I’ve been making yogurt at home. It’s easier than a lot of people think and cost effective! A quart of milk from Trader Joe’s is about $1. A quart of yogurt is > $2. Plus, I think it tastes better without all that funky stuff a lot of commercial yogurt has to keep it thicker and more uniform.
You don’t need a fancy yogurt maker or any other gadget other than 1 pot (although 2 would be better), 1 food thermometer, a spatula or wooden spoon, and some glass jars.
The ingredients are simple:
- milk: I use 2% milk. Since I’m the only one who eats yogurt in my household, I find that just the 1qt carton is enough for each batch I make.
- 3tbs commercial yogurt: This is just to start your yogurt off your first time. Once you make your own yogurt, save a bit each time to start the next batch. I’m not sure if it matters, but I try to find an organic, plain, unsweetened yogurt which has the least amount of ingredients in it. But most of all make sure to get one with live, active cultures in it.
- Pour milk into pot and put it on the stove on medium heat. Stir often to avoid the bottom getting burned.
- Bring the milk up to 90C. That’s the point right before it gets frothy on top. Make sure it doesn’t boil over or froth.
- Once the milk reaches 90C, turn off the heat.
- Let milk cool down to 50C.
- Stir in 3tbs yogurt. Stir it well to make sure it’s distributed evenly. Use a whisk if you have one.
- Pour the milk into glass jars and put the top on, or cover with plastic wrap.
- Store in a warm place to incubate, undisturbed for 6-8 hours.
- Put into fridge after incubation period.
Some tips I’ve picked up along the way:
- Using 2 pots as a double boiler is easier. Put the smaller pot inside the larger one, fill the larger one with water, and pour milk into the smaller one. You still need to stir, but less occasionally because it’s harder for the milk to burn in a double boiler.
- If it’s cold, a good incubation area is the oven. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting (mine goes down to 170F) while cooking the milk. Turn it off after it’s preheated. Put the jars in there with the oven light on and the door closed.
- A funnel makes it easy to pour yogurt into glass jars.
- The yogurt isn’t that tart right after incubation. Putting it in the fridge overnight makes it perfect.