I think that yogurt is my favorite food. I eat it every day, and can easily grab it as a snack anytime. I love a rich organic, whole milk Greek yogurt. And since I’ve learned to make my own, my life has never been the same. Making your own yogurt in the Instant Pot is so easy. You can make regular yogurt, Greek yogurt, or any texture in between. You have complete control this way! You can adjust for the right amount of yogurt flavor to suit you as well. There are so many factors that you can tweak to create your own personal favorite yogurt. Store bought yogurt will never taste the same once you’ve had homemade yogurt perfected to your personal tastes.
I will walk you through all of the steps. I will describe exactly what I do, as well as where you can make adjustments that will affect the way your yogurt tastes. I encourage you to tweak and experiment to create your perfect blend!
Let’s get started!
2 Qts Whole Milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
1 Single Serve Plain Greek Yogurt
½ C your favorite Jam
STEP 1: Open up the Instant Pot, add the Milk. Close up the lid. It doesn’t matter what position the vent handle is in. Press the Yogurt button twice to set it on More. The screen should read “boil”. Leave this until it beeps and the screen reads “yogt”. This step takes just under half an hour. I suggest you choose a milk variety that you really like because this makes a big difference on the flavor of the yogurt.
STEP 2: Once the Instant Pot has finished the boiling cycle, open the lid and whisk the hot milk. You will need to come back about every 10 minutes to whisk, so you don’t get a big milk skin. Each time you whisk, be sure to also temp the milk. You need to let the milk cool to between 110 and 115 degrees. This step takes approximately 45 minutes.
STEP 3: Now that your milk is at temperature, you will want to quickly add your Single Serve Yogurt and whisk it in. You can substitute instead 1 TBSP of yogurt starter or 1 single serve non-Greek yogurt. What starter you choose to use makes a very big difference on flavor because each has its own unique blend of probiotics. I recommend choosing a plain yogurt from a brand that you know you love.
Now, close that lid. It does not matter which way the vent is pointing. Press the Yogurt button twice to put it on Normal. Then use the plus and minus buttons to adjust the time to 11:30. This is how long I incubate my yogurt. You can incubate your yogurt anywhere from 6-12 hours. The longer you incubate, the higher the density of probiotics. This step greatly affects the final flavor. When the time is over, the Instant Pot will beep several times and the screen will read “yogt”.
STEP 4: Open up the lid of your Instant Pot. You now have yogurt! You will notice there is a lot of liquid surrounding your yogurt. That liquid is whey, which becomes separated from the milk solids as the yogurt is formed. You will want to strain off the liquid. If you don’t strain it off, you will end up with a drinkable smoothie type consistency. At this step, pour all of the yogurt and whey into your Greek yogurt strainer. I suggest you do this even if you do not want Greek yogurt. Unless you want a drinkable smoothie, you need to strain the whey. Snap the lid on and place it in the refrigerator. I will strain my yogurt for 12-18 hours. This gives a very thick Greek yogurt. For a traditional yogurt consistency, strain a few hours, no more than 6. Anything from 6-18 hours of straining is going to be in the area of Greek yogurt. This is purely about texture. Taste will not be affected by what you choose here.
STEP 5: After you have strained out the desired amount, you can discard the whey. If you like, you can repurpose the whey as a substitute for the milk or water in recipes. It does retain some probiotic value. Whey makes great muffins and pancakes, for example. Now, take the yogurt you have and add in the Jam. Use your immersion blender to blend together the jam and the yogurt until smooth.
You can totally skip this step, just dump your plain yogurt into containers and add some fruit. I find that using a jam as opposed to fresh fruit or a compote preserves the thickness of the yogurt. Also, the use of the immersion blender yields a creamer texture all around. I do not personally sweeten the yogurt beyond adding some jam. However, you can sweeten to your tastes, just mix it in well.
STEP 6: Divide into 6-8 individual containers with lids. I like to use these adorable glass yogurt containers. Be sure whatever you use seals tightly for freshness. The yogurt keeps in the refrigerator approximately 2 weeks from when you began the process. The yogurt should have only a mild, yogurt smell. Go ahead and take a big whiff of that fresh yogurt...it’s so yummy. If you open one up and it has a strong smell, it’s time to discard that batch.
I’m so happy you have hung on for this entire article! A lot of people are very nervous about making their own yogurt. Once you’ve gone through the process, you’ll see that it’s actually quite easy and the yogurt is not only delicious but it’s exactly the way you want it! Be patient as you tweak the different options to find your perfect recipe. Please enjoy. Send me questions, tell me about your experience, send me photos of your yogurt! I love to hear from you.