Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment

Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment: Check out the findings & tips from our 12 trials of making homemade yogurt (pressure cooker yogurt) for our foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt Recipes.

After conducting 12 tests of making homemade yogurt in our Test Kitchen, it’s time for you to geek out with us! Get behind the scenes on how we developed our foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt Recipes. Plus, lots of tips to perfecting your pressure cooker yogurt.

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Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment

You can click on the links to skip to a particular section.

  1. 5 Simple Steps to Make Plain Yogurt
  2. Milk
  3. Yogurt Starter
  4. How Long Do You Incubate Yogurt?
  5. The Birth of Greek Yogurt: Straining Yogurt

The Great Struggle

When I was 5, my aunt introduced me to the world of plain yogurt.

“Jacky, have you ever had yogurt?”

As a boy who loves to eat everything, I was thrilled to take my first bite.

My life was never the same.

I don’t know about you, but plain yogurt is probably the only food I don’t like.

A lot of our readers had requested for our Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe and I just kept stalling…

That’s like asking Homer Simpson to stop eating his donuts.

Homer Simpson Loves His Donuts


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Sorry, not going to happen….

Not until 3 months ago, I received an email from a gentleman called Dale.

His email softened my heart and eventually changed my mind.

Words are some of the most powerful things in the world. Well played Dale… Well played…

After hundreds tablespoons of plain homemade yogurt, I can confidently tell you that homemade plain Instant Pot Yogurt tastes a lot better than the store bought ones.

Let’s carry on with our Instant Pot Yogurt experiment.

1. 5 Simple Steps to Make Plain Instant Pot Yogurt

Making your own yogurt at home is actually quite simple. We can break it down to five simple steps.

How to Make Instant Pot Yogurt in 5 Steps:

  1. Heat Milk to 180°F – 200°F to change the protein structure
  2. Cool Milk to 105°F – 114°F
  3. Add Yogurt Starter to Milk
  4. Wait for Yogurt to set
  5. Plain Yogurt is done – refrigerate and strain if desired

2. Milk

2.1 Choosing Milk for Making Instant Pot Yogurt

The type of milk you use will determine the thickness and creaminess of your homemade yogurt.

Tests: We tested using 2% Milk, 3.25% Milk and 3.8% Milk.

Here are the test results:Instant Pot Yogurt Milk Choice

Result? The above photos show 3.8% Whole Milk with the highest milk fat content produced the thickest and creamiest homemade yogurt among the three. It’s easier to tell the difference by looking at the whey separation in the pot.

Our Favorite: Whole Foods 365 Organic 3.8% Whole Milk created the best yogurt in our experiments in term of taste and thickness. We would recommend it to yogurt-making beginners.

2.2 How Do You Thicken Homemade Yogurt?

The Effect of Milk Powder

Instant Pot Yogurt Adding Powdered MilkTests: we experimented with adding Powdered Milk to a batch of our 3.25% Milk (right) and compared it with another batch of 3.25% Milk without the Dry Milk Powder (left).

Result? The batch with powdered milk came out noticeably thicker with less whey separation.

Instant Pot Yogurt with Powdered Milk AddedHowever, on a side by side comparison, we both preferred the texture of the batch without Milk Powder.

2.3 Heating the Milk

Instant Pot Yogurt Boil

Test 1: We tried heating milk to 182°F – 197°F.

Result? The higher temperature didn’t seem to have an effect on Instant Pot Yogurt’s thickness.

Test 2: We also tried holding 2 batches of milk for 30 minutes with the Slow Cook Less function on DUO60 Version 1 and Version 2.

Instant Pot Yogurt Slow Cook Less DUO60 Version 1 Peaked at 198.6°F during a 30 minutes interval.

Instant Pot Yogurt Slow Cook Less DUO60 Version 2

Peaked at 184.6°F during a 30 minutes interval.

Result? To our surprise, holding milk at 185°F – 199°F for an extra 30 minutes did not have a noticeable effect on the yogurt’s thickness.

2.4 Cooling the Milk

Instant Pot Yogurt Cooling Milk

*Pro Tip 1: The quickest and easiest way to cool down a batch of milk is to place the inner pot inside a bigger pot filled with cold tap water. You can also fill the kitchen sink with cold tap water.

*Pro Tip 2: Stir with a silicone spatula to make sure the milk cool down evenly.

Cooling Time: It took 2 minutes 45 seconds to 5 minutes to cool down a 2L batch of milk with this method.

Instant Pot Cooling Milk Temperature

We tried cooling our milk to 105°F – 114°F and we were successful in making yogurt in this temperature range.

Instant Pot Yogurt Culturing Temperature

It makes sense as the Instant Pot tries to maintain the Yogurt culturing temperature at 106°F – 113°F in this 12 hours temperature chart we recorded.

3. Yogurt Starter

3.1 Choosing Yogurt Starter for Making Yogurt

Choosing a YogurtWe tried 5 different brands of yogurt as yogurt starter:

  1. BioBest Plain Yogurt
  2. Danone 4% Plain Greek Yogurt
  3. Yoplait Vanilla Yogurt
  4. Store Brand 4% Plain Greek Yogurt (no picture sorry)
  5. Homemade Instant Pot Plain Yogurt

Active Bacterial CulturesResults? All five of them worked as a Yogurt Starter.

