Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Yogurt at Home. Make smooth, creamy & thick homemade yogurt with this Foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12 (Pressure Cooker Yogurt). Developed based on 12 experiments. Healthy, delicious, fun. 😀

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For the past 2 months, we have turned our Test Kitchen upside down with our Homemade Yogurt Experiments!

That’s right! Lots of cultured parties going on all night long… 😜

After 12 trials of milk, yogurt starters, and hundreds tablespoons of homemade yogurt, we’re finally thrilled to invite you to join the culture party!!

And continuing from our crazy Cheesecake #17 experiments, we’re naming this baby Instant Pot Yogurt #12.

Join us to make your own Instant Pot Yogurt!

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.

Making your own yogurt at home might sounds complicated & intimidating. But it’s actually quite simple! Let’s break down the whole process in 5 simple steps.

How to Make Instant Pot Yogurt in 5 Steps:

  1. Heat Milk to 180°F – 200°F
  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

Sounds easy right? 😀

Foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12 (Pressure Cooker Yogurt): Step-by-Step Guide on how to make thick creamy homemade yogurt based on 12 experiments.

You’ll Enjoy Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12 Because:

  • Tested – our Instant Pot Yogurt #12 Recipe is developed based on 12 homemade yogurt experiments!
  • Better taste & consistency than the store-bought yogurt – smooth, creamy, and thick
  • Simple & fun to make!
  • Didn’t you buy the Instant Pot because it’s also a yogurt maker? hehe~ 😜 So, what are you waiting for?

Ingredients for Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12


  • 2 litres (1/2 gallon) Whole Foods 365 Organic 3.8% Whole Milk
  • 32 grams (a little more than 2 tbsp) Dannon/Danone 4% Plain Greek Yogurt with Active Bacterial Cultures

What Type of Milk to Use for Making Homemade Yogurt?


Choosing the right type of milk is one of the most critical steps to succeed in making homemade yogurt. The type of milk you use will determine the thickness and creaminess of your homemade yogurt.

After testing the Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe with 2% Milk, 3.25% Milk and 3.8% Milk, 3.8% Whole Milk with the highest milk fat content produced the thickest and creamiest homemade yogurt.

Choosing Yogurt Starters


Yogurt starters can make or break your yogurt making game.

So beware that not all yogurt works as yogurt starters!

It’s critical for you to check the ingredient list of the store-bought yogurt when you’re shopping for a yogurt starter. It must have active bacterial cultures for it to work as the yogurt starter.

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe: yogurt starter must have Active Bacterial Cultures

A live culture usually contains at least 2 types of bacteria (L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus).

*Pro Tip: The homemade yogurt’s consistency and taste will change depending on the type of bacteria cultures in the yogurt starter. Sometimes, it does make a big difference! So, choose the brand you like best for the most consistent result.

Instructions for Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12


Preparation – Equipment Sterilization (Optional)

Tools

Cold water

Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
Steamer rack
Accurate meat thermometer
Silicone spatula
Pyrex glass measuring cup
Tablespoon measuring spoon
Clean rack

Time Required: ~30 mins

Option 1 – Sterilize with Instant Pot:

  • Place 2 cups of cold water and a trivet in the Instant Pot.
  • Place silicone spatula, Pyrex glass measuring cup, and tablespoon measuring spoon in the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid and move the Venting Knob to Sealing Position.
  • Sterilize everything at High Pressure (use the manual button) for 3 minutes + Natural Release.

Option 2 – Sterilize on Stovetop:

  • Sterilize the equipment (including meat thermometer) on stovetop by boiling them for 10 minutes.

After sterilizing the equipment, air dry them on a clean rack.

Step 1
Heat Milk to 180°F – 200°F to Denature the Protein

Ingredient

2L (1/2 gallon) Organic 3.8% whole milk

Pour 2L (1/2 gallon) of Organic 3.8% whole milk in the inner pot.

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe: how to make your own yogurt at home

Close lid (venting knob position doesn’t matter).

Use the Yogurt More function to boil the milk to at least 180°F.

It will say “boil” on the screen. It will take roughly 35 – 40 minutes.

The Instant Pot screen will change to “yogt” when the boiling is done.

Step 2
Check Milk Temperature

Tools

Accurate meat thermometer
Silicone spatula

Open the lid.

Check the milk temperature immediately in a few spots and make sure the milk is over 180°F.

