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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

DIY Greek Yogurt Cooking View

People, I cannot even tell you how excited I am about this.  If you had asked me even last year if I would ever make my own yogurt, I probably would have laughed at you.  Sure, maybe I would have tried it once just for the sake of trying it, but I certainly never considered that it would not only become a regular occurrence, but would actually replace store-bought yogurt for us.

What made me decide to take the leap exactly?  It was a combination of things, really.  Mostly, I just wanted to try making yogurt and home and see how easy or difficult it might be.  Another huge factor was all the waste created by the individual yogurt containers.  When you eat yogurt as often as I do (at least once a day and often twice), those containers really add up.  My dad was green before it was cool to be green, and so I grew up in a house where we were taught to waste as little as possible, conserve packaging, etc.  Becoming more eco-friendly is a constant goal in our home and there is always room for improvement.  Each time I threw away a yogurt container, it nagged at me a little more until finally I was just done.  I decided that I simply would not be buying more yogurt beyond what was already in my fridge so if I wanted more, I was going to have to make it myself.  Thankfully my friend Paula, who I met at Food and Light, has an excellent series of posts on the topic.

I set out to educate myself about what this was going to require.  A whole lot of time?  All sorts of special equipment?  No and no.  Total active time is maybe 30 minutes and the only equipment required is all items that I consider kitchen necessities: a pan, a thermometer, a bowl, some kitchen towels, an oven, and a mesh sieve.  It’s shockingly simple and the results are fantastic.  I’m not going back and neither should you!  Here’s how you do it:

Add 2 quarts of milk to a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  (You can use whatever type of milk you prefer.  I like 2%, but skim, 1% or whole are all fine too.)

Continue heating until the temperature reaches 180˚ F.  (This denatures the milk proteins so that they do not interfere with the incubation process.)  Remove from the heat.

Set aside and let cool, stirring occasionally, until the temperature has dropped to between 110-120˚ F.  It is important that the temperature is within this range so that the bacterial cultures can do their thing.  If the temperature is too hot, the cultures will be killed.  If it is too low, they won’t incubate properly.

Add the milk to a ceramic or glass bowl and stir in 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt.  This will provide the live active cultures needed to make your yogurt work – essentially, yogurt is a starter for making more yogurt.  (Some people say that you shouldn’t use your homemade yogurt as the starter for more yogurt because it may cause a sour taste.  Some people say it is fine to use your own yogurt as a starter.  You’ll have to experiment and see what works for you.)  If you are using instant dry milk, whisk it in at this time.  (I have tried it both with and without the dry milk powder, and I like it both ways but I prefer it without.)  It is used to add even more creaminess, particularly useful if you are using skim milk.

Preheat the oven (to any temperature), shutting the oven off after 1 minute.  This serves to slightly warm the oven, taking any chill out of the air.  Turn the oven light on.  Cover the dish and wrap the covered bowl in a couple of thick kitchen towels.  (I use a Pyrex dish that has a lid, but I’m sure you could use a mixing bowl and cover it with a plate just fine.)  Close the oven and let the mixture incubate in the warm oven.  (It is important that the mixture stay within the aforementioned temperature range during the entire incubation period.  If you feel that the oven may be getting too cold, you can do additional 1 minute preheat periods every couple of hours.  I find this unnecessary and anyway, I’m asleep while this is going on in my kitchen.)

Now you just wait and let the yogurt incubate.  The incubation period can vary significantly.  It can take as little as 8 hours but mine takes closer to 12.  As such, I prep my milk mixture before going to bed at night and let the yogurt incubate overnight.  (There is just no way for me to give up use of my oven for a 12 hour period on a regular basis.)

When the yogurt magic has happened, you will know because the mixture has become thick, gelatinous and, well, yogurt!

At this point the yogurt will have a lot of excess liquid and be fairly runny.  Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, and line with a thick paper towel, coffee filter, or cheesecloth.  Pour the yogurt into the sieve, place the straining set up in the refrigerator, and strain until most of the liquid has been drained from the yogurt.  (This liquid is known as whey.  Some people save it and use it for other things.  I discard it.)

Place the yogurt in a storage container, whisk to smooth it out (I like to add a tablespoon of vanilla extract), and store in the refrigerator.  Look!  You just made yogurt!  (This keeps for at least a week.)

I know a lot of people enjoy eating plain Greek yogurt but my tastebuds need added sweetness.  If I’m eating it plain, I mix in a little bit of honey to sweeten it and top with fresh fruit.  However, my absolute favorite store-bought yogurts are the kind with fruits to mix in, so naturally I have been experimenting with homemade versions of the various fruit mixtures.  I’m happy to say that this endeavor is going very well and I’ll be sharing several fruit mix-in recipes soon, so stay tuned for that.  I hope you try making your own yogurt at home and see how simple, satisfying, and economical it is.  My grocery bill has already seen a significant improvement.

Greek Yogurt
Yield: about 3-4 cups

Ingredients

2 quarts milk
2 tsp. plain yogurt
¼ cup instant dry milk powder (optional)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Cooking View

Directions

  • Add 2 quarts of milk to a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  (You can use whatever type of milk you prefer.  I like 2%, but skim, 1% or whole are all fine too.)  Continue heating until the temperature reaches 180˚ F.  (This denatures the milk proteins so that they do not interfere with the incubation process.)  Remove from the heat.

  • Set aside and let cool, stirring occasionally, until the temperature has dropped to between 110-120˚ F.  It is important that the temperature is within this range so that the bacterial cultures can do their thing.  If the temperature is too hot, the cultures will be killed.  If it is too low, they won’t incubate properly.

  • Add the milk to a ceramic or glass bowl and stir in 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt.  This will provide the live active cultures needed to make your yogurt work – essentially, yogurt is a starter for making more yogurt.  (Some people say that you shouldn’t use your homemade yogurt as the starter for more yogurt because it may cause a sour taste.  Some people say it is fine to use your own yogurt as a starter.  You’ll have to experiment and see what works for you.)  If you are using instant dry milk, whisk it in at this time.  (I have tried it both with and without the dry milk powder, and I like it both ways but prefer it without.)

  • Preheat the oven (to any temperature), shutting the oven off after 1 minute.  This serves to slightly warm the oven, taking any chill out of the air.  Turn the oven light on.  Cover the dish and wrap the covered bowl in a couple of thick kitchen towels.  (I use a Pyrex dish that has a lid, but I’m sure you could use a mixing bowl and cover it with a plate just fine.)  Close the oven and let the mixture incubate in the warm oven.  (It is important that the mixture stay within the aforementioned temperature range during the entire incubation period.  If you feel that the oven may be getting too cold, you can do additional 1 minute preheat periods every couple of hours.  I find this unnecessary and anyway, I’m asleep while this is going on in my kitchen.)