*Pro Tip 1: Check the ingredient list when you choose your Yogurt Starter. As long as the store-bought yogurt has active bacterial cultures, the yogurt should work as the yogurt starter.

A live culture usually contains at least 2 types of bacteria (L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus). These thermophilic bacteria strives in the 95°F – 115°F range, with 108°F – 111°F being the sweet spot.

*Pro Tip 2: The yogurt consistency and taste do change depending on the type of bacteria cultures in the yogurt. So stick to the brand you like best for the most consistent result.

3.2 Plain Yogurt vs Flavored Yogurt

Just to point out the obvious, Greek Yogurt will not make Greek Yogurt. Vanilla Yogurt will not make Vanilla Yogurt either.

In fact, we don’t recommend using flavored yogurt as the flavor from the yogurt starter gives a slight off-taste to the final homemade plain yogurt.

Our Favorite: We liked the flavor and consistency the most from Danone 4% Plain Greek Yogurt

3.3 How Much Yogurt Starter to Use?

Instant Pot Yogurt Amount to AddPlease ignore the foamy surface!

Tests: We tested using 16g of Yogurt Starter (left), 32g of Yogurt Starter, and 63g of Yogurt Starter (right) in batches of 3.25% milk.

Results? The yogurt came out slightly thicker with 63g (1/4 cup) of yogurt starter. You would have a hard time telling the difference without a side by side comparison. The tanginess remained the same.

Conclusion: We agreed that it doesn’t make much sense to use more than 16g (a bit more than 1 tablespoon) of yogurt starter per 1L of milk as the difference is too subtle.

4. How Long Do You Incubate Instant Pot Yogurt?

Yogurt – The Incubation Stage

Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment: Instant Pot YogurtInstant Pot Yogurt is pretty much set after 8 hours.

*Pro Tip: Putting the yogurt in the fridge will stop the incubating process and will thicken the yogurt slightly.

Findings: Longer incubating time will not make the yogurt any thicker, but increases the tanginess in your homemade yogurt.

Amy and I both “prefer” plain yogurt with 9 hours of incubation as we like them quite mild in tanginess. Plain yogurt with 12 hours of incubation is very tangy for us so we stopped there.Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment: Instant Pot Yogurt Tartness Test

5. The Birth of Greek Yogurt: Straining Yogurt

To create Greek Yogurt, all you have to do is separate the whey from the yogurt to make it thicker.

The more whey you separate the thicker the yogurt.

Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment: Instant Pot Yogurt StrainerSpecial Staining Equipment: you can purchase this Greek Yogurt Maker here (right).

*Coffee filter and paper towel (It may not be a good idea to use paper towel as our dear reader Leah mentioned, there are chemicals in paper towel to make it absorb better) on a sieve will work as well.

Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment: Instant Pot Yogurt Straining

How Long to Strain Yogurt to Make Greek Yogurt?

  • 1 Hour – about 1.5 cup (375ml) of whey was separated from 2L of yogurt by the strainer
  • 2 Hours – about 2.5 cups (625ml) of whey was separated from 2L of yogurt by the strainer
  • Overnight – about 4 cups (902ml) of whey was separated from 2L of yogurt by the strainer. You are pretty much left with a little over 1L of Greek yogurt after straining overnight.

Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment: Cream Cheese Like YogurtThe texture was almost cream cheese-like after 24 hours of straining.

Try serving this 12 hours incubated plain yogurt cream cheese to your kids as ice cream and see what they think.

*Pro Tip: If you think the Greek Yogurt is too thick, you can stir some of the whey back in with a whisk to adjust the thickness.

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12

Yogurt Recipe: Instant Pot Yogurt #12

Instant Pot Yogurt

With the results of 12 Yogurt experiments, we have developed our Foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt #12 & Foolproof Instant Pot Greek Yogurt #12.

Now I can go back to enjoy my donuts and Dale can enjoy his Instant Pot Yogurt.

Take care & have fun cooking everyone 🙂

Instant Pot Yogurt Experiment: Check out the findings, tips from our 12 trials of making homemade yogurt (pressure cooker yogurt) for our foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt Recipes.
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Amy and Jack,

    Your posts are extremely helpful and I am using an Ultra IP:
    What is the temperature for the DEFAULT Yogurt mode for the incubation process? I have had success previously but recently attempted to use the manual temperature for the pasteurization process (this was a waste of time).
    thank you again

  2. I did contact Instantpot, and after performing a few tests for them, they decided to send us a new one. My Yogurt with the new one turned out great, did a 1 1/2 gallon of 2% milk, used Actuvia yogurt from Aldi as starter. got nice results, with nicely jelled yogurt and clear whey, strained thru muslin and got very nice thick Greek Yogurt. Back in business.
    Kudos to Instantpot for making this right.

  3. We have been making yogurt for years (the hard way, manually using heating pad to maintain temp) with success, Got an Instantpot and tried it, but it would not maintain the temp properly, it held at 90 to 95F a little cool for proper fermentation. left the yogurt runny and not set up properly. Contacted InstantPot and they said there is no temp adjustment. Your thoughts?

