After you see how quick and easy it is to make thick and creamy homemade yogurt in an instant pot, you will never want to buy yogurt from the store again. Not only does it taste amazing, but making it at home gives you complete control over the ingredients, consistency, and flavor!
I can vividly remember my first experience with making yogurt at home. I had purchased a yogurt maker from an elderly lady off of Craigslist and she was kind enough to send instructions home with it! The appliance worked great, but as our family grew, the small portions that it was designed to make were no longer worth my time and effort.
Then I discovered Noosa, a yogurt brand unlike anything I had ever had, and I instantly became a yogurt snob. Nothing could compare.
A few years later when I discovered that yogurt could be made in an instant pot I decided to give making it home another shot. But… I was pretty skeptical that it would be able to compete with my beloved Noosa.
Wrong. After some trial and error, I was able to create a thick and creamy yogurt that lives up to all of my high standards.
And the best part is that it is SO very easy.
(for dairy-free yogurt, go to this post here!)
How To Make Thick and Creamy Yogurt In An Instant Pot
Step 1: Gather your materials
For this recipe, you will need a quart of milk (not ultra-pasteurized or UHT milk), a thermometer, an instant pot, and either 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt from the store, or a yogurt “culture” that you purchase. If you are using yogurt from the store, you must make sure that there are live and active cultures in the ingredients, or it won’t work.
I personally chose to buy my culture from a wonderful place called Cultures for Health. The biggest reason I did this was that when you make yogurt from store-bought yogurt, you can’t continue to reuse it indefinitely. The yogurt cultures will continue to weaken over time, which also means it will continue to contain fewer of the good bugs that make yogurt so healthy over time. By purchasing a starter with specific bacteria in it, I can continue to make yogurt by just saving a quarter cup each time to start the next batch. I want to point out that not all yogurt starter cultures from Cultures for Health are meant to be used in this way. If you want to check out the exact one I bought you can do so here.
Step 2: Let’s make yogurt!
- Measure 1 quart (1 L) of milk into your instant pot. Slowly heat the milk to 180 degrees F. If using an instant pot with the “yogurt” button, just hit that button until it says “boil” on the screen. Go ahead and place the lid on, but there is no need to close the pressure regulator. It will beep when it is done and say “YOGT.” Gently stir every few minutes so that the milk does not burn on the bottom.
- Remove pot from heat and let cool to 110 degrees. You can place your pot in an ice bath if you need to hurry this process along.
- Remove ½ cup of milk from the pot and place in a glass measuring cup. Add 1 packet of starter culture, or 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt, and mix well.
- Return the milk/culture mixture back to the pot and mix well once more.
- Pour the yogurt into whatever container you will be culturing it in. If you are using the instant pot, you can just leave it be.
- At this point, your goal is to cover it and keep it at 110 degrees for 5 – 12 hours. If using the instant pot, you simply put on the lid and hit the “yogurt” button until it says “Normal” and set the time for 6 hours.
- At the 6 hour mark, you will check it to see if it has set, but it may take up to 12 hours to be to the consistency and taste that you like. The longer you culture it, the thicker and tangier it will get.
- You can remove it from the heat and let it cool at any point after it sets. You will know it is to this point when you tilt the pot or container and the yogurt pulls away from the side, instead of just running up the side.
- After letting cool, you should chill it for at least 6 hours.
- Your yogurt is ready to eat! I then like to add sweeteners and fruit, such as maple syrup and strawberries.
- If you have used a culture made for continuous use, you should try to make a new batch each week to keep it going. In order to make a new batch, you need just 3 tablespoons of your previous batch to repeat the process! If you want to make two quarts of yogurt, from here on out you can do so by just doubling the amount of starter culture as well.
- If you just used store-bought yogurt for the cultures, or a “direct set” culture, you will need more in order to make a new batch.
Can I make yogurt without an instant pot?
Absolutely! In order to adapt this recipe if you do not have an instant pot, just heat your milk to the correct temperature in a pot over the stove, and then keep your culturing yogurt warm (between 105 and 112 degrees F) for the required time in another way. I have personally used an actual yogurt maker device and a slow cooker. Others ideas include using a quart canning jar wrapped in a heating blanket or placed in a dehydrator. Feel free to get creative here using what you have!
Can you make dairy-free yogurt in an instant pot?
You bet! You can see exactly how to make dairy-free yogurt in an instant pot in this post here.