  • Now you just wait and let the yogurt incubate.  The incubation period can vary significantly.  It can take as little as 8 hours but mine takes closer to 12.  As such, I prep my milk mixture before going to bed at night and let the yogurt incubate overnight.

  • When the yogurt magic has happened, you will know because the mixture has become thick, gelatinous and, well, yogurt!  At this point the yogurt will have a lot of excess liquid and be fairly runny.  Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, and line with a thick paper towel, coffee filter, or cheesecloth.  Pour the yogurt into the sieve, place the straining set up in the refrigerator, and strain until most of the liquid has been drained from the yogurt.  (This liquid is known as whey.  Some people save it and use it for other things.  I discard it.)

  • Place the yogurt in a storage container, whisk to smooth it out (I like to add a tablespoon of vanilla extract), and store in the refrigerator.  This keeps for at least a week.

Source

  • Jessica Arnoldy

    my favorite thing to eat now is honey greek yogurt with a couple of tablespoons of PB2 (powdered peanutbutter) mixed in. I’ll also add granola if I’m extra hungry. it is amazingly good and extremely healthy,, a win win in my book.

  • Katharine

    My husband and I are fortunate enough to have a raw milk share, and I try to turn at least half of our 1/2 gallon into yogurt. There’s nothing like homemade; it’s delicious! It’s perfect with granola or a drizzle of honey.

  • http://emilialiveslife.wordpress.com/ Emilia

    This is amazing, I cannot wait to try it! I, too, go through quite a bit of yogurt and have recently begun buying huge containers to cut down on waste (and hopefully save a few bucks); however I’m always looking to make more things homemade. Thanks for the fantastic tutorial :)

  • Joanne Kyvetos

    Hi Annie,
    Funny, a very similar recipe was in the newspaper two weeks ago here in Québec, “La Presse, Feb 25th” with very slight differences. I’ve made it twice so far and I don’t think I will ever go back to bought yogurt. This is easy and gives amazing result. J.

  • Ginny

    Quick question – can you use skim milk, or must it be whole? Can’t wait to try this as I eat Greek yogurt as much as you do!

  • SydneyJones

    Oh my! I think I love you for this :)

  • Dana Burton

    Hi Annie,
    This sounds pretty easy….not as labored as I thought it might be.:) I’m going to give it a try! I look forward to you posting the fruit add-in recipes as well. Just in case someone hasn’t told you yet today, you are amazing! I appreciate all the time and energy you put in to creating such a fabulous blog. I didn’t realize until I started a blog of my own in January that it’s not as easy as it appears to keep posts going and creative energy. It definitely has to be something your passionate about or it becomes more of a burden than a blessing. You have a gift and you share that gift with all of us! Thank you!
    Take care,
    Dana

  • annieseats

    Dana, thank you very much for your kind words. I truly appreciate them. As for the yogurt, I do hope you give it a try! I agree, before I knew what it required I sort of assumed it would be too involved to really be sustainable long term but now I’m a total convert.

  • annieseats

    I mentioned it in the post, but you can use any type you like. Enjoy!

  • Michelle

    I just made my first yogurt a few weeks ago. I have not been straining mine though, so it has been a bit thinner than I prefer. I am definitely going to try that next time!

  • http://bluegrassnest.blogspot.com/ Dana B

    Hi Annie,
    This sounds pretty easy…not as labored as I thought it would be.:) I’m going to give it a try! I look forward to you posting the fruit add-in recipes as well. Just in case someone hasn’t told you today, you are amazing! I have been following your blog for a little over two years now and I have never let you know how much I appreciate all the time and energy you put in to making this blog so wonderful. I just started a blog of my own in January and it’s not as easy as some may think to keep the posts and creative energy flowing. You definitely have to be passionate about what your doing or it becomes more of a burden than a blessing. You have a gift and you share that gift with all of us. Thank you!
    Take care,
    Dana B

  • http://twitter.com/spicybeautiful Zane & Van

    Wow! this post made it all sound and look easy — just when we thought that making DIY yoghurt would be tedious. Thanks!

  • http://tideandthyme.com/ Laura

    Easier than I ever would have imagined. Can’t wait to try this one, Annie! The whole Davis fam thanks you.

  • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

    Hi Annie,

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I have been meaning to make this for so long. My husband’s mom makes homemade yogurt, and always has, so he will truly appreciate this!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Amazing! Thanks Annie, this sounds fabulous!

  • http://www.lollyssweettreats.com/ Laurel

    I can’t believe how easy this looks. Thanks for posting, Annie. DIY yogurt looks wonderful.

  • http://msenplace.wordpress.com/ Erica

    My boyfriend’s been dying to try this! I just found the America’s Test Kitchen Feed instructions, and these look pretty similar, so I’m glad to see it actually works!

  • Robin

    This looks amazing; I’m definitely going to try it out! I’m only confused about one part – you say to preheat the oven for one minute, and then before putting the yogurt in, you say to turn the oven on. Do I preheat, turn off, then turn on? Or just set the oven to a really low temp for 12 hours?

  • Emily

    Thank you so much for this post. I tried to make yogurt once but failed…your Instructions are so much clearer! Can’t wait to try it this weekend!

  • Liz W.

    I’m so happy to see this post! I love hearing different variations of yogurt making. I’ve been making yogurt a similar way for some time now and it definitely yields great results. The whey is great as a smootie mix in! During the incubation period I have found that leaving the oven light on (and oven off) keeps it a steady 110-112 degrees. My family makes freezer jam in the summer months, so we stir that into our yogurt throughout the year. Can’t wait to hear your mix ins! My 3 yr old goes through the stonyfield squeeze yogurt (frozen into yogurt pops) like its her job, so I can’t wait to find a great mold for doing a homemade version. As always, great post Annie!

  • Jersey Girl Cooks

    I want to try this. You make it sound so easy. I am sure it is so much better than the kind in a container too.

  • Janet Pierce

    Hi,
    I’ve made yogurt and greek yogurt in the past for my family, I simply dont want us ( the kids especially) eating all those man-made preservatives that goes into most store bought foods. I had been using whole milk but due to some recent changes in our lifestyle, we are switching to a heart healthy life, I will be making skim/low fat yogurt.

