Fermentation | Yogurt

I bought a pressure cooker Fall of 2016 and I love it. My favorite thing to make is a weekly batch of yogurt. It is beyond easy and oh-so-good! It's taken a while to get things just right and now the thick creamy outcome is something I look forward to snacking on throughout the week. Second lunch anyone?

There are very few things that I actually have a set recipe for and follow it. Yogurt and Bacon are two of them. My pressure cooker has a yogurt setting that makes the incubation process super easy. My recipe is specifically for an Instant Pot, so hopefully you can use this or let it inspire you towards a different process that you may have.


- 1/2 gallon of whole milk. I prefer organic. I also used to make this with 1 gallon, but I found that I was not able to finish the whole batch. If you want to make a gallon follow the same process just double the starter.

- 1/8 C. (~1 TBS) Starter. This is live culture yogurt. Pretty much any yogurt you find. You can save some from a prior batch of yogurt as a starter.

- Flavors: This is entirely up to you. I prefer plain and mix in jam or jelly when I go to eat it. But, if you want to add something here are some ideas:

  • fruit flavored tea - add 5-10 tea bags during the milk boil process. Take out immediately after the milk boiling process.

  • Extracts - add immediately after the cooling to 110 degrees Fahrenheit with the yogurt starter.

  • Vanilla beans - add immediately after the cooling to 110 degrees Fahrenheit with the yogurt starter.


- Instant Pot (pressure cooker)

- thermometer

- whisk

- cheese cloth or milk bag

- strainer

- bowl large enough to put strainer in

- wire rack that comes with the Instant Pot (or something that holds the strainer off the bottom of the bowl)

  1. Boil Process: Put the milk in the pot. Make sure that the pot is very clean. Put the lid on the pot and lock in. Press the 'yogurt' button once. Press the 'adjust' button until the display reads boil. The pot will beep after a few seconds to indicated that the process is locked in. The boil step will take about 30 minutes for a half gallon of milk and about an hour for a full gallon.

  2. Cooling Process: When the pot beeps to indicated the boil process is over unlock the lid. Fill your sink with cold water and place the metal bowl with the boiled milk in the sink of cold water. Use a thermometer to stir around in the milk letting it cool until it reaches 110 - 112 degrees. Take out of sink and put the pot back in the Instant Pot.

  3. Adding Live Cultures: Add two tablespoons (or 1/4 cup if you are working with 1 gallon of milk). Whisk away to make sure that everything is dissolved. This is also where you add extracts or vanilla beans.

  4. Incubation Process: Put the lid back on and lock the pot. Press the yogurt button and then press adjust until the screen displays 8:00 for 8 hours. Press the + button until it reads 10:00. I like doing 10 hours, but you can do 8 if you prefer, it just makes things a little less firm.

  5. Setting Process: This is important or you will have very runny texture. After the 10:00 hours the incubation period is over. Take the pot out of the machine, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 8 hours.

  6. Straining Process (OPTIONAL): I like a thicker yogurt so I strain mine. If you like it the way it is after the setting process the go for it! To strain, I place the wire rack that came with the Instant Pot in the bottom of a big bowl. I put a strainer in the bowl and either: 1. layer the inside of the strainer with cheese cloth or 2. I bought a milk bag used to make almond milk which I place inside the strainer. Pour the yogurt in and place the entire container into the fridge. I like to strain for 4 hours, but do it until it reaches a consistency that you like.

*My favorite toppings are: Pineapple and candied nuts.

*if your yogurt does not set don't worry! This happens to me on occasion. It could be that you had something in your pot that interrupted the process or perhaps your starter might not have been good. Just try again!