Crock Pot or Slow Cooker Yogurt

5 from 22 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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Chris
Chris

Wow. This totally worked! I decided to make my own yogurt cause I go through a lot of it and wanted a way to have it in larger quantities than I can get at the store. To be fair – I had no idea what I was getting myself into. So. I found this site, followed the directions, threw some towels around my crockpot and hoped for the best overnight. In the morning…still totally liquid. I realized the temp had dropped below 100 so I turned the crockpot on for a few minutes to let it get back up around… Read more »

Hannah
Hannah

I just tried this for my first time making yogurt. It was so much easier than I expected! I started it at noon and didn’t want to get up to finish it at midnight, I just waited to finish it until I woke up in the morning. My total time was closer to 18-20 hours instead of 12. It was very close to greek yogurt after that amount of time. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Caitlin Stone
Caitlin Stone

So leave the yogurt out over night nor refrigerated and refrigerate the next morning?

Amy Dennis-Jones
Amy Dennis-Jones

Hi,
Can you half the recipe?
Amy

bernicetabolt@hotmail.com
bernicetabolt@hotmail.com

I am amazed at how simple it is to make yogurt! Thank you for the recipe, as well as the one for homemade granola they make a delicious combination. I strained the yogurt and it made a big difference. It turned out so creamy and smooth!

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ABrg
ABrg

Is it possible to double this recipe and everything will turn out the same?

Samantha

I’m looking to try making yoghurt but both my son and I are lactose free. Do you think it’d still work if I used lactose free milk and yoghurt?

Devli1dld@gmail.com
Devli1dld@gmail.com

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.

Dorothy Gager
Dorothy Gager

Can I use powdered milk?

Amelia
Amelia

Thank you so much for this recipe! After several failed attempts using other methods (and lots of wasted milk) I found your recipe and have had success every time! The yogurt is delicious and you’ve saved me from having to purchase an expensive single-use appliance as well!

Colleen
Colleen

I used whole milk and the yogurt as specified but I got really liquidy yogurt. It looks like yogurt and tastes like yogurt but more like smoothie yogurt. I wasn’t exact on the time and temp is that the problem? It got close to 180 but maybe not there and then I don’t know what the temp was when I added the cultures because something came up and I was away from the house. Tastes great and I’m looking forward to making it again

Gabby

Hi! I haven’t made yogurt yet with this method but our steamer had a yogurt function so we’ve been making our own for some years. It does often come out quite runny. To thicken it: you can strain it through a cheesecloth (annoying, and wastes wey if you don’t use it elsewhere), or you can let the yogurt just keep culturing outside the fridge for another 8 or 12 hours. It’s not going to spoil, that’s the point of making the milk into yogurt : ) one friend extended the warmth for super long ferment times by wrapping their pot… Read more »

Mari
Mari

So easy! Thank you for sharing this recipe! After wrapping the crock pot in a towel I placed the whole thing in an insulated food bag over night. It turned out perfect!

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.