Instant Pot Yogurt

Instant Pot Yogurt

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About 10 years ago, I would make a ton of things from scratch – homemade yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sourdough bread, fermented pickles… pretty much everything. Then I had a baby that cried all the time. And then two more kids in the next few years. Needless to say, a lot of those made from scratch things were dropped. It also helped that more and more of those things became available in stores. Now that my kids are a bit older (and I’m sleeping more than 4 hours per night), I’ve started making a few of those things again – with a much simpler twist. I am all about things being as easy as possible now. Three kids are no joke, man.

One of the things I started making again is yogurt because my kids eat a TON of yogurt. It’s also much cheaper to make a gallon of it than buy a gallon of grass-fed organic yogurt. I don’t make it the way I used to do it – which was a huge process of wrapping jars in towels, closely monitoring temperatures, sterilizing jars, babysitting it, etc. Ain’t nobody got time for that now. Instead, I am now making yogurt in the instant pot and it is so incredibly simple! Allow yourself about 12 hours total from the time you start it (you aren’t doing work that whole time! Most of that is the time that the yogurt is culturing and doing its thing).

Something to remember is that whatever yogurt you use as your starter culture is the same flavor and texture profile that your final yogurt will have. Different yogurts have different strains of beneficial bacteria that give it the distinct taste and texture. Pick your favorite plain yogurt and use that! You can use this yogurt in my homemade ranch dressing recipe.

So, here is my method for making yogurt in the instant pot.

Note: The photo above shows 3 jars of yogurt (some already consumed by my kids) and one jar of whey – whey comes from when you strain yogurt to make it thicker. Don’t throw the whey out! It’s full of protein and probiotics. I don’t always strain my yogurt, but wanted it a bit thicker this time. I’m going to use the whey to soak oats and rice to make a fermented sourdough like pancake recipe. I’ll be posting that soon and update with a link here when I do!

First, remove the seal on the instant pot lid. You won’t need the seal for this recipe, and it can often impart a smell or taste from whatever you cooked last (nobody wants pot roast flavored yogurt).

Plug in your instant pot, press the yogurt button, and then the adjust button until it says boil. Pour in your milk and place the lid on.

The instant pot will do its thing and start to bring the milk up to about 180 degrees. The pot will beep when it has come to temperature. At this point remove the lid and take the liner out of the machine and set somewhere to cool. You can set it in a sink filled with ice to speed this process.

Allow the milk to cool to around 115 degrees. Having an instant-read thermometer on hand for this is SUPER helpful! These are a bit pricey, but they pay off big time in the long run. Having an accurate thermometer for meats is an absolute MUST to getting tender & juicy meat. I highly recommend the Thermapen brand – super high quality and will last you a long time.  

Once it’s cooled, ladle out a bit of the milk into a bowl with your 1/4 cup of yogurt (this is your starter culture). Whisk this together & pour it back into the larger pot of milk and whisk together. 

 

Place the liner back into the machine and replace the lid.

Press the yogurt button again then the adjust button until it reaches 8 hours. 

Let the yogurt incubate! Once it the time is done & it beeps, you can ladle the yogurt into glass jars and cool in the refrigerator. Enjoy! 

Instant Pot Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon grass-fed organic whole milk I like Kalona brand
  • 1/4 cup plain organic yogurt

Instructions

  1. First, remove the seal on the instant pot lid. You won't need the seal for this recipe, and it can often impart a smell or taste from whatever you cooked last (nobody wants pot roast flavored yogurt).

  2. Plug in your instant pot, press the yogurt button, and then the adjust button until it says boil. Pour in your milk and place the lid on.

  3. The instant pot will do its thing and start to bring the milk up to about 180 degrees. The pot will beep when it has come to temperature. At this point remove the lid and take the liner out of the machine and set somewhere to cool. You can set it in a sink filled with ice to speed this process.

  4. Allow the milk to cool to around 115 degrees. 

  5. Once it's cooled, ladle out a bit of the milk into a bowl with your 1/4 cup of yogurt (this is your starter culture). Whisk this together & pour it back into the larger pot of milk and whisk together. 

  6. Place the liner back into the machine and replace the lid.

  7. Press the yogurt button again then the adjust button until it reaches 8 hours. 

  8. Let the yogurt incubate! Once it the time is done & it beeps, you can ladle the yogurt into glass jars and cool in the refrigerator. Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

TO MAKE GREEK (thicker) YOGURT: After the yogurt has cultured, ladle it over a fine mesh strainer lined with a tea towel placed over a bowl. This will strain off the whey into the bottom and leave you with thicker yogurt on top.

Don't throw your whey out! Use it for soaking pancakes, or just as you would buttermilk. It's full of protein and probiotics!

Tools I’m using in this post:

Instant Pot

Instant Read Thermometer 

Wide Mouth Quart Sized Jars

Canning Funnel

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