Instant Pot Homemade Greek-Style Yogurt

by Jyoti Sawant
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Instant Pot Greek-Style Homemade Yogurt
by Jyoti Sawant
Here is how to make the creamiest, thick Greek-style yogurt in the Instant Pot directly in the steel pot by using “Yogurt” button/function.


Welcome again!!

Wanna learn the easiest foolproof method to make really thick Greek-Style yogurt at home? Great! You are in the right place. In this post, I will show you how to make the creamiest Greek-style yogurt in the Instant Pot using “Yogurt” button/function.

Jump to Recipe

Before I tell you about the “Yogurt” program which is there on the Instant Pot, I must tell you that I practically grew up seeing my mom making yogurt almost every day so making thick creamy yogurt without any gadget wasn’t new to me.

So why did Indian families make yogurt at home on a regular basis? simply because the yogurt wasn’t that easily available in the market and even if it was, it was too expensive. Now you may ask why wasn’t yogurt readily available in the market? Because everyone knew how to make it 😉. It is one of those must haves like garam masala (Indian spice powder mix) or ghee (clarified butter), you will always find it in the Indian kitchens. So even though it is readily available in the market now, people still make homemade yogurt as it tastes the best and is way cheaper. Store bought yogurt can never match it!

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
MOTHER TERESA 
 
WHY DID I SWITCH TO INSTANT POT FOR MAKING YOGURT?

When I first came to the US, being located in Houston,  setting yogurt was a breeze as it was warm most of the year so the yogurt would set easily most of the times, but come winter it was a nightmare. I would often look for warm places to set my yogurt. Even keeping it in the oven was not always a success. It was a hit and miss kind of a story. But then Instant Pot came about as a huge savior. The results were fantastic and I have yet to have a fail tryout of yogurt making in the Instant Pot. Thanks to Instant pot, making yogurt at home has become very popular due to the convenience Instant Pot provides in making yogurt.

If you are trying to make yogurt without Instant Pot, the process is pretty much similar. You first pasteurize your milk by heating it to 180 degrees F/ 83 degrees C, then let it cool to about 115 deg. F/ 46 deg. C. Then add the yogurt starter or the culture and combine, and then let it set in a warm place like your oven for incubation.

So how does Instant pot help in making yogurt? Here is how the Instant pot comes into play.

The process, of course, is quite similar as mentioned above except it has two HUGE advantages.

  • One it has an automatic setting to “boil” the milk to pasteurize it. This method helps to heat the milk high enough about 180 deg. F/ 83 deg. C, to kill the pathogens and harmful bacteria which grow during the fermentation period. The denaturation of the milk proteins, prevent curding of milk and makes the proteins easier to absorb thus giving you a thicker set yogurt. With this feature, there is no guesswork or checking of temperature needed to pasteurize the milk.
  • Second, it provides an even, yogurt-friendly incubation temperature throughout the 6 to 8-hour fermentation period. This helps in giving a steady incubation temperature in the same pot, same place without having to look around for a warm place. Plus, because you have a steady temperature there is 99% of chance that the yogurt will set even if you are living at different altitudes.  Now that’s obviously is a great feature.

MAKE HOMEMADE YOGURT & LEAD A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

If you buy yogurt from the store, do check out at the back to of the carton to see the ingredients and the additives to oh so thick and creamy yogurt. You will notice that there are added sugars, flavor enhancers, thickening agents, preservatives and more that you definitely don’t need in your regular diet. Let’s accept it when you can make perfect store-bought style thick and creamy yogurt at home with no additives then why buy? Make yogurt at home and lead a healthier lifestyle.

HOW DO YOU SAVE MONEY BY MAKING HOMEMADE YOGURT?

I know most people here in the US buy yogurt from the grocery shop, but did you know you can save a whole lot of money making it at home?

Save $$$- You definitely will be saving a lot of money by making yogurt at home. One gallon of milk costs approx. costs $4 and it makes roughly makes 4 quarts  (4*32oz=128oz.) of yogurt. Which means it will cost you $1 for each quart. A regular 1 quart (32 oz.) yogurt carton costs $4 in the store so you are saving 3$ behind every carton. Plus if you are buying the Greek yogurt or organic yogurt or individually packaged yogurts then you will save even more. Even if you buy the most expensive organic milk for $8, it will still cost you $2 per carton and you save $2 per carton.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO MAKING PERFECT YOGURT EACH TIME:

  1. Make sure you use thick good quality whole milk to make thick creamy yogurt
  2. Always use a fresh batch of yogurt starter while making yogurt the first time. Yogurt starter that has been sitting in the fridge is most likely not active anymore.
  3. Whisking your milk well with a whisk or hand blender before fermentation cycle is a must. It gives you really thick set yogurt with almost no whey content.
  4. Refrigerate your yogurt immediately after it is set to prevent it from souring and to give a thicker consistency.
Even our dog Muffin loves the Instant Pot yogurt!

