Do you like yogurt but you hate the plastic containers you have to throw away? Or you don’t want to contribute to dairy waste? You can make yogurt at home! The homemade yogurt is not only very delicious but it also saves you money. If you want to learn how to make yogurt at home, we have all the tips and tricks. Plus a simple and easy recipe that requires only two ingredients.
What Do I Need to Make Yogurt At Home?
You don’t need fancy equipment and tools or yogurt active cultures to make yogurt at home. In fact, you can make a large batch of homemade yogurt with only two ingredients – milk and a little bit of store-bought yogurt, using tools you already have.
What Can I Use As A Yogurt Starter?
Many homemade yogurt recipes require a starter culture. While you can purchase active culture from health stores, you can make yogurt at home without it. All you have to do is use a little bit of store-bought yogurt that has active cultures. Check the label to be sure. And, once you made your first batch of homemade yogurt, you can save up half a cup of yogurt for your next batch.
What Type Of Milk To Use
Whole milk makes the creamiest yogurt, no doubt about it. However, if you prefer 2% milk or skim milk it’s not a problem. The yogurt will have a slightly different texture than the one of whole milk yogurt, as skim yogurt usually has even in store-bought varieties.
What Equipment Do I Need?
Despite what you may think, you can make homemade yogurt without a yogurt maker. Yogurt makers are useful since they do a good job at keeping the milk at the right temperature while it sets but they are not a must. In its place, you can use your oven with the light on or a dehydrator.
As for the other tools you’ll need, they are basic kitchen tools you surely own, such as:
- a Dutch oven or a large pot;
- a whisk;
- a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer you can clip to the side of the Dutch oven/pot.
- measuring cups;
- a small mixing bowl.
Tips For Making The Best Homemade Yogurt
The homemade yogurt recipe we included here in the post is pretty basic but, once you master it, you can make as many tweaks and changes as you like. The following tips will come in handy if you want to change the recipe to suit your taste.
- For extra thickness, you can add gelatin or dry milk powder to the milk.
- You can strain the yogurt to make Greek yogurt (see more details below).
- You can use different types of store-bought yogurts with active cultures to change the flavor of the yogurt.
- You can also save ½ cup of your homemade yogurt for your next batch.
- You may be tempted to skip the heating step because you use active cultures but heating the milk is necessary in order to change the structure of the milk protein. Heating the milk helps it to solidify instead while incubating. If you don’t heat it up, the milk can separate.
- Holding the temperature of the yogurt while it’s incubating is important. However, you don’t have to throw it away if the temperatures drop a bit, as the culture prevents the milk from spoiling. Just allow the yogurt to set a little longer than usual if the temperatures drop below 110 degrees F. You may end up with yogurt with a loose consistency but healthy and fresh nonetheless.
How To Make Greek Yogurt At Home
If you love the rich, smooth, and creamy consistency of Greek yogurt, we have great news for you! You can make it at home. You can follow our homemade yogurt recipe then strain the regular yogurt and turn it into delicious Greek yogurt. Here’s how to do it:
- Set a strainer over a bowl.
- Line the strainer with a cheesecloth.
- Pour the homemade yogurt in the strainer and let it drain for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. You can leave the yogurt strain overnight to get a thicker consistency.
To make 1 cup of Greek yogurt, you need 1 ½ cups of regular yogurt.
How Much Do Homemade Yogurt Last
Homemade yogurt lasts for approximately 2 weeks if stored properly.
How To Store Homemade Yogurt
- Store homemade yogurt in tightly sealed containers to protect the yogurt from strong odors and from getting spoiled.
- Don’t store the yogurt container on the door of your fridge. Since homemade yogurt is delicate, any temperature change can affect its longevity so it’s best to store the yogurt at the back of the fridge where the low temperature is consistent.
- Prevent cross-contamination by scooping yogurt in a bowl with a clean spoon rather than eating straight from the container.
- Freeze homemade yogurt if you made a large batch you cannot consume within 2 weeks. Freezing yogurt changes the texture and many people don’t find thawed yogurt suitable for eating. However, the yogurt is still safe to eat and can be used in recipes that require yogurt.
Homemade Yogurt Recipe
This simple homemade yogurt recipe makes about 2 quarts of creamy and delicious yogurt you can enjoy for breakfast, as a healthy snack, or use for cooking.
- 8 cups of milk;
- 1/2 cup of store-bought yogurt that contains active cultures.
Heat the milk over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large pot.
Stir the milk to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the Dutch oven/pot.
Remove the milk from heat before it reaches boiling point – use the thermometer to read the temperature. When the milk reaches 200 degrees F, remove from heat.
Let the milk cool to 112-115 degrees F. To speed up the process, place the Dutch oven/pot in an ice bath. Stir gently.
Transfer a cup of milk to a bowl.
Add the store-bought yogurt.
Whisk until the yogurt dissolves completely.
Pour the yogurt-milk mixture over the rest of the milk in the Dutch oven/pot.
Gently whisk until fully combined to inoculate the milk with the active cultures from the yogurt.
Cover the Dutch oven/pot with a lid and place it in the oven.
Turn on the oven light or wrap the Dutch oven with towels to keep the milk warm while it sets. You can also use a yogurt maker or a dehydrator for this step. Ideally, the temperature of the milk should be 110 degrees F for the entire process.
Let the yogurt set overnight or for at least 4 hours. The setting time depends on your preferences – the more the yogurt sits, the thicker and tart it becomes. You can taste the yogurt to see if it reached your desired flavor and consistency but don’t stir the yogurt until it is fully set.
When the yogurt reached your desired consistency and flavor, remove it from the oven/yogurt maker/dehydrator.
Drain excess liquid set on the surface or whisk it back into the yogurt.
Transfer yogurt to storage containers and store in the fridge.