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Making yogurt in an Instapot is the easiest thing to do. I’ve made yogurt for many years on the stovetop and then incubating it in a cooler. What an all day chore! The Instapot not only makes it super easy but it is the best tasting yogurt I’ve ever had. Even my yogurt-hating son enjoys eating it! I always make what is considered Greek yogurt. That only means that I strain it after the yogurt cycle is completed. It’s more of a personal preference. And how long you strain it depends on how thick your yogurt will be.
This is my KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method:
- Make sure liner is clean and place ice cubes on bottom. This helps prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom.
- Use a separate silicone ring for yogurt (you don’t want the yogurt having a taste from the pot roast you made the day before as silicone can absorb smells). I bought a set of 3 silicone rings. I use the clear ones for meats, red for veggies and the blue is yogurt.
- Remove the ice cubes but do not wipe out. Place liner in Instapot base.
- Pour in half gallon of milk. Personally, I use Walmart store brand 2%.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of dry milk. This just helps thicken the yogurt a little and leaves you will a little less whey.
- Whisk milk. I use a silicone whisk, you just want to be sure you don’t use aluminum since your pot is stainless steel.
- Put lid on. Hit the YOGURT button. It should say “boil”. If it doesn’t, you might need to tap on some of the other settings (“adjust”) depending on your model.
- You can take the lid off and whisk occasionally. You can also take the temperature (use a digital thermometer) some if you want. Usually, I get busy and forget to whisk or take the temperature until I hear it beep. It beeps when it finishes this cycle and will display “yogurt”. Then remove the lid, whisk the milk, and take the temperature. It should read 180 degrees minimum. If it doesn’t add more time, or click to “saute” and continue whisking and taking the temperature until it reaches 180 degrees.
- Remove the liner. Now, you need to cool the milk down to 110 degrees so you can add the starter. You can do this a few different ways but I am impatient so I place my liner in a big bowl of cold water. Then I add a few ice cubes to the water. Keep whisking and taking the temperature every couple of minutes. You want to catch it as soon as the temperature gets to 110 degrees. (If it goes below 90, you have to heat it back up I think so I just make sure to stay right by the pot during this time.) Sometimes, to hurry the process, I change out the water once.
- When the 110 degree temperature is reached, remove the liner and wipe outside dry.
- Add the starter. I use one tablespoon if using yogurt and one and a half if using whey. You can use a FRESHLY opened *plain* unsweetened yogurt with live cultures or use whey from a previous batch of yogurt. Years ago when I made yogurt on the stovetop, I used to get a yogurt starter from the health food store. Now, I freeze off tablespoon and a half portions of whey in ice cube trays as soon as I finish making yogurt. When I use the whey, I place the ice cube in a small bowl so it can melt down the night before. If you use whey, you can put it in the entire batch, otherwise, portion out a little and mix that first, and then add to the whole batch. Whisk so that all starter is incorporated.
- Place liner back in Instapot. Push “yogurt” button again if needed and “adjust” until a time shows. Depending on your model, you might only need to add “time”. I have read everywhere from 8 to 12 hours, so I also set mine for 10. I try to remember to start my yogurt at night so at this point, I just make sure the Instapot starts counting up and then off to bed I go.
- Once the yogurt cycle is completed, take the liner out and cover with Saran Wrap. Place in the refrigerator for two and half to four hours. It’s ready to start straining when you can stand a spoon in it and it stays upright.
- When the yogurt is ready to be strained, decide how (and if) you want to strain it. I have a nut bag that I would use. However, when I am lazy, I just line a strainer with coffee filters. Then I place the stainer over a bowl that is deep enough that the whey won’t touch the bottom of the strainer.
- Let strain at least two hours. How long you allow the yogurt to strain depends on how thick you prefer your yogurt. I often use mine as sour cream and like mine thick so I usually strain mine four hours. If it gets too thick, you can always add a little whey back into the batch and stir it.
- With this method, I fill two pint mason jars with yogurt and one jar with whey. I immediately take some whey and freeze into ice cubes to use as a starter for future yogurt making.
That’s it. This will make plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. You can always add your sweetener of choice and any flavorings you want. I will fix a half cup with 1 teaspoon of Truvia and one capful of vanilla flavoring for my son. Just mix it up and then top with some berries. In fact, I just finished some for as my dessert.
If you want all the details and the why’s of each step, or if you need to troubleshoot, the most detailed process of yogurt making that I found is on Frieda Loves Bread’s site. I actually found her video on You Tube but I think the link I provided has more information although I honestly have not read it since I haven’t ran into problems.