    I wanted to add in that some of the posts I have read about using the powdered non fat dry milk in addition at the end of the heating period is to help make it not only creamier and thicker, for me I have found that it does make it thicker and creamier.

    I was wondering if anyone has any experience or knowledge of using homemade yogurt to make frozen yogurt treats similar to ice cream style frozen yogurt? My goal is to create inexpensive, healthy hot weather treats for my family…I was thinking a mixture of frozen yogurt and fruit sorbet popsicles.

  • http://www.krissys-creations.com Krissy’s Creations

    I have been wanting to make homemade yogurt for such a long time! Not until I saw this step-by-step tutorial, did I ever think it was this easy! I love that you leave it overnight, I would definitely do the same. Wonderful post Annie :)

  • Cambria washington

    This sounds wonderful! Do you know if it would work with Goat’s milk? I’m allergic to cow’s milk, and I love yogurt. Unfortunately goat’s milk yogurt is hard to find where I live, and is usually out of my budget. I’m definitely interested in trying this out to see if I can keep some in my fridge regularly :)

  • http://srshowalter.blogspot.com/ :sheila:

    This sounds quite easy AND delicious =) Excited to give it a try!

  • Startrek1k

    Instead of the oven, I use a cooler. Pour your hottest tap water in a lidded jar, wrap a towel around it and place it in the cooler. Pour the yogurt into other jars, lid and wrap in towels. Place in the cooler and shut the lid! That’s it. I usually place the cooler in a warm place in the house. I’ve had great success with this method and it will open up your oven space.

  • Chitra_visalakshi

    Hi annie,
    I have been making yogurt this way for years. I use skim or whole milk, I warm it in the microwave for a minute, and then let it cool. Then I take one teaspoon of plain yogurt and mix it with the cooled milk. I let it set overnight. And next morning I refrigerate it. Otherwise it goes very sour.

    I am from India, and this is something we do every day :) we mix it with rice and have it with lunch.

    Enjoy your yogurt!

  • Meaghan

    Very interesting! We go through Fage Greek yogurt in our household like it’s water. However, I only like to give my toddler son organic yogurt and Fage is not organic. I may have to try this with some of his whole milk.

    Thanks,
    Meaghan
    http://www.2sisters2cities.com

  • http://thecafesucrefarine.blogspot.com/ The Café Sucré Farine

    Great post! I love Paula’s blog and have been meaning to start making her yogurt – I even bought a gallon on 2% milk ………. it went bad before I got the chance to make it ):
    Then I discovered Kirkland’s Greek Yogurt at Costco – it’s so delicious and so reasonable that I still haven’t done the REAL thing, oh well, maybe one of these days! Your’s look fantastic and beautiful photos, as usual!

  • http://www.rosybluhandmade.com/ Michelle

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve seen recipes, but have never taken the plunge into try ing it. Now that I’ve seen pictures…I think I can do this :o)

  • Holly Brill

    oh my goodness, this is great! I’m incredibly inspired to go make my own yogurt… soon!

  • http://anniecardi.wordpress.com/ anniecm

    I buy at least two containers of yogurt a week, so this sounds like a lifesaver. And what a fun project! I’m a little curious about what makes this “Greek” vs. regular yogurt. Does it have to do with how much liquid is removed?

  • UrbanWife

    My best friend has been making her own yogurt this way for years. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m rather lazy when it comes to making my own yogurt. It’s high time for me to buck up and stop being lazy! Thanks for the detailed step-by-step.

  • http://www.elementalcustard.com Mara @ Elemental Custard

    I have been DYING to make yogurt for so long now. I keep telling myself I will try it soon… It keeps getting put on the back-burner. Greek yogurt is my favourite.

  • annieseats

    Yep, just how much you strain it. You could strain it very briefly for a much thinner (regular) yogurt. Greek yogurt is thick because it is strained.

  • B Symthe

    Greek yogurt with a touch of citrus curd has been my new “thing”…. tastes like the spring we won’t see yet for a while. This is definitely on my list to try! Thanks so much, Annie…..you are the first blog I go to when looking for something new, and in most cases, the last….I am sure I am not alone!

  • annieseats

    I don’t know, you’d have to experiment and see. Good luck!

  • annieseats

    You can of course use this yogurt in any way you normally would – baking, frozen yogurt, etc.

  • annieseats

    You just misread; it says, “Turn the oven light on.” So preheat one minute, shut off the oven, and turn the oven light on.

  • Emilie @ Emilie’s Enjoyables

    Very cool Annie! You make it seem so simple, I’ll definitely have to try it out!

  • http://anniecardi.wordpress.com/ anniecm

    Awesome! Thanks Annie.

  • Barbara Praying for Grace

    I am glad you are having success at making your own, Annie. It’s not only more eco-friendly but much, much less expensive.

    I have been making my own for at least a year. I lost a couple batches due to uneven temps and so I started using a machine ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EX16RY/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller= ) . It’s one of my favorite kitchen appliances. The glass jars are great for on-the-go yogurt.

    By the way — the whey makes great pancakes and waffles. I freeze it until I have enough for a batch.

  • Laura Westwood

    Awesome! I’m so happy to find this, I was just thinking this morning how much greek yogurt costs (expensive in Canada) and how much we go through. Also the container wastage bothers me as well. Thank you for the wonderful photo tutorial! Can’t wait to try it out & save some $$

  • Barbara Praying for Grace

    PS a few spoons of jam makes a great fruity sweetener!

  • Andrea Young

    I’m doing it Annie! I’m going to make my own yogurt too :) I tried years ago and failed. I think it was too cold in my kitchen – I foolishly left it out on the counter, not warm enough! We go through a lot of yogurt in this house, making my own would save me at least $10 a week. Thanks Annie!

  • J. Ferguson

    Love your blog, It has become my go-to resource for so many things! I have been a long-time follower but this is the first time I have commented. When considering your fruit add-ins, have you thought about coconut? I used to be able to get a delicious coconut yogurt but it has recently changed and the milk fat content is now almost double (from 4.3% to 8.4% m.f). So, I now reserve that yogurt for a treat! It would be great to make something that is just as delicious but with less milk fat so I can enjoy it everyday.

  • Lissa

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for this post all week :P While I’ve read many recipes on making yogurt, I think you’re the first that has mentioned flavoring it – I like yogurt, but not plain. Now I just need to buy a bigger strainer!

  • http://anniescookinglab.com/ Annie @ Annie’s Cooking Lab

    I have to admit that for some reason, despite this appearing to be a simple process, I’m a little nervous to give it a try! However, I currently spend a lot of money buying little containers of Greek yogurt, and like you, I hate wasting so much packaging. I bet this tastes way better than store-bought too!

