Monday, 13 February 2012

Home made yogurt anyone?

I mentioned that I was going to have a go at making my own yogurt in a slow cooker. I happened to come across this method whilst bloggy browsing, and blow me, I can't remember which blog it was. Never mind, it encouraged me to look for further information, which I found on youtube. There's plenty on there to get you going. 
This is how I did it, not sticking exactly to their method, but then when do I ever copy anything exactly, ha ha. Ingredients - Coffee Mate, you can use any dried milk powder, carton of cheap natural yogurt, just under two pints of normal whole milk, yellow sticker at 40p.  

Step 1. Pour the milk into the slow cooker, or crockpot as they call it in the US. Switch on, leave for 2hr 30mins, should be 180 degrees. My slow cooker is old so I wasn't sure of the temperature and I don't have a thermometer.
Step 2. Unplug and leave for 3 hrs.
Step 3. Add half a pot of natural yogurt, and two dessertspoonfulls of powdered milk. Stir, mix thoroughly. On the vid they ladled some milk out of the pot into a jug to do the mixing bit, but I can't see the point of this, only makes for more washing up.
Step 4. Wrap slow cooker in a blanket and leave for 8 hrs. Mine had cooled right down at this point, so, as it is an ancient pot I switched it back on again for 30 minutes just to warm it slightly. then I put it in the airing cupboard wrapped up. 
I was supposed to take it out at 2am, but thought blow that for a game of soldiers, I am not getting up just for that, it will have to stay there all night. As it happened Lily cat did a stinky whoopsie in the litter box at about 3.30am, so I had to get up to remove that. I also moved the cooker into the front porch because the next step is put the yogurt into jars and store in the fridge. The porch is cold so that will have to do, I'm not faffing about now, the fridge is full, so it will have to wait till morning. Back to my warm bed. 
This morning I couldn't wait to see if it has worked. I dipped a spoon in, and hey, yippeeeee, I have a pot full of yogurt, and it tastes mighty nice.  

You can put it into glass jars, sterilised first, but I don't have any so I used drinking glasses with lids. In the right hand one I chopped up some reduced price cherries and added them, along with a teaspoon of home made elderberry juice to give it a lovely fruity colour. I will add other fruit to the plain ones as I use them.  

This is something I shall be doing again. It works perfectly well with the cheap Value yogurt, but I'm wondering if a better quality thicker yogurt would give a creamier taste. On some of the youtube vids they don't add powdered milk, I think it is used to give a thicker consistency, maybe something to experiment with. I think you can use any kind of milk, soya is also ok.
If you are going to try this I would suggest you start it off in the morning because the whole process takes approximately 14 hours. Or start late, do step 1, 2, and 3, before you go to bed and leave it overnight. 
As a single person I think this might not be as cost effective as it would be for a family, unless you eat yogurt every day. For smaller quantities it might be just as cheap to buy the Value yogurt and add your own fruit to that. Also if you can't find any reduced price milk that would bump up the cost. However, once you have made your first batch the idea is to save some of that to use as a starter for the next batch. You can freeze it if you don't want to use it straight away, so for the second batch you would only be buying the milk, and the cost of the dried milk is negligible if you were to use it. 

Take a look at some of the other videos, there are plenty of ideas out there.


  1. My kids are getting me a yogurt maker for my birthday this year, as I had one years ago and used it all the time. Glad yours worked out well.


  2. I will definately try it in the slow cooker MQ - I've made lots of it in the past with varying degrees of success, on the whole though, it seems to turn out rather 'slimy' even though I add dried milk powder.
    Can you let me know what the consistency is like after a couple of days please ? - if it lasts that long.

  3. Hi Ilona, I had started to make my own yogurt a while ago, and even purchased a second hand electric 'yogurt maker' complete with 6 lidded glasses. It worked fine for a while, then the plastic lids started to split, and I managed to break at least two of the glasses. Then, for no apparent reason, the yogurt started to get really gloopy when I made it, so I have now discarded the machine. Might try making in the slow cooker if it works well. I think I was trying too hard (getting exactly the right ingredients!) nothing unusual for me!!

