This past summer a friend of mine taught me how to make yogurt and in doing so saved me $450 a year. So being the good friend that I am to all of you, I would like to give all of you $450 dollars. (Feel free to take me out to dinner in order to say “Thank you”.) Alright enough with the small talk, lets make yogurt.
What to buy:
- Starter culture (plain yogurt, you can use fat free, low fat or whole milk)
- One gallon of milk, you choose fat free, low fat or whole.
To find in your house:
- 4 quart jars. I use wide mouth canning jars (there is a picture below of the jars that I use)
- 4 lids to go with the jars, for some reason this always takes the longest in our house, I just don’t understand where those lids go.
- Cooking thermometer
- A pot large enough to fit your 4 jars in.
- A wash cloth
- A timer
- A cooler with a towel in the bottom.
Now that you have all of your supplies together give your jars a good cleaning, the best way to do this is to just run them through the dishwasher, but hot water and soap work just as well. Now fill the jars with milk, leave about 3/4 inch at the top. Put your washcloth flat on the bottom of your pot. Put pot on stove and place the jars with no lids in the pot. Fill the space in the pot around the jars about 1/2 fill with water. I have noticed that if I fill it too much the water boils out onto the burner of the stove. But you have to have enough water in there to help heat the milk. (There is a picture of the jars in the pot)
Turn the stove top on and let the water boil till the milk gets to 185 degrees. This takes about 20 minutes depending on your stove top.
Turn off the stove top and place the lids on the jars of milk. I have learned the hard way that this milk is really hot, I put the lids on now to prevent splashing when I remove them from the pot. Place the jars of hot milk on the counter and let them cool till the milk is 110 degrees. This takes about 2 hours depending on the room temperature. If you forget about your milk, it’s ok, at this point it is just milk. If you have to heat it up again to 185 degrees and start over.
After you remove your jars of milk from the pot, put a lid on the pot and place it in the cooler.
Once the milk is 110 degrees add two tablespoons of starter culture, for those of you who are not paying attention that is your store bought yogurt, to each jar. Stir gently.
Place the jars of milk and culture in the cooler and remove the lid from the pot. (see picture below) Close the cooler and forget about it for 4-8 hours. I leave mine for 8 hours because I like a good thick yogurt. If you want it to be thinner for smoothies or something take the yogurt out between 4 and 6 hours. (If you are using a really large cooler, you might need to add a tea pot of boiling water to the cooler to keep the temp of the milk around 110 degrees. You don’t want it to go below 90 degrees.)
Remove your jars from the cooler and put them in the fridge. Let them cool and enjoy. At this point you can add sugar if you must, fresh fruit, cereal, granola… whatever you like on your yogurt.
The best thing about making my own yogurt, other than the $450 it saves me a year, is that I know whats in it. I can control how much sugar the kids get and how much I get too.
Cliff Note Version:
- Heat milk in jars to 185 degrees.
- Cool to 110 degrees.
- Add 2 scoops starter culture to each jar.
- Put in cooler for 8 hours.
My favorite way to enjoy the yogurt is with applesauce, crushed almonds and cinnamon. It tastes like apple pie.
Enjoy your yogurt and your money!! Let me know it turns out. And please feel free to ask questions.
only thing i would add is to scoop out that nasty film before adding your culture, and again after it is cooled- my kids HATE it when bits of that film are in their yogurt!