  • Adam Bowling

    Since moving to Panama, I have had to dramatically reduce my yogurt purchasing. I can’t always find greek, plain, unsweetened, or a tasty variety. The local yogurts are very runny with way too much sugar. Occasionally, I find greek yogurt for $8 16oz.
    I have tried making yogurt in the past. It was not successful. I tried the crock pot method. I was told I must have used ultra-pasteurized milk. Does this matter in your recipe?

    Adam
    If it does not matter, I am trying this out on Monday.

  • Kelsey

    I love this, Annie! I saw a DIY yogurt recipe in this month’s Food & Wine, but seeing your steps laid out here makes the process much more accessible. What a wonderful post. I cannot wait to try this myself!

  • annieseats

    Adam, from my reading, you don’t have to use ultra-pasteurized milk because the heating above 180˚ F does the same thing (kills bacteria that interfere with the cultures, and denatures the proteins). If you did use ultra-pasteurized milk, supposedly you can skip the first heating step, though I just buy regular pasteurized milk so I haven’t tried that to confirm myself.

  • http://jensfavoritecookies.com/ Jen @ Jen’s Favorite Cookies

    I’ve never really considered making yogurt, but this actually looks doable. I may have to try it, if for no other reason than to say I did! (Plus, my family would be thrilled!)

  • Beccaod

    I actually make mine in the crock pot, all of the same things happen (temperatures and adding starter and such), but I only have to check on it twice at specific times. It works perfectly for me, no waiting around for the perfect temperature.

  • MerLoh

    I have been wanting to make yogurt for a long time. I spend way too much time and packaging on my yogurt habit (especially the nice, thick greek kind!) and needed a new alternative. Thanks for giving me the push I needed to do it!

  • http://www.the-marrying-type.com/ Rachel

    Hi Annie! Thank you for sharing all of the steps in this process! Appreciate all the work you put into this wonderful blog!

    One question – do I have to use plain Greek yogurt for the ‘starter’? Could I use flavored greek yogurt or another kind of non-greek yogurt?

    Thanks!
    Rachel

  • http://onceuponarecipe.wordpress.com/ Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    Annie, you are amazing! And to top it off, you make it look easy. I might try this!

  • Gayle

    Thanks soooo much for sharing this recipe/method. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at homemade yogurt for awhile now. My husband likes yogurt when he’s trying to cut calories, but gets the kind with artificial sweeteners & those aren’t good for you either. So now I can add Stevia for his.

  • Kristan Heyman

    I love making homemade yogurt! I do all of the same steps as you, but I put it in the crockpot instead of using a bowl and oven. I cover the crockpot in a towel and if it seems to be getting too cool, I turn it on warm for 10 minutes. My kids love homemade yogurt with a bit of honey :)

  • Sara

    any idea on how this would work with goat milk?

  • http://www.acakestory.co/ ACakeStory

    Wow, this is just amazing. Two of us go through a Greek yogurt everyday in my house and it absolutely is wasteful and expensive! But we looooove the thick creaminess of it! I can’t wait to try this – thank you!

  • annieseats

    No, I haven’t tried that.

  • annieseats

    Good question Rachel. My understanding is that you can use any type of yogurt as the start as long as it contains live active cultures.

  • Coby

    I love making homemade yogurt! I’m going to have to give your recipe a try, omitting the milk powder. Sometimes it seems to make my yogurt a little gritty.

    A friend of mine came up with a great idea for straining the yogurt – she took one of her husband’s clean white undershirts (cutting the sleeves and armpits off ;-) ) and used that over the sieve instead of cheesecloth; that way she didn’t have to keep buying cheesecloth!

  • Lauren

    I really love your step by step instructions on this! I can’t wait to try it. What kind of thermometer do you have? It looks nice.

  • annieseats

    Lauren, check the Annie’s equipment section in the sidebar – it has a link to my thermometer. I love love love it, and highly recommend it! It’s a bit expensive but is great quality so it will last, and is totally worth the cost.

  • http://www.the-marrying-type.com/ Rachel

    thanks!

    I actually have one final (may be silly) question – can you freeze yogurt?

  • annieseats

    I don’t know the answer to that. Since it is similar to sour cream, I’m guessing no, but I haven’t actually tried it. I guess to me the bonus of having made it yourself is that it’s fresh, and freezing would kind of negate that. Anyway, enjoy!

  • Bosslady

    My hero…! I’ve been so afraid of making my own yogurt ( mostly because I’m afraid of sending my family to the hospital), but your step by step instructions have provided the push I needed! I’m going to put on my brave pants and give it a try. Yep, I own brave pants. Thanks!

  • 1tova1

    Is this like store-bought Greek yogurt in the sense that it has twice the protein of regular yogurt?

  • http://cookingformykids.com/ Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids

    I love your blog more and more with each recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is going to save me a ton of money…and my littles will think that I am just simply amazing. :)

  • Mellybrown

    How awesome! I figured you had to have a special ‘yogurt machine’ to do yogurt at home. This is particularly handy for those of us that have little people at home that could live on yogurt and for those of us (me) that have a serious tzatziki addiction during pregnancy.

  • http://twitter.com/CookingBride Lisa L. Bynum

    Oh, you have a Thermapen. I’m so jealous! I’ve been wanting one of those for years.

  • http://www.thespiffycookie.com/ Erin

    This is wonderful!

  • Andrea

    You have no idea how excited I am about this!! I also go through a ton of yogurt, and I could really get used to the idea of making my own for probably a quarter of the price of what its costing me now. This seems easy! Thank you so much!

  • http://www.tinnedtomatoes.com/ Jacqueline

    I made yoghurt at school as a science experiement, but I haven’t made it since. Good on you for giving it a go, it looks like it came out great. I remember chosing lemon as my flavour and everyone thought I was mad, because you didn’t get lemon yoghurt back them. I was just future thinking!

  • Guest

    I have wanted to do this for a long time, but the instructions always sounded so confusing, but yours are very understandable and concise. Thank you.

  • http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/ Julie @ Table for Two

    This is awesome. How clever! I’m definitely going to try this sometime. I always thought making yogurt was so hard. This’ll definitely help save money, and I’ll have to add some favorite fresh fruit in there too to mix it up :)

  • Cassie

    This is a fantastic idea! I need to try this ASAP.

  • http://www.megansmunchies.com/ Megan @ Megan’s Munchies

    I have never made homemade yogurt! I think it is time!

