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tulip shaped glass jars with yogurt and strawberries on top

How to Make Yogurt (Without Measuring!)

Got milk? Here's how to make yogurt at home. It is really simple to make, tastes great, and eliminates a lot of little plastic cups!
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword easy homemade yogurt recipe, how to make yogurt
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 183 kcal
Author Kris Bordessa

Ingredients

  • 64 oz milk (I’ve used whole raw milk and low-fat local milk with success. Use milk that has not been ultra-pasteurized, if possible.)
  • 6 oz container of yogurt with active live cultures*
  • 1/4 cup honey (to taste)
  • Splash vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pour the entire carton of milk into a large pot. Heat to 180 degrees (F) over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Once you’ve achieved that temperature, remove the milk from the heat and allow to cool for about half an hour, depending on your household temperature. (I set my kitchen timer in ten minute increments otherwise I will forget about it)

While your milk is cooling:

  1. Fill a container with hot water and place it inside a small ice chest. Close the ice chest, allowing the hot water to warm the inside so it’s all ready to incubate your milk.
  2. Prepare your jars. You’ll need two quart or four pint jars.
  3. Keep an eye on your thermometer.

At 125 degrees:

  1. Add about a quarter cup of honey (don’t measure – just eyeball it and save yourself a sticky container to clean) and a splash of vanilla. Adding these ingredients now will help the honey to dissolve and will cool the mixture a bit more. If you like a sweeter yogurt, add a bit more honey.

At 110 degrees:

  1. Stir in the container of store bought yogurt. Use a whisk and make sure it’s really mixed in well. Do not get excited and add the yogurt before the milk cools to this stage or you will kill the live cultures.
  2. Once the starter yogurt is well incorporated, pour the mixture into jars, seal, and place immediately into the pre-warmed cooler alongside the hot water bottle. Close the cooler securely and leave it for eight hours or overnight. (If your cooler isn't really well insulated, wrap it in a heavy blanket to help retain heat.)
  3. When you open up the cooler, you’ll have lovely thick yogurt to enjoy. Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

*Once you have created your first batch of yogurt, you can use it instead of the store bought yogurt to make your next batch.

Once the ingredients are combined, you'll need to keep the jars warm overnight. For this, I use a great quality cooler. This is where you could also use a dehydrator or a slow cooker. Once thickened, store this yogurt in the refrigerator for up to a week.

A note about raw yogurt: 

The reason we heat the liquid to 180 degrees and then allow it to cool is to kill off any bad bacteria (before adding the good bacteria). Proponents of raw dairy products skip this step, heating the milk to only 110 degrees which gives it the warmth it needs to ferment properly.