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A mason jar full of homemade yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background.
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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.
Cook Time10 hrs
Straining Time6 hrs
Total Time16 hrs
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade yogurt, instant pot greek yogurt, instant pot yogurt
Cooking Method: Instant Pot
Servings: 8
Calories: 147kcal
Cost: $6

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • ½ 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.

Notes

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 but it will start to weaken after several cycles - it is best to save a bunch from your first batch!)
How Do You Flavor Homemade Yogurt?
To flavor your yogurt like vanilla, you can stir about half a teaspoon of vanilla into each cup of yogurt. (You would use one teaspoon for one pint-sized mason jar.) You can add more if you like a stronger flavor or even scrape out a vanilla bean. Feel free to also add fresh fruit, fruit syrups, preserves and jams, or 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