How to Make Yogurt in an Electric Yogurt Maker

  • 01 of 07

    How to Make Homemade Yogurt in an Electric Yogurt Maker

    Homemade Yogurt
    Getty/Jean-Christophe Riou

    It's easy to make your own homemade yogurt in an electric yogurt maker, and the results are well worth the effort. You can choose the type of milk you like, from fat-free to whole milk, organic or locally grown or conventional, and you can create flavors to suit your palate.

    Homemade yogurt will have far less sugar than the commercial yogurt, and you'll also be helping the environment by using the reusable jars that many yogurt makers come with, instead of buying individually packaged plastic yogurt tubs.

    These instructions should work for most automatic yogurt makers that have individual glass or plastic containers but make sure to read your machine's instruction booklet for instructions specific to your machine.

    To make yogurt in a machine that has seven 6-ounce containers, you will need:

    • 42 ounces of milk (whole or 2 percent milk work best)
    • 6 ounces of plain yogurt containing live active cultures.

    Note: It is very important to use fresh, plain, unflavored yogurt, and the freshest, best-quality milk you can find. The quality of your yogurt will depend on the quality of the ingredients you start out with.

    Other cooking equipment you'll need: see it on, liquid measuring cup, saucier or saucepan, instant-read thermometer, medium mixing bowl, whisk or wooden spoon, ladle

    More Homemade Yogurt Recipes

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  • 02 of 07

    Heat the Milk

    How to Make Homemade Yogurt
    Jessica Harlan

    To begin, pour 42 ounces (5 1/2 cups) of milk into a saucier pan or a saucepan and heat it over medium heat.

    Continue to heat the milk until it begins to foam along the edges of the pan, but don't let it boil. At this point, it should measure about 180 F.

    Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

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  • 03 of 07

    Cool the Milk

    Making Homemade Yogurt
    Jessica Harlan

    Cool the milk until the temperature is about 110 F. While you're waiting for the milk to cool, spoon 6 ounces of yogurt into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

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  • 04 of 07

    Temper the Milk and the Yogurt

    Making Homemade Yogurt
    Jessica Harlan

    Tempering is gradually combining a hot liquid with a cooler liquid. Using a ladle, add some of the cooled milk to the yogurt, about a half-cup at a time, stirring with a whisk or a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.

    When you've added about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of milk to the yogurt, pour the milk-yogurt mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk and stir until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy.

    How to Make Flavored Yogurt

    To make flavored yogurt now's the time to add flavorings such as jam, vanilla extract or cooked fruit to the yogurt-milk mixture just before spooning it into the jars. You can also add the flavorings directly into each jar for "fruit on the bottom" style yogurt.

    Try making a batch or two of plain yogurt first before experimenting with flavored versions. If you don't like the taste of plain yogurt, just stir fruit, jam or other flavorings into the finished yogurt before eating it.  ​

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  • 05 of 07

    Fill the Yogurt Containers

    Making Homemade Yogurt
    Jessica Harlan

    Use a ladle to fill the yogurt containers equally with the yogurt-milk mixture. Wipe any drips off the outside of each container, and place them in the yogurt maker with the lids off. Place the cover on the yogurt maker.

    Note: To make yogurt in a yogurt maker that has one big container, such as the Dash Greek Yogurt Maker, rather than individual jars, pour the milk-yogurt mixture right into the large container, place the container in the yogurt maker and cover.

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  • 06 of 07

    Program the Yogurt Maker

    Homemade Yogurt
    Jessica Harlan

    Turn the yogurt maker on and program it for the desired amount of incubating time. Whole-milk yogurt will take about 7 hours, 2 percent yogurt will take 9 hours, and skim-milk yogurt will take 10 hours.

    While the yogurt is incubating, be sure not to bump, move or otherwise disturb the yogurt maker as it could interfere with the process.

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  • 07 of 07

    Refrigerate the Yogurt

    Homemade Yogurt

    When the yogurt has finished incubating, remove the containers from the yogurt maker, put the lids on and refrigerate the finished yogurt until it is chilled through, at least three hours. Yogurt will keep about 10 days when refrigerated.

    Making Greek-Style Yogurt

    To make thicker, Greek-style yogurt, refrigerate the yogurt until chilled, then strain the yogurt through a cheesecloth-lined sieve for 30 minutes or until it's reached the desired thickness.