I’ve been making yogurt in my Instant Pot on the reg for years now. And while the method I wrote about a couple of years ago still works, I don’t tend to use it anymore. You see, I had a cheap jar break in the midst of making yogurt, and all it takes is your kitchen covered in hot milk and glass shards to make you rethink your methods.
Keep in mind that it was a cheap jar. I reused an apple sauce jar, and chances are it already had a small crack. If you use thick canning jars, you should be out of danger.
But! If you’d rather make your yogurt directly in the pot, here’s the basic method I use. It’s more convenient if you plan to strain your yogurt, Greek-style.
- Add milk to the pot. I don’t recommend making more than a gallon at a time, but any amount between 2 cups and a gallon is fine. Whole milk makes the creamiest yogurt, followed by 2% and then skim.
- Secure the lid and select Yogurt. Press the Adjust button until the display says “boil.”
- The Instant Pot is bringing the milk up to 180 degrees. You can safely open the lid during this process, and I like to whisk the milk every 5-10 minutes to keep it from scalding on the bottom of the pot.
- Once the program is finished and the display says “Yogt,” remove the lid and stir. Use a candy thermometer or instant thermometer to make sure that the milk has reached at least 180 degrees. If not, turn on the Saute function on low and stir until the milk comes to temperature.
- Remove the inner pot so that it cools faster. Let the milk cool until it reaches 105-110 degrees. To speed up the process, set the pot in a pan of cold water, stirring occasionally.
- Once cooled to 105-110 degrees, prepare the starter. Add 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt with active cultures per 1/2 gallon of milk to a small mixing bowl. Add about a cup of the warm milk and whisk. Add the mixture to the pot and stir. Return the pot to the cooker, drying off the outside if needed.
- Secure the lid and select Yogurt. The display should says “8:00.” Leave the milk to incubate for 8 hours.
- Once the program is complete, remove the pot and place it in the fridge for several hours until completely chilled. If you’d like Greek yogurt, you can now strain it in the fridge for 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on how thick you like your yogurt.
- Store the yogurt in containers in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
It’s no real secret that the Instant Pot 7-in-1 has a Yogurt setting, but how many IP owners actually use this setting? I’ve finally started using my IP to make yogurt, and it’s saved me a lot of guesswork and really streamlined the yogurt-making process. Even though there are instructions available in the manual, I found it easier to refer to other users’ advice before beginning. So, in an effort to pay it forward, here’s my guide for making homemade yogurt in an Instant Pot!
First off, why make your own yogurt? It’s much cheaper, you can make it to fit your taste and texture preferences, and it’s easy, hands-off work (especially with an IP). Did I mention how much cheaper it is? Now let’s get started.
- Your Instant Pot 7-in-1
- The included steamer rack
- Jars with lids
- Plain yogurt
- Skim milk powder (optional)
First, scald the milk:
- Grab one to four jars (depending on how much yogurt you want to make) that will fit inside your Instant Pot sitting on the steamer rack. Fill each jar about 3/4 of the way or less with the milk of your choice. The fattier the milk, the thicker and creamier the yogurt—but even skim milk will work.
- (Optional) Add up to 1 teaspoon of skim milk powder per jar for a thicker yogurt and stir.
- Add 1 cup of water to the IP and top with steamer rack. Add the jars (without the lids) and close the lid. Make sure the valve is in the Sealing position.
- Select Steam and adjust the time to 1 minute. Once the timer goes off and the IP is done steaming, select Cancel and let the pressure release naturally. This will take about 15 minutes.
- Open the IP and remove the jars. Dump out the water and replace the steamer rack. Let the milk sit, uncovered, until it comes down to 115 degrees—this will take about an hour. Use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
- Once the milk is 115 degrees or slightly less, add a heaping spoonful of plain yogurt to each jar and stir. Any kind of yogurt will do as long as it has active cultures.
- Add the jars back to the IP and close the lid. Select Yogurt and let it do its thing for a whole eight hours. That’s right. Walk away for eight whole hours.
- Once the Yogurt cycle is complete, carefully pour off any accumulated whey (if desired) and screw on the tops. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- You can make yogurt directly in the IP, but I prefer the convenience and cleanliness of making yogurt directly in jars.
- Be sure to start early so that your yogurt has time to complete its 8-hour cycle. You can leave it longer but it will become tarter the longer it sits. If you time it right you can make yogurt overnight!
- If you like your yogurt really thick and creamy (Greek-style), you can strain your homemade yogurt with cheesecloth for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
My cookbook is now available for pre-order on Amazon! The Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy Recipes for Fast & Healthy Meals