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 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 in Your Crock Pot
When I learned how to make homemade yogurt in my crock pot, I began making big batches of yogurt with a gallon of milk. If you have the kind of crock pot with a timer you can set the time and temperature while you are away from the house.
Add a gallon of milk to a gallon sized crock pot. Bring the milk up to 180 degrees. Turn off the crock pot and cool the milk to 110 degrees. Add the culture (1/2 cup plain yogurt). Cover the milk and and place the still warm crock pot in a warm draft free corner of the kitchen. You may want to cover it with a towel to keep in the heat.
Crock pot yogurt has a tendency to be a bit runny so I like to strain it to make Greek-style yogurt or to use in smoothies.
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 plenty 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.