When we were at the Mother Earth News Fair a few weeks ago, we attended a workshop on making yogurt. Hubby and I eat yogurt in our lunches almost every day. When I mentioned attending the workshop to my mom, she offered us the Instant Pot with a “yogurt” option that she bought but hadn’t used like she anticipated. Over the weekend, I used that Instant Pot and I MADE YOGURT!
I followed a combination of two sets of directions, the ones that came with the Instant Pot, and these. Most of it matched, but I just felt better reading from both of them on the maiden yogurt voyage. The first thing I needed to do was sterilize the removable pot. This was a little nerve wracking because I’d never used a pressure cooker before. When I did as instructed and vented the pot at the end of the steam clean, both Fargo and I jumped a mile at the noise that accompanied the valve release.
We get our milk from a local dairy. They still use exchangeable milk bottles, and they do not use growth hormones. Although you can use up to a gallon of milk, I opted to start with a half gallon.
While the first part of the process was happening, I boiled water to sterilize the thermometer and the spoon I would be using to transfer the starter culture yogurt. The thermometer sets into the milk in order to monitor when the temperature drops to 115 degrees. According to what I read, the temperature drop could take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
I bought Trader Joes plain yogurt to use as starter culture (and to put in Fargo’s food because he LOVES yogurt). Once the milk dropped to 115, I added approximately 6 teaspoons of yogurt and mixed well. Next step is to seal the Instant Pot back up and let it do it’s thing for up to 8 hours.
Instructions I read indicated that solidification begins around 6 hours and the longer you leave the yogurt “cook,” the more tangy it becomes. I am a fan of plain yogurt, but I don’t like it too tangy. I did not time this whole thing very well and 8 hours of “cook” time, which is the standard, meant getting up at 3am. I woke on my own around 2:30 and figured that was close enough, so I dragged my butt down to the kitchen to put the yogurt in the fridge.
I cannot tell you how excited I was to pack my homemade yogurt for lunch! Look how pretty it is!!
Hubby and I both love the taste and the texture. I added dried tart cherries, walnuts, unsweetened coconut flakes and chia seeds and it was delicious! It is way more cost efficient and we will be adding significantly fewer plastic containers to the garbage/recycle bins. I will try to time it better next time though.