  • annieseats

    I assume so since this is Greek yogurt. I think the only difference is that because it is strained so much longer, there is more protein per unit of volume. Make sense?

  • Paula (Salad in a Jar)

    Hey Annie, Great job with the yogurt and thanks for the link! Hope all is well at your house. Have a great weekend.

  • http://twitter.com/JenatPBandP PB and Peppers

    Awesome! I making this tomorrow night!!!

  • annieseats

    Thank *you*! This is truly life changing for me!

  • http://www.lemon-sugar.com/ Erin @ Lemon Sugar

    Love this! Can’t wait to try it myself. So have you determined if you are you going to use your yogurt as the starter or if you’ll buy a new starter each week? Can’t wait to see your mix-ins!

  • http://hiddenponies.com/ Anna @ hiddenponies

    I’m SO excited about this, thank you! Yogurt is one thing I keep meaning to make at home, and this is just the push I needed, you make it look so simple! I don’t eat much yogurt but my family devours it and we love it in smoothies, this looks so perfect!

  • http://www.themuffinmyth.com/ Katie

    Amazing! I made my own yoghurt for years using a little yoghurt incubator which kept it at a constant temperature for the incubation period. When I moved from Canada to Sweden I had to leave all of my electronics behind, including my yoghurt incubator. I’ve switched back to store bought yoghurt, but would love to start making my own again. I’ll give this method a try right away, thanks for the post!

  • Tricia Loy Kritikos

    My mother in law frequently makes yogurt and sends it over. Win. ;)

  • annieseats

    So far we’ve eaten the homemade stuff before I am able to use it as a starter, so I’ve been using the container of store-bought that I have. I may start making larger batches – we’ll see.

  • Susan

    That thermometer you have is awesome. I’ve been making yogurt for years with my grandmother’s recipe. I’ve always done the “pinky” rule. If you can put your pinky in it for 10 seconds- it’s the right temperature. For all of us without cool kitchen gadgets….the pinky works!

  • Leah

    Meaghan, I have 2 toddlers in my house right now, so homemade yogurt made with whole milk has been a major budget help…even with buying organic milk you still save! And whole milk makes a thicker consistency immediately after the incubation period. I don’t strain mine at all, and it’s plenty thick.

  • Leah

    this is how I incubate mine, too – works great!

  • Katherine

    I was also going to recommend jam/preserves as a mix-in. My favorite is Braswell’s Select Fig Preserve. I’ve also used frozen strawberries, as when they are heated up they become mushy and the melted water/berry mix adds flavor, too.

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  • http://kitchensimplicity.com/ Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

    I’ve never been even a little bit interested in making my own yogurt, but now you’ve gone and made it look so darn easy that there’s no way I can get out of it now. :)

    Your photos have been outrageously stunning lately Annie. I love the simplicity and styling. Gorgeous!

  • annieseats

    Thank you so much, Cheri! That means a lot coming from you. Your photos are stellar. I’m always working on them so I’m glad you think it’s helping :)

  • http://jessicainsd.blogspot.com/ Jessica @ Sunny Side Up

    We are getting ready to move into an apartment here in China and I’ve a list of DIY foods that I want to make that is a mile long! However, I did not have yogurt on that list until reading this post! I love finding out that something that I thought might be really difficult isn’t at all. Especially now that finding things as simple as yogurt, tortillas, and chocolate syrup is much more difficult than back in the states.

  • Christinasmith327

    I just made this last night and am the proud momma of her first batch of homemade yogurt! I have to admit, I had a sort of Frankenstein moment, ‘it’s alive!’ so it’s sitting happily in my refrigerator straining through cheese cloth awaiting my coconut and rushed pineapple..*drool*. Thank you so much for these instructions! I put the starter mixture into a crockpot irish a towel wrapped around it in a crockpot carrying case into my oven that didn’t have a working oven light and it worked great!

  • Srimathi

    Thank you for this post. I do make yogurt at home all the time. I tried using the greek yogurt culture to make the yogurt, but it takes me 3 days for the yogurt to set. This will help me a lot, maybe its the temp that I am messing up.

  • Alicia

    I made this today. I am at the straining stage so I have not tasted it yet but it looks exactly like your photos. Can’t wait to have some for breakfast tomorrow!

  • Myfudo

    Looks really amazing and interesting to prepare. Have to try this the soonest!

  • Susan Drummond

    Hi Annie! I’ve followed your blog for a very long time, but this is the first time I’ve commented…well, maybe once or twice a couple of years ago. Anyway, I’ve been making my own yogurt for a while and I found the perfect electric yogurt maker. I wanted one for a long time, but didn’t like the idea of having to pour the liquid into all those little jars. Then I spied this large container one on King Arthur Flour’s website. It is wonderful! You still have to heat the mixture on the stove, but once you put it in the container, the YM keeps it at the perfect temperature. Here is a link:

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/large-electric-yogurt-maker

  • http://twitter.com/DaisyNTSFM Daisy

    I only just recently realised that you like make greek yoghurt or any yoghurt as a matter of fact at home :) I always thought it was something that you had to buy. Thanks for sharing and the step to step instructions :)

  • annieseats

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for that info. I personally try to avoid unitaskers such as a yogurt maker, which is why I’m so excited at this method only requiring a pan, a bowl, a thermometer, and towels. But maybe if someone is in the market for a yogurt maker, this will be of use to them.

  • Allyson

    Annie — thank you thank you thank you for posting this recipe! I have looked into purchasing yogurt making machines (expensive) but do want to have minimally process yogurt (homemade!).

    When you are incubating the yogurt in the oven… are you able to uncover & check the yogurt at times past 8 hours? How did you know to let it go 12? Thanks :)

  • annieseats

    You know it needs to go longer simply if it isn’t yogurt yet. I quickly check the temp to be sure it’s still in the required range (100-120). If it is, I put it back in, maybe do another brief reheat, and check on it later. If it dropped below 100, I figure the cultures probably couldn’t grow. If that happens, you can reuse the same milk using the same process from the beginning (heat to 180, drop to 100-120, add live active cultures, incubate). It can sometimes take up to about 16 hours so don’t give up too quickly. Enjoy!

  • Tai

    This isn’t really meant to be a posted comment, but being someone that recycles, I just had to say something. You mentioned you throw away your store bought yogurt containers, but they are recyclable!!! However, I do applaud you for making your own yogurt (as it is rather spendy).