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe: check temperaeture of heated milk

Stir with a silicone spatula and check the temperature again to make sure the milk is over 180°F.

*Pro Tip 1: If the milk is not over 180°F, close the lid and heat the milk with the Slow Cook Less function for another 15 minutes.

*Pro Tip 2: Skim away & discard the milk skin on top of the heated milk.

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe: skim away the heated milk skin

Step 3
Prepare Yogurt Starter

Ingredient & Tool

32g (a little more than 2 tbsp) Dannon/Danone 4% Plain Greek Yogurt with Active Bacterial Cultures

Pyrex glass measuring cup

After the milk is heated over 180°F, place 32g (a little more than 2 tbsp) Dannon/Danone 4% Plain Greek Yogurt with Active Bacterial Cultures into the Pyrex glass measuring cup. Do not add the yogurt starter to the hot milk, as it will kill the bacterial cultures.

*Pro Tip: If you sterilized the measuring cup, make sure it has cooled to the touch.

Step 4
Cool Milk to 111°F

Tools

Accurate meat thermometer
Larger pot/kitchen sink
Silicone spatula

You can leave the pot on counter-top and wait until the milk cools to 111°F.

Alternative method to quickly cool down the milk temperature:

  • Fill a larger pot or kitchen sink with cold tap water.
  • Partially submerge the inner pot with heated milk into the cold tap water.
  • Stir the milk in a circular motion with a silicone spatula and frequently measure the temperature.
  • It will take 2 – 4 minutes to cool the milk to 111°F.
  • Remove the pot from cold water immediately.

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe: cooling milk for making homemade yogurtPro Tip: Try not to touch the bottom of the pot with the spatula as it may have some milk solid stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Step 5
Add Yogurt Starter

Ingredients & Tools

½ cup of 111°F milk
Pyrex glass filled with yogurt starter

Tablespoon measuring spoon
Silicone spatula

Add ½ cup of 111°F milk to the Pyrex glass filled with yogurt starter.

Gently mix it with the tablespoon measuring spoon.

Pour the yogurt milk mixture in the inner pot and give it a few gentle stirs with silicone spatula.

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe: pour milk into Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Step 6
Yogurt Incubation


Place inner pot back in the Instant Pot.

Close lid (Venting Knob position doesn’t matter).

Yogurt Incubation:

  • Instant Pot Function: Press the Yogurt Button & use the Yogurt Normal Function to incubate the yogurt.
  • Time: Adjust the time to 8:00 – 12:00 depending on how tangy you like your yogurt

Pro Tip 1: longer incubating time = more tangy yogurt

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe: yogurt setting and functionPro Tip 2: The timer will count up instead of count down when the incubating process begins (as shown in above photo).

You can open the lid for a taste test once the yogurt is set (roughly 6 hours).

Pro Tip 3:  Don’t disrupt the fermentation process by moving the Instant Pot or opening the lid. Wait until it is set (roughly 6 hours) before opening the lid.

Step 7
Stop the Incubating Process


Foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12 (Pressure Cooker Yogurt): Step-by-Step Guide on how to make thick creamy homemade yogurt based on 12 experiments.

Once the yogurt has reached the desired tangy level, remove the inner pot of yogurt and place it in the fridge for a few hours to stop the incubating process. The yogurt will also thicken a little.

Step 8
Serve


Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe: how to make yogurtYou did it!! Plain yogurt is done.

Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back – you have just made your very own homemade yogurt!! 😀

Serve by adding sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. Add fruits, granola or your favorite toppings. The sky is limit.

Pro Tip: If the yogurt is too runny, you can strain the yogurt with a yogurt strainer.

Cooking Tips for Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12


What’s the Best Time to Start the Instant Pot Yogurt Process?

The first 3 parts of the yogurt making process: heating the milk, cooling the milk, and adding yogurt starter to the milk take roughly 90 mins (you can reduce ~30 mins if you are skipping the equipment sterilization step).

We like to start the process roughly 2 hours before we go to bed, so when we wake up, the fermentation process is done, and party’s over! 🙂

But if you don’t need your Instant Pot for cooking during the day, you can start anytime as long as it’s 10+ hours before you sleep. Or else you’ll either have to stay up late, wake up early, or end up with ultra tangy yogurt. 😉

For More Instant Pot Yogurt Making Pro Tips & Findings: Homemade Yogurt Experiment

Watch: How To Make This Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12

Can’t see the cooking video? Watch it here.

