This is the easiest method I’ve found to make homemade yogurt in the instant pot. I have always used dry milk powder, heated it, let it cool, add the starter, and let it go for up to 24 hours. However, I really wanted to start using Organic, grass fed milk for my yogurt. However, it is most always ultra-pasteurized, making it difficult to get good results making yogurt. This cold start instant pot yogurt method has become my go to!
In my town, it is hard to find good quality dairy products. So, when my local store started carrying organic, grass fed milk, I was elated. I bought a gallon, did my usual method for yogurt and it turned out goopy! I couldn’t even eat it! I had to give my chickens a treat, ha ha. After doing some research, I learned that making yogurt from ultra pasteurized milk is a bit more difficult.
I have to admit, when I first learned of this method, I was skeptical. I mean, it couldn’t be that easy, right? Well, it really was that easy and to be perfectly honest, I much prefer this yogurt. It’s quite a bit more creamy than my old method.
The taste is a little different. It has a bit of a cooked flavor, but, for me, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for in my homemade yogurt.
Why make yogurt at home?
As with anything, homemade is always better. Plus, I can make a gallon at a time and have it stocked up in my fridge for a much lower cost. I eat yogurt for breakfast every day, so, I go through quite a bit in a week.
Another reason I like making my own yogurt is the choice of the quality of the milk I use. My local store does not carry organic, grass fed yogurt. So, if I want to have that option, I have to make it myself.
With this method, it’s so easy, I don’t mind at all to make this anytime.
Health benefits of yogurt
Good quality yogurt is made with 2 ingredients. Milk and cultures. Those cultures inoculate the milk with tons of good bacteria. This good bacteria is imperative for gut health. Without the proper amount of good gut bacteria one will have stomach issues as well as other problems with the immune system.
I like to incorporate several different probiotic rich foods into my diet each day. Each food contains different strains of the bacteria giving my gut a wide variety.
**This method only works with ultra pasteurized milk**
Where to get a starter culture
You can actually just use a store bought plain yogurt for your culture. Make sure it is unflavored and only has the 2 ingredients of milk and cultures.
Once you make your first batch of yogurt, save back 1/4 cup for 1/2 gallon of milk, or 1/2 cup for 1 gallon of milk.
Save this portion each time to inoculate the next batch.
I’ve used the same culture for a year now.
You can also buy a dry starter culture online from websites such as Cultures for Health or even Amazon!
What you will need to make this cold start yogurt
- Instant Pot with Yogurt function
- Ultra Pasteurized Milk
- Yogurt starter culture
To get started, pour your milk in the instant pot liner. Reserve a cup in a small mixing bowl. Add the starter culture to the reserved milk and whisk thoroughly.
Add this mixture to the rest of the milk in the instant pot liner.
Whisk to make sure everything is combined.
Place a glass lid on the liner or place the instant pot lid WITHOUT THE GASKET. Make sure if use the instant pot lid to have it set to venting, not sealing.
Press the yogurt function button and make sure it is on NORMAL for 8 HOURS.
After about 5 hours you can check to see if it is setting up.
After the 8 hours, place a tea towel over a colander. Place the tea towel lined colander over a large bowl.
Pour the yogurt into the tea towel lined colander and place the colander over the bowl in the fridge for up to 4 hours. This helps the yogurt set well.
After 3-4 hours, dip the yogurt out and place in an airtight container. Keep in fridge for 7-10 days.