  • annieseats

    At least where I live, the containers are not recyclable (the type of plastic is not accepted at any recycling centers). And either way, it’s still better to not use a container in the first place than use one that requires recycling from a waste/energy standpoint :)

  • Jeannettedoc

    I make my yogurt basically the same way up to the oven part. My way is easier.
    I have a plastic thermos, the type with the spout at the top. I put warm water in it while heating milk, then when milk is cooled to about 110 degrees, then I ad starter, pour out water from thermos, then pour milk in and cover and let sit for about six hours, or overnight.
    Voila, you have yogurt.

  • annieseats

    Not really any easier, just a different vessel.

  • Kara H

    Annie – I tried looking through the comments to see if this question had already been asked,so I apologize if this is a repeat. We’ve got milk allergies at our house so we use almond milk – do you know if this would work with the yogurt? Just curious if I need to do anything different. Thanks!

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure if that would work or not. Good luck if you decide to try it!

  • Christy

    Thanks for the step-by-step instructions. Will have to finally try my hand at homemade yogurt. But first we’ll have to replace the oven light bulb that has been burnt out for 5 years. LOL.

  • Tiffany T.

    GREAT recipe – I just made this today! Do you think there’s any reason it wouldn’t be safe for me to eat during pregnancy? Because it’s all pasteurized ingredients, I don’t see why not…but want to be careful, and wanted your expert opinion.

  • Anne

    I made this yesterday and it’s delicious! Very easy to eat plain, too, as I’m weaning myself of flavored yogurts. One question, though–how long do you strain yours? I let mine strain in the fridge overnight and it was really too thick.

  • annieseats

    I let mine strain overnight. I like it that thick.

  • annieseats

    If you are unsure, consult your OB. That said, I’d eat this while pregnant.

  • Daelsher

    Annie, I followed the steps above and left the mixture over night in the preheated oven but it seeems that my oven (since I have no light) does not stay warm for that long period of time therefore when i woke up, it was still very liquidy and the oven was so cool. I am thinking to redo early this evening but keep the oven on warm for a couple of hours (maybe 3 or 4) unitl the mixture becomes thick and yogurty. what do you think?

  • Liz W.

    We freeze the tubes of yogurt you can buy at the store so our kids can have ‘yogurt pops’ and they taste wonderful frozen…or melted. :) I’m sure homemade yogurt is no different. I’m going to sweeten ours with jam tomorrow and make the “yogurt drops” for finger food for my 9 month old (frozen pea-sized dollops of yogurt).

  • annieseats

    You’ll have to play around with your particular environment to find what is necessary for you to keep the yogurt at the proper incubation temperature. Some people use coolers, some use thermoses. My oven doesn’t have a setting low enough to stay below 120˚ F, so this is just what works for me. Good luck, and keep trying!

  • Dana F.

    Made this last night and failed. :( When I took it out of the oven this morning, it was only 85 degrees. I followed the instructions exactly. I assume my oven doesn’t stay warm enough with just the light on. Disappointed for sure.

  • annieseats

    Well don’t give up! You can reuse the milk from that batch and just start the process over. Try to find another way to keep it at the appropriate temperature – maybe use a cooler, or do it during the day with a few preheats now and then.

  • Dana F.

    Thank you for your reply, Annie!
    It set up like yogurt and wasn’t milky at all this morning. It looked just like your photo.
    I just assumed it wasn’t safe to eat if it wasn’t kept between 110-120 degrees.

  • annieseats

    Oh good! The temperature range is only to make sure the bacteria can incubate properly. I wouldn’t let it sit out for too terribly long outside of that, but I wouldn’t worry just because it went out of that range. Enjoy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1695051366 Amy Fitch Sandy

    I came across your blog via Pinterest and have been addicted ever since! I have made your coffee & many of the syrups (Starbucks, who??) but I have to say that this homemade yogurt was beyond anything bought at the store! The real vanilla flavor just shines through! I was addicted to the Fage yogurt with the side container of fruit/honey, but a spoonful of some Raspberry/Cherry/Pomegranate preserves from Costco swirled in is to die for! I look forward to many more delicious adventures!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1695051366 Amy Fitch Sandy

    I found that heating my oven to 250 degrees with a cast iron pan or a pizza stone for about 15 mins, then cracking the door open to allow most of the heat out worked brilliantly. After 12 hours the oven was still warm and I had yogurt. Hope this helps.

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed it! Four types of homemade mix-ins are coming your way next week :)

  • annieseats

    That’s a great idea!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2007790 Ashlee Black Klemm

    So does the milk never get any bad stuff growing in it with all this time in the “danger zone?” I’m assuming you and your family haven’t gotten sick, it just seems to go against everything we’ve been taught about keeping milk cold. Do you think the good bacteria just wipe out the bad ones?

  • annieseats

    It is fine. This is how yogurt is made. You need the bacteria to grow, or you won’t have yogurt.

  • Liz1810

    Love this recipe! We are living overseas, and finding Greek yogurt is impossible. Who knew making it would be so easy? Any chance the “mix-in” recipes will be posted soon? The strawberry Fage is my favorite and I would be beyond excited to replicate it. Thanks so much for all of your excellent recipes :)

  • annieseats

    Four different mix-ins will be posted next week, though strawberry isn’t one of them. It is in the works for a future post though. I would guess sometime in the next month or so.

  • Kelli Bullock

    What type of thermometer do you use?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2007790 Ashlee Black Klemm

    I made yogurt last night and it turned out perfect! So yummy and not sour at all (like the plain stuff from the store). We are hooked and will definitely be making again. Thank you so much for all the info and giving me the courage to give this a try!

  • annieseats

    Please see the Annie’s equipment section. Thanks.

  • kim_wenner

    I made the yogurt with a vanilla bean and it came out wonderfully! However, I only got about 2 cups (and I didn’t strain it that long, only a few hours). Did I stir it too much in the cheescloth or before it strained? The whey didn’t look particularly cloudy as if solids had leaked through…

  • Jennifermarissa

    I was confused by this part. Why do you turn the light on? Is it just to try and create a little more heat?

  • annieseats

    Yes.

  • annieseats

    I don’t think you did anything wrong.

  • KatieN

    Annie –
    I wanted to let you know that I tried this out, and am now in the process of making my second batch. I’m so excited at the prospect of not having to buy yogurt at the store anymore! One would think you just told me that Santa is real after all. ;)

    Anywho, I love your blog & have several friends who are big fans too. Keep up the good work!

  • LaurieP

    Hi Annie,

    I made this last night and had it straining all day in the fridge. Soo delicious – much better than any store bought Greek yogurts I eat. I am wondering if you have tried doubling this? I’d need a larger strainer, and deeper dish to strain in, but a double batch would be the perfect amount of Greek yogurt to last for 5 days of lunches for 2 people in my house.it’s easy enough to do a batch mid-week as well, but I am always trying to save time. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for sharing.