    1. Hi Fred,

      Late Reply (We were on a trip to Asia)! Thank you for your question 🙂

      The Instant Pot should be able to maintain the temp at 105 – 115F on the Yogurt Normal function.

      If it doesn’t, I recommend contacting the Instant Pot support team again and see what they can do.

      Please take care & have fun cooking

  4. I have made Instant Pot yoghurt quite successfully a few times, with 24-hour incubation using a gallon of whole milk from the supermarket, to supplement our kids’ voracious appetite for yoghurt. For a starter, I typically use an excellent, locally produced yoghurt I buy at the farmers market – which tends to be my staple breakfast choice. My Instant Pot yoghurt doesn’t quite measure up to it in consistency or flavour (might be due to the milk I use) but it’s good enough… EXCEPT for this problem: I usually bring it in a container to work, where I arrive after a half hour run. The yoghurt by then turns completely runny, losing all of its appetizing creamy texture. This never happens with the farmers market yoghurt, which I know doesn’t have any additives. Is there anything I can do, besides adding something like pectin?

  5. Do I need a thermometer to use this method? I have never used one in my many years of cooking. While shopping online for a thermometer I only see meat thermometers. Which type is best? Brand name? I tired to make L.Reuteri yogurt using the oven method but I think the instructions were incomplete. I am anxious to try using your instructions here. Thank you for this very informative post.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words & question. A meat thermometer will work fine. I like the brand Javelin.

      Happy New Year & please take care

  6. I have a Bella Pro Series Multi Cooker. There is not a Yogurt button and their instructions say to use the soup setting for 15 minutes and saute for 3 minutes until the temperature reaches 212 degrees F. No water bath. No other instructions for how long to let it set or anything.

    1. Hi Margot,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. The most important part is to keep it at a constant 105F – 110F for the fermentation.

      You can place the whole container under an oven lamp and give it a try.

      Happy New Year & please take care

    2. You actually only need to heat it up to 180 degrees before you let it cool back down, so maybe skip the saute step?

  7. Hi Jacky and Amy! I’ve been making yoghurt in my Instant Pot for about a year now and this is my preferred way of doing it. Before this I used a yoghurt maker that has those sweet jars. This is WAY easier.
    I use a super fatted organic milk, Strauss’s Farm. It’s the kind with the heavy cream on top. For the starter I use a french yoghurt called St. Benoit. I like mine more like creme fraiche and “cook” it for 6 hours. Any more, to my taste, is too sour. I, too, use powdered milk to help thicken it.
    Thanks for your incredible in-depth posts. They are wonderful.

  8. Hi A&J !
    I’d really like to know more about that foam. I made yogurt last night in my DUO 60. This morning after it had incubated for eight hours I noticed there was about 1/4″ of foam on top of my yogurt. This didn’t happen when I used the PIP method and made my yogurt in jars. Is the yoga still edible? I read that the yogurt foam is caused by yeast that may have contaminated the process. I really don’t mind the the yeast as I am a bread maker so the smell of yeast in my kitchen is wonderful. But I want to make sure that I am not going to turn into a big old loaf of bread if I eat that yogurt. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks !

    1. Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      I have tried doing some research on this topic, but nothing I found have suggested the yogurt is safe to consume.

      Since I cannot find anything that gives me a solid Yes (and most of the things point to negative), I can only recommend not eating the yogurt. (Better safe than sorry)

      Take care & have fun cooking

  9. Hi Jacky,

    I’m looking forward to trying my first attempt at making homemade yogurt in my IP Ultra 60. I was wandering if you had tried making homemade coconut yogurt using coconut cream/coconut milk in the cans. If not will you be trying this type of dairy free yogurt out in your IP. I would love to get your input on it if you decide to or have already tried it. Thank you for your time and recipe!


    1. Hi Trina,

      thank you for your kind comment an question 🙂

      We haven’t tried making coconut yogurt with coconut milk yet. I can’t promise anything, but I have added it to our super long to-make list.

      Take care & see you around!

  10. Hi,
    Really love all of your Instant Pot recipes..I pass them to my kids who just have a regular electric pressure cooker. I have been making and straining yogurt in my IP but hate to throw “away the whey”. I have used it in pancakes but wondered if you had any ideas?
    I can now make rice pudding without the bottom burning. Keep those recipes coming.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and support Patti 🙂

      You can also use the whey to cook soup, potatoes, pasta, and rice.

      Take care & have fun cooking

    2. You can use the whey to make ricotta cheese by bringing it to 195 degrees, then adding some vinegar, then straining the cheese.

  11. My milk is fermenting at about 90 degrees. First time I’ve used my instant pot for this. Is 90 degrees ok? Is there a way to set the temp to keep it warmer?

    1. Hi Briana,

      90F is a little low for incubation. The lowest I would recommend is 105F.

      The Instant Pot yogurt function will keep the temperature at that range.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  12. What a great post! Very well done!

