Slowcooker Yogurt

Some jars of homemade yogurt

I have a 14 month old daughter, a wife that likes yogurt with granola, and I kind of like the stuff too. Needless to say, we go through a lot of yogurt in my house. Specifically, we go through a lot of plain, whole milk, greek yogurt.

We were recently visiting my wife's aunt and uncle (my daughter's graunt and gruncle), and we had yogurt most mornings. They use an EasiYo to make their yogurt, which piqued my curiosity.

Fancy yogurt is pretty expensive at the store, upwards of $7 or $8 per 32oz container. Yogurt is just fermented milk and I've fermented plenty of things before. I should be able to make yogurt, right?

So, how about EasiYo? Turns out it's not that much cheaper.

We can do better, let's ask the Internet.

Turns out it's pretty straightforward; I just finished our second batch yesterday. It also turns out to be really good, and it's less than $2 per 32oz (milk choice depending).

Slowcooker Greek Yogurt recipe

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • ½ to 1 cup starter plain (not-greek) yogurt

Instructions

Straining yogurt
  1. Pour the full gallon of milk into the slowcooker.
  2. Set the slowcooker to high for 2.5 hours.
  3. When the slowcooker beeps, check the milk.
    1. Use a thermometer to check the temperature, we want it to be 180°F
    2. We want the milk to be scalded so that some of the proteins start to denature.
    3. The milk should be starting to thicken at the surface or develop a skin
    4. If the milk hasn't hit 180°F, give it another 30 minutes at high.
  4. Turn off and unplug the slowcooker
  5. Wait 3 hours.
    1. Use a thermometer to check the temperature, we want it to be 110°F (plus or minus about 5°F).
    2. If the temperature is too high, wait longer.
    3. If the temperature is too low, reconnect the slowcooker, set it to low, and give it a little while.
  6. Put your starter yogurt in a small bowl, and add about a cup of the warm milk. Mix it up pretty thoroughly to warm/revive the cultures, and break up the thickness of the starter yogurt.
  7. Pour your starter+milk mix into the slowcooker and stir in slow, back and forth motions. We want turbulence for mixing, so we do back and forth stirring to avoid Laminar Flow, which can happen with circular stirring. Also, circular stirring is a little more likely to spill over the edges.
  8. Cover the slowcooker (and lid) with a towel to keep heat in.
  9. Let everything sit undisturbed for 6-8 hours.
  10. Scoop out a cup of the yogurt and set it aside so it can be a starter for your next batch.
A jug of fresh whey
  1. Set a colander in a bowl, with cheesecloth in the colander, and start scooping the yogurt into the colander.
  2. Whey will drip through into your catch bowl, and the yogurt will thicken in the cheesecloth.
  3. Once all the yogurt is in the cheesecloth (you might have to wait for it to settle a bit before adding more), and you've waited a couple hours, you'll have nice thick yogurt in your cheesecloth, and fresh whey in your bowl.
  4. Jar the yogurt, bottle the whey.
  5. Done.

One gallon milk, yields about 10 cups (2.5 32oz mason jars) yogurt and a bit over a quart of whey.