How To Make Instant Pot Yogurt

Step-by-step directions to make Yogurt in your Instant Pot

Instant Pot Yogurt is extremely easy to prepare, and only takes 5 minutes of hands-on time to make!  Plus, it is so much better than anything you can buy at the store.  This recipe is for Cold-Start Yogurt or No-Boil Yogurt.  It uses ultra-pasteurized milk (Fairlife), so that you do not have to heat the milk , and worry about proper temperature or having to skim the milk.  After incubation, this recipe makes 2 quarts of Yogurt! 

Before you go out and get groceries, or add them to your cart online, you might be wondering just how much making Yogurt homemade is going to cost you.  The answer is, a heck of a lot less than what you’ll pay at the grocery store!

By making Yogurt homemade, you can cut the cost in half – especially if you buy the ingredients at Walmart.  I did a quick comparison for the cost of yogurt at Walmart and other grocery stores in my area.  Here’s how the cost breaks down.  I have also showed a comparison to the brand that we USED to buy.  In this comparison, I used; 52 oz Fairlife Milk and 5.3 oz plain Chobani. 

From just a quick glance, you can see that Homemade Yogurt is about half the cost of anything you’ll buy at the store.  Even if you’re buying some fresh fruit or a milk-based sweetener to add-in to your Yogurt, the cost is still going to be considerably less.  And, as an added bonus, if you save some of your plain yogurt to use as a starter, the next time you make Yogurt in the Instant Pot, all you’ll need is milk!  Making Yogurt homemade is a lot more environmentally friendly too, since you can store it in reusable jars, and the milk container itself is recyclable! 

How To Make Instant Pot Yogurt

Clean Your Instant Pot

Since this recipe is not cooked under pressure, you can use a glass lid.  If you do not have a glass lid for you Instant Pot, you need to clean it first.  Thoroughly cleaning your Instant Pot is one of the most important things to do before making Yogurt.  I don’t just mean soap and water, but a deep clean involving baking soda, water and lemon juice!  The last thing that you want is for your Yogurt to taste the tacos you had the other night for dinner.  It takes about half an hour to really get the results that you’re looking for, but is vital to the making Yogurt in your Instant Pot.  This is a three step process that removes all smells from the Instant Pot and the seal on the lid. 

To Clean Instant Pot You Need:
1 cup baking soda, divided
2 lemons
lemon essential oil
water

Step One:
In the base of Instant Pot and add ⅓ cup baking soda, 2 cups water and 1 lemon, halved and juiced.  Put the lid on, and turn the valve to the sealing position.  Turn Instant Pot on to steam setting, and set for 4 minutes.  Release pressure and carefully remove lid.

Step Two:
Rinse out Instant Pot, seal and lid with hot soapy water and throw away lemon.  Repeat Step One again.

Step Three:
Rinse out Instant Pot, seal and lid with hot soapy water and throw away lemon.  Add 1 cup water, remaining ⅓ cup baking soda and 5 drops of lemon essential oil.  Put the lid on, and turn the valve to sealing position.  Turn Instant Pot on to steam, and set for 4 minutes.  Let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, and then release remaining pressure.  Carefully remove lid, and clean with hot soapy water.

If you don’t have lemon essential oil, just use another lemon for the third step.  It’s a little bit of a laborious process, but it works incredibly!

Gather Ingredients & Equipment

Required Equipment
6qt or 8qt Instant Pot with Yogurt button
2 cup glass measuring cup
whisk
coffee filters (for straining)
large mesh strainer (for straining)
large bowl to hold strainer and catch whey (for straining)

Required Ingredients
This recipe doubles really well to accommodate an 8qt Instant Pot

Ultra Pasteurized Milk
To make homemade Instant Pot Yogurt you must use an ultra-pasteurized milk like Fairlife.  I like using whole milk when making Homemade Yogurt, but you can use 2% or non-fat as well.  The type of milk you use will determine the thickness and creaminess of the Yogurt.  Milk with the highest fat content make the thickest and creamiest Yogurt.

