How to Make Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker
You might find that you prefer not using a yogurt maker. I enjoy being able to make a really big batch of yogurt, not just a pint.
A yogurt maker simply holds the yogurt at about 100 degrees so that it can ferment. There are many other items that can do this.
- A cooler filled with warm water
- An oven with the pilot light on
- A food dehydrator
- A crock pot
- A heating pad
I’ve even heard of someone setting a container of yogurt on top of their computer wrapped in a towel.
My favorite methods are the cooler and the crock pot. I can make a whole gallon of yogurt in my crock pot with minimal mess and the cooler is great too because it doesn’t use any electricity.
How to Make Yogurt in Your Crock Pot
When I learned how to make homemade yogurt in my crock pot, I began making yogurt every week.
It’s so easy. I type in the temperature I want the milk to be (180 degrees). When it heats up to the designated temperature (it takes about 3 hours) it automatically shuts off.
Then I let the milk cool to 110 degrees and then add half a cup of plain yogurt. That’s it.
I seal the lid and cover with a towel. After about 8 hours it’s done.
I make a lot of yogurt this way. I use a whole gallon of milk (it’s a big crock pot.)
I love this recipe and it is the easiest way to make homemade yogurt. You do not need to use a thermometer or stand and stir the milk as it is cooking.
In case you are wondering, the milk does not stick to the crock pot like
many soups and sauces do. It cleans up easily and it only leaves one or two dirty dishes.
You do need to do this on a day when you will be around to turn off the crock pot at the right time. I usually have to set the alarm on my cell phone so that I don’t get busy and forget.
- Pour one half a gallon of milk into a crock pot
- Set on low for 2 1/2 hours
- Turn crock pot off and let set for 3 hours
- By this time the milk will be cooled enough to add the culture
- Add 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
- Stir in gently
- Cover and wrap the entire crock pot with a towel and let sit for about 6 hours or overnight
- Put in the refrigerator to cool and enjoy!
You could also use your crock pot as a heat source for incubating the yogurt. After following the directions for the basic homemade yogurt recipe, wrap the yogurt container in a towel and place inside of your crock pot.
How to Make Yogurt Using a Cooler and Hot Water
My next favorite method of yogurt making is to use my lunch box cooler with two mason jars.
How to Make Yogurt with a Heating Pad
You can use an electric heating pad and towels wrapped around a jar or ceramic dish to incubate yogurt.
Usually, the lowest setting is plently hot enough to kept the yogurt at a constant temperature.
Place the container in a warm, draft-free part of the house and let it set undisturbed for about 6 hours.
How to Make Yogurt in a Conventional Oven
Heat up the oven for about ten minutes and then turn it off. After following the directions for heating and cooling the milk, add the cultures and cover the yogurt with lids (I like to buy the plastic lids for mason jars and use these).
Wrap the dish of yogurt with towels and place in the oven with just the oven light on for about 6-8 hours.
How to Use Your Food Dehydrator to Make Yogurt
If you have short jars you can use a circular dehydrators.
The box kind that Cultures of Health sells works well. It can hold about 10 quart sized mason jars. Also, if you have one of these dehydrators you can also use it to make yogurt fruit leather…yummy!
All you have to do is remove all of the trays and preheat your dehydrator to 105 degrees.
Place the covered jars of milk in the bottom of the dehydrator.
Put the cover back on and try to resist peeking because you’ll let all the heat out if you do.
Let is set for about 8-10 hours or overnight and then transfer to cold storage.