating to remove some of the liquid.
Can I Make It Non-Dairy?
Yes! You can make a non-dairy yogurt by replacing the gallon of whole milk with 1/2 gallon of almond milk and 1/2 gallon of coconut milk. Replace the 1/2 cup of yogurt in the recipe with a freeze-dried yogurt starter packet (you can find them online at this link). Get more information on making non-dairy yogurt here.
Can I Add Fruit?
Yes! I prefer to keep my homemade yogurt plain, because it gives me the option to use it in recipes later on. But I love to stir fruit and other additions in before eating it, like berries, honey, jam, maple syrup, cinnamon, and more! You stir in your preferred mix-ins anytime after the incubation process.
What If I Don’t Have An Oven Light?
No worries! The light helps provide a little bit of extra heat, so you’ll need to compensate by storing your yogurt in a sturdy dutch oven during the incubation process.
How Long Does It Last?
Your homemade crockpot yogurt will last about 2 weeks in an airtight container in your fridge. Try to minimize the amount of air in each container as much as possible to help keep it as fresh as possible.