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Easy Homemade Greek Yogurt

Making your own yogurt couldn't be any easier - or cheaper!  You'll never get store-bought again!

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 18 hours
Total Time 18 hours 1 minute
Servings 8 cups
Calories 144 kcal
Author Kimberly Killebrew

Ingredients

  • What you'll need:
  • Slow cooker
  • Instant read thermometer
  • 1 gallon whole milk (see note about using raw milk)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt at room temperature, either from previous batch or store-bought. (**The yogurt must have live cultures in it to work. Check the ingredients to make sure they include l. bulgaricus and s. thermophilus.)
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  1. Pour the milk into a slow cooker set to HIGH and close the lid. It will take 2-3 hours before the temperature of the milk is up to 180 degrees F. Check it with an instant-read thermometer. Once it's at 180 degrees, turn off the slow cooker, close the lid, and let the milk cool to 110 degrees F. This will take another 2-3 hours. Once the temperature is between 110 and 115 degrees F, add some of the warm milk to the plain yogurt, stir to combine, and then gently but thoroughly stir the mixture back into the milk in the slow cooker using up and down, left and right motions (not circular). Close the lid.
  2. Wrap the slow cooker with a large bath towel and let it sit undisturbed in a non-drafty place at room temperature or warmer for 10-12 hours or overnight. The milk will have thickened and the whey will have started separating from the milk.
  3. Line a colander with a cheesecloth and pour the yogurt into it. Set the colander over a large glass bowl and let it strain at room temperature for several hours, until you've achieved the desired thickness (length of straining time will also depend on the gauge of the cheesecloth.) For thick Greek yogurt plan on at least 4 hours. You'll end up with about 8 cups of whey and 7-8 cups of Greek yogurt.
  4. Store the yogurt in the fridge in an airtight container, preferably a glass bowl for up to 2 weeks. When ready to make another batch of yogurt, use a cup of the previous batch as the starter culture.
  5. The whey can be reserved for a variety of purposes (see recipe post for some ideas).

Recipe Notes

**UPDATE: Yes, you CAN use raw milk. It's more temperamental though. If after the wait time the yogurt still isn't firm, turn the slow cooker back on to "warm" and let it sit another 4 hours or until thickened. Raw milk yogurt often tends to be clumpier.
**You don't have to use the slow cooker method. For a quicker method simply heat the milk in a large stock pot over low to medium heat. Just be sure to stir it regularly, especially as it gets hotter, to prevent the milk from scorching. Then follow the rest of the instructions as written.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Homemade Greek Yogurt
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 144 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 101mg 4%
Potassium 312mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Sugars 11g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 8.2%
Calcium 27.1%
Iron 0.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.