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My Instant Pot Greek Yogurt recipe has just two ingredients and requires very little hands-on time. It’s just the right blend of creamy and tangy, and without all the fillers and inflammatory additives of store-bought yogurt.

The Best Homemade Greek Yogurt Recipe

Part of the reason why I bought the Instant Pot Ultra was for its Yogurt feature, but I had put off making it because I was pretty intimidated by the steps. On paper, the recipes seemed elaborate and extremely labor-intensive but, it turns out, I was dead wrong. Now I find myself making yogurt at least once a week because my daughter won’t even touch store-bought yogurt anymore!

Why You Should Make Greek Yogurt at Home:

You stay in control of your ingredients

Most store-bought yogurt brands are loaded with all sorts of processed fillers, thickeners, and synthetic additives. Many of them include ingredients such as carrageenan, pectin, gelatin, fructose, modified food starch, “natural flavor,” acesulfame potassium, synthetic vitamin D, and more.

These ingredients can cause an inflammatory response in our bodies and make us feel awful, so making your own yogurt keeps you in control of the ingredients. Plus, homemade yogurt tastes sooooo much better.

It’s cheaper than store-bought yogurt

A 35-ounce container of quality store-bought Greek yogurt costs me roughly $5.40, where I live. If I make my own at home, it costs me less than $2.60 to produce the same amount. Over time, that extra $2.80 in spending really adds up, especially when your toddler eats yogurt like it’s going out of style.

How to Make Homemade Greek Yogurt

  • Heat milk to a minimum of 180°F
  • Cool milk to approx. 110°F
  • Mix in a yogurt starter
  • Incubate the yogurt in an Instant Pot for 8-12 hours
  • Strain and refrigerate the yogurt

Homemade Greek Yogurt Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. of your favorite store-bought Greek yogurt (with active bacterial cultures)

Equipment You Will Need

  • Instant Pot or any ol’ electric pressure cooker (I have the 6-Quart Instant Pot Ultra, and it’s AWE-SOME)
  • An accurate food thermometer
  • A silicone spatula
  • A mesh skimmer spoon
  • A tablespoon measuring spoon
  • Cheesecloth and a colander (or if you’re fancy, a greek yogurt maker)
  • A medium to a large-sized mixing bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt?
The only difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt is the straining process. Greek yogurt requires the added step of separating some of the liquid whey, water, and lactose content from the yogurt. This results in a thicker, creamier yogurt with higher protein content and fewer carbohydrates. The longer you strain, the thicker your yogurt will be.
What's the best milk to use?
For the thickest, richest, and creamiest result, use whole milk for your yogurt. 2% or non-fat milk will do the job, but you’ll sacrifice on creaminess, due to the lack of fat content.
What's the best yogurt starter to use?
Not all yogurts are created equal! To ensure your yogurt comes out properly, it’s important to check the ingredients of the store-bought yogurt you’ll be using. Be sure to choose a yogurt that lists “Active Bacterial Cultures” or “Live Active Cultures” in its ingredients list. Some brands list the specific cultures that their yogurt includes, which is helpful. Ideally, you’ll want a yogurt that has at least two bacterial strains in its ingredients list, however, the more the better. I, personally, like to use plain FAGE Total or Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt brands as starter yogurts, because their ingredients are the simplest and they both include 5 different strains of active cultures.
Does it matter if the yogurt starter is non-fat, 2% or whole?
No. What matters most is that the yogurt starter includes live bacterial cultures and isn’t flavored (i.e. vanilla, strawberry, etc.)
Why does the milk need to be heated to 180°F – 200°F?
Heating the milk to a near-boil before fermenting significantly improves the texture and consistency of the yogurt. The heating process denatures the milk proteins so they can bind during the fermentation process. Skipping this step will cause a significant portion of proteins to remain unbound and get strained away, resulting in a thinner, much more fragile yogurt.
Is Instant Pot Greek yogurt made under pressure?
No, the Instant Pot’s yogurt function is a non-pressurized function and therefore does not require a lid.
How long should I incubate the yogurt?
This depends on your personal flavor preference. The longer you incubate, the tangier the result. 8 hours is the minimum amount of time you should incubate and offers a subtle tangy flavor, whereas 12 hours offers a pretty intense amount of tang. I prefer ~9 hours of incubation time, especially if you are new to the process. Also, note that incubating for longer does not increase the thickness of the yogurt.
How long should I strain the Greek yogurt?
3 hours, minimum. The longer you strain, the more liquid whey will be removed from the yogurt, thus creating a thicker texture. Note that straining for longer will also lessen your total yield of yogurt. I prefer to strain mine for ~5 hours to achieve a creamy, thick consistency similar to FAGE brand yogurt. If you like your yogurt super thick and similar to cream cheese, leave the strainer in the fridge overnight.
What if I accidentally strain my yogurt for too long?
This happens! (I’ve done it.) But don’t worry, you can simply mix in some of the liquid whey contents from the bottom of your straining set-up to reduce the thickness of your yogurt.
When's the best time to start the yogurt-making process?
I prefer to start 1-2 hours before going to bed, so I can leave the milk to ferment overnight and strain the yogurt when I wake up. This also frees up my Instant Pot so it can be used for cooking other meals during the day.
Do I really need a greek yogurt maker?
No. They’re helpful, but not necessary. You can easily strain your yogurt with cheesecloth or coffee filters laid over a colander or sieve (mesh strainer). Then, nest the strainer over a large mixing bowl to catch the liquid contents into the bottom. I call the latter solution the “The Poor Man’s Method,” and it’s how I strain my yogurt at home.
Can I use this homemade greek yogurt as a future yogurt starter?
Yes, and you absolutely should! You can set aside and even freeze 2 Tbsp. portions in an ice cube tray to save for your next batch of yogurt. Just be sure to thaw the yogurt cubes before using them as a yogurt starter. Note that you can also use the excess liquid whey (that accumulates at the bottom of your yogurt maker during the straining process) as a yogurt starter. You can freeze that, too. This way, there’s less waste and more greek yogurt to enjoy.

