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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Recipe Rating




311 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    4 stars

  2. Anonymous says:

    5 stars

  3. Candice Rose says:

    Can I use Greek yogurt instead

    1. Melissa says:

      As long as it has live and active cultures you can use it, Greek yogurt normally works great!

  4. Summer says:

    5 stars
    Tried for the first time last week– yummy! With the amount of yogurt my family eats, I’ve calculated that I’ll be saving approximately $60 a month by making it at home, which is INSANE!

    My first batch was a little wonky. Half of it came out a little grainy (still good flavor, just not great texture) but the other half of it was super thick and creamy and PERFECT. I did 2.5 hours on low. I’m thinking maybe my crockpot heated the bottom layer too quickly so this time I’m going to try to do .5 on the warm setting first, then the other 2 hours on low. Hopefully that’ll prevent that layer of grainy texture. I’ll have to play around with it 🙂

    Either way, never going back to store bought! Thank you for this recipe!!

  5. Jesse Brown says:

    When my gallon of milk has cooled down to 115 degrees, I add a container of GREEK GODS yogurt (7 different biotic cultures) plus one Dynamic Biotics capsule from Stonehenge Health (16 different biotic strains). Thoroughly mix it and put it in pint jars that I put in a fruit dryer to keep them warm. The yogurt thickens quickly and beautifully; no need to filter it. It has a mild taste. Usually I use fresh goat milk but my goats have dried up so I used whole cow’s milk a week ago and it was fine. Next time I plan on using a crock pot to see how it works. What kind of crock pot do you recommend?

  6. Ashley says:

    5 stars
    First time yogurt maker here, this was so simple and very very delicious. I had a gallon of raw milk that needed to be used so I made the whole gallon. (Gifting some to others). I added some vanilla extract and honey to taste. LAWWWWWD when I tell you this is fantastic. Guys, I mean really really fantastic.

    1. Melissa says:

      I make it with raw milk most of the time too and it is soooo good!

  7. Rachael simunovich says:

    Can this recipe be doubled?

    1. Melissa says:

      Yes if it will all fit in your slow cooker!

  8. Kim says:

    Hi. It would help massively if you stated what temperature you are using. F or C.

  9. Kelly O says:

    First time yogurt maker here, and I was so pleased how everything turned out, even with a goof up.

    I followed timing but not temperature and realized I added a starter in when it was still too hot, so put an additional starter in once at ideal temp, and all turned out great.

    I used whole milk, and strained off about a quart of whey water. Looking forward to figuring out ways to use.

    We flavored half the batch with homemade strawberry jelly, which was super easy prep.

    My only question is about the starter- if you keep adding a held 1/2 cup from a previous batch, aren’t you essentially adding a little bit of really old milk over time? Does the yogurt making process remedy this?

  10. Michael says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this 3-4 times over the past month. I’m so happy with the yogurt this recipe produces.

    My slow cooker (rather old) takes just under 3 hrs on High to reach 180°. By the time I’ve cooled the milk, added the starter yogurt, let it rest for 12 hrs, and strain it (I prefer Greek style). It takes a solid 24 hrs from behind to end.

    Totally worth it! I end up with with over 1 kg of yogurt that is creamy and delicious. All for the cost of a half gallon of whole milk!