    I had a quick question, I currently do a whole gallon of milk with 2 tablespoons of starter and it turns out great. I want to start doing a 1 1/2 gallons, do you think I need more starter?

    1. Hi Madison,

      thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Based on the ratio, another tablespoon of starter is required for the best result!

      Take care & have fun cooking

  13. I made my batch of yogurt and set it on the 8 hr incubation period, which meant it would be done at MIDNIGHT. I fell asleep and woke up at 5 am. I put it in the refrigerator immediately. Is it still safe to eat

  14. Hi there. thank you very much for all the work you’ve done in getting the best results for homemade yogurt. I’ve been making mine plain, but would like to flavor it or even sweeten it as well. At what point would you add vanilla if that is the flavor of choice, and at what point would you add a sweetness, and what , in your opinion would be the best choice, and how much. I personally don’t want it to be too sweet, but would like the sour bite gone, with a nice homey vanilla flavor. I do realize I can somewhat control the tang by adjusting the incubation period, but if I kept that the same…how is it best to adjust.
    Thanks so much and I hope you can help.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      thank you for your kind words 🙂

      You can add sweetener and flavor after the yogurt is set. This way you can taste and adjust 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking

  15. I have a question about the milk to start with. Is it ok to use regular pasteurized whole milk or does it have to be ultra pasteurized? I’m using your boiled method

    Thanks for all of your hard work

  16. is there anyway that an instapot without the yogurt function can be “taught” to make yogurt. when i bought my instapot i did not think i would want the yogurt function, but now wish i had it. so are there any hacks that will work for yogurt making in a non-yogurt pot.

    1. Hi Eleanor,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can use the slow cook less function to bring the milk to a boil.

      To keep it at 110F, some people have found success placing the pot under an oven lamp as it is roughly 110F.
      Take care & have fun cooking

  17. Hi, I just wanted to say how much I love the yogurt I make in my instant pot, it is delicious. I usually buy a container of organic plain yogurt then devide it up into small amounts to use for each new batch, then freeze in ice cube containers, transfer to a freezer bag, and it works very time. I strain my yogurt after cooling overnight in the fridge and it thickens nicely. I save the whey to use in my sourdough bread, or in place of buttermilk in biscuits, or any other baking. Also my dog loves to just drink it. I use my yogurt in place of sour cream in the instant pot cheese cake( delicious)and have used it on baked potatoes. I use the low yogurt setting to do the first proofing of my bread dough, it keeps it at just the right temperature. This is a long “ comment” but thought I could share some other ways to use the yogurt and yogurt setting. Love this site and your recipes.

  18. Love the research you guys do!! It answers a ton of question with out even having to ask. I’m excited to make a batch, just need to find the correct milk and yogurt. I recently came across something that I can no longer find….regarding cream cheese. If you strain the yogurt longer in the fridge…will you get cream cheese?????????? Have you done any testing or experimenting on making your own cream cheese, especially with being able to make cheese cake in the IP. I’d love to see testing on that one.
    thanks bunches and have a super day.

    1. Hi Debora!

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      We haven’t done it in the Instant Pot, but I would use 50% whole milk and 50% cream for cream cheese.

      You will need to strain it for 6 – 8 hours in the fridge 🙂

      Have a wonderful weekend!!

  19. My third batch was a little thinner than regular yogurt. Here’s what I did. Can you identify the most likely problem?

    I used 1/2 gallon Walmart whole milk and 2 tablespoons of whole Yoplait French style plain yogurt with the 2 common strains.

    After the IP boil cycle, the temperature was only 150 (my second batch reached 165). I used the saute button to bring it to 180 but didn’t sustain it there. I used a new water proof thermometer.

    I removed a cup of milk to mix the culture in when the milk was about 105 degrees but I didn’t remove the pot from the cold water while I was mixing so perhaps the temperature dropped too low.

    Incubated 8 hours then in the fridge overnight. Strained in my Cuisine serveral hours which produced about half a cup of whey. Stained a second time which produced white liquid.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Hi Barbara,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It could be the milk or the yogurt. Try a different brand and give it a try again.

      Happy New Year to you and your family

    2. I had this happen to me a couple of times before I noticed that when you finish the “boil” cycle and are ready to incubate the IP defaults to “low”. You have to use the adjust button every time to move the light (and temp) to “normal” for the yogurt to get properly solidified in 8 hours.

    3. Linda, that’s exactly what happened. I found out when I called IP support and finally got someone who actually knew enough to ask me to check the temp setting. I’m not sure it always defaults to low. I always time it for 8:30. When selecting that time, it showed “Low” on the temp but the 8 hour setting was normal. I manually set the correct temp. I wasted four batches until I I got the right answer. I hope everyone gets the message and watches out for it. By the way, IP support suggested that I hold the temperature for 10 minutes after the boil cycle. Maybe I don’t need to do that, but I’m taking no chances. My yogurt is now so thick I can stick a spoon in it and it will stand up straight.

    4. I have been making yogurt for a while, using a Slow Cooker, one gallon of whole milk, 3 tbsp of my own yogurt as a starter. If I have to use store bought, I usually try to use Fage Total 5%. It is depressingly difficult to find yogurt that has nothing but milk and yogurt as the ingredients. Pectin and other ingredients, not to mention the 90% of the containers on the shelf with all manner of stuff.