  • annieseats

    I haven’t, only because I don’t have a big enough dish. I’m planning to invest in another dish and another strainer so I can do double batches, or rather, two batches at once.

  • Kelli

    Hi Kara, do you have access to raw milk in your area? My husband and son had serious milk allergies but when we switched to raw milk it worked wonders! AND, it makes spectacular yogurt! :)

  • Kate Coughlin

    Quick question regarding the amount of commerical yogurt used here…2 tsp seems quite low. Of all the other recipes I’ve found online they would call for anywhere between 1/2 – 1 cup yogurt as starter. They also seem to call for less incubation time (4-8 hrs). Obviously all recipes aren’t created equal but I wasn’t sure the reasoning in this case. Does the smaller amount of starter and longer incubation create a more natural process in that you’re not rushing it thru – so to speak. ?

  • annieseats

    I didn’t create this recipe so I don’t know the specifics of why it works, I just know that it does. I’ve made this many times now and I know that using more than 2 tsp. of starter can cause it to fail, as well as any incubation time shorter than 8-10 hours (mine usually takes longer). I can’t compare to others since I haven’t tried others.

  • Kate Coughlin

    Okay, no worries. If you know that using less starter or a shorter incubation will cause it to fail then I have my answer. I was contemplating to experiment but what you have posted works so if it’s no broke don’t fix it. Thank you!

  • Kara

    Hi Kelli – I’m in the Indianapolis area so I would assume we would have access to raw milk? I’ve never looked into it, but it is something I will have to keep in mind. Thanks for the tip!

  • Hilary

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!! I made this last night and it actually worked! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Mine took close to 14 hours to set up, but in the end I had yogurt! In addition to coming out very thick (which is just how I like it) however, it was also quite lumpy. Didn’t look a thing like your pictures – a quick whirl in the blender fixed that though and now its PERFECT! What a beautiful thing! Looking forward to your “mix-in” suggestions!

  • Morgan

    Thanks for posting this! I would have never considered making my own yogurt before seeing this. I had tried Chobani, Dannon, and Yoplait greek yogurts before and didn’t like any of them. I like this one though! I used 1% milk but it wasn’t as thick as I would have liked so I will try 2% next time. Still a success though!

  • annieseats

    Glad you enjoyed it! The thickness is actually not very affected by the percentage of milk fat but more in how long you strain it. If it was too thin, just strain longer next time. Good luck!

  • Jaclynscookies

    Made this last night with great success! I have no idea how long mine took to set up because I put it in before bed and forgot to check it before I left for work. But it was definitely done when I got home from work around 6 :) It tasted delicious. This is going to save me a fortune in Chobani!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Dana F.

    I just wanted to update in case anyone was having the same troubles. I finally got this to work using a heating pad (without an auto-off feature.) I wrap it in towels and leave it on my counter on the heating pad overnight. Yay for yogurt!

  • annieseats

    Good idea! I’m sure there are lots of ways to keep the yogurt at the right temperature for incubation. Thanks for sharing a great method!

  • Cooperkelly4

    if it is too thick, you can just add some of the whey back into it to the consistency you like. =0)

  • Rrickett

    Annie, can you tell me how many calories would be in the whey vs the Greek style yogurt that is left? I have been counting calories, and I’m pretty sure the yogurt wouldn’t have twice the calories…but I don’t know how to find out.

  • annieseats

    Sorry, I don’t do nutrition facts. Good luck!

  • Denise Wesely

    I am happy to report 100% success with my first batch of yogurt. It took about 10 hours. I had no trouble keeping the oven temp between 112º-122º. Expecting a rather sour taste at first, I was pleasantly surprised at how mild and tasty the flavor was. I love it! Looks like in addition to store bought hamburger buns and blueberry pie filling, I’ll no longer be eating store bought yogurt! Thank you, Annie.

  • annieseats

    Awesome! Glad to hear it worked out so well for you.

  • Christiana Magrogan

    Annie, I’m thrilled to report that I have successfully made my first batch of greek yogurt!!!!!!! whoop whoop! It took me 3 attempts ( I refused to give up) but it works and it is ooooh so good. For some reason my oven didn’t keep the temperature at goal (even with the light on) so I used my crockpot instead. Thank you for always inspiring and challenging us in the kitchen. You rock!

  • Andrea

    I made this last night, and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe, Annie! Also, I forgot to put a paper towel in the sieve when straining the yogurt, but the whey still strained out really well. None of the yogurt went through the sieve. I just ate some with your raspberry mix-in recipe, and its so good! :)

  • carrie

    what size sieve did you use and where might i find one (affordable….)?

  • annieseats

    I don’t know the exact size. I think I probably got it at Target or the grocery store. They are inexpensive.

  • Tanya

    This is probably the coolest thing I’ve done in the kitchen this year. This is all kinds of awesome and so are the mix-ins. I make a batch every week. Thanks so much for the recipes!

  • Jodilee10128

    I caved and bought a yogurt maker after two failed attempts. I must not have had a very good thermometer. I let my milk sit at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Helps to thicken it.

  • Kelly

    This is a wonderful recipe, as are your mix-ins. I made some of Smitten Kitchen’s sour cherry compote tonight to mix in, and it is to die for!

  • Maria

    I just made my own yogurt and it worked! Your post is so detailed and the pics are very helpful. Thank you so much. I noticed you said you toss the whey. I just did some sleuthing on the internet and came across a site that lists uses, and even more ideas were listed in the comments section: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2011/04/our-most-favorite-pizza-crust-ever.html
    I know you are practicing being more “green,” so I thought you might be interested in the site.

  • annieseats

    I know there are many uses for the whey, I just haven’t found any that I would actually consider doing yet. I don’t really think it’s un-“green” to dispose of liquid you have no use for. Glad your yogurt turned out well!

  • teainva

    Just tried this and love it! I will definitely be making this again and again. Thanks!

  • Sswanber

    Can I use greek yogurt as my starter?

  • annieseats

    Sure.

  • Sswanber

    What if we do not have a mesh sieve where can I find one? Can I use something else instead?

  • annieseats

    You could maybe line a colander with cheesecloth…not sure. A sieve is very inexpensive. I got mine at the grocery store.

  • Claudia

    I have typed in ‘Annie’s equipment section’ and keep getting a “NO RESULTS FOUND” message when trying to discover the type of thermometer you use for the homemade Greek Yogurt. Could you just tell me what you use please?

