Homemade Crockpot Yogurt

A crockpot (or perhaps you call it a slow cooker) is a super useful kitchen gadget to have around. I’ve gotten lots of use out of my crockpots over the years, primarily for making things like soups and chili. This week, however, I used my crockpot for something a bit more unusual – I made homemade crockpot yogurt.

I’d seen this type of recipe floating around the internet and decided it was a simple enough process that I could fit into my schedule. My yogurt turned out a bit runny (not sure why) and is also is a bit more tangy than most of the fruity yogurts on the store shelves. I’m thinking it will be a great ingredient for smoothies and will be giving that a try this week too.

HOMEMADE CROCKPOT YOGURT

Here’s what you need:
1/2 gallon of milk
1/2 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt (equals a 6 oz container)
Crockpot

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

Step 1: Pour the half gallon of milk in the crockpot and heat on the low setting for 2.5 hours

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

Step 2: Turn off the crockpot and unplug it. Let the milk cool in the crockpot on the counter for 3 hours. The temperature should end up being about 100 degrees at the end of that time. (my thermometer registered 104 after 3 hours)

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

Step 3: The next thing you do is whisk in the 1/2 cup of yogurt.

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

Step 4: Put the lid back on the crockpot. Cover the entire crockpot with a heavy towel (like a beach towel). Let it set wrapped up like this for at least 8 hours. I let mine set overnight (approximately 10 hours).

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

Step 5: Now your yogurt is done! You can sweeten it at this point if you like. I added 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla to my mixture.

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

Step 6: Pour into smaller containers and refrigerate (or freeze). If you can’t get to this step right away, you can pop the whole crockpot into the refrigerator and do it when it’s more convenient.

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

I ended up with five 12 oz containers

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

The Yogurt Making Timeline

You probably noticed that several hours elapsed between the steps during the process and you might be thinking you don’t have that much time in your schedule. Here’s how my timeline worked out, which was really quite manageable. I did this on a Friday night and Saturday morning.

4:30 p.m.- Started milk cooking in crockpot. Then made supper.

7:00 p.m.– Unplugged the crockpot. Was still in the kitchen cleaning up supper so no big deal.

10:00 p.m. – Stirred in the yogurt starter and covered the whole thing up with a towel. Went to bed.

9:00 a.m. next morning – Took towel off and stirred in sugar and vanilla and poured into containers.

So as you can see, even though quite a bit of time goes by, the steps themselves go quickly and can be done with minimal effort.

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot
10:00 – good night yogurt – I’m goin’ to bed

Homemade Yogurt Ingredients and their Cost

I decided to use whole Vitamin D milk for my yogurt because I thought I remembered reading it made for a richer yogurt. I really prefer skim milk, so I didn’t want to buy a whole gallon of the Vitamin D stuff. My cost for the 1/2 gallon was $1.99. If you bought a gallon, I’m sure your cost for the half gallon used would be less.

I purchased a 6 oz Dannon vanilla yogurt for the “starter” to stir in. My 6 oz container cost 60 cents. If you save a little bit of your homemade stuff, you can use that on the next crockpot batch for your starter. If you have a bigger container of the plain yogurt, your cost would be less too for the half cup used.

So my total cost for the ingredients was $2.59 (not including the little bit of sugar and vanilla I stirred in). This equaled 51 cents for each 12 oz container. I’m sure you could bring this cost down if you bought any of these ingredients on sale too.

I’m still wondering why my batch was a little runny. A temperature thing maybe? If anyone else has advice to share, I’d love to hear it!

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17 Comments

  1. My sister strains the whey off in the fridge after the towel wrap time is over. She then uses the whey for other purposes and her yogurt isnt runny

  2. My sister strains the whey off in the fridge after the towel wrap time is over. She then uses the whey for other purposes and her yogurt isnt runny

  3. I have made yogurt about twice a week and i use 8 cups milk 1 cup cream a teaspoon of vanilla essence a good teaspoon of gelatine say around 13 grms and about a 1/3 cup sugar (try to your own taste) I heat this to 200 deg f turn the stove off and cool to 100deg f. i then take out 2 cups and i mix about a half a cup of natural yogurt.( i have already preheated my crockpot on low )i mix well and put the mixture to the crockpot and leave on low for about an hour or so,turn off and cover with towel for about 4-5hrs and then put it in the fridge. yumo tomorrow…dont add fruit to the yogurt till you are ready to use.. this will make the yogurt go watery .