      My first batch in the Instant Pot was perfect.
      Set it to “Boil”, waited for “Yogt” to appear, found the milk at 180°, cooled it in a sink with water to 110°, added 3 tbsp of yogurt, yogurt “medium” with two presses of the button, waited 8:30, jars, fridge.

      On my second batch, at the end of the Boil cycle, I only found 165°, but I thought I just didn’t catch it at the right time, and it had already cooled. I cooled it, added yogurt, yogurt-heat for 8 hours. All I had was milk with a lump of yogurt in the bottom.

      I tested with some water, monitoring with an electronic thermometer, and I had a 185° boil, and 108° “yogt”.

      Another batch, but monitoring, the boil was again only 165°. I started “boil” again, and it only took a few minutes to stop at 169°.

      The Instant Pot documentation shows the temperatures as
      “Yogurt” function: “Normal” 96.8 ~ 109.4°F; “Less” Jiu Niang 86 ~ 93.2°F; “More” 160~180°F.
      That offers the opportunity for the “Boil” to be too low to break down the milk, I think.
      Elsewhere, it says
      press “Yogurt” then “Adjust” to “More” mode with the word “boil” on the display. Instant Pot® will then boil the milk to 180°F

      Your follow-up comment makes it seem like you’ve been happy with the boil temperature, and believe that you inadvertently used “Less” for the incubation temperature.
      I’ll keep a closer eye on that, but I am still going to make sure that I have 180° at the end of my boil. I switched to “slow cook” to reach 185°.

      I noticed that the instruction manual says the lid should be closed for yogurt steps, which I did, but after the unsuccessful batches (two), I have been monitoring the temp with an electronic temperature probe and he lid ajar to route the probe cable.

  20. Your Instant Pot Yogurt recipe #12 is a gem! Absolutely perfect yogurt. The only thing I did differently (since I am the only one in the house who likes yogurt) was to bring it to a boil on the stove, transfer the cooled milk and starter into a Pyrex bowl and then place it into the IP on a trivet. I had previously used the “Keep Warm” function to bring the 2 cups of water in the IP to 115 degrees (maybe overkill…not sure..but I didn’t want to cool the milk and starter down). I used Danone 2% yogurt, 1 tbsp to 1 liter of 2% milk and let it incubate for 8 hours on “Yogurt/Normal” function. Then cooled the yogurt overnight. I have been making my own yogurt for years and this is the smoothiest, creamiest, thickest yogurt I have ever made. Flavour was perfect, not too tart. Thank you so much for this and all the other recipes I have followed from your site.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Channing 🙂

      So happy to hear the result and thank you so much for sharing your pot in pot method with us.

      Happy new year to you and your family!!

  21. A friend got an Instant Pot last year, and when I saw them on sale for Christmas, I bought the Duo Mini because I love multi-function kitchen machines and I really wanted it when I saw the yogurt function!!! Since my somewhat impulsive purchase, I have thought a couple of times that when it arrives, I should return it to the store, but your recipes and guidance are helping to quell my panic!

    Thanks for the great step-by-step recipes and posts like this that demonstrate how you’ve experimented with your process!

  22. I really enjoy your recipes! My family and I love yogurt, I am lactose intolerant .
    Can you help me make a nice thick yogurt using what’s available?

    1. Hi Jane,

      Greek yogurt has most of the lactose removed. It is an option to some of our readers with lactose intolerant.

      Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday to you and your family!

    2. Use goats’ milk — although try to find fresh (as the stuff in the stores is not nearly as good and in my opinion, doesn’t taste anything like the fresh stuff). If you happen to live near Boulder, Colorado, we have a working goat milking co-op with a few open shifts. You milk your own!

  23. I add 1/2 cup sugar or honey in with the milk at the very beginning. Makes delicious slightly sweetened yogurt. If you don’t like plain yogurt, try this sweetened version. To strain I also use a large 1 gallon coffee filter in a colander.

  24. Jacky,

    I used a local dairy named Gossner’s for my shelf stable milk. My yogurt turned out super, super thick–like cream cheese thick and it tastes great.

  25. Great instructions! I’ve done several successful batches with regular whole milk and Fage full
    Day plain yogurt as a starter. As an experiment this weekend, I used shelf stable boxed whole milk-worked great, but turned out even thicker than my regular recipe! I do strain with a coffee filter. Hard to imagine going back to store bought (especially now that I’m making granola too).

  26. I have an almost new IP that I’ve only used 4 times. I’ve made yogurt per the instructions here but the milk only got to 164 after yogurt/boil both times. I had to use saute to get it to 180. Any idea what the problem is?

    1. Hi Steven,

      Thank you for your question.

      Sometimes it is like that 🙁

      Since the temperature sensor is built at the bottom so sometimes it is not as accurate as we want it to be.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  27. After may first failure of yogurt that was like glue I was eager to try again.
    I have both a 5 and 6 quart IP and used each one in making my next two batches of yogurt.

    * Also I was surprised to note that adding 8 cups of milk makes it to the “6” line on the pot. Are the markings that inaccurate??