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Instant Pot Yogurt #12
Foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12 (Pressure Cooker Yogurt): Step-by-Step Guide on how to make smooth, thick & creamy homemade yogurt based on 12 experiments.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Snack, Intermediate
Cuisine: World  
  Prep:  |  Cook:  |  Total:
  Serving: 2 L
  Rated 5.0/5 from 10 reviews
 
Ingredients
  • 2 litres (1/2 gallon) Whole Foods 365 Organic 3.8% Whole Milk
  • 32 grams (a little more than 2 tbsp) Dannon/Danone 4% Plain Greek Yogurt with Active Bacterial Cultures
Instructions

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  1. Optional Equipment Sterilization: Place 2 cups of cold water and a trivet in the Instant Pot. Place silicone spatula, Pyrex glass measuring cup, and tablespoon measuring spoon in the Instant Pot. Close the lid and move the Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Sterilize everything at High Pressure (Use the manual button) for 3 minutes + natural release.
    Or Sterilize on Stovetop: sterilize the equipment (including meat thermometer) on stovetop by boiling them for 10 minutes.

    After sterilization, air dry the equipment on a clean rack.
  2. Heat Milk to 180°F - 200°F to Denature the Protein: Pour 2L (1/2 gallon) of Organic 3.8% whole milk in the inner pot. Close lid (venting knob position doesn’t matter). Use the Yogurt More function to boil the milk to at least 180°F. It will say “boil” on the screen. It will take roughly 35 – 40 minutes. The Instant Pot screen will change to “yogt” when the boiling is done.
  3. Check Milk Temperature: Open the lid. Check the milk temperature immediately in a few spots and make sure the milk is over 180°F. Stir with a silicone spatula and check the temperature again to make sure the milk is over 180°F.

    *Pro Tip: If the milk is not over 180°F, close the lid and heat the milk with the Slow Cook Less function for another 15 minutes.
  4. Prepare Yogurt Starter: After the milk is heated over 180°F, place 32g (a little more than 2 tbsp) Dannon/Danone 4% Plain Greek Yogurt with Active Bacterial Cultures into the Pyrex glass measuring cup. Do not add the yogurt starter to the hot milk, as it will kill the bacterial cultures. (If you sterilized the measuring cup, make sure it has cooled to the touch).
  5. Cool Milk to 111°F: You can leave the pot on counter-top and wait until the milk cool to 111°F.
    Or alternative method to quickly cool down the milk temperature: Fill a larger pot or kitchen sink with cold tap water. Partially submerge the inner pot with heated milk into the cold tap water. Stir the milk in a circular motion with a silicone spatula and frequently measure the temperature. It will take 2 – 4 minutes to cool the milk to 111°F. Remove the pot from cold water immediately.

    *Pro Tip: Try not to touch the bottom of the pot with the spatula as it may have some milk solid stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add Yogurt Starter: Add ½ cup of 111°F milk to the Pyrex glass filled with yogurt starter. Gently mix it with the tablespoon measuring spoon. Pour the yogurt milk mixture in the inner pot and give it a few gentle stirs with silicone spatula.
  7. Yogurt Incubation: Place inner pot back in the Instant Pot. Close lid (Venting Knob position doesn’t matter) and use the Yogurt Normal Function to incubate the yogurt. Adjust the time to 8:00 – 12:00 depending on how tangy you like your yogurt (longer time = more tangy). You can open the lid for a taste test once the yogurt is set. Roughly 6 hours.

    *Pro Tip: Don’t disrupt the fermentation process by moving the Instant Pot or opening the lid. Wait until it is set (roughly 6 hours) before opening the lid.
  8. Stop the Incubating Process: Once the yogurt has reached the desired tangy level, remove the inner pot of yogurt and place it in the fridge for a few hours to stop the incubating process. The yogurt will also thicken a little.
  9. Serve: Plain yogurt is done. Serve by adding sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. Add fruits, granola or your favorite toppings. The sky is limit! 😊

    *Pro Tip: If the yogurt is too runny, you can strain the yogurt with a yogurt strainer.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 10 Calories: 145 Fat: 8.5g Saturated fat: 5.1g Carbohydrates: 11.1g Sugar: 10.3g Sodium: 86mg Fiber: 0g Protein: 7.9g Cholesterol: 26mg
Foolproof Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe #12 (Pressure Cooker Yogurt): Step-by-Step Guide on how to make thick creamy homemade yogurt based on 12 experiments.

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