How to Make Yogurt (Easy Homemade Recipe)

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update: Since the original writing of this post, I’ve gotten a quick pot with yogurt making function. It fuels yogurt making and I can make a whole gallon at a time. For the most part, the process is the same as below. In step three I leave the hot milk in the instant pot instead of dividing it into small jars and in the fifth step I put the bowl back in the instant pot for the incubation period.

When I started experimenting with the GAPS diet, I just noticed that eating yogurt was a big part of the diet and the process of restoring gut health.

I was scared to make my own yogurt but after some initial research, I decided it didn’t seem too difficult and I should just jump and try. I’m glad I did because the process was so easy and the results were amazing.

During my research, I realized that like most things, there are a million different ways to make yogurt at home. You can order a starter or use commercial yogurt as your starter. You can use a dehydrator, heating pad, crock pot, yogurt maker or oven to act as your incubator.

I chose the oven because I didn’t have a lack of water myself and why do I mess up the crack pot when I can just throw the dishes in the oven (I’m all about the things I wash Give less pots for). I noticed that when I was doing the GAPS diet I was using a bit of canning jar to store things (bone broth, soup, pork chops, kimchi, etc.) in the fridge so I Decided that since I would use canning as much as possible. Jar to store my yogurt, I might make it in pots (again, less washing).

How to make yogurt: Basic process

As long as you follow these steps, making your own yogurt at home is relatively easy:

Step 1: Choose your own milk

Choose your milk first. It can be any type of milk, but the healthier your milk, the healthier your yogurt will be. Raw milk is great, especially if you follow the GAPS protocol, but I didn’t have access to raw milk when I started making it. Instead, I used locally made milk using a low pasteurization process that is asexual, which means I have a tasty layer of cream. You can also use goat’s milk.

Whatever milk you decide to use, make sure it is not ultra-passivated (the milk label will say it is ultra-passivated or homogenized). To get the most nutrition, I also chose whole milk.

I usually start with a gallon of milk. I don’t fill the jars enough all the way, so I use 2 quart jars and 1 pint jar.

Step 2: Heat the milk

Place your milk in a stainless steel pan on the stove and heat over medium heat until it reaches 180 ° F. The first time I made my yogurt I only had a basic candy thermometer, so I really had to stick with it to see the temperature.

Most recently, I purchased a digital instant read thermometer. This makes the whole process easier because you can keep the temperature alert at 180 ° F and the alarm goes off when the temperature reaches that temperature. This is also helpful after the incubation period.

Step 3: Cool the milk

Once the milk reaches 180 F, pour it into a canning jar. Using a stainless steel wide-mouthed fireplace makes this easy, but using a pan or glass measuring cup is also helpful.

Then the milk must be cooled to 115 cool F. You can do this by putting the milk in a cold water bath or just sitting on the counter with a really good eye on it. I put the drums on top of the jars on top of the drums to keep the dirt out.

With my first shipment, I used the cold water bath technique and it got much colder than I thought. At the time, I didn’t have an alarm thermometer to warn me that it had reached 115 ° F. Before I knew it, the yogurt was going up and down at 110 ° F and I flew away in a panic.

Yogurt still works, which just shows that it’s really hard to mess up the process and it doesn’t have to be all right. Another thing to keep in mind with a cold water bath is that if it is too cold you run the risk of breaking the pots.

The second time I made the batch, I was more patient and let it cool down on the counter itself. It took a long time but the sharp drop in the temperature of the cold water bath did not put much pressure on me.

Step 4: Incorporate culture

Once the milk has reached 115 ° F, you will add 2 tablespoons of pre-prepared yogurt to every quarter of milk. Yogurt can come from either the last batch (if you’ve already made something) or store-bought yogurt. You can also use store-bought yogurt culture, but pre-prepared yogurt is easier and less expensive to use.

Personally, I use organic plain Greek yogurt for my starter. Lightly add yogurt to warm milk only. After that, cover the jars.

Step 5: Apply yogurt

Once the culture is added, it is ready to go in the oven (with the lids) you want enough temperature.

The first time I made yogurt, I used a 40-watt light bulb in the oven. I noticed that the temperature dropped below what I wanted, so I had to reheat the oven every two hours. I baked it overnight and didn’t get up to check the temperature or turn on the oven, but when I woke up in the morning I was reading 100 ° F which is below the maximum incubation temperature (115). F would be better)).