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT YOGURT STEP BY STEP RECIPE

All you need is three ingredients!!! The only three ingredients needed to make thick Greek-style yogurt are whole milk, heavy whipping cream and starter yogurt with Active Bacteria Culture, that’s it!! Also, don’t forget to have a whisk handy as it is key to making thick yogurt. The best part of this method is that it does not matter which milk you use, the results are going to be perfect each time.

The most important thing in making thick, creamy yogurt is to use good thick milk, by that I mean one which is creamier and has more fat content. So if you know your source and you know that the milk has good fat content then you may not even need heavy whipping cream. I have seen so many people asking about which milk to use and many people suggesting different brands but what if you can’t find the brands that are suggested? Well then just use any regular whole milk and add a little heavy whipping cream and you are set. Also, if you are making it for the first time, use plain, whole milk yogurt with Active Bacteria Culture as a starter yogurt . Once your firstbatch of yogurt, you will have your own “Starter Yogurt” to set next batches. Make sure you save a little bit of yogurt from each batch and you will never need to purchase “Starter Yogurt” again. You can even freeze the starter yogurt.

First Step: Boil Milk:  Plug in the Instant Pot and remove the lid. Pour milk and heavy whipping cream in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock the lid on the pot, switch the “Pressure Release Valve” to close. Press the “Yogurt” button/function and then the “Adjust” button to choose the “Boil” setting to boil the milk. It should take about 20 minutes for this process totally. The Instant Pot display screen will change to “Yogt” mode once the boiling is done. Typically, the temperature of milk will be 180 degrees F/ 83 deg. C.

Why boil milk before fermenting?One of the most important reasons to heat milk to almost boiling before fermenting is that it improves the texture of the yogurt.

Harold McGee, an American author that writes about the chemistry and history of food science and cooking has the following to say about boiling milk: “These treatments improve the consistency of the yogurt by denaturing the whey protein lactoglobulin, whose otherwise unreactive molecules then participate by clustering on the surfaces of the casein particles”

So unless you are using Ultra-high temperature processing (UHT) whole milk that has been boiled above 135 °C (275 °F), boiling milk is essential for making yogurt.

Seconed Step: Cool Milk: Remove the inner steel pot from the Instant Pot and let it cool naturally or cool it by placing the pot in ice cold water. Cool until it is lukewarm, typically 115 degrees F/ 46-degree C. It takes only 2 minutes to cool down if you use the ice cold water method.

Third Step: Temper milk with starter yogurt Once milk cools down to 115 degrees to temper the milk, transfer 1 cup of milk from the pot to a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of starter yogurt to it. Whisk it well to incorporate properly. Now pour this Starter/Milk mix back into the steel pot with the rest of the milk. Whisk the whole milk well once again to incorporate well. The more you whisk, the thicker your yogurt will be. Now put the steel insert back into the Instant Pot. Close the lid with the pressure valve in any position (venting or sealing does not matter as it is not under pressure) or place a clean glass lid.

Fourth Step: Whisk the milk:Whisk the whole milk well once again to incorporate well. The more you whisk, the thicker your yogurt will be. Now put the steel insert back into the Instant Pot. Close the lid with the pressure valve in any position (venting or sealing does not matter as it is not under pressure) or place a clean glass lid.

Why is whisking together the milk, starter yogurt, and whipping cream important?

Let me give you a little technicality about this. Chemically speaking, what happens when you whisk milk is that the air gets trapped between a sort of network of fat droplets and the milk thickens and gets roughly doubled in volume just like how you do when you whip whipping cream to make whipped cream. With that said whisking the milk well is key to getting really thick and creamy yogurt so don’t skip it. Try using a hand mixer/blender instead of a whisk for a few minutes to whisk the milk and you will see FANTASTIC results.