    Two further batches later I am still unable to make a good batch of yogurt. I start with organic whole milk. I measured and made sure it got to 180 degrees. Cooled to 110 degrees. Added the starter, also organic whole milk yogurt (Stonyfield). Set the IP to yogurt/normal/8hours. The results were even worse than the first time. Liquid.

    I have used Plain yogurt in one batch and Greek yogurt in another.
    Any advice??

    1. Hi Pammap,

      So happy to hear from you again.

      Here is two reasons I can think of:
      1) The thermometer may not be accurate
      2) You may want to try making it with another brand of milk.

      Take care & have fun cooking

    2. That brand of milk is ultra-pasteurized. That is your issue…some of the enzymes in the milk that allow it to firm up are killed during the ultra-pasteurization process, leaving you with liquid. If you use regular pasteurized milk, you’ll probably get the desired result.

  28. This was unbelievably helpful! My father is a chemical engineer so I love getting all of the options and specifics on “if you do it this way this or that thing will happen.” Thanks for answering all of my “what ifs” so I don’t have to experiment! I do have a general question though…I use whole milk, and Fage greek yogurt as my starter, but even with straining overnight mine is not NEARLY as thick as cream cheese. I would like it to be thicker, so do you have any recommendations? Or, just let it sit in the yogurt strainer for longer to see if I can get more whey out of it?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      thank you so much for your kind words!!! 🙂

      You will be able to get more whey out of it by letting it sit in the yogurt strainer for a longer time.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  29. I just ate my first cup of my first batch of yogurt in my IP. It was truly fabulous! I set it up to strain before I went to sleep, so it was like cream cheese when I got up (it was about 5 hours). I set some aside to use as a spread and put the rest in a bowl to add honey and vanilla. I used a fork to whip in some of the whey to thin it back down. It was lumpy when I first put it in the bowl but whipped up perfectly with the whey. I left it pretty thick still. Now, to make some huckleberry jam to go with. I can definitely see this as a regular routine. Thanks so much. Your instructions were spot on.

  30. I just made my first batch of yogurt in the Instant Pot using whole UP organic milk. It came out very gloopy and stringy. It tastes fine. I’ve seen many articles online about this problem but none directly with an Instant Pot.
    Is it still safe to eat?
    What should I do so that it doesn’t happen?

    1. Hi Pammap,

      thank you for your comment and question 🙂

      The yogurt should still be safe to eat. No guarantee, but I actually ate some before as well.

      There are so many factors that contribute to the gloopy and stringy texture.

      1) It could be the milk (Ultra-pasteurized milk doesn’t perform as well as HTST milk)
      2) It could be the quality of the yogurt starter.
      3) the milk was not heated to 180F to allow the protein lactoglobulin to unwind.

      Take care & have fun cooking

    1. Hi Patricia,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Some people have found success placing the pot under an oven lamp as it is roughly 110F.
      Take care & have fun cooking

  31. HI,
    Thank you for the tips. I have made yogurt twice now. While the taste is fine the consistency is lumpy and rather unappealing. What am I doing wrong?

    I am using whole milk and Live Cultures

    1. Hi Lisa,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Milk could have contributed to the lumpy consistency.
      You may want to try another brand of milk.
      You can also use a egg whisk to smooth out some of the lumps.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  32. Great article but I have 2 questions

    1. Can I use non-fat milk? I usually buy nonfat yogurt.
    2. I have the Ultra so when I select Yogurt there are temp settings for Low, Med, Hi and Custom. What temp do I set it at for incubation?

    1. Hi Julie,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      1) The yogurt will not be as thick.
      2) It should be low at 108°F – 111°F.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  33. Hi! I have been very successful making delicious yogurt but I always have a layer of overcooked milk stuck to the bottom of my pot. I’m careful not to scrape it off when removing the yogurt so the yogurt tastes fine but I’d like to know if this can be avoided. I think it happens because my milk isn’t registering 180 degrees after the first try so I have to repeat the process – sometimes more than once. Or I have tried to heat it other ways but same result. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Tina,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      When milk gets too hot, they will start sticking to the bottom of the pot.

      It is better to use Slow Cook Less function (for the 2nd time) as the heating level will be more gentle

      Take care & have fun cooking

  34. Have you ever tried sweetened and flavored yogurt? I can’t imagine eating it plain. No wonder you don’t like it.

  35. This was an amazing article. Thank you!!

    I use a 1.5 gallon coffee filter (like for catering or church kitchens) in my normal big colander, and it strains some yogurt, yo! I’ve read that paper towels have chemicals to make them suck up more water, so are not really foodsafe.

    I agree with the previous poster about Vietnamese yogurt made with sweetened condensed milk. Delicious and Noosa- like, sweet and thick… though 1 can in 1/2 gallon of milk was waaaay too sweet for me, I had to cut it in half with plain yogurt. For diabetics and parents trying to limit kid sugar, try evaporated milk instead (same thing minus the sugar) and add your favorite sweetener or fruit puree.

    Another awesome combo is fruit curd and plain yogurt in layers. I make lemon or banana curd with erythritol for blood sugar reasons, and it’s crazy delicious. You might even like yogurt that way, Jacky!