Interestingly, it didn’t spoil my yogurt and it still turned out really good. Again, this is going to show that this method is difficult to mess up (even with all the glitches that occurred during my first experience). Since then (well, my husband) has replaced our 40-watt bulb with a 60-watt bulb and it now keeps the temperature close to a maximum of 115.

If the temperature rises above 115 ° F, you risk killing your culture. You may need to do some testing with your oven light when you know what the temperature is at the time of lighting and try 40 watt and 60 watt bulbs. The maximum incubation range is 95-115 F.

Yogurt must be soaked for at least 10-12 hours. Most of the lactose in the GAPS protocol requires a 24-hour incubation period for bacterial use (a good deal of work has been done in this article explaining all of them). The longer it lasts, the more complicated the finished yogurt will be.

Important Note: Just make sure you don’t forget that you are putting yogurt in the oven and turn on the oven accidentally. My new digital quick red thermometer makes it less likely. The thermometer probe goes into the oven in one of the jars, while its digital display part sits on top of my stove so I can easily monitor the yogurt temperature. Looking at the digital display on my stove makes me forget to put yogurt in the oven and turn it on accidentally.

Once the yoghurt is incubated, put it in the fridge to add yoghurt and add only the extra. The same can be saved for using other recipes, especially if you follow the GAPS protocol.

If you want thick yogurt, you can always use cheesecloth to peel the rest. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of thick yogurt so I found out that I really enjoyed it after the yogurt was refrigerated and set aside.

My favorite way to eat yogurt is to drizzle it with raw honey. It is also good in smoothies or added to soups.


How to make yogurt (easy homemade recipe with or without instant pot)

An easy way to make your own yogurt that requires only milk, starter yogurt, a thermometer, and a couple of pairs and lids!

Full time 1 Day 1 Hours 15 Minutes


  • Canning jar and lid: 2 quart size and 1 pint size

  • Heat source such as heating pads, oven lights, slow cookers, or quick pots.


  • 8 Cup Milk (Preferably raw whole milk)
  • 4 TBSP Yogurt starter


Oven light method

  • In a stainless steel pan on the stove, heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches 180 ° F.

  • Put the hot milk in a clean container and let it cool, either sitting on the counter or taking a shower in cold water until the temperature drops to 115 ° F.

  • Mix yogurt starter in cold milk and use clean whisk.

  • Place the jars in the oven with the light on for 12-24 hours. The light should provide a temperature of about 110 ° F.

  • Keep the pot in the fridge until the yogurt cools down.

  • Once the yoghurt is set, you can remove the liquid from the top or strain the yoghurt using a cheesecloth for a thick consistency.

Quick dish method

  • To quickly heat the milk in the pot, press the To yogurt button until the display boils.

  • When it blows, check that the temperature is at least 180 ° F.

  • Cool the hot milk either by sitting on the counter or by taking a bath in cold water in the sink until the temperature drops to 115 ° F.

  • Mix yogurt starter in cold milk and use a clean whisk.

  • Return the inner pot to the pot immediately and press the yogurt button until the display reads for several hours.

  • Press the “+” or “-” button until the display reads the desired length. I like to work for at least 12 hours. Applying for 24 hours will get the tangest yogurt with the least amount of lactose left. Do not incubate for longer than 24 hours or probiotics will start to die due to lack of food.

  • Once the time comes, put the pot of yogurt in the fridge until the yoghurt cools down and settles.

  • Once the yoghurt is set, you can remove the liquid from the top or strain the yoghurt using a cheesecloth for a thick consistency.

  • Enjoy!


For yogurt starters, use any straight yogurt with live dynamic cultures.
If you want to make a small consignment, use only 2 TBSP starter ratio for each quart of milk.
If you want to make a large consignment (such as using instant pots to make gallons) just double the listed ingredients.


Service: 0.5Cup | Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 30Yes | Protein: 84Yes | Fat: 3Yes | Saturated fat: 1Yes | Cholesterol: 41But | Sodium: 297But | Potassium: 1163But | Sugar: 27Yes | Vitamin A: 33IU | Calcium: 908But | Iron: 1But

Have you tried your hand at making yogurt yourself? How did it turn out? What kind of starter and milk did you use?

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