esThis is an easy homemade crockpot yogurt recipe. Made using a few simple ingredients and materials, you can have homemade yogurt ready in just a few days!
Homemade yogurt is an easy and much more affordable route for my family than buying store-bought yogurt. And it doesn’t contain all that excess sugar and additives that most commercialized yogurts have. This easy homemade crockpot yogurt recipe is made with ingredients YOU choose, from sources YOU trust! So come with me as I share this homemade versatile goodness!
Why make yogurt at home?
With everyone staying home and grocery stores running short on supplies, many people are going back to making things from scratch. I am not exempt from this. I love making things from scratch, using simple ingredients. One such thing I started making was yogurt.
Store-bought yogurt, as healthy as they claim, does contain loads of additives. There are some brands that do use organic sweeteners and flavorings. But why do that, when you can just as easily make it at home? Using ingredients to flavor it exactly how you’d like?
Now, yogurt is so versatile. You can eat it alone. Or you can doll it up with oatmeal or some berries and bananas. Or, what we love to do here, we make a lot of smoothies! Especially as the days get warmer, it’s easy to whip up a cold smoothie packed with vitamins and nutrients and filled with gut-healthy bacteria.
There are many methods to making yogurt. If you have an Instapot, there’s a nifty yogurt feature. You can also use stovetop. But that requires too much attention that I can’t give. You can also use a heating pad, which is apparently what my mother-in-love used to do. But after some research, I learned that I can make yogurt using my crockpot and some beach towels.
Why the beach towels?
One of the most important thing about making yogurt is maintaining the temperature of the milk as it ferments. Now there’s some science involved, but I won’t get into that here. In fact, I’m not going to go into the science at all, just my method.
So, you’ll want to heat your milk. And then allow it to sit at a nice temperature between 110ºF to 115ºF for anywhere between 4 to 24 hours. The longer you let it ferment, the thicker, smoother, and tangier your final yogurt will be.
The way I maintain this comfortable temperature is by wrapping my crockpot in beach towels for those fermenting hours. And because I usually do this before bedtime, I like to say that I’m tucking it in for the night.
And now for what you’ve been waiting…
Ingredients and equipment
You will need the following:
- whole milk
- yogurt starter
- 2 beach towels
- spoon or whisk
For the milk, I use FairLife whole milk. You can use whatever milk you’d like. This milk just boasts of more protein and less sugars. If I can’t get my hands on it, then regular organic whole milk works just as good.
And as for the yogurt starter, there are trusted sources that sell an actual yogurt starter. The starter just helps the fermentation process and the development of good bacteria. Honestly, I haven’t gotten that fancy. Instead I use a bit of already made yogurt to start that process. In fact, I was given about 1/4 cup from a neighbor to start my first batch. And then I save a bit from my fresh batch to re-culture my next batch.
Step by step process
- First, I pour all the milk into my crockpot. That’s about 8 cups in there.
- Cover and cook on Low for 2.5 hours.
- After 2.5 hours, turn the crockpot Off and allow to sit and cool for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, remove about a cup of the warm milk and mix in the yogurt starter.
- Pour the starter-milk mixture back into the crockpot and stir until combined.
- Return the lid and wrap the crockpot in beach towels. Leave to ferment for 4 to 24 hours.
- Once the time is up, place your yogurt in containers and store in the refrigerator.
And there you have it!
Your very own, easy homemade crockpot yogurt!! There is something so satisfying in making your own food from scratch. And when it’s healthy and your family loves it, then that’s just another bonus.
What is the shelf life of homemade yogurt?
Now that you’ve made your very own homemade crockpot yogurt, how long does it last? Stored in the refrigerator, your yogurt will be good for 2 weeks. If you want to make another batch, wait a week before using it. A week is enough time for re-culturing of the yogurt.
Some answers to questions you might have
How long do I keep my yogurt tucked in? Usually, I’ll keep it fermenting for 12 hours, at least. My yogurt is not that runny but does fall off the spoon quickly enough. It thickens more in the refrigerator.
How do I thicken up my yogurt even more? Well, you can leave it tucked in for longer than 12 hours. Or you can add more yogurt starter at the beginning. OR when you’re all done, you can strain out the whey for a few hours. You can do this using either cheesecloth, if you have it. Or you can use tea towels. This process makes the yogurt more like greek yogurt – really thick and really tangy.
What’s the liquid that rises to the top of my yogurt? That’s the whey. You can either stir it back in. Or like I said above, you can strain it out. I did that once. My yogurt was really thick. But because I wanted to use my yogurt primarily for smoothies, I now leave the whey in for a runnier yogurt. You can also keep some some of that whey to use in other recipes!
Do I really need to know I’m maintaining the temperature of the milk as it ferments? Not really. I don’t measure the temperature at all. I just make sure my crockpot is tucked in really well. You might have noticed in the photo after Step 5 that I’ve already covered the base of my crockpot in a towel. But if you can’t do that, you can also stick your pot into your oven with the light on. The oven light actually generates some heat and can maintain the temperature as well.
Do I have to use whole milk? No. You can successfully make yogurt using non-fat, 1%, 2%, or even powdered milk. Now I’ve never tried any of these. And the only reason why is because my family likes whole milk. But I know it’s possible to make yogurt using any type of milk.
So what are you waiting for?
Try this recipe out and comment down below to tell me how it went! I’m also open to smoothie flavoring variety. So let me know about your favorite combinations. Or what’s your favorite way to eat yogurt? I’m here. I’m listening. And I’m willing to try it out!
Easy Homemade Crockpot Yogurt Recipe
- beach towels
- Spoon or whisk
- 8 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup yogurt starter
- Pour 8 cups of milk into the crockpot. Cook on low for 2.5 hours.
- Turn the crockpot off. Leave to cool for 3 hours.
- Remove about 1 cup of warm milk and place into a mixing bowl. Stir in ¼ cup of yogurt starter into this mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Pour the starter-milk mixture back into the crockpot. Stir until fully incorporated.
- Replace the lid. Wrap 2 beach towels around the crockpot. Set aside for the next 4 to 24 hours.
- When the time has passed, store in containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.