How to Make Your Own Yogurt

How to Make Your Own Yogurt ~ making yogurt is a simple thing. It involves heating milk to just below the boiling point to kill off bacteria, cooling it down to a temperature where some added live yogurt culture can thrive, and then letting it sit undisturbed in a warm place long enough to allow those cultures to multiply. It’s magical, and so satisfying.

How to Make Your Own Yogurt ~ simple directions to turn plain milk into a creamy, healthy, cultured yogurt. Homemade yogurt is far superior to store bought. #yogurt #cultured #homemade #diy #milk #healthy #glutenfree #protein #dairy #protein #fromscratch #wholemilk

There’s only one tricky part. Can you guess? It’s finding that sweet spot, that perfectly warm under-a-mama-duck type place where the milk can sit undisturbed and transform into creamy tangy healthy yogurt.

Most places in the house are either too warm, or too cold. If the temperature is too high, the bacteria will die, and if it’s too low, they won’t multiply.  It’s understandable, really, you are attempting to create and maintain the conditions necessary for life itself, which, as it turns out, are pretty exacting

I’ve been making yogurt since college, but even though over the years I’ve managed to figure out ways to make it work, it often involves complicated techniques bordering on the absurd, like swaddling my fledgling yogurt with an electric blanket, or hovering over it with a thermometer and taking its temperature every half hour. If you happen to have a wood stove burning in your kitchen 24/7, or live in the tropics, you’ve got it made. The rest of us have to get creative.

So I finally broke down and bought a yogurt maker on Cyber Monday. I did a little research and this one is inexpensive, well reviewed, and makes the yogurt in a large batch, (up to 1/2 gallon) not in small individual containers like most makers do. You can also use a mason jar or any other jar of your own, too, which is unusual. What I like about it is that it’s low tech. It simply surrounds the yogurt  in warm water kept at the right constant temperature. It works and it takes the annoying uncertainty out of the whole deal. It’s small and there’s nothing to clean except the container for the yogurt, which doubles as a storage container. I’ve made 2 batches so far and both have been creamy and delicious.

Homemade yogurt is creamier and nicer tasting than store bought. It’s actually less sharp and tangy, which is a good thing, if you ask me. Plus you can flavor it as you make it, using add-ins like vanilla beans, espresso powder, almond extract, or anything you like. I eat my morning yogurt with citrus sections, honey, and wheatgerm.

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3 from 3 votes

Making Yogurt

Author Sue Moran


  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt with live cultures I like Total or 5 grams packaged yogurt starter


  • Heat the milk in a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat until the temperature reaches 180F. The milk will look like it's just about to boil. Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature, and stir before you check it.
  • Take off the heat and let the milk cool to 112F.
  • Whisk in the yogurt or starter, make sure it's completely mixed in, and then either pour the milk into your yogurt machine, or set the pot, covered, in a warm spot for about 4 to 6 hours. You can try inside an oven with a pilot light, or on a counter wrapped in a heating pad or electric blanket on low. Don't move, stir, or disturb the yogurt while it sits.
  • Refrigerate the thickened yogurt overnight, and then enjoy.

Cook's notes

You can use low fat or even skim milk, but you may need to add powdered milk or even gelatin in order to get a thick final product.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    January 29, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I used to make yogurt when I was in college 35 years ago. I kept it warm in an insulated Thermos bottle. Because of the insulation it stayed warm. I don’t think they are made anymore, but it worked great!

    • Reply
      January 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      I’m on a never-ending quest to find the easiest yogurt making method, and that one sounds great. I’m just about to post another slow cooker version but yours sounds even easier!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Looks delicious, simple and perfect for summer, yummy and a great breakfast too! My mom makes yogurt just freezing the Yakult probiotic milk .

  • Reply
    December 14, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Mine doesn’t look near as good as yours. I’m going to have to try pouring into jars to steep. I like that idea.

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