Crock Pot or Slow Cooker Yogurt

5 from 19 reviews

Slow cooker yogurt is an easy, healthy and inexpensive way to make homemade yogurt without a yogurt maker. Prepare it in five minutes, go to bed, and wake up to a freshly made breakfast!

I have a few more yogurt recipes that you will enjoy.  4 Ingredient Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt (5 minute recipe!), Homemade Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt Cups and 5 Easy Healthy Yogurt Bowl Ideas are all winners.

Homemade Yogurt Image

How to Make Slow Cooker Yogurt

Yogurt can be expensive and often times it has a long list of artificial colors, flavors, and who knows what else. So here is a super easy recipe to make your own slow cooker yogurt. It is plain yogurt, but you can add honey, jams, fresh fruit, and just about anything else you like. I also use it in place of sour cream in most recipes. This is a great way to to get organic yogurt on the cheap. You can buy a carton of organic milk and turn it into yogurt for about half the price of organic yogurt.

The recipe is so easy that it practically makes itself. You just have to commit a little time to the process! You essentially just use your slow cooker to scald the milk and then the heavy warm crock radiates heat all night long to help culture your new batch of yogurt. The hands-on time is about 5 minutes, though the waiting time is about 15 hours. I like to start this in the afternoon so that it’s ready to sit for its long 8-12 hour warm resting period overnight. We then wake up to fresh yogurt and I’ll serve it with fresh fruit and some homemade granola.

I really recommend straining this yogurt through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth for a few hours too. This helps it to thicken up to a more “Greek yogurt” consistency which my kids prefer (and it’s easier to eat). I explained more of how I do that in the tips and tricks section. Before you know it, you’ll know how to make homemade yogurt with your eyes closed.

Slow cooker yogurt is an easy, healthy and inexpensive way to make homemade yogurt without a yogurt maker.

Tips and Tricks for making Slow Cooker Yogurt

  • I’d highly recommend getting a little instant-read thermometer to make homemade yogurt – it’s all about the temperature! I use this $10 thermometer all the time.
  • The goal is to scald the milk which takes place around 180 degrees. So you could check it with a thermometer the first time to see if the “warm” setting is warm enough or if maybe an hour and 45 minutes would work on low. Once you figure it out, I don’t think you would have to use the thermometer every time.
  • After the milk is scalded, the waiting time is meant to bring the milk down to around 115-110 degrees so that it’s still warm but won’t kill your yogurt culture!
  • You don’t have to buy commercial plain yogurt every time. Just save 1/2 cup of your own yogurt for the starter for the next batch.
  • I really recommend straining this yogurt through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth for a few hours, too. This helps it to thicken up to a more “Greek yogurt” consistency which my kids prefer (and it’s easier to eat). I simply set a large colander in a bowl, line it with cheese cloth, and then pour my yogurt in from the slow cooker. I cover it with a clean dish towel and let it sit for a few hours until it’s the consistency that I like. Do note that the yogurt will also thicken some when refrigerated. Play around with it until you figure out how thick or how thin you prefer your yogurt and make notes. That’s the perk of cooking from scratch – you get a product that is truly customized to your preferences.

How long does homemade yogurt last?

Homemade yogurt is generally good for eating for up to 2 weeks when properly stored in the refrigerator.

Do I have to buy store bought yogurt every time in order to make homemade yogurt?

You don’t have to buy commercial plain yogurt every time. Just save 1/2 cup of your own yogurt for the starter for the next batch.

Slow cooker yogurt is an easy, healthy and inexpensive way to make homemade yogurt without a yogurt maker.

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Homemade Yogurt Image

Slow Cooker Yogurt


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 12 hrs
  • Total Time: 12 hrs 5min
  • Yield: Makes 8 Cups 1x

Description

Slow cooker yogurt is an easy, healthy and inexpensive way to make homemade yogurt without a yogurt maker. Prepare in five minutes, go to bed, and wake up to a freshly made breakfast!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon (8 cups) whole milk (you’ll get a thinner product with a lower fat content milk)
  • 1/2 cup commercial plain yogurt that says “Live and Active Cultures” on the tub (I have great success with Mountain High yogurt for my culture)

Instructions

  1. In a large crock pot, add the milk. Turn it on low for around 2 1/2 hours. After that time has passed, unplug the crock pot and let it sit for 3 hours. I always set a timer for these or I don’t remember.
  2. After the 3 hours has passed, stir in the 1/2 cup of yogurt. Replace the lid of the crock pot and cover with 2 big towels or a blanket. Let rest for 8 to 12 hours (overnight works well). In the morning you’ll have yogurt!
  3. Place it in a 1/2 gallon mason jar and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. It will thicken up in the fridge. Keep a 1/2 cup of this yogurt for your next batch and say goodbye to buying yogurt!
  4. You can also let the yogurt strain in cheese cloth in the fridge for a few hours and you’ll get a thicker Greek yogurt!

Notes

The goal is to scald the milk which takes place around 180 degrees. So you could check it with a thermometer the first time to see if the “warm” setting is warm enough or if maybe an hour and 45 minutes would work on low. Once you figure it out, I don’t think you would have to use the thermometer every time.

After the milk is scalded the waiting time is menat to bring the milk down to around 115-110 degrees so that it’s still warm but won’t kill your yogurt culture!

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

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I bet you didn’t know you could make slow cooker yogurt that easily! And aren’t those two older pictures awesome? Did I really post a picture of a sideways bottle?!Crock Pot Yogurt - how to make yogurt in the crock pot!

Yogurt recipes that are worth a try:

This recipe was originally published in July 2011 and has been updated September 2017. The recipe, pictures, and text have all been updated and improved for reader enjoyment and accuracy.
Slow cooker yogurt is an easy, healthy and inexpensive way to make homemade yogurt without a yogurt maker.

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122 Responses
  1. Dawn

    I want to try this recipe but would like to know how can I make it vanilla flavored. What do I need to add or do differently? Thank you in advance.

    1. Melissa

      I haven’t had any luck flavoring while making, we just flavor it in small batches after it’s made. You can add honey and vanilla after it’s already set. When you do mix it though it tends to make it thinner, so I normally just use jam or honey to flavor it right when we are making it UNLESS you are straining it for a thicker greek yogurt, then I flavor the whole batch and stick it in the fridge. Does that help?

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.