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How to Make Slow Cooker Yogurt

How to make slow cooker yogurt - photo

Making your own slow cooker yogurt is super easy and requires minimal hands on time.  You will love the wonderfully creamy and delicious results!  I don’t know if I would have started making my own if I did not over stock on milk but I am so glad I did!  We really love it and my children beg for a batch every week.  We go through so much yogurt that I usually make a batch and buy some as well.  I now buy extra milk just to make it.  You have to commit to about 15 hour process but the hands on time is only 5-10 minutes!  The yogurt is a little thinner than store bought yogurt but we love adding fruit and a low sugar granola to thicken it up!  You can check out a video on how to make it here.  

How to Make Homemade Slow Cooker Yogurt

  1. Make sure your Slow Cooker is clean
  2. Heat the milk to 180 degrees on High for about 2 1/2 hours

3. Cool the Milk Down – after it reaches 180 degrees shut your slow cooker off and put the lid back on for another 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until it reaches 110-115 degrees.

4. Add your culture – 2 cups of warm milk with 1/2 cup of store bought yogurt or yogurt from a previous batch

5. Incubate – After you have fully mixed your culture in – wrap your slow cooker in a towel for 8-12 hours

Easy slow cooker yogurt - photo

6. Transfer to containers of choice – I like to make one big one and then some individual ones with frozen fruit or honey on the bottom.

7. Chill

Slow Cooker Yogurt - photo

Tips for Slow Cooker Yogurt!

  • If you do not have a thermometer and want to give this a try, my times have been very exact.  Every slow cooker is a little different so the times could vary but it should be close.  
  • Whole Milk yogurt has the thickest consistency but it works well with 2% milk as well.  If you you use 1% or skim you will have a lot of liquid that you strain off and you will not yield as much yogurt
  • This will last 10-14 days in the refrigerator (we usually go through ours in a few days).  
  • If you don’t want to buy yogurt make sure to set aside and label 1/2 cup for your next batch
  • The longer you leave the thicker and tangier it will get.  We have enjoyed the thickness and taste at 10 hours.  I suggest experimenting to see what you like best.  
  • I like to start the process around 3-4pm and then let it chill overnight or if you are an early bird you can start it around 5-5:30 am and have it incubate during the day and then chill overnight.
  • If you want thicker yogurt you have the option of straining it but after a few batches I find this to be a messy cumbersome step with a lot of extra bowls and things to wash after.  We like the thinner consistency so I have stopped straining.  If I want a thicker yogurt I buy it.
  • If you do strain it.  The whey can be reserved for a variety of purposes it has a lot of nutritional content (probiotics and protein)!  I have used it for smoothies but you can also use it to cook, oatmeal, grains or add to soups.

 

homemade yogurt - photo

Uses for Slow Cooker Yogurt

How to make slow cooker yogurt - photo

How to Make Slow Cooker Yogurt

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 hours
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Course:Breakfast, Snack
Keyword:Kid Friendly, Slow Cooker, Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon

    64 ounces whole or 2% milk
 (whole milk is recommended for thickest, creamiest results)

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt at room temperature either from previous batch or store-bought. (**The yogurt must have live cultures in it to work. Check the ingredients to make sure they include l. bulgaricus and s. thermophilus.)

Instructions

  • Make sure your slow cooker and thermometer are clean
  • Heat the Milk: Pour the milk into a slow cooker set to HIGH and close the lid. It will take 2 1/2 - 3 hours before the temperature of the milk is up to 180 degrees F. I have made this numerous times and it has been almost exactly 2 1/2 hours for my slow cooker.
  • Cool the Milk Down: Once it is at 180 degrees, turn off the slow cooker, close the lid, and let the milk cool to 110 degrees F. This will take another 2 1/2-3 hours. This has taken 2 3/4 of an hour for me every time. I set a timer on my phone so I do not forget.
  • Measure your 1/2 cup of yogurt into a large bowl or measuring cup and leave out for it to come to room temperature.
  • Add your culture: Once the temperature is between 110 and 115 degrees F, add 2 cups of the warm milk from the slow cooker into the bowl or liquid measuring cup with your room temperature yogurt.
  • Stir to combine the yogurt and the milk.
  • Pour and stir the mixture back into the slow cooker.
  • Incubate: Close the lid and wrap your slow cooker in a large bath towel (you are creating an incubator) and let it sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours or overnight. I have found 10 hours to be perfect for us.
  • After 10 hours the milk will have thickened (not as thick as store bought) but it will continue to thicken as it chills. See note for straining.
  • Transfer: Mix to fully combine yogurt and transfer your containers of choice (I do one large and a bunch of small jars for easy portions.
  • Chill for a few hours (3-4) it will continue to thicken as it chills.
  • Enjoy - save 1/2 cup of the yogurt for your next batch!

Notes

Check out my quick video on how to make it here.  
Optional Step: If you want thicker yogurt you can strain the whey from it. I find this to be a messy cumbersome step with a lot of extra bowls and things to wash after. We like the thinner consistency so I have stopped straining. If I want a thicker yogurt I buy it. But if you want to give it a try:
After step 8:
1. Line a colander with a cheesecloth or linen towel and pour the yogurt into it. Set the colander over a large glass bowl and let it strain at room temperature for several hours, until you've achieved the desired thickness. For thick Greek yogurt plan on at least 4 hours. You'll end up with about 4 cups of whey and 3-4 cups of Greek yogurt.
2. The whey can be reserved for a variety of purposes it has a lot of nutritional content (probiotics and protein)! I have used it for smoothies but you can also use it to cook, oatmeal, grains or add to soups.
Did you make this recipe?I would love to see your creations! Snap a picture and tag @FoodPlayGo or #foodplaygo on Social Media!

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