March 27, 2017 | Home >Healthy Kids > Best Recipes >How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot

We’ve tackled the yogurt button on the Instant Pot. And guess what? It’s actually not so bad! Just two ingredients, a bit of time, and a thermometer are all you’ll need to make the tastiest and most economical yogurt you’ve ever had. Here’s the skinny on how to make yogurt in an Instant Pot.

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Of all the buttons on the Instant Pot, “Yogurt” seemed the most formidable. Unlike many of the others, it doesn’t seem intuitive. So, with some research and experimentation I bring to you a step-by-step guide to making your own yogurt.

Before we get into the details, I’ll just outline how the process works. You warm up milk in the Instant Pot, then cool it to a certain temperature. Next, you add a little bit of yogurt as “starter,” and heat again – this time for about 8 hours.

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

That’s it! And if you want Greek yogurt, you strain it using cheese cloth for a couple hours.

I know that sounds like it takes forever, but really it’s hands off for all but a few small steps. And it’s so worth it! I love how it tastes because it’s not as sour as so many I’ve purchased. Though, if you do like it sour you can cook it for 10 hours instead of 8 and it’ll get more tangy. So great to be able to customize your own yogurt!

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot

Step 1: Heat milk to 180* F

Pour a gallon of milk into your very clean Instant Pot. Push the “Yogurt” button and press the “Adjust” button until the screen says “boil.” Now close the lid (vent open or closed – it doesn’t matter) and walk away. This will heat the milk to a boil and then beep when it’s done. It takes about an hour.

A note on milk: I used 2%, but I have read lots of recipes and it seems you can use anything from 1% to whole and have success!

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Once the boiling is finished, use a thermometer to make sure the milk has reached 180* F. Mix the pot just a little to make sure the milk is even in temperature so you don’t get a false reading. If the milk isn’t quite to 180* F, you can use the Saute function on low to bring the milk to temperature. Just make sure to stir regularly so it doesn’t scald, and then turn it off as soon as it reaches temperature.

Step 2: Cool milk to 110* F

After reaching temperature, it’s time to cool the milk down again (does it feel like we’re running in circles?). We need it to get down to 110* F or a little under. This can be done by simply taking the pot insert out and setting it on a cooling rack on the counter. This takes an hour or so.

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

NOTE: If you want to cool the milk more quickly, you can instead set the pot insert into a sink full of cold water. Stir the pot and swish the cold water in the sink around until the milk gets to temperature. This took me maybe 15 minutes, but it’ll depend on how cold the sink water is and if you make a whole batch or half.

Step 3: Add starter and heat again

At 110* F or less, you can add your yogurt starter: any plain yogurt with live and active cultures works. I used Fage Total Greek yogurt (made with whole milk) but I my dad uses Chobani plain 0% and that also works well. You only need 3 tablespoons! Whisk well.

NOTE: Metal whisks are rumored to leave a faint metal taste, so use a silicone one if you have one!

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Finally, place the insert pot back into the cooker and press “Yogurt” again. This time, adjust it until the screen reads 8:00. This means it will keep the yogurt at the perfect temperature for 8 hours so that the cultures can work their magic. You can also select 10:00 hours if you prefer a tangier yogurt.

Optional: How to make Greek Yogurt

I like to make it so that this process happens overnight, but as long as it doesn’t finish in the middle of the night you’ll be okay.

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and DrinkOnce the incubation period is over, you can either put the yogurt straight into the fridge (covered), or you can choose to strain it. Straining the yogurt makes it into Greek yogurt.

To strain the yogurt, you’ll need cheese cloth or something like it. Place the cheese cloth in double layer inside a large colander/strainer and set the colander in the sink. If you want to save the whey (the liquid that drains out), you’ll need to find a way to have it drip into a bowl. I placed a small bowl upside-down in a larger bowl for the colander to rest on. You can use the whey in some baking recipes.

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

The straining time is up to you. I let mine drip for a little under two hours, but it could have gone longer. The longer you wait, the thicker it will be. Some people choose to strain for 3-4 hours if they like it really thick.

Now, you can also add vanilla or sweetener. I made half of my batch into unsweetened vanilla yogurt by adding a tablespoon of vanilla extract and scraping the insides of half a vanilla bean. You could definitely use just the extract if you don’t have vanilla beans.

