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Thank you Sara for this wonderful recipe! I made yogurt for the first time ever with my brand new instant pot and it turned out perfect. I used 2% milk, some plain yogurt from the grocery store as a starter, and had perfect results in eight hours. I followed the directions closely. Thank you for sharing your wisdom :-)
I love hearing stories like yours, thank you for sharing! I hope this won’t be your last batch.
I want to try this yogurt in the instant Pot. My question is when incubating in the jars, can i put the lid on the jars while inside the instant pot?
Yes you want the lids (but not metal rings) on. According to Cheryl Sternman Rule, the reason to put them on during incubation is so condensation does not drip down on the jars to give you watery milk. Her post on that is helpful, discussing pros and cons of that method. Find it here. Happy yogurt making!
Would it be ok to make only one quart (one litre here in Canada) in my IP? I live alone and would have difficulty finishing a half gallon in ten days. I wonder if the smaller volume of milk would get too hot?
Thanks for any advice you can give me!
Those are good questions!
Making just one quart is fine. The IP has a thermostat and adjusts itself so the liquid (no matter what the volume is) gets to the programmed temperature. Be sure to reduce the amount of starter accordingly if you use only 1 quart milk.
You could also do a full batch and freeze half the yogurt. This will affect the texture somewhat, though.
This is my first attempt and it turned out great! The yogurt is delicate and a bit tangy.I used whole, organic milk from a local dairy. It was not ready at 4 hours, but at 8 it seemed perfect. One question: at the bottom of the pot, right on top of the heating element, the yogurt is a little granular (soft, not hard) as if the milk proteins changed due to proximity to the heat. Is that possible? I see your suggestion to check the yogurt earlier, which I will do next time. Definitely, a next time!
I am wondering if the type of lid I use on the instapot matters? Can I use the glass lid if either or both steps?
Good question. If you have a glass lid, it should be just fine for both of the steps (boiling and incubation), as there’s no pressure cooking involved in making this. Any other readers have thoughts or experiences to share? I myself only have the pressure cooking lid.
Question – Is it okay NOT to use sterilized jars? I don’t have a way to sterilize jars apart from my instapot, but my instapot is filled with setting yogurt! Or can I sterilize the jars before making the yogurt?I just made this last week and it produces such good yogurt! Thank you for this amazing recipe.
Glad to hear you’re making yogurt in your IP! If your jars are quite clean, then you should be fine. Since I wash mine in a dishwasher and unload it with clean hands, I just assume my jars in the cupboard are good to go, e.g. “sterilized enough”.
My Instant Pot does not allow me to set anything with the lid off. This means I can’t have thicker yogurt unless there’s another way to do it. I am brand new to Instant Pot – ( have only done two other recipes.
Also, it does not have an “Adjust” button so I have to press “Yogurt” again to have the word “boil” come up.
You don’t need to take the lid off during the extra 5 minutes on the “boil” setting. Just keep it on. I’m glad you said something, because I updated the recipe to clarify. (During this step, the milk does not reduce; it changes the protein structure, I think.)
Hope you have many fun Instant Pot adventures in your future! We have lots of recipe here on the site for you to explore.
I made my first batch of yogurt from this recipe! It was delicious! I did add a half a can of sweetened condensed milk to it and I loved the flavor! I don’t like plain yogurt and when I buy flavored I have to mix well to avoid any plain but this was delicious even without a topping . I am going to try your tip for the second 5 minute boil next time though. I strained mine for a thicker consistency cause it wasn’t thick enough for me.
I’m glad you had good luck! Just curious, did you add the condensed milk BEFORE or AFTER incubating the yogurt? It seems your yogurt worked in either case, but you don’t want to add any other ingredients until the yogurt is finished and chilled, because you risk creating an environment that’s not hospitable to the good bacteria you’re cultivating.
And yes! The 5 minutes of extra boiling will make a positive difference in your next batch.
I did put the condensed milk in after boiling and before incubating based off some other recipes I found. Maybe I’ll try it after this time. Making more today. We went thru the first batch in like 3 days so making a double batch today!
I’ve been making yogurt since the 70′. I’ve used many ways to ferment yogurt but my Instant Pot far surpasses all of them put together.
As to the 160° and 180° confusion…
Heating the milk to 160° kills off the wee critters that could ruin your yogurt.
Heating to 180° helps the yogurt set up better, and keeping it there for a few minutes is good. This is similar to making custard.
Hi, great instructions. My texture came out perfect, but the flavor seems off. It doesn’t taste yogurt-y, it still just tastes like plain milk. I used organic whole milk and 2tbsp of yogurt from my fridge as the starter. Any ideas of what I should tweak next time?
Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad your yogurt turned out. Your blasé flavor could be the yogurt you used as a starter (if that’s indeed the yogurt you used). I much prefer the heirloom cultures ordered online, and I’ve found yogurt made with storebought yogurt as the culture is always underwhelming. It’s a good way to see if the method works, though, before you commit to ordering an heirloom culture.
I also think both the flavor and the texture are really transformed when you strain the yogurt. Removing some of the whey makes it so much less puckery. There are so many variable to great yogurt, and I think the milk and the culture are the two biggest ones. If you think you’ll be making yogurt again regularly, try it with a culture, and I bet you’ll be more impressed with the results.
