Instant Pot Yogurt ~ Easy, Cheap, No Sugar!

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If you are on social media or Pinterest at all, I'm sure you've seen the many, many posts regarding how to make yogurt in your instant pot.  

When I first got my instant pot, I couldn't wait to try making yogurt because my family goes through A LOT of it each week and I was looking forward to the cost savings of making our own.

I have tried many of the various methods out there (including cold start with ultra-processed milk), but I am happy to have finally found our favorite method!

What you will need:

  • Instant Pot (large enough to hold 1 gallon of milk)

  • Thermometer

  • Yogurt Starter (more on that to come)

  • Whisk

  • Cup or small bowl

  • Storage containers (I use 4 quart jars)


1.  Pull out your instant pot and add 1-2 cups of water to it.  Put the top on, close the valve, then select the "steam" method, which will set to 5 minutes.  This will sterilize your pot in order to prepare it for cooking your yogurt.  Quick release after 5 minutes and discard the water.


2.  Pour 1 gallon of milk of choice into the instant pot (I use whole milk, but it works with less fatty milks as well).  

3. Put the lid on (close valve) and select yogurt button until it displays the "boil" option.  Allow milk to come to a boil until it reaches 180 degrees F.  It is SUPER important that the milk reaches this temperature or your yogurt will not set up thick.  I have found that after I boil it once, if I select the saute option and stir frequently (and check the temp frequently), it brings it up to the temperature faster than boiling multiple times.  

4.  Once the milk has come to 180 degrees, you must cool it down to 110 degrees.  You can do this by removing the inner pot from the main pot and leaving it out on the counter for about an hour or so (check the temperature regularly. 

5.  Once cooled, pull out about a cup of the warm milk and whisk in your yogurt starter.  You can purchase yogurt starters in powder form online or at health food stores, but the easiest thing to do is to use store-bought yogurt (or yogurt saved from your last batch of homemade yogurt).  I use Organic Plain Greek Yogurt.  I add a couple big spoonfuls of greek yogurt to my warm milk and whisk thoroughly.  Then add that mix to your pot of warm milk.  Again, whisk thoroughly.

6.  Put the lid on and select the yogurt option.  This will bring up a number.  This number is the amount of hours you want to incubate your yogurt for.  You can do anywhere from 8-24 hours depending on how tangy you like your yogurt (the longer you incubate, the tangier it gets).  We typically do the full 24 hours because I read somewhere that if you do 24 hours, your yogurt becomes lactose free.  Don't ask me how that works ;)  Once you have decided on the amount of hours you want, your instant pot will beep a few times and then start counting up from zero until it reaches the desired amount of hours.

7.  When your yogurt is done, transfer it to your storage containers and store in your fridge.   This yogurt will keep up to 2 weeks, but in our house, it's typically gone within 1 week.  We use it as sour cream, in our smoothies, and as a base for our ranch dressing, but most often we use it to make "yogurt parfaits" (our kids' favorite)!


For our yogurt parfaits, our favorite is to add granola and some chocolate chips, as well as some honey to sweeten the yogurt.  Because this yogurt is plain and sugar-free, you will want to sweeten it up in your own way.  

Other options that we love are adding fruit or fruit puree (like homemade jams and compotes).  The possibilities are truly endless!

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