Homemade Slow Cooker Yogurt

Have you always wanted to try your hand at making homemade yogurt, but never wanted to shell out the extra cash (and cupboard space!) purchasing an actual yogurt maker? We’re here to give you a recipe for making your own homemade, natural and delicious yogurt, using just a few ingredients, and your regular slow cooker!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of organic, whole-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon of store-bought yogurt for a starter
  • Slow Cooker

Sounds easy enough, right? The cultures from the original yogurt will cure and multiply while the yogurt ferments, so your initial cost will be a tad bit higher, however, once you realize how simple this is, remember to set aside one tablespoon worth of your homemade yogurt to use as a starter for your next batch.

How To:

  • Pour the milk into your slow cooker, and turn the heat on high for about an hour. Use a thermometer and check the temperature, making sure it’s around 180 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Unplug the slow cooker and let sit for a half an hour. (Until it reaches about 120 degrees fahrenheit.)
  • *Allow the tablespoon of starter yogurt to reach room temperature during any of this time*
  • Add room temperature yogurt starter to the warmed milk, and stir thoroughly.
  • Optional: Add 1 tsp. raw honey or maple syrup to sweeten.
  • Cover with lid, and wrap your slow cooker up with a beach towel to hold in the heat.
  • Allow to ferment and culture for 6-9 hours.
  • Place yogurt in refrigerator, and allow it to cool and set for at least 6 hours.

Additional Info:

  • This yogurt turned out very runny initially. The more you strain yogurt, the more protein-rich it becomes, as it strains out much of the whey products. Placing a sieve on top of a bowl and covering it with cheesecloth, strain small portions (about a cup per time) for a half an hour one to two times each. This yielded final result of a thicker yogurt. Greek style yogurt requires straining of 3+ times, so keep that in mind.
  • Whole milk is recommended, because it contains more cream and less water.
  • If you struggle with lactose intake, culture your yogurt for around 10 hours, as the longer you let it ferment, the less lactose will be in it. However, it will have a tangier taste.
  • Using a smaller slow cooker for this recipe is suggested. The bigger the crock pot, the more heat will escape because of the large surface area. If you’re using a large slow cooker, be careful to check temperatures at the beginning, as it will initially heat up and cool down faster. Also, use a few towels to hold in the heat during fermentation.
  • Do not touch the slow cooker after you have wrapped it up to begin culturing. Leave it alone in a dark place, and keep it toasty warm.

For additional information regarding Greek yogurt, check out this post on Toddler Cooking: Fun, Frozen, Fruity, Yogurt Snacks.

Photo Credits: The Memoirs of Megan

 

 

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Megan

Megan lives in Colorado with her husband, 2 year old daughter, and infant son. Outside of chasing around her energetic toddler while nursing her son simultaneously, she loves swimming, celebrity gossip, college football, learning photography, and writing for her personal blog, The Memoirs of Megan. You can get to know her more through Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest

Comments (5)

  • Avatar

    Lica

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    It is not as easy at it sounds. I tried this method , it was too much trouble. My method is much easier. I use heating pad, turn it on high, put a two layered towel, put an original plastic container from greek yogurt filled with a starter and milk. Cover it with any box, and let it sit for 8 to 10 hours. Yogurt turns out great. The heating pad keeps it at the right temperature, which is somewhere around 110. I don’t heat milk or a starter. Straight from refrigerator, mix starter and milk, and no straining either. The yogurt comes out like store bought one. The taste is though much better.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Megan B.

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      Lica,
      Thanks for sharing another way!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Kate

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    I have a question; instead of wrapping in a towel, could I set the slow cooker to ‘warm’ instead? Thanks for the post!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Megan B.

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      Kate,
      To be quite honest, I don’t know. I’ve never done it that way. :) Would you care to try it and report back how it went?

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Alex

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    I had the same question about the “warm” feature of my crockpot, Kate. Would be so easy, wouldn’t it? I just filled my crockpot with water and measured the temperature after an hour or so on the warm setting. Unfurtunately it was way above the temperature that yoghurt should be cultured at. But why don’t you just test yours this way?

    Reply

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