A New Way to Incubate Homemade Yogurt

I’ve had a pretty bad time of it when it comes to homemade yogurt.

My crockpot doesn’t stay the right temperature. I don’t have a light in my oven. No yogurt maker here (and no intention to buy one). Our cooler is too small and evidently not airtight. No dehydrator.

And lots of runny yogurt while I figured that all out. (Want a post detailing a bunch of ways to use that runny yogurt? ;)

And so I finally came up with my own method:

Stovetop Yogurt

Heat two quarts of milk just until steaming.

Cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add yogurt starter (I use 1/2 cup Stonyfield for the two quarts of milk).

Place saucepan into a stockpot full of warm water (no more than 110 degrees). You’ll need to put an upside down bowl in the stockpot to give the saucepan something to rest on.

Add meat thermometer to the yogurt pan and put the lid on top to hold it in place.

Turn burner on low and check temperature of the yogurt occasionally (since I’m home most days, this is not a problem) and adjust heat as needed.

After desired amount of time (8-24 hours), your yogurt is finished!

I have had more successful attempts with this method than any other method I’ve tried. (The unsuccessful times involved me turning up the heat and forgetting about it.) Yay for delicious yogurt!

It’s still thinner than storebought yogurt–most storebought brands have gelatin or pectin to help it hold its texture. I don’t feel like adding anything to mine, so I usually just strain off a good bit of the whey. I line a strainer with a coffee filter, fill it up, and let it sit.

Then you have nice, thick, Greek-style yogurt that’s not too tangy! Yummy yum :) (If you stir vigorously, it will lose its thickness. Be gentle!)

How do you make homemade yogurt?

3 comments to A New Way to Incubate Homemade Yogurt

  • Karen Wright

    Do you know how much the homemade yogurt costs compared to regular store bought Greek yogurt? Also, will the recipe work with whole milk? It is really hard to find whole milk yogurt for my baby that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    • Yes, I use whole milk all the time! It probably works better than the lower fat milk. The cost is basically the cost of the milk plus the cost of the starter. So if milk is $3 a gallon and you use a half gallon of milk, that’s $1.50, and you’d probably get a quart and a half after you strain some of the whey out. So $1.50 plus $1 for the starter (less if you can find it on manager’s special or with a coupon)–$2.50 for a quart or quart and a half of yogurt? Better than Stonyfield (3.79 for a quart!), and you only have to buy the starter the first time. Guess it depends on whether you have more time or money :)

    • Oh, also, if you don’t care about having it a little runny, you’ll get more for your money. It works great to blend with fruit like a smoothie, and I wouldn’t bother straining it for that. Sometimes I strain half and keep half for smoothies.

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