Crock Pot or Slow Cooker Yogurt

4.89 from 60 votes

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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
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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.

How can I make homemade yogurt thicker:

There’s a few ways to make your yogurt thicker!

  1. Use whole milk instead of 2% or skim. The higher milk fat lends to a thicker yogurt.
  2. Stick it in the fridge. Your yogurt with thicken up some as it gets cold.
  3. Strain your yogurt. By removing some of the whey, you are left with a thicker Greek style yogurt.
  4. I strain my yogurt 2 ways, one is by straining the yogurt through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth for a few hours, too. Simply set a large colander in a bowl, line it with cheese cloth, and then pour yogurt in from the slow cooker. Cover it with a clean dish towel and let it sit for a few hours until it’s the consistency that you 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.
Homemade Yogurt Image
4.89 from 60 votes

Slow Cooker Yogurt

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!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours
Servings: 8 cups

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
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Instructions 

  • In a large crock pot, add the milk. Add the lid.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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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!

Video

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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!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 8 cups, Calories: 151kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 97mg, Potassium: 379mg, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 398IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 310mg, Iron: 0.01mg
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Crock Pot Yogurt - how to make yogurt in the crock pot!

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311 Comments

  1. Pamela Neumann says:

    I have probably given this recipe to a dozen people because I love it. The difficult part about telling people about it is they can not get how simple it is. I use my jelly bag strainer and jar, it doesn’t quite hold oall of it at first but it only takes a few minutes to drain down. I like mine a little thicker than most.

  2. Eileen R. Bach says:

    5 stars
    So good! Thank you!!

  3. Eileen Bach says:

    I just purchased the “Cold Brew Coffee and Tea Maker Stainless Steel Filter With Lid for Mason Jars” to use as a strainer for my homemade yogurt and it works perfectly! It can be found at masonjarlifestyle.com. Consider adding the link to your site since it is no longer possible to purchase the strainer you show on your site. I purchasd the quart size which is almost identical to the one you show. Approximately $17 depending on shipping and tax.

  4. Lisa says:

    Where did you get the stainless steel strainer featured in the picture.

    1. Melissa says:

      I just bought it on amazon, it fits in my Instant pot, I use it for mashed potatoes in it!