    I quite enjoy milk powder in yogurt, though I’ve noticed that it actually gets less set when chilled, unlike regular yogurt that gets more set. It’s so incredibly thick when you open the pot after incubation! I’m still experimenting with that one.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Super Leah!!

      Thank you for letting us know about the paper towels. I will remove it and look into it 🙂

      I like Yogurt with fruit curd. Just nono to plain yogurt 🙂

      take care & have fun cooking

  36. Thanks for this extensive research! Very helpful. Have you tried or can you make recommendations about doing it with alternative milks for non-dairy folks, like soy, almond, coconut, or rice milks? Thank you.

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      Thank you for your question ?

      We haven’t tried doing it with non-dairy milks yet.

      I believe we will have to add some thickener for them (Gelatin or pectin)

      Take care & have fun cooking

  37. Skip the powders and add sweetened condensed milk for a Vietnamese yogurt! I normally use 1 can for every half gallon of milk and it’s creamy, tangy and sweet.

    1. Hi Teresa,

      Thank you so much for sharing your cooking experience with us! Will have to try making Vietnamese yogurt soon 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking

    1. Hi Chris,

      Happy Easter and thank you for your question 🙂

      It is not too big for yogurt. It will work the same as DUO60.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  38. Good Morning Jacky & Amy,
    I just woke up and went to check my second attempt at yogurt and realized (after punching buttons at nearly midnight while bleary-eyed trying to get it to come back to the right setting) that I’d left it on Yogurt low, not normal. It still seems relatively thin & the temperature registered as 94 degrees. After kicking myself and pulling my hair for a few minutes, I decided to ask for expert help.

    Did I kill it and have to start over again or is it possible to turn the heat up some more and salvage it. It is still in the pot @ 94 degrees and I haven’t done anything other than take a bite out to test, which is when I realized I’d messed up, and checked the temperature.

    Please help me. We’re trying to leave for my parent’s house and I just need to know if I should give up on it and throw it out or if it is fixable in a relatively short time. Thank you, Marcia

    1. Hi Marcia,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Lower temperature will not kill the bacteria cultures. It will just slow them down considerably.

      You can turn the temperature back to 110F and leave it on for another 5 – 8 hours.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  39. How much dry milk powder did you use? I’ve been making yogurt with my yogurt maker for several years and just ordered an Instant Pot. I’m pretty excited to try making yogurt in it!
    A tip: mixing honey in with the incubation does not interfere with the yogurt. It makes it super delicious and numerous people have said it’s the best yogurt ever. I use 110 g honey and 55 g dry milk powder to 2L of whole milk. I found lowering the dry milk powder doesn’t seem to change much, so recently I’ve dropped it down to almost half (~30g). I was curious what you guys tried.

  40. I make 4 pint jars of yogurt in my Instant Pot every week using yogurt from the last batch to make the next batch. I use whole milk with no other ingredients and leave it in the Instant Pot for 10 hours. We love the taste and eat it for breakfast. We top it with dried cranberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds (hulled) and cinnamon. I have noticed that the yogurt will be very runny if you stir it right after the incubation so just carefully place it in the fridge and stir in your toppings or sweetners after the yogurt is cool and set. I also pour off the whey instead of stirring it back in.

  41. Thank you so much for the answer to my question. Love all the work you are doing and will purchase through your site. Thanks again

  42. Hi Amy and Jacky. I have had a yogurt maker, love Greek yogurt and I have never made a good batch. So frustrated. I have never seen such a complete set of instructions as yours. I am pumped to try to now make it with the IP. Thank you so much for helping me. Can hardly wait to try again. How can I make sure to keep getting your posts? You guys are terrific!

    1. Hi Janet,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      If you have tasted the yogurt and like how it tastes, I would recommend straining the yogurt in the fridge to stop the incubation process.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  43. WOW!!! Are you reading my mind? I JUST got through thinking about trying another batch of yogurt. I like more sweet than tart. When would the sweetener be added?..I’d like to add one of the low glycemic sweeteners (Stevia, monk fruit, etc.) Which one would you recommend and when in the process should it be added?…I like the thicker yogurt, but I also like straining out the whey because I use it cosmetically (I mix the whey with argon oil and leave it in the fridge as a morning “face tonic). I’d like to experiment with goats milk.. can I still follow your guidelines? Or do I need to make any alterations?

    1. Hi Dianne,

      thank you for your questions 🙂

      The best time to add sweetener is after the yogurt has been set. Use a whisk to mix the sweetener in.
      We haven’t tried using stevia or monk fruit in our yogurt, the best way to find out is to mix some of them in a small portion of yogurt and taste to see how you like it.

      The steps for goat milk yogurt is the same so you can follow the guideline 🙂 A side note: If I remember correctly, goat milk yogurt will come out thinner than cow milk yogurt.

      Take care & have fun cooking

    2. @Dianna Fay
      I have blood sugar issues so have tried a bunch of things. I find just stevia to give a slightly bitter taste to yogurt (even though I don’t find it to do so in other things). I like erythritol with the teeniest bit of stevia, like a half scoop from that fairy spoon in the jar. Another amazing idea is fruit curd with erythritol – you layer it like one of those lemon meringue yogurts that Starbucks sells now.