How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Oh – and don’t forget to reserve some plain yogurt to be the starter for your next batch! You can freeze it in ice cube trays and be all set for next time!

I loved the experience of making my own yogurt! It is delicious and so much cheaper than buying. I got a ton and it only cost the amount of a gallon of milk and a single serving of Greek yogurt (and next time I won’t even need that!).
How to make yogurt in an Instant Pot | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon milk
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
Directions
  1. Pour 1 gallon of milk (1%, 2%, or whole) into the Instant Pot. Push "Yogurt" then "Adjust" until the screen reads "boil." Place the lid on and walk away. It will heat the milk until boiling, and it takes about an hour.
  2. Once the boil cycle is finished and the pot beeps, give the milk a quick stir and then use a thermometer to read the temperature. You need the milk to have reached 180* F. If it has not, use the "Saute" function on low to heat the milk a bit more.
  3. Once 180* F has been reached, remove the pot insert and set it on the counter to cool to 110* F. This takes about an hour. A quicker option is to set the pot in a sink full of cold water and stir. This takes about 15 minutes.
  4. After reaching 110* or a little lower, add 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt. NOTE: make SURE the yogurt you use as starter contains live and active cultures! Whisk to mix the yogurt into the milk.
  5. Place the pot insert back into the Instant Pot and close the lid. Press the "Yogurt" button again and then "Adjust" until the screen reads "8:00." This means the pot will incubate the yogurt for 8 hours, or you can choose "10:00" for a tangier yogurt.
  6. Once the incubation period completes, either refrigerate the yogurt as is, or make it into Greek yogurt.
  7. To make Greek yogurt: strain the yogurt using cheese cloth covering a large colander or strainer. Allow the yogurt to drip in the sink or over a bowl for 1-4 hours, depending on desired thickness. The longer the strain, the thicker the yogurt.
  8. Store yogurt in the fridge and it will be good for at least one week. Don't forget to reserve 3 tablespoons of yogurt to be your starter for next time! Freeze this in ice cube trays and you're all set.
written by
Katrina Nelson

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Comments(41)

Thank you so much for sharing your step by step tutorial for making yogurt in the Instant Pot.
I really seems like a lot of effort in the sense that you have to do something every hour until you get it set. I just bought one but haven’t opened it yet. Not sure it’s a time saver.

Denise says:

You leave the yogurt set while the incubation process is going on. You’re not doing anything while the yogurt is incubating. I love making the yogurt like this. It’s simply set and go on with your day.

Paul Cerniglia says:

Hi…just waiting for it to finish…can’t wait to taste homemade yogurt.
It was very easy-thanks for sharing your recipe & tips!

Paul Cerniglia says:

Just started a second batch! Everyone loved the first batch, and it disappeared quickly.
Thanks again!

Jamie says:

How much Greek yogurt did you get from a gallon of milk? What do you store it in? We use FAGE and I’ve been intimidated to make my own.

Kelly says:

I do a half batch (half gallon of milk) strained quite well (thick) and it fits perfectly in a reused 32 ounce yogurt tub.

C. says:

I would be interested in the 1/2 batch instructions also.

Timaree says:

You mention a “half batch”. Does that mean everything is the same but use only 1/2 gallon of milk? Or are you dividing your full batch and making half Greek style and half vanilla? A full gallon is way too much for me.

YEN VO says:

One gallon is too much for me. How do I make 2 cups of milk?

Jenny Lees says:

Hi! Just tried this recipe. Question—when do I add vanilla and how much per batch?? Thank you!!

Natasha says:

Is the vent (valve) closed or open during the incubation period (in other words, is yogurt made under pressure or not)? Thanks!

Julie Macewicz says:

I made it with the vent closed and it turned out fine.

Kate says:

In your experience how long does the yogurt keep in the fridge once it’s done?

Suzi says:

Thank you for posting this. I would love to try it, but my instant pot doesn’t have the yogurt setting. Do you know if there is another setting I could use in the IP-LUX?

Natalie Monson says:

Hmmm – I’m not sure on that version. Sorry!

Tanya says:

Has anyone tried this with almond or coconut milk??