Hi – Thanks for the detailed recipe. I went to the website recommended to order their Bulgarian Yogurt Starter. I saw in their video to heat the milk to 160 degree instead of 180 degree. I plan to use my IP, so would you know if this particular starter would work on the IP which heats the milk up to 180 degree? And if yes, just curious what the difference between heating the milk to 160 versus 180 degree. See https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/yogurt/how-to-make-bulgarian-yogurt-video/?_ga=2.268661489.1095673725.1588046396-373948273.1588046396
Thank you for your question. The answer is yes, for sure it’ll work. I can see you are detail-minded. Indeed, the IP’s Yogurt setting on “boil” will heat your milk to 180 degrees F. And Cultures for Health recommends 160 degrees F. I’ve been making yogurt with their Bulgarian starter (which I love, it’s my favorite of theirs) with great results taking the milk to 180 degrees as described in the recipe. Why do they recommend 160 degrees and the IP goes to 180 degrees? I’m not sure, but there has to be a good reason–I’ll ask them! Different sources recommend slightly different temps for boiling, but in a way 160 isn’t boiling, is it? The main thing is to let your yogurt cool to 118-110 degrees before adding the culture. Happy yogurt making! I have my pot incubating a batch at this moment.
Many thanks, Sara. Love your detailed step-by-step instructions, with many useful comments.
Okay, this is great–Carly at Cultured for Health gave us the scoop on 160 degrees versus 180 degrees: “Milk can be pasteurized either way (if you heat it to 160, we also recommend that you hold it there for 20 minutes but if you heat to 180, you don’t need to hold it). We find that heating to 160 reduces the risk of scalding the milk/heating too quickly, especially if you’re heating it manually. Heating too quickly can cause graininess.” Thanks, Carly!
Loved your step-by-step instructions and descriptions. It worked perfectly. Thank you! One difference I found had to do with my Instant Pot’s 3 quart size. I could not find an “Adjust” button to boil the milk, so I used “Steam.” This worked except I gave it a bit too much time and it ended up spurting out the vent. Next time I’ll dial that back. Otherwise, great recipe and love your Roller Derby name! Cynthia
Every batch you make will be better than the last–keep it up, Cynthia!
I also have the 3-quart model and found that you can adjust by pressing the same button more than once. So when I press the “Yogurt” button twice, it switches to boil! Hope this helps for next time!
Your instructions were great. We had been wanting to try it, but the recipe/directions that came with our instant pot were anything clear. It worked perfectly. We learned more about the instant pot, too.Thanks
Hooray! Glad to hear it, Ann.
Hi Sara, thanks for sharing this! Do you think I can halve the recipe (to test out first)? If so, would the proportions of milk to starter be different?
Yes, you may halve this; it would be the same proportions, so the amounts in your case would be 4 cups milk to 1 tablespoon culture. Good luck!
If you halve this recipe, would you have the change any of the cook times on the instant pot?
Nope, the times all remain the same. fortunately you don’t actually program in any time yourself–the boiling step is monitored by the IP. As for incubation, it just takes a long as it takes, and with 4 cups of milk, that could still be up to 12 hours. Have fun!
Trying this out for the first time! For the thicker method (with the lid off during the boiling step), is the five minutes after it comes to a boil or just five minutes total? Thanks!
The 5 minutes boiling time in the optional step is AFTER it’s initially come to a boil. Interesting, I never leave the lid off! I think the function of the second boil is not reducing the volume of the milk, but altering the milk proteins more. (If any other readers have the skinny on this, please share.)
I assumed by the instructions that the lid is off for the optional extra 5 minutes. Is this correct or no??
Good question. Keep the lid on, it’ll come to a boil again faster. This step really will give you thicker yogurt, though. It’s technically optional, but so, so worth it.
So, I bought an Instant Pot yesterday just to make yogurt according to your recipe. First, I broke it in with a pot of spaghetti before cleaning it thoroughly to make yogurt. It turned out exactly the way you described except it smelled and tasted like spaghetti! When I googled the topic it turns out I needed to either clean the lid and gasket with vinegar or purchase another gasket. Considering that yogurt absorbs strong smells in the fridge, I suppose I could have anticipated this. But, I’ve read 4 other IP yogurt recipes online, each with a lengthy write-up without any mention of this, which is weird considering it’s kind of an elephant in the room. Ao, after making the yogurt, I followed three different deodorizing methods I found online and the gasket still has a strong spaghetti smell. So, I ordered a new gasket just for making yogurt. Might I suggest modifying your write-up to include this important aspect? Thanks for the recipe, by the way; it’s well written otherwise.
Wow, you have been very busy Instant Potting the last few days! Sorry your yogurt turned out great, save the smell.
Thanks for pointing out our omission of the odor carryover. It’s never been an issue for me, but others have mentioned it. I updated the headnote of the recipe. I have tried all those tricks (soaking, baking soda scrubs, cooking with vinegar or lemons), and I’ve found they don’t remove the smells in gaskets. I recommend ordering a spare, as you did, if aroma carryover is an issue. You can get sets of color-coded gaskets and those are especially handy.
My instant pot does not have a yogurt button. would you just have to put it on keep warm for 8 hours or?
Mine is runny. What do I do to fix it?
If your yogurt is runny (like thick buttermilk or kefir), then the best thing you can do is to use it like buttermilk or kefir. I’ve had batches turn out like that, and sometimes it’s because I incubated the yogurt too long (I know, seems like it would make it thicker, but it doesn’t).
If your yogurt is not *that* runny, you can strain it to make Greek-style yogurt. It’s an extra step, but I think it’s the one that makes all the difference. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use paper towels.
I made this yesterday after being in lockdown in the UK. Had it for breakfast this morning and man, it’s the best yogurt I’ve ever tasted! I will never buy shop-bought yogurt again. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe
Terrific! I’m so glad to hear this. Keep it up, and remember to buy an heirloom culture if you want to make yogurt on a regular basis.