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Homemade Yogurt

There are people out there who make yogurt in crockpots, or coolers, or in turkey roasters.

I am not one of those people.

I need the little machine to do it for me because I don’t want to have to think about it.  Like my buddy, Ron Popeil would say, “fix it and forget it”.

I have the Donvier Yogurt Maker that was a gift that I received for Christmas a few years ago.  I had some missteps with it at first, but once I figured out the problem – that the thermometer that came with it sucks – I made perfect yogurt each and every time.  I now use the $5 candy thermometer that I found at a garage sale last summer.

We buy one-half gallon of raw milk each week to use for cooking, baking, etc.  We are not big milk drinkers, so typically the half gallon of milk has a few cups left at the end of the week.  Milk that is in danger of going bad before it gets used.  Instead of wasting it, I make yogurt one day before it expires.  I hate wasting food, and I really hate the idea of wasting expensive raw milk!

Homemade Yogurt
Yogurt Maker
Dependable candy thermometer
3 tblsp yogurt starter (my favorite is Brown Cow Cream Top Yogurt)
Milk (5 cups will fill the 8 cups in the yogurt maker)
1/2 vanilla bean, optional

1) In a pot, heat the milk (stirring often) until it reaches 190 degrees. You don’t need to rush this step; I typically cook it on medium.  If you want to make this “fancy”, scrape the inside of half of a vanilla bean into the pot. Use the discarded bean to flavor some homemade vanilla extract. Remove from heat.

2)  Now, it’s time to cool the milk.  If you want to make this process go faster (like I usually do), I put the pot in a casserole dish filled with cold water.  Stir often until the milk has dropped to 110 degrees.

3) Put your yogurt starter in one of the little yogurt cups, and pour a little bit of milk in the cup, and stir well to combine.  I like to stir until the mixture looks super smooth.


Now, I’m not saying that spilling some milk will make better yogurt, but it is a little trick that I’ve learned along the way.

4) Put mixture back into the pot with the milk, and stir for about a minute.


5) Divvy up the milk mixture into each cup, and put the lid on.

6) Put the cups in the yogurt maker, and put the dome lid on.  Set the timer for your desired time.  After much trial and error, I’ve found that 12 hours is perfect for the consistency that we prefer.

Except for using the vanilla bean to flavor the milk, I don’t add any sweetener.  If you want to flavor the yogurt, add it after the fact.  We usually use homemade jam or blackberry pancake syrup.

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7 comments on “Homemade Yogurt”

  1. I made my first batch of yogurt in the crock pot and it worked wonderfully! Then I tried my second batch and it didn’t set. ;( I’m on the lookout for a yogurt maker at the thrift store!

    I love your addition of a vanilla bean! Yay!!!

  2. I LOVE making yogurt and eating it everyday! I don’t have a fancy yogurt maker, and after several batches of choking down yogurt milk, I finally found the key. I do the following using a half gallon of organic milk (CO doesn’t allow raw milk to be sold and it’s too expensive to jump through all of the hoops to acquire some) and a half cup to a cup of starter (I end up using yogurt from the week before) and glass jars (I use old sals jars):
    1. heat on stovetop to 180 degrees, like you did
    2. let cool to 120 degrees, preheat oven to 100 degrees with salsa jars inside to make them a warm cozy place for the yogurt to set
    3. mix 1 cup warm milk with yogurt starter
    4. pour back into warmed milk
    5. distribute into warmed glass jars
    6. stick in warmed oven, leave the light on and let sit for 7 to 9 hours.

    put in fridge and enjoy!

  3. i got same yogurt maker i use the yogurt starter from the same place Euro Cuisine RI1020 Yogurt Starter Pack – 5 Pack
    by Euro Cuisiner This is by far the best yogurt starter I have used and I’ve been making my own yogurt for a long time. “I used other starters but this is the best by far it dose what it says even with powered milk, goats milk whole or 2% or 1% it works yummm

  4. This was perfect timing! I just bought a Groupon type deal for this very one really cheap and have been waiting it’s arrival. I will try this as soon as it arrives. Thanks!

  5. Yepl I’m a cooler-yogurt-makin’ gal, but I can see the appeal of a yogurt maker. I just wish there was a machine that did all the heating up and cooling down that happens before you put it in the machine / cooler.

  6. Instead of whole milk can you use Coconut milk or Almond milk?

  7. Ooohhh…I want a yogurt maker SO BAD!