  4. I do mine using a food flask (plastic inside). Warm UHT milk in micro for 3 mins on high.Stir.Add a desert spoon of yog,stir and put in flask. Leave till cold.Put in fridge
    If the flask is still in use, I use the jug from an old coffee machine,do the same to the milk and yog then put in the jug and put the jug in an insulated lunch bag and when cool,put the whole thing in the fridge.
    It takes about 5 minutes of bother .

    Our slow cooker is a bit big for yoggy making else would give it a try.

  5. Long life works even better if you can get hold of that as a cheapo, I always use some dried milk powder as it makes the consistency much better.

    If you are using long life milk you can skip the first heating the milk stage as this is mainly to sterilise the milk and with UHT this has already been done.

    If you have some that is a few days old and slightly on the turn it is brilliant for making scones with.

    Sue xx

  6. As long as you accept that homemade is a totally different product from the shop bought then you re golden. Homemade is cheaper, healthier ( have you read the list of crap they put in the shop bought) and very easy if you plan ahead a bit.

  7. Thanks Ilona, this is something I have always wanted to do but had no idea it can be done in a slow cooker. Might be an experiment I can do with the kids over half term - though it may not be instant enough for them! Quick queston MQ - do you ever freeze real yoghurt? Debs x

  8. I make mine in the crock pot. I use 1/3 cup of sugar and a 1/2 cup of dry milk for each quart. I usually do two quarts at a time. I always leave a bit so that I can make the next batch. It always comes out great.

  9. What a brilliant idea. Now you've blazed a trail, I think I'll try now. We eat yoghurt most days. Thanks.

  10. I've always wanted to try making yogurt sometime but don't want to buy a yogurt maker. It's good to know it can be made in a slow cooker though I don't have one of those at the moment either. Some day...

  11. I asked for a yogurt maker on Freecycle and got one. You don't need to use so much yogurt, just about 3 or 4 ounces...size of two eggs. That will make it cheaper. Even milk going sour can be used since the yogurt is just rotted milk anyway. We call them slow cookers or crockpots in the US.

  12. Thanks Ilona.I need to get slow cooker.
    There are some for $15 this week in one of the local shops.Even I can aford that.

    Regards continetal refugee from australia

  13. I've got a little yoghourt maker you plug in, you might get one on Freegle, much simpler than what you've done. No, Ilona, I don't think it makes any difference whether you use thick yoghourt or not. The powdered milk does make a difference though. You can also use sterilised milk, or evaporated milk. The nicest is from Easi Yo which I bought half price but the packets you use to make the yoghourt are expensive and I only buy them when they're REALLY cut price, so I won't have any for a while I guess. They offer them at QVC outlet.

  14. Wean I'm not really sure what you mean by 'slimy', mine is the consitency of thick pouring cream. I have finished the cherry one, and just had some of the plain on stewed apples, it was lovely. Creamy texture and creamy flavour. The consistency now on the second day is still the same, maybe not as thick as shop bought. Yesterday I drizzled some on my salad, that was nice.

    Thank you all for your good ideas, I will be trying different kinds of milk and looking for it in the reduced section.

  15. I book marked this so I can easily find it to try this. I have been meaning to try but was a little intimidated by it. You have me inspired now so here I go!

  16. I'm going to try this tonight, I've had stew cooking in my slow cooker so had to wait.
    Slimy is the only way I can describe it - not very appetising anyway, I was thinking, instead of wrapping the slow cooker in a blanket and transferring it to an airing cupboard, do you think it would still work if I just turned the cooker down to it's lowest setting ?

  17. Free Easiyo on Freecycle for me too. I prefer made with the full cream UHT and use total 2% as my starter together with 2T dried milk. Turns out lovely, especially nice strained through a muslin.

  18. You often see Easyo at car boots and charity shops. I like thick yogurt so thicken with lo fat milk poweder and put the easyo flask in the airing cupboard when I go to bed. The next morning it is almost set. I have strained through muslin before and got low fat cheese as a result. The resulting whey is great added to home made bread (use instead of water/milk) and have also used it in cake mix.


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