Making Yogurt in Your Instant Pot Is Easy—Here’s How to Do It Right
Greek yogurt fans, this trick could save you thousands of dollars a year.
There are so many reasons to love the Instant Pot. This life-changing appliance is breathing new life into our Sunday meal prep sessions, cooks some bomb risotto, makes mac-and-cheese (hands-free!), and even hard-boils eggs to perfection.
But if you haven’t braved making yogurt from scratch in everyone’s favorite multi-function appliance, you’re seriously missing out. ‘Yogurt’ is actually a pre-programmed setting on every Instant Pot model (save for the Lux), so there's nothing to be intimidated about.
Why make homemade yogurt? To begin, a tub of Greek yogurt at the grocery store can cost upwards of $10, so making it from scratch could save you major money—particularly for those of us who eat yogurt every morning for breakfast. Second, when you DIY, you can control everything that goes in and everything that doesn’t. Many yogurt options at the grocery store are packed with sneaky types of sugar and sweeteners, preservatives, and other processed ingredients. Instant Pot yogurt is deliciously creamy and fresh, and 100% natural. Lastly, the yogurt-making process in the Instant Pot ($69, amazon.com) is just too easy to skip. Here’s how to do it right.
Start by boiling milk
Skim works, but whole will taste like velvet (you can even kick it up a notch with a splash of cream). To make eight cups of finished yogurt, you’ll need to pour in about two quarts of milk. Close and lock the lid and seal the pressure release valve. Activate the Yogurt setting until the display reads 'Boil.' When the cycle ends, stick a thermometer into the milk to make sure it’s at least 180°F. If it hasn’t reached this temp yet, you can repeat the cycle.
Cool your milk
Allow the milk to cool to 110°F to 115°F. This should take around 45 minutes to one hour. To speed this up, you can pull the inner cooking pot out of the Instant Pot and drop it into an ice bath for five minutes or so. If your milk starts to develop a skin on top, don’t worry—just stir it back in.
Whisk in yogurt
It sounds counterintuitive, but making yogurt has a lot to do with active cultures, which have to come from somewhere. This is referred to as a starter, or culture. Whisking the yogurt into your warm milk will ensure it’s getting fully incorporated.
Set it and forget it
If it’s been removed, return your inner cooking pot back to the Instant Pot and activate the Yogurt program once again. Select the ‘Normal’ temperature setting and let it incubate. This will take about eight hours for standard yogurt, 12 hours for a richer, tarter yogurt taste, and as little as three hours if you prefer yogurt with a very mild flavor. When it tastes goldilocks-good, give it one more quick stir and allow your yogurt to chill at least three hours before serving.
Mix it up
Now the real fun starts. You can strain your yogurt through a cheese cloth for a couple of hours (or overnight) to make thicker Greek-style yogurt, mix it into marinades, build a breakfast parfait, use it as the base for a delicious dip, serve with lentils, or spread on brown bread with beets and eggs.