Today I want to share with you my crock-pot yogurt recipe. When I first heard of making yogurt in the crock-pot about 1 1/2 years ago I was so amazed. I have envisioned making yogurt as a hard time-consuming task, but it actually is extremely easy and fun to make, not to mention that it's actually not time consuming at all. The biggest time consuming part of making yogurt is just making sure you'll be able to turn the crock-pot on and off at the right times. I can't believe I didn't start making yogurt sooner, it's just absolutely so easy! : )
1/2 gallon of milk (preferable whole or as high of fat as you can get)
1/2 cup of active/live plain culture yogurt
Put the 1/2 gallon of milk in the crock-pot on low. Cover and allow to warm for 2 1/2 hours. I have found that the timing on this recipe isn't strict at all. I've allowed my milk to warm for 3 hours and the yogurt has turned out just fine.
After 2 1/2 hours turn your crock-pot off and just allow the milk to cool with the lid on. You can unplug the crock-pot now as you will not be heating it anymore. This would help keep your curious 2 year old from turning it back on...not that this has every happened. : ) Well, actually, it hasn't but other recipes of mine have almost been ruined this way... : )
After 3 hours of the milk cooling take out 2 cups of warm milk. Mix 1/2 cup yogurt into the 2 cups warm milk. Mix until there are no clumps and the milk is smooth. Carefully add the mixed milk and yogurt to the crock-pot of warm milk. Stir in well.
Place the lid back on the crock-pot and wrap well with a large towel. I find that the big beach towels do well, though any large towel will work. As long as the entire crock-pot is covered.
Now let it sit on the counter wrapped for 8 hours or overnight.
I like to start my yogurt at 3 in the afternoon, then I turn it off at 5:30, add the yogurt at 8:30 and then allow to stand overnight.
I prefer to use the yogurt without draining off the whey. I mainly use yogurt for smoothies or with granola so a thinner yogurt is just fine with me.
This recipes makes 2 quarts and 1 pint worth of yogurt (without draining the whey). I store in the refrigerator in glass canning cars. This fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days (I've had it last longer too, just check it and make sure there isn't anything off with it before using.). You can save 1/2 cup to use as a starter for your next batch of homemade yogurt.
It is recommended not to use your homemade yogurt as a starter after 3 times. They say the cultures are to weak by then. I've always just trusted that and haven't tried making it again after 3 times, I just go buy a new canister of yogurt. : )
Be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions, I'm happy to try to help. : )
Have you ever made yogurt before? Do you make it on the stove or in the crock-pot? Which method do you prefer?