Starter Yogurt
To make Yogurt, you need a starter.  The best, and easiest starter is a store-bought plain Yogurt with active/live cultures.  I like using Maple Hill Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt.  All you need is a small, 5oz cup since you only need 2 tablespoons of it to make the Yogurt.   It’s these active/live cultures in the starter Yogurt that turns the milk into Yogurt!  If you can’t find a plain Yogurt, vanilla works, but it will NOT flavor the Yogurt.

Add Ins -Sweeting & Flavoring (optional)
Plain Yogurt will taste a lot like sour cream, and in fact, you can use it as sour cream.  I like to keep a little bit of the plain in a squirt bottle on my door to use as sour cream or mayo in recipes. 

Sweeting and flavoring yogurt is usually done AFTER the yogurt has finished incubating. 

To sweeten the Yogurt itself, add vanilla extract and a liquid sweetener like honey, agave or pure maple syrup, just be sure to warm the sweetener before mixing it into the Yogurt or it will seize up, and be chunky.  To ensure the Yogurt stays thick and creamy instead of being thinned out too much by the liquid sweetener, strain it for at least 4 hours before adding.  Use 1 tsp vanilla extract and ¼ cup of liquid sweetener per half-gallon (or 52 oz Fairlife) of milk. 

My favorite way to flavor the yogurt is to sweeten the yogurt with ½ cup of honey, 2 tsp vanilla extract and about 2 cups of chopped up strawberries that have been sitting overnight in sugar and lemon juice. This isn’t only just delicious with strawberries, but works great with all berries, and most other fruits.  To prepare fresh berries to add in to your Yogurt, mix: 1 pint washed, and diced berries with 2 tbsp – ¼ cup sugar (depending on sweet you like it) and 1 tbsp lemon juice.  Mix it up, and let it sit overnight.    Stir this mixture in once your yogurt has finished incubating and cooling.

If you want to sweeten the Yogurt BEFORE you incubate, you can use a milk-based sweetener like; sweetened condensed milk or an ultra-pasteurized coffee creamer like Natural Bliss or Simple Truth Organic Coffee Creamer (from Kroger). 

Make Yogurt

Making the yogurt is simple, and only takes about 5 minutes of hands on time. 

To Make Yogurt:

Measure out 1 cup of milk in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, and add 2 tablespoons of your yogurt starter.  If using a frozen starter, make sure that it is completely thawed before adding.  Whisk completely to combine. 

Pour remaining milk into inner pot, and whisk in milk/yogurt mixture.  If you want to sweeten your Yogurt, whisk in any milk-based sweeteners now.  

Place lid on Instant Pot and press YOGURT button.  Set incubation time for 8 hours.  Use the (+) and (-) buttons to change the time.  The Instant Pot will beep to let you know that it is on, and will start counting up to 8 hours (or selected time).  Once it is done, the Instant Pot will beep and read YOGT.  The amount of time you incubate will determine how mild or tangy it will be.  Yogurt starts to set around 6 hours of incubating time.  Incubate Yogurt for 6 to 10 hours (up to 24 if you like really tangy Yogurt), keeping in mind that the longer you incubate, the tangier the Yogurt will be.  The default time on the Instant Pot is set to 8 hours.  This produces a perfect slightly tart Yogurt every time, and is what we use.  I usually set the timer before I go to bed, so that when I wake up the fermenting process is done, and I have Yogurt!

Once Yogurt has finished incubating, carefully remove the inner pot from Instant Pot, being sure not to disturb the Yogurt, and cover with plastic wrap for a glass lid, and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.  DO NOT STIR Yogurt until it is completely chilled for a thicker yogurt.  You will know when the yogurt is set because a spoon will stand straight up in it. 

If you want to make Greek Yogurt, you need to strain your Yogurt now.  Follow the steps below for straining Yogurt.

After Yogurt has completely cooled, stir in any sweeteners or flavorings. 

Get in the habit of saving at least 2 tablespoons of the finished, plain Yogurt, and all you’ll need next time you want to make Yogurt is a half-gallon of milk.  Freeze the Yogurt in an ice cube tray, and use 2 cubes of the thawed Yogurt as your starter.