Jaime says:

I have an instant pot that doesn’t have the yogurt button. Is there another setting on the older pot that works for yogurt?

Ann says:

I JUST poured my milk in and noticed mine does not have Yogurt button also?!!!!!! Wonder what to do?

Kari says:

Before my instant pot, I just heated my crock pot on low while making the batch. Once I poured it (heated and cooled milk with starter) from my stovetop pot into the crock pot, I immediately unplugged the crock pot and wrapped a big beach towel around the whole thing to keep warm. I let that sit overnight and by morning it was done. The crock pot was never on while the culture was growing. Just the fact that it’s warm and you have the lid tightly on should grow the culture nicely. We probably don’t even need to set it to anything. Definitely have Live culture. I use organic with raw milk. I have made MANY gallons of yogurt this way. The trick is not to put too much starter in, or it won’t have to work hard to culture and will be runny. Experiment. Good luck!

Kari says:

Oh… but if it is accidentally runnier than you’d like (I have made a few of these batches), just save for smoothies.

Michelle Wilczewskk says:

Can non dairy milk be used?

Courtney says:

Thanks for posting! I just got an Instant Pot and it doesn’t give instructions for yogurt in the cookbook that came with it.

Where did you find the jars that you pictured? They look perfect for yogurt. Thanks!

Tiffany says:

Just tried this recipe started last night and went to fridge it and the consistency is still pretty runny?! What did I do wrong?! I followed the recipe step by step I didn’t want Greek yogurt is there any saving this wahhhh my hard work and toddler is going to be disappointed

Natalie Monson says:

Did you make sure it heated to 180 degrees? And did you yogurt start have live cultures in it?

Leslie says:

All other recipes I’ve read call for sanitizing the pot and any utensils that you would use, including the thermometer. So you do this? And if not, I trust you haven’t had any issues?

Natalie Monson says:

I haven’t done this and have had no problems! But it probably wouldn’t hurt 🙂

Leslie says:

You can also make it easily with fat free yogurt. I’ve been making my own yogurt for years, the instant pot yogurt setting was a Godsend. I routinely use fat free milk, cool to 115, and incubate for 12 hours. I then strain through a nutmilk bag for 4 hours. 1 gallon generally yields 2 quarts of yogurt. I do use a metal whisk and have never noticed a metallic taste, just yummy, tangy, thick yogurt.

Jennifer says:

I’m glad you posted this. I went to the store today and forgot to the Greek yogurt but have one container of fat free left! Phew. I didn’t want to travel out in the snow.

Karen Reno says:

Thank you! I was looking for directions for fat free. Is this like Greek yogurt or Dannon plain yogurt?

Scott says:

Great article.
Can’t wait to make some yogurt!
Thank You

Justine says:

Any recommendations for flavoring the yogurt? When would you add the vanilla in the process?

m says:

Hi,

I love this recipe! so much that Ive been doing it twice a week to keep up with demands. Can I double this recipe?

thanks

Michele says:

So excited to try! I found this on a FB post for the Fairlife cold method and was a little hesitant with that method since I’m not sold on Fairlife milk…too processed with additives. Can not wait to give your recipe a try! Thank you and I briwsed your other recipes; look delicious ☺️

Bobby says:

How much vanilla and when do you add it I didn’t see it in the directions or in any of the comments?

Natasha says:

I made this recipe and the yogurt turned out very bitter and sour. Did I do something wrong?

Thank you!

Mister says:

I’m a failure 🙁

First time attempting to make yogurt. New Duo Mini. Used 1 liter of 2% and a big dollup (about 2 tbsp) of plain, active yogurt. Watched temps very carefully. Set it for 9 hours overnight. Strained through cheesecloth but almost all of it went through; almost no sign of stiffening up. How did I screw up?

Linda from Oho says:

Best instructions yet. Great for newbies thanks

Sharon says:

what is the expiration date from the date it’s made?

Can I use a powdered yogurt culture in place of a prepared yogurt and what proportion of powder to milk should I use in the instant pot?

Jane says:

What if my Instant Pot doesn’t have a yogurt button? What should I use instead?

Alicia says:

I love the little jars that you have in your photos. Where did you get those from?

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