      FRUIT CURD. Recipe for 1 Mason jar each flavor… In blender, blend 3 Tbsp butter (room temp), 1/2 cup citrus or other acidic fruit juice, 1/4 cup erythritol with 1 tiny scoop stevia, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk (ideal but not required), 1/2 – 1 cup fruit. (I love banana curd, 1 banana, with lemon juice; and lemon curd, lemon juice and zest; and mango w lime juice.) Put in Mason jar, lid on only loosely, pour 1.5 cup water under trivet. 10 min high pressure, 10 min natural release. Add 1-2 tsp citrus zest (opt but delish). Stir, cool, chill in fridge.

  44. I tried many times and with just making yogurt I have been successful, but trying to get it flavored I failed many times. No matter what I do it has that plain bold greek yogurt taste and not sure how to get a it strongly flavored. Would like to get it like the Yoplait Lite Very Vanilla taste. Or maybe even strawberry or something. Tried using different flavors of Jello packets and using Vanilla Extract, but comes out weak.

    1. Hi Dan,

      thank you for your comment and question 🙂

      To reduce the tangy flavor in yogurt, try straining the yogurt in the fridge right after the yogurt has been set (6 – 7 hours).

      Adding some sort of sweetener to the strained yogurt will also balance out some of the tangy flavor!

      Take care & have fun cooking

    2. Dan, tanginess is mostly a feature of how long you let it incubate. Try 6 or 7 hours instead of 8-11 hours. That will get you 90% of the way there.

      Another, lesser feature is the kind of yogurt starter. Cultures for Health has a mild yogurt starter. (Or Jump on the Facebook group Instant Pot Community, and post asking for mild starters, and you’ll get lots of responses.)

    3. Oh, and for flavoring, I put a shot each of real vanilla extract and coconut extract in my yogurt, they’re both pretty subtle so no need to measure. You might try some stronger extracts and mix in fruit zest (gives flavor without watering it down). So orange extract and orange zest, for example. (Careful, orange extract can take over in a bad way, go slow.) Or coconut extract and coconut flakes or coconut curd. I recommend Nieman Massey extracts.

  45. I have had issues with my yogurt being lumpy. Sometimes it is lovely and smooth, but 2 out of 3 times it is lumpy. I have not figured out what I did differently. Any suggestions or observations from your experiments?

    1. Thank you for the tips J Baker! I usually use a whisk if it is lumpy, but hand mixer sounds even better 🙂

      take care & have fun cooking

  46. I’m so grateful for all your investigative work!! Made first batch of Greek yogurt and it’s wonderful…now ready to try coconut and almond! Would I be better to use the capsules as a starter???

    1. Hi Betsy,

      thank you for your question.

      I haven’t tried probiotic capsules as starter yet.

      Let me know the result if you do!

      Take care & have fun cooking

  47. Thank you for taking the time to do this! We used to buy yogurt occasionally and liked it. Now, I make Greek yogurt and we love it. Looking forward to your recipe. Thank you again!

  48. Hello Amy + Jacky!
    My first attempt at IP yogurt was a massive failure. For my starter I used plain greek full fat yogurt. I messed up the steps I want to try again, but this time I bought a freeze dried starter from Whole Foods. How would I proceed with the instructions with this starter? The package contains a quantity of six packets each containing 5 grams. Instructions are one packet per liter of milk. I love your blog and have made so many yummy things. Thanks for what you do!

    1. Hi Deena,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      You will add the starter after your milk has cooled down to 110F.

      If you can wait, we are going to publish a easy to follow yogurt recipe in the next few days! 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking

    2. You can do it! It’s hard when you’re learning, but wicked easy once you get it!

      I tend to jump back and forth between powdered starter and a spoonful of yogurt. Some people say that yogurt generations get weaker over time and stop making good yogurt (though that doesn’t make sense biologically… but I’m not willing to do the experiment myself) so every 5th or 6th batch I throw in starter. Or if I totally run out of yogurt which totally happens too. Both methods work just fine.

    1. Hi Lonne,

      Thank you for your question 🙂
      You will have to add some thickener for almond milk (Gelatin or pectin)

      Take care & have fun cooking

    1. Hi Melrodiq,

      thank you for your question 🙂
      It will be for DUO IP first. We may think of a hack for LUX users down the road!

      Take care & have fun cooking

  49. Amy and Jacky,
    Great information. If I choose to add powdered milk do I add it to the milk prior to heating it to the 180 degrees?
    Thank you,

  50. Any thoughts on the number of times you can reuse your yogurt as a starter? I had one failed batch, and the only difference I could think of was that I used a 4th or 5th generation yogurt as a starter. I went back to bought yogurt for the next batch and it’s been flawless ever since. (I now freeze portions of the new yogurt and use them, one at a time, as a starter.)

    1. Hi Cea,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Most of the books I read suggested starting with a new yogurt starter after 3 – 4 batches as the yogurt starter does get weaker.

      Take care & have fun cooking

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