Straining – How To Make Greek Yogurt

Straining the Yogurt makes it Greek Yogurt.  Straining removes the whey and lactose from the Yogurt, making it thicker.  To strain the Yogurt, line a large mesh strainer with dampened coffee filters and carefully pour slightly cooled Yogurt into strainer.  Cover with plastic wrap and let strain 4 hours to over night.  You’ll have more and thicker Yogurt the longer you strain it.  If your Yogurt is a little too thick, you can stir some whey back into the Yogurt. 

The whey that comes out should be clear.  If it’s not, you’re leaking Yogurt through the strainer.  If you notice this is happening, re-line mesh strainer with more dampened coffee filters.  You can also use a Yogurt strainer for this process.  DO NOT throw away the whey after your Yogurt has finished straining.  The whey can be used in place of buttermilk in recipes (like Pancakes and Ranch Dressing), and is loaded with nutrients. 

Storing Yogurt

The shelf-life of your Yogurt all depends on how you store it.  Any reusable,  air-tight, glass or plastic container works for storing Yogurt.  If you’d like to portion the Yogurt out into individual containers, 8oz Mason Jars and Reusable Pouches make great options. These ones from Amazon are soooo cute… if you have kids!

Otherwise, if you’re like me, store it in one large container that everyone can access.  I have found that storing the Yogurt in glass containers works best.  Plain yogurt, without any add-ins can last up to 3-4 weeks.  If you add in any sweeteners or fruits, the shelf-life lasts about 10-14 days – if it lasts that long!

If you don’t think that you’ll be able to use all of the yogurt that you made right away, you can totally freeze it!  Freeze 1 tbsp portions in ice cube trays to use as a starter for future batches of Yogurt, or to add into smoothies!  Freezing the Yogurt does not kill the bacteria, it just slows it down a little.  Freezing also changes the texture of the Yogurt a little bit, making it a little grainy – but if you’re freezing it to use in smoothies, or in other recipes, you won’t be able to tell the difference.  I’m sure if you took a peek on Pinterest, you could probably find a good Fro-Yo recipe too.

Serving Yogurt

There are so many different ways to serve the delicious Homemade Yogurt that you just made:

– parfait with fresh fruit and homemade granola

– smoothies
– dips (like Homemade Ranch– you can use yogurt and leftover whey in this recipe)

– marinate chicken or turkey – use Yogurt instead of buttermilk (like Cajun Buttermilk Brined Turkey)

– substitute for sour cream, mayo or cream cheese in recipes
– make more yogurt

What is your favorite way to serve or enjoy Yogurt?  Share in the comments and help inspire others!

Category, DifficultyBeginner

Yields1 Serving

 52 oz ultra-pasteurized milk (Fairlife)
 2 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt (Chobani)
Optional Milk-Based Sweeteners
 14 oz sweetened condensed milk OR
 16 oz ultra-pasteurized coffee creamer (Natural Bliss or Simple Truth Organic)

1

Measure out 1 cup of milk in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, and add 2 tablespoons of your yogurt starter. If using a frozen starter, make sure that it is completely thawed before adding. Whisk completely to combine.

Pour remaining milk into inner pot, and whisk in milk/yogurt mixture. If you want to sweeten your Yogurt, whisk in any milk-based sweeteners now.

2

Place lid on Instant Pot and press YOGURT button. Set incubation time for 8 hours. Use the (+) and (-) buttons to change the time. The Instant Pot will beep to let you know that it is on, and will start counting up to 8 hours (or selected time).

Once it is done, the Instant Pot will beep and read YOGT.

3

Once Yogurt has finished incubating, carefully remove the inner pot from Instant Pot, being sure not to disturb the Yogurt, and cover with plastic wrap for a glass lid, and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

If you want to make Greek Yogurt, you need to strain your Yogurt now. To strain the Yogurt, line a large mesh strainer with dampened coffee filters and carefully pour slightly cooled Yogurt into strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and let strain 4 hours to over night.

DO NOT STIR Yogurt until it is completely chilled for a thicker yogurt. You will know when the yogurt is set because a spoon will stand straight up in it.

4

After Yogurt has completely cooled, stir in any sweeteners or flavorings.

Notes
5

Get in the habit of saving at least 2 tablespoons of the finished, plain Yogurt, and all you’ll need next time you want to make Yogurt is a half-gallon of milk. Freeze the Yogurt in an ice cube tray, and use 2 cubes of the thawed Yogurt as your starter.