  4. I have made yogurt about twice a week and i use 8 cups milk 1 cup cream a teaspoon of vanilla essence a good teaspoon of gelatine say around 13 grms and about a 1/3 cup sugar (try to your own taste) I heat this to 200 deg f turn the stove off and cool to 100deg f. i then take out 2 cups and i mix about a half a cup of natural yogurt.( i have already preheated my crockpot on low )i mix well and put the mixture to the crockpot and leave on low for about an hour or so,turn off and cover with towel for about 4-5hrs and then put it in the fridge. yumo tomorrow…dont add fruit to the yogurt till you are ready to use.. this will make the yogurt go watery .

  5. I make crockpot yogurt once or twice a month. When you stir in the yogurt starter, also put in about 3/4 cup of nonfat dry milk. This helps thicken it to a more spoonable consistency.Another poster suggested adding gelatin, I haven't tried that but I know the dry milk works.And heating the milk in the crockpot instead of on the stove first has given me better and more consistent results.

  6. I make crockpot yogurt once or twice a month. When you stir in the yogurt starter, also put in about 3/4 cup of nonfat dry milk. This helps thicken it to a more spoonable consistency.

    Another poster suggested adding gelatin, I haven't tried that but I know the dry milk works.

    And heating the milk in the crockpot instead of on the stove first has given me better and more consistent results.

  7. I just tried this for the first time and my contents after sitting overnight, was as runny as the milk I had orginally poured in. I read on another post, that the LOW setting on some crock pots doesn't get the milk hot enough, so they had great success warming the milk on HIGH for the first hour, then turning it to LOW for the remainder 1 1/2 hours. I'm going to give that a try! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I just tried this for the first time and my contents after sitting overnight, was as runny as the milk I had orginally poured in. I read on another post, that the LOW setting on some crock pots doesn't get the milk hot enough, so they had great success warming the milk on HIGH for the first hour, then turning it to LOW for the remainder 1 1/2 hours. I'm going to give that a try! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Cool post. I FINALLY found a yogurt maker at a yard sale after looking for 4 years. However I still haven't used it, because you have to heat the milk on the stove to a temp and then pour it in and THEN remember to turn machine off because it doesn't have a timer.
    Argh.

    Your post is a lot less steps!

  10. Thanks for sharing those tips Sherie! I think it's great that you keep experimenting to find what works best. Trial and error is key to finding out what the best process is. I like the idea to add an envelope of unflavored gelatin to the mixture. That sounds like a pretty easy way to thicken the yogurt.

  11. I have made batches of this in my crockpot, but have been experimenting lately, this time I heated 1/2gal milk up to 185 degrees and while doing this had my crockpot on low heating up, once milk is at the correct temp using thermometer I transfer into crockpot and turn off and let set for 3hr. I then use 6oz of Fage greek yogurt with 2 cups of warm milk into blender and mix well,if you want thicker you can use knox gelatin (1 envelope) then transfer back into crockpot and cover with lid and heavy towel and let set 8-10 hrs, have had great results and makes the best smoothies, to day I used the powdered culture in stead of yogurt and a cup of non fat dry milk for thicker but after time was up and tasting before I put into frig it tastes like thick buttermilk, although I do like buttermilk, so I will be using the fage yogurt from now on, but this is so much cheaper than buying greek yogurt, or organic, hope this helped

  12. Homemade yogurt is on my list of things to try. This looks easy enough. Thanks for sharing, and thanks to all your knowledgeable readers with their tips, too.

  13. This feedback has been very helpful! It's good to know that homemade yogurt is just a little bit more runny anyway and now I have two new strategies too – straining and adding dry milk powder. =)

  14. I use a yogurt maker, but have been thinking of trying it this way. If the yogurt is near a draft, that could make it end up runnier, but homemade is just thinner than from the store. I add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of dry milk powder to the whole milk and that helps thicken it too.

  15. I make homemade yogurt but have never tried this method. Sounds easy, I might give it a try.

    Homemade yogurt is always a little runnier than the stuff at the store-it has been thickened. To get thick creamy yogurt, line a strainer with cheese cloth and set it over a bowl in the fridge for a few hours.

    If it was very runny it could be a temperature inconsistency or the starter cultures were not strong enough. Whatever the cause, straining it will help.

    Thanks for another great post!