Home » How to Make Homemade Yogurt in an Instant Pot

How to Make Homemade Yogurt in an Instant Pot

by Kari
A mason jar full of homemade yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background.
Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

*This recipe contains Amazon Affiliate links. Making purchases through these links helps support my blogging habit. Click here to read more about my Privacy Policy and Disclosure.

Homemade Yogurt in an Instant Pot is so delicious and is so easy to make. It is creamy, tangy, light, and velvety. This foolproof recipe will have you making perfect, inexpensive, and mouthwatering yogurt every time. 

I will admit, I have not always been the biggest fan of yogurt. I eat it from time to time, but I would much rather eat other things for breakfast. Until I made my own!

This weekend, we had some crazy rainy weather and I was home alone with Melly.

Plants in buckets and a glass table on a back porch in the rain.

Plants in buckets and a glass table on a back porch in the rain.

 I think the plants loved the rain after all the hot weather we have been having! Hiding inside from the monsoon, we made some gyoza, apple hand pies, pierogis, and homemade yogurt. Melly kept herself amused with toys while I got to work 😉

A border collie playing with a black toy on a gray wood floor and a brown rug.

Why Make Homemade Yogurt?

A mason jar full of homemade yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background.

Homemade yogurt tastes AMAZING. The difference is incredible. Last year, we went to Greece and tried real Greek yogurt. People will tell you that Greek yogurt in the United States is not the same thing and that is so true.

Yogurt bought in the store is just missing something. Yogurt in Greece is thick and creamy, but also soft and light. It is slightly tangy, and even tastes good plain. Anyone who knows me will scoff at me saying that I will now eat plain yogurt. (When I made my first batch, I even licked the yogurt off the cheesecloth.)

What Do You Need to Make Your Own Yogurt?

A glass jug of milk, a cup of Fage yogurt on top of two books, and a pink flower.

While you can buy yourself a fancy “kit” to make yogurt, you can also make yogurt using less than one small container of yogurt (make sure that it is plain yogurt) from the grocery store and a half-gallon of milk. (Two tablespoons of yogurt per half-gallon of milk.) You need to be sure that your yogurt has the necessary bacteria to culture your new yogurt and that is all you need.

What Kind of Bacteria Needs to be in the Starter Yogurt?

The important starter cultures found in yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

How Do These Bacteria Make Yogurt?

These starter cultures play the very important role of fermenting the lactose in your milk to create lactic acid. Increasing the lactic acid in your milk decreases its pH to lower the acidity of your milk and this then causes the milk to clot. As the milk clots, it forms a gel-like substance that we are familiar with; yogurt. The fermentation of lactose will also create the tangy flavor that we know and love.

What Kind of Milk Can I Use?

You can use any kind of milk – skim, 1%, 2%, or Whole. The higher the fat percentage, the better of course – because, yum.

Can I Use Non-Dairy Milk?

Yes, but in this case, you might have to locate a yogurt starter.

So, How Do You Make Yogurt?

  1. Sanitize your Instant Pot. If you cook things in your Instant Pot that smell like Taco Seasoning, you definitely want to do this: There are two ways to do this, or you can do both for good measure.
    • Add two cups of white vinegar, two cups of water, and a few drops of lemon juice to your Instant Pot. Close the vent and push the steam button. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
    • The other option is to boil water and pour it in your Instant Pot and around the inside of the ring. (This method is a little messier.)
  2. Add your milk to your Instant Pot and push the Yogurt button. Immediately push the adjust button so that it reads “Boil” on the screen. Put the lid on and wait for the milk to do its thing. This should take around an hour. An Instant Pot that says boil and a finger pushing the yogurt button. An Instant Pot that says boil and a finger pushing the adjust button.
  3. When the timer goes off and the milk is done cooking, it will beep at you and the Instant Pot will say “yogt” on the screen. An Instant Pot with the Yogurt button lit up and yogt on the screen.
  4. Remove lid carefully and test that the milk is at 180 degrees F. As long as the milk has reached a high enough temperature, you are good to move on. A silver pot full of boiled milk with a thermometer reading 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Let it now sit for about five (5) minutes.
  6. When about five (5) minutes have passed, move the bowl of your Instant Pot to an ice bath – a large bowl of ice water. A silver pot of boiled milk in a clear bowl of ice water on a marble counter top.
  7. Let it sit there for about twenty minutes, possibly thirty. You are waiting for the temperature of the milk to get down to 105-115 degrees F. The time will vary depending on the temperature of your home, the amount of ice, etc.
  8. Once the temperature has dropped, skim off the layer of film on the top of the milk. This will help make your yogurt extra silky. A bowl with the skimmed layer from the top of boiled milk and a black spoon.
  9. Next, whisk in two tablespoons of yogurt. You don’t want to rush this and add the yogurt if the milk is too hot – it will kill the bacteria.
  10. Return the bowl of your Instant Pot to the Instant Pot and put the lid back on.
  11. Push the “Yogurt” button and bring the timer up to 8:00. If you want a zingier yogurt, bring it up to 9 or 10 hours. (The time will drop to zero and count up, as opposed to how the Instant Pot usually works where time counts backward.) The vent can be open or closed for cooking yogurt, it does not matter. An Instant Pot with the Yogurt button lit up and 8:00 on the screen. An Instant Pot with the Yogurt button lit up and 0:00 on the screen.
  12. Again, when it is done, it will say “yogt.” You can test if it is done by sticking a spoon in the yogurt and seeing if it stands straight up.

    A metal pot with yogurt in it and a metal spoon standing up in the middle.