6

Sweeting and flavoring yogurt is usually done AFTER the yogurt has finished incubating. To sweeten the Yogurt itself, add vanilla extract and a liquid sweetener like honey, agave or pure maple syrup, just be sure to warm the sweetener before mixing it into the Yogurt or it will seize up, and be chunky. To ensure the Yogurt stays thick and creamy instead of being thinned out too much by the liquid sweetener, strain it for at least 4 hours before adding.  Use 1 tsp vanilla extract and ¼ cup of liquid sweetener per half-gallon (or 52 oz Fairlife) of milk.

7

The amount of time you incubate will determine how mild or tangy it will be. Yogurt starts to set around 6 hours of incubating time. Incubate Yogurt for 6 to 10 hours (up to 24 if you like really tangy Yogurt), keeping in mind that the longer you incubate, the tangier the Yogurt will be. The default time on the Instant Pot is set to 8 hours. This produces a perfect slightly tart Yogurt every time, and is what we use. I usually set the timer before I go to bed, so that when I wake up the fermenting process is done, and I have Yogurt!

Ingredients

 52 oz ultra-pasteurized milk (Fairlife)
 2 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt (Chobani)
Optional Milk-Based Sweeteners
 14 oz sweetened condensed milk OR
 16 oz ultra-pasteurized coffee creamer (Natural Bliss or Simple Truth Organic)

Directions

1

Measure out 1 cup of milk in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, and add 2 tablespoons of your yogurt starter. If using a frozen starter, make sure that it is completely thawed before adding. Whisk completely to combine.

Pour remaining milk into inner pot, and whisk in milk/yogurt mixture. If you want to sweeten your Yogurt, whisk in any milk-based sweeteners now.

2

Place lid on Instant Pot and press YOGURT button. Set incubation time for 8 hours. Use the (+) and (-) buttons to change the time. The Instant Pot will beep to let you know that it is on, and will start counting up to 8 hours (or selected time).

Once it is done, the Instant Pot will beep and read YOGT.

3

Once Yogurt has finished incubating, carefully remove the inner pot from Instant Pot, being sure not to disturb the Yogurt, and cover with plastic wrap for a glass lid, and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

If you want to make Greek Yogurt, you need to strain your Yogurt now. To strain the Yogurt, line a large mesh strainer with dampened coffee filters and carefully pour slightly cooled Yogurt into strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and let strain 4 hours to over night.

DO NOT STIR Yogurt until it is completely chilled for a thicker yogurt. You will know when the yogurt is set because a spoon will stand straight up in it.

4

After Yogurt has completely cooled, stir in any sweeteners or flavorings.

Notes
5

Get in the habit of saving at least 2 tablespoons of the finished, plain Yogurt, and all you’ll need next time you want to make Yogurt is a half-gallon of milk. Freeze the Yogurt in an ice cube tray, and use 2 cubes of the thawed Yogurt as your starter.

6

Sweeting and flavoring yogurt is usually done AFTER the yogurt has finished incubating. To sweeten the Yogurt itself, add vanilla extract and a liquid sweetener like honey, agave or pure maple syrup, just be sure to warm the sweetener before mixing it into the Yogurt or it will seize up, and be chunky. To ensure the Yogurt stays thick and creamy instead of being thinned out too much by the liquid sweetener, strain it for at least 4 hours before adding.  Use 1 tsp vanilla extract and ¼ cup of liquid sweetener per half-gallon (or 52 oz Fairlife) of milk.

7

The amount of time you incubate will determine how mild or tangy it will be. Yogurt starts to set around 6 hours of incubating time. Incubate Yogurt for 6 to 10 hours (up to 24 if you like really tangy Yogurt), keeping in mind that the longer you incubate, the tangier the Yogurt will be. The default time on the Instant Pot is set to 8 hours. This produces a perfect slightly tart Yogurt every time, and is what we use. I usually set the timer before I go to bed, so that when I wake up the fermenting process is done, and I have Yogurt!

Instant Pot Yogurt

Other Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Vanilla Extract

Instant Pot Beans & Lentils 101

Instant Pot Rice 101

Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

Instant Pot Shredded Beef Tacos

 

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