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This Amazing Crockpot Yogurt Is Surprisingly Easy To Make

Crockpot Yogurt

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!” :-)

Crockpot Yogur

Here’s how you can make your own deliciously creamy and totally foolproof yogurt right in your own kitchen.

Foolproof Crockpot Yogurt

Crockpot Yogur

You’ll need:

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 2-3 cups powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup plain, organic yogurt with active cultures
  • Crockpot
  • Thermometer
  • Cheesecloth (optional)

Crockpot Yogur

Directions:

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.

Crockpot Yogurt

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.

Crockpot Yogur

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.

Crockpot Yogur

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!

Crockpot Yogurt

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.)

Crockpot Yogur

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.

Crockpot Yogurt

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.

Crockpot Yogurt

Foolproof Crockpot Yogurt Recipe

Jill Nystul
Yogurt is surprisingly easy to make at home in a crockpot with just a few ingredients! Give this foolproof recipe a try and let me know what you think!
Cook Time 5 hours
Culturing: 9 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 317 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 2-3 cups powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup plain organic yogurt with active cultures
  • Crockpot
  • Thermometer
  • Cheesecloth optional

Instructions
 

  • 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.)

Nutrition

Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 16gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 214mgPotassium: 705mgSugar: 24gVitamin A: 710IUVitamin C: 1.8mgCalcium: 551mgIron: 0.4mg

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I guess it’s not foolproof for everyone?
    Today I had to strain the yogurt to remove a lot of lumps that had formed in the milk while it was warming in the crockpot.

    I did make the mistake of adding the yogurt at the same time as I added the powdered milk so I don’t know if that was the problem or if my crockpot cooks a little too hot while on low? I noticed a little milk stuck to the bottom and sides of the crock as if it wanted to burn and the milk was plenty warm by the minimum suggested time. Has anyone else experienced lumps in the milk when using the slow cooker to heat it?

    I also added my second 1/2 cup of yogurt before I strained the lumps and I’m very worried about that. The yogurt is still in the oven and has several hours to go. (I just realized I cut the recipe in half but I didn’t cut the yogurt in half! I’m assuming that won’t be a problem.)

  • this is a wonderfully easy recipe i’m excited to use. plus, before i printed, i was able to downsize the serving portions since there would be no way i’d be able to use the amount for 12 without fearing spoilage. that is the best feature! thanks so much, miss jillee!

  • After adding the culture into the milk, I cover my pot with 3 pure wool sweaters to keep the pot warm for 12 hours. You can do this if you don’t have an oven.

      • yes I do and I cook a lot of stuff with it but I never thought we could make yogourt with it, how cool, But I have one more question which may sound dumb, but I would like to know, What is organic yogurt with active cultures, is that ordinary plain Greek yogourt? And can I get that at my local grocery store? I’m in Quebec, Canada. BTW I love your website and have just started to read it regularly.

      • Did u get an answer for ur question Nathalie…I am in Nova Scotia and would like to try this recipe as well and am not sure what exactly yogurt with active cultures is…

    • think of how a sourdough starter works for making sourdough bread. same concept w the yogurt – youre adding live cultures to the warm milk to make yogurt. the small container of yogurt provides those cultures or you can order just the live cultures ($$$) to add to your warm milk – or save yourself the money and just add the 75cent carton of yougurt!! it’s just a carrier for the live cultures.

  • Since the yogurt added has active cultures, would it be possible to use a 1/2 cup of my first batch to make my next batch? In other words, are the cultures still active?

  • I *used* to make my yogurt your way, but now I use the InstantPot and a cold-start method that is the simplest (and according to my family, the best) ever.
    Ingredients:
    52 oz (1 bottle) Fairlife ultra-filtered whole milk (note: must use ultra-filtered for this method)
    ½ cup plain yogurt
    Directions:
    Pour 1 cup of the Fairlife milk into a large bowl. Thoroughly mix in the plain yogurt. Add rest of milk and make sure it is thoroughly mixed.
    Pour milk mixture into 4 pint-size mason jars (preferably widemouth). Cover loosely with jar tops
    Set trivet in 6 quart Instant Pot. Add 1 cup water to Instant pot.
    Put jars of milk/yogurt into Instant pot.
    Put cover on Instant pot. Use Yogurt button, and turn on for 12 hours. (I do this overnight)
    Ignore pot for 12 hours (grin)
    When time is up, take jars out of pot and put in fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.
    Voila! Thick and delicious (almost Greek-style) yogurt with almost no effort.

    • i also use my instant pot but i heat milk on the stove let it cool, add starter yogurt then put in instant pot on yogurt setting. do you heat the fairlife milk to 185 at any point?

      • Nope – no pre-heating. Just mix, pour into jars, turn on the Instant Pot, and go to bed.

      • Alice, do you think you get the same amount of yogurt using the instapot or do you think you’ll get more in the crockpot?
        I love using the crockpot because I can get a little over 1 gallon of milk in it. when my grocery store has milk on sale due to expiration, I like to stock up and make lots of yogurt. I use vanilla paste to flavor…..yummmmmm

  • Thanks, Jillee this is great… My daughter is dairy-free, so I’ll try this for her, and I can’t wait! Is there a label I can download, and do you know what that font is? I LOVE it!!

  • I’ve been making my own yogurts for years, ever since my children were born and they’re all adults now, but my method is a bit different as I’ve always had and used a yogurt making machine. I don’t know if you have these in the US but it’s a small roundish machine with 7 small flasks and not at all expensive. I use 1litre of half fat milk, 1 yogurt and 2 soup spoons of powdered milk. Beat it with a whisk, pour into the individual flasks, pop them into the machine and leave them all night. Lovely, creamy yogurts.

    • Michele- what quantity yogurt would that be? And do you heat the milk before putting in the small flasks? Interested to try with my yogurt machine.

      • Wangari, I very seldom heat the milk and usually use it room temperature, but you CAN warm it up if you want to. I use the normal size yogurt…a carton…possibly 33ml but to be honest I’m not too sure as I’ve never really read the amount each carton contains. I use 2 soup spoons of powdered milk as it makes it creamier but you don’t have to.

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