  13. If you like your yogurt like a more “traditional yogurt,” you can let it cool and move it to a container or jars for storage.
  14. If you would like a “Greek” style yogurt, you should now strain your yogurt through a cheesecloth and strainer over a large bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. This will make the yogurt super thick and creamy. Yogurt straining over a cheesecloth in a clear bowl.
  15. There will be a liquid that drains out of the yogurt and that is the whey. This is good mixed into smoothies (or if you have a dog, they love it!) It happens to tear up my stomach so I can’t eat it, but Michael has been enjoying the extra nutrition!  Whey from yogurt in a clear bowl. Two jars of yogurt and a jar of whey and a yellow flower on a gray wooden background.
  16. Once the yogurt seems to be fully free of most extra moisture (this is a judgment call – I like my yogurt to have a texture like sour cream, if you like yours thinner, stop straining it earlier.) Then scoop into jars or containers for storage. Two mason jars full of homemade yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background.

How Do You Flavor Homemade Yogurt?

To flavor your yogurt like vanilla, you can stir a teaspoon of vanilla into each pint. (One mason jar.) You can add more if you like a stronger flavor. Feel free to also add fresh fruit, fruit syrups, and my favorite – raw honey.

How Much Yogurt Does this Recipe Make?

A half-gallon of milk with two tablespoons of yogurt makes 3 pints of Greek yogurt and a quart of whey. If you don’t remove the whey, you will have a little more yogurt.

Can You Save “Starter Yogurt” for Next Time?

Absolutely. I split my starter yogurt into individual two (2) tablespoon servings and pop it in the freezer into a silicon ice cube tray. Once frozen, I move the cubes to a bag. As long as you let the yogurt defrost naturally before using it, you can freeze it. (You can also keep recycling the yogurt you make into new yogurt by saving two (2) tablespoons from each batch.)

Spoonfuls of yogurt in a red silicon ice cube tray.

As always, share the leftovers with your pups!

A black dog licking yogurt out of a yogurt cup.

Enjoy!

 


Two mason jars full of homemade yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background.

How to Make Homemade Yogurt in an Instant Pot

Homemade Yogurt in an Instant Pot is so delicious and is so easy to make. It is creamy, tangy, light, and velvety. This foolproof recipe will have you making perfect, inexpensive, and mouthwatering yogurt every time. #yogurt #instantpot #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt
0 from 0 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, greekyogurt, instantpot, yogurt
Cook Time: 10 hours
Straining Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 16 hours
Servings: 8
Calories: 147kcal
Cost: $6

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
  • Thermometer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Strainer
  • Large bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/2 gallon milk

Instructions

Sanitize your Instant Pot. If you cook things in your Instant Pot that smell like Taco Seasoning, you definitely want to do this. There are two ways to do this, or you can do both for good measure.

  • Add two cups of white vinegar, two cups of water, and a few drops of lemon juice to your Instant Pot. Close the vent and push the steam button. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
  • The other option is to boil water and pour it in your Instant Pot and around the inside of the ring. (This method is a little messier.)

Start Making Yogurt - Boil Your Milk

  • Add your milk to your Instant Pot and push the Yogurt button. Immediately push the adjust button so that it reads "Boil" on the screen.
  • Immediately push the adjust button so that it reads "Boil" on the screen.
  • Put the lid on and wait for the milk to do its thing. This should take around an hour.
  • When the timer goes off and the milk is done cooking, it will beep at you and the Instant Pot will say "yogt" on the screen.
  • Remove lid carefully and test that the milk is at 180° F. As long as the milk has reached a high enough temperature, you are good to move on.
  • Let it now sit for about five (5) minutes.

Cool Your Milk

  • When about five (5) minutes have passed, move the bowl of your Instant Pot to an ice bath - a large bowl of ice water.
  • Let it sit there for about twenty minutes, possibly thirty. You are waiting for the temperature of the milk to get down to 105-115° F. The time will vary depending on the temperature of your home, the amount of ice, etc.
  • Once the temperature has dropped, skim off the layer of film on the top of the milk. This will help make your yogurt extra silky.
  • Next, whisk in two tablespoons of yogurt. You don't want to rush this and add the yogurt if the milk is too hot - it will kill the bacteria.
  • Return the bowl of your Instant Pot to the Instant Pot and put the lid back on.

Make Your Yogurt - The Waiting Game

  • Push the "Yogurt" button and bring the timer up to 8:00. If you want a zingier yogurt, bring it up to 9 or 10 hours. (The time will drop to zero and count up, as opposed to how the Instant Pot usually works where time counts backward.) The vent can be open or closed for cooking yogurt, it does not matter.
  • Again, when it is done, it will say "yogt." You can test if it is done by sticking a spoon in the yogurt and seeing if it stands straight up.
  • If you like your yogurt like a more "traditional yogurt," you can let it cool and move it to a container or jars for storage.

Optional - Strain Your Yogurt

  • If you would like a "Greek" style yogurt, you should now strain your yogurt through a cheesecloth and strainer over a large bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. This will make the yogurt super thick and creamy.
  • There will be a liquid that drains out of the yogurt and that is the whey. This is good mixed into smoothies (or if you have a dog, they love it!) It happens to tear up my stomach so I can't eat it, but Michael has been enjoying the extra nutrition! 
  • Once the yogurt seems to be fully free of most extra moisture (this is a judgment call - I like my yogurt to have a texture like sour cream, if you like yours thinner, stop straining it earlier.) Then scoop into jars or containers for storage.

Optional - Flavor Your Yogurt

  • To flavor your yogurt like vanilla, you can stir a teaspoon of vanilla into each pint. (One mason jar.) You can add more if you like a stronger flavor. Feel free to also add fresh fruit, fruit syrups, and my favorite - raw honey.

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 320mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

shares