Homemade Yogurt in a Crock-Pot – So Delicious!


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Homemade Yogurt

Did you know that you could make homemade yogurt in a Crock-Pot? I was so excited to learn how easy it was to make and it tasted so amazing! My whole family loves it so much, that I have been making a batch almost every other day. I am always trying to feed my kids tasty foods with the least amount of preservatives or added colors. I don’t understand why strawberry yogurt needs food coloring when strawberries are already red. I am happy to announce that my homemade yogurt has 4 ingredients – organic milk, strawberries, sugar and live and active cultures! I am convinced that once you try this rich & creamy yogurt, you’ll never go back to store bought again.

Homemade Yogurt in a Crock-Pot

Having run a restaurant, and attended many food-safety courses, I was appalled at how many recipes I found on the web that did not follow safe food handling procedures. Please do not stick your finger into the milk to test the temperature or allow your child to lick the whisk and then reuse it. Most of all, follow the recommended temperatures and keep your thermometer sterile in between uses. These small steps can help keep your family safe!

Ingredients for Homemade Yogurt
  • Yogurt Starter (okay to use plain yogurt if you cannot find starters)
  • 1 Gallon Organic Whole or 2% Milk
  • Thermometer
  • Crock-Pot
  • Jars or Containers for finished yogurt

**Before getting started, I ran all of the pots, jars and spoons I planned to use through the dishwasher to sterilize them.**

1. Pour milk and heat on low in crock-pot to 180* degrees. It should take 4-5 hours to reach that temperature. I opted to heat the milk in a pot on the stove top. It took about 30 minutes to reach the desired 180* degrees. If you choose to use the stove top method, be sure to keep an eye on it and stir every few minutes to prevent it from bubbling over.

2. Turn off heat and let it sit covered for 30 minutes. Heating milk to 180* degrees converts the sugars in the milk to lactic acid, which then thicken and helps to coagulate the homemade yogurt.

3. Using an ice bath, cool milk down to 110* degrees. Partially fill a sink with ice and cold water, place pot of milk on top. Stir every few minutes until cooled down to 110* degrees. While the milk is cooling down, measure out 1 cup of plain yogurt or prepare your starter.

Homemade Yogurt in a Crock-Pot

4. Once milk has cooled to 110* degrees, pour your yogurt (yogurt starter) into the milk and whisk gently. If you heated your milk in a pot, pour the milk mixture into your crock-pot and set on WARM. Before making my first batch, I tested my crock-pot with water and it maintained 100-100* on warm setting. Cover and leave alone for 6-8 hours.

Some people pour the yogurt mixture into jars and place inside of a cooler filled with hot water (110* degrees). This too works if you find that your crock-pot gets too hot on the warm setting. Remember, if you overheat your yogurt, you will kill all of the healthy bacteria.

5. After 6-8 hours have passed, your yogurt is ready! For a really rich and creamy flavor, I recommend using a cheesecloth to strain some of the extra liquid out. In a pinch, a clean pillowcase works just as good. Here is a good tutorial, since my children deleted my pictures on how to use a cheesecloth.

6. When you are done straining your yogurt, return it to the pot and whisk it until it is nice and smooth. At this point, I remove a cup of yogurt and save to use as my starter for my next batch. Since my kids love strawberry yogurt, I blend frozen strawberries with a little bit of sugar and the rest of the yogurt.

Homemade Yogurt in a Crock-Pot

By the way, I found these plastic containers that are perfect for portioning out single servings for the kids!

~Jessica

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