Bon Appétit!

I hope you enjoy this time-saving creation! Please give your review below and make sure to share a photo of your creation and tag @wholesome_revival on Instagram to spread the word. I’d love to see how your meals turned out!

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Homemade Greek Yogurt

The Best Instant Pot Greek Yogurt


  • Author: Amelia Jane
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8.5 hours
  • Total Time: 11 hours
  • Yield: 32 oz. (4 cups) 1x

Description

This homemade greek yogurt is to die for. Its irresistible creaminess and the perfect amount of tang will have you hooked after the first batch. You’ll never buy store-bought greek yogurt ever again!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 2 Tbspcultured yogurt (or liquid whey that has been strained from a previous batch of yogurt)

Instructions

  1. Optional: Sterilize your equipment.
    See How to Sterilize Cooking Utensils in an Instant Pot.
  2. Add milk to Instant Pot and boil.
    Pour a half-gallon of whole milk into your Instant Pot and select the “Yogurt” preset. Adjust the mode to “High” (or “More” for some models) and press “Start.” Your Instant Pot will display “Boil” on the screen.
  3. Temp-check milk to ensure it’s hot enough.
    Once the Boil cycle is complete, give your milk a gentle stir (to eliminate hot spots) and check its temperature to ensure it has reached at least 180°F. If it hasn’t, use the Sauté function while gently stirring to increase the temp. Press Cancel when your milk achieves a temp between 180°F – 200°F.
  4. Let milk cool to 112°F.
    Remove your Instant Pot lid and let the milk cool down to approx. 112°F by placing your Inner Pot on a counter-top.
    Note: You can speed up this process by checking out the Notes section, below.
  5. Skim the milk.
    Once milk has cooled to 112°F, use a mesh skimming spoon to remove and discard any film or froth from the top of the milk.
    Note: Try not to scrape the bottom of your inner pot, as it may dislodge the layer of thickened milk created during the boiling process.
  6. Add yogurt starter.
    Add 2 Tbsp. of yogurt starter (or liquid whey) to the 112°F milk and gently stir with a spatula to thoroughly combine.
  7. Start the incubation process.
    Place the Inner Pot back into the Instant Pot and close the lid. You do not have to set the lid to the Sealing Position, as the Yogurt function is not pressurized. Select the Yogurt function and set the mode to “Normal” (or “Medium” for some models). Set the time to anywhere between 8:00 – 12:00 hours, depending on how tangy you prefer your yogurt to be. This will begin the incubation process.
    Note: More time = more tang. A good starting place for beginners is 8-9 hours.
  8. Stir & Strain.
    Once the incubation process is complete, remove your Inner Pot and stir the contents with a whisk or spatula until smooth. (Be careful not to scrape any solidified contents from the bottom of the pot.) Then, pour the mixture into a Greek yogurt maker or other straining setup of your choice.
  9. Halt the incubation process.
    Place your straining set-up or Greek yogurt maker into the refrigerator to halt the incubation process and allow to sit for at least 3 hours. If you are not using a Greek yogurt maker, be sure to place plastic wrap over the top of your yogurt.
    Note: The longer you strain, the thicker and creamier your yogurt will be, but the less your yield will be. If you like your yogurt to be thick, almost like cream cheese, leave the strainer in the fridge overnight.
  10. Serve.
    Valla! You can now scoop your Greek yogurt out of your strainer and store it in an air-tight container of your choice in the fridge. (I like to store mine in mini mason jars for an easy snack on-the-go, or to use when packing lunches for my husband.)

Notes

How to Speed Up the Milk Cooling Process:
To quickly cool down your milk, fill a large mixing bowl (or your kitchen sink) with cold water. Nest your Inner Pot in the cold water so that it’s partially submerged. It’s best to use cold water and not an ice bath, to avoid shocking the milk. Gently stir the milk with a spatula or whisk and monitor the milk temperature frequently. This method will typically cool the milk to the proper temperature in less than 5 minutes. Immediately remove the pot from the cold water as soon as the milk has reached a temp between 110°F and 114°F.

  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: greek yogurt, instant pot, pressure cooker, keto

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