Fifth Step: Incubation: Now press the “Yogurt” button and then use the [+] or [-] buttons and select  8:00 hours. It should be at “Normal” setting. When the program is finished the letters “Yogt” will appear in the display. You can easily do this incubation overnight to ease out the wait time. You will wake up to a great creamy yogurt. Longer time will produce a tarter yogurt. Most yogurt strains will begin to solidify after about 6 hours, so if you want less tart results, check to see if the milk has already solidified after 6 hours.

Sixth Step: Refrigerate: After the incubation stops, remove the lid gently to prevent the condensation liquid to drop on the set yogurt. Remove the inner pot and cover it with a clean and dry lid or a plate and refrigerate it immediately. This prevents the yogurt from becoming too tart. It also helps the yogurt to become thick and dense.

Healthy meal with berry fruit, corn flakes and yogurt.Selective focus on the front cup

Seventh Step: Serve:Serve this deliciously creamy yogurt plain or add some honey and some fresh fruits or go ahead and experiment with different things. Enjoy.

Print

Instant Pot Greek-Style Homemade Yogurt

Here is how to make the creamiest, thick Greek-style yogurt in the Instant Pot directly in the steel pot by using “Yogurt” button/function.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, Global, Indian
Keyword Breakfast, dessert, greek yogurt, Instant pot recipes, Instant pot yogurt, Vegetarian, yogurt
Cook Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Refrigeration time 2 hours
Total Time 10 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 300kcal
Author Jyoti Sawant

Ingredients

  • ½ gallon (2 liters) whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons plain whole milk starter yogurt with Active Bacteria Culture ( eg. Greek, Chobani, Oui, etc.)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker with Yogurt Button/ Function
  • 1 Whisk or a hand mixer

Instructions

  • Step1: Boil Milk: Plug in the Instant Pot and remove the lid. Pour milk and heavy whipping cream in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock the lid on the pot, switch the “Pressure Release Valve” to close. Press the “Yogurt” button/function and then the “Adjust” button to choose the “Boil” setting to boil the milk. It should take about 20 minutes for this process totally. The Instant Pot display screen will change to “Yogt” mode once the boiling is done. Typically, the temperature of milk will be 180 degrees F/ 83 deg. C.
  • Step 2: Cool Milk: Remove the inner steel pot from the Instant Pot and let it cool naturally or cool it by placing the pot in ice cold water. Cool until it is lukewarm, typically 115 degrees F/ 46-degree C. It takes only 2 minutes to cool down if you use the ice cold water method. Now put the steel insert back into the Instant Pot.
  • Step 3: Temper milk with the starter yogurt: Once milk cools down to 115 degrees F, to temper the milk, transfer 1 cup of milk from the pot to a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of starter yogurt to it. Whisk it well to incorporate properly. Now pour this Starter/Milk mix back into the steel pot with the rest of the milk. Whisk the whole milk well once again to incorporate well, the more you whisk the better results you will get. Close the lid with the pressure valve in any position (venting or sealing does not matter as it is not under pressure) or place a clean glass lid.
  • Step 4: Incubation: Now press the “Yogurt” button and then use the [+] or [-] buttons and select 8:00 hours. It should be at “Normal” setting. When the program is finished the letters “Yogt” will appear in the display. You can easily do this incubation overnight to ease out the wait time. You will wake up to a great creamy yogurt. Longer time will produce a tarter yogurt. 
  • Step 5: Refrigerate: After the incubation stops, remove the lid gently to prevent the condensation liquid to drop on set yogurt. Remove the inner pot and cover it with a clean and dry glass lid or a plate and refrigerate it immediately. This prevents the yogurt from becoming too tart. It also helps the yogurt to become thick and dense.
  • Step 6: Serve:  Remove from the fridgr and serve this deliciously creamy yogurt plain or add some honey and some fresh fruits or go ahead and experiment with different things. Enjoy.

Video

Notes

 
  • Once you make this yogurt the first time, you will have your own “Starter Yogurt” to set next batches. Make sure you save a little bit of yogurt from each batch and you will never need to purchase “Starter Yogurt” again. You can even freeze the starter yogurt.
  • Make sure you use the right amount of yogurt culture as mentioned in the recipe. If you add less culture then it may take longer to set or may not set at all. Too much of culture could yield really sour yogurt.
  • You can try this boiling method of making yogurt in any Instant Pot model that has the yogurt button/function. Only the LUX models of Instant pot do not have the yogurt button/function.
  • Always use fresh yogurt starter with live active culture in it or you can use the starter yogurt from the previous batch.

Nutrition

Serving: 490g | Calories: 300kcal | Protein: 26g

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