  • annieseats

    Please look in the right sidebar – big font labeled “Annie’s equipment”.

  • Jennifer

    Did you just keep it on low overnight? Or just on the warm setting?

  • Angie @ Coffee and Cannolis

    I’m personally not a fan of yogurt, unless it’s in a smoothie that is, but my son eats it nearly every morning. I love the idea of making him homemade yogurt!

  • AmyM

    I made this last night and it turned out delicious! Thank you!

    I was just wondering if this yogurt has the live/active cultures in it like bought yogurt? Do you know? Thanks again-I just LOVE your blog!

  • annieseats

    Yes, it does, so you can use it as a starter for your next batch. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Anne

    Annie, Just wanted to let you know that you got me hooked on making my own yogurt! Over the past 6 months, I’ve played around with the process and the type of milk I use and have come up with what works perfectly for me. Now I make it 2 or 3 times a week, using grass-fed, organic milk, and my breakfast of plain yogurt, blueberries, and toasted sliced almonds is a highlight of my mornings! I invested in a bouillon strainer so that I’m no longer going through tons of chessecloth, but with the money I’ve saved by not buying all of the little containers of yogurt, that has more than paid for itself. Thanks for this, and so many other recipes that I’ve enjoyed!

  • annieseats

    Awesome! So glad you are enjoying it :)

  • Nicole Perry

    Beautiful photos per usual! I’ve been meaning to try making my own yogurt, it sounds so easy/delicious.

    Sorry if someone has already asked this (I didn’t see it in the comments), but I was wondering where you got those footed bowls/glasses — they’re the perfect shape and so clean-lined, I’m quite smitten!

  • annieseats

    I’m not 100% sure, but I think these were from Target :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183500989 Lindsey Ellickson

    What if you don’t have an oven light?

  • annieseats

    You’ll have to experiment with what works in your kitchen to keep the yogurt incubating at the correct temperature. You could try instead using a cooler that had been filled with hot water and then poured out to help with insulation. Good luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mariya.bu1 B Mariya Bunch

    Hi Annie, I was so excited to try this and I followed your steps exactly but I ended up with burnt milk!. I only had greek yogurt to whisk in, I don’t know if that matters, then I put the heated milk in a glass bowl, put a plate on top, and put it in the oven overnight at 100 degrees. What did I do wrong?! Surely not putting towels around it doesn’t matter. Right?

  • annieseats

    Greek yogurt is fine as a starter. That’s what I use. In your case, actually leaving the oven on the whole time was the problem. Even though you set it at 100˚, the oven cycles to much higher and lower temps than that during the time it is on. If it goes higher than that, it will burn the milk and kill the starter. Best to just do the warm oven method I described rather than actually using the oven the whole time. Hope that helps!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharmaine.keough Sharmaine Keough

    is this really greek yoqurt or just yogurt?

  • annieseats

    Greek yogurt.

  • Kathy Miller

    I just made this yesterday and it came out perfect! I never realized how simple it is to make yogurt. Your instructions are the best. Thank you!

  • Margaret

    The recipe says it makes 3 – 4 cups, but it uses 2 quarts of milk. Is this a typo? Thanks

  • annieseats

    No, the volume of milk is not equal to the volume of the finished product.

  • Margaret

    okay now I get it. Perhaps if I made it first I would not have had to ask the question. I did make it and it turned out better than I thought I could make it. Thanks so much!

  • annieseats

    So glad it worked out for you!

  • Grace

    If you started with a slightly warm oven, use an insulated container (thick glass bowl or a crockpot crock) wrapped securely in towels, you don’t actually need the oven light. It sets up just fine – the point is that it cools very slowly, allowing it to fully culture.

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  • Debra

    Annie, I have been following your blog for awhile and love it. Your recipes are always a hit and love your DIY approach. I appreciate that you write your blog with a high level of integrity and focus on quality content and connecting with readers. I have come across other blogs that seem more focused on self- promotion and don’t appropriately site sources and have found it off- putting. This recipe has been life changing for our family also. We have been doubling the recipe using a gallon of milk for several weeks now, and I was wondering if anyone has tried this and found a strainer and bowl large enough to do all of it together and could make some recommendations. Right now, I am using my large and medium strainers over separate bowls and having to let some of it drain on the counter until I can get it all to fit to go in the fridge. Thanks so much!

  • annieseats

    Debra, thank you so much for this sweet comment. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

  • Michelle Stevens

    I use the whey for making oatmeal – use it instead of water or milk. Also, it is great for cooking lentils – just use the whey instead of an equal amount of water. It will surprise you with a very slight rich taste.

  • Tara

    THANK YOU, ANNIE! I am so glad you posted this. It took me a while to actually get up the nerve to try making my own yogurt. For some reason, I was very intimidated. I am so glad I did because it turned out great! I love having an endless supply of yogurt for my family, as well as saving money and containers. Please keep up the DIYing. I am a huge fan!

  • annieseats

    Yay! I’m so glad you did it. I had all the same feelings as you but now I’ve been making our yogurt for over a year and still marvel each time at how well it works for us. Hooray!

  • Tracy

    I never thought about making homemade yogurt until my doctor suggested I eat it daily. WOW it is wonderful and so easy. I use local farm fresh milk and a cooler with hot water to incubate. Thank you for the easy to follow instructions and great step by step pictures. My 12 yr old is able to make this on his own. I add agave and homemade granola to give mine flavor when I don’t want fruit. I would like to try making some using the farms flavored milk but I am not sure how it will turn out since the milk is flavored and has sugar added.

  • Liesel

    OMG OMG OMG, David Leibovitz linked to your blog! What?! So cool, congrats!!

  • annieseats

    He did? Where?

  • Liesel

    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/05/homemade-yogurt-recipe/

    Scroll to the bottom where he has his notes.

  • Morgan
  • annieseats

    Cool, thanks!

  • Bev

    I used a heating pad put on medium and wrapped the bowl in a towel. The yogurt turned out GREAT!!!! Thanks

  • Lauren

    I failed :( the mixture was still milk consistency when I was done. Could I have added the yogurt started too soon (milk was too hot)? Or is it more likely that my oven light didn’t do a good job?

  • annieseats

    It probably just needed to incubate longer. Mine often takes around 15-18 hours. The good news is, you can reuse the failed milk and just redo the process. However, if you added the starter when the milk was too hot, that would also have caused a problem. Did you use a thermometer?

  • Cara

    I purchased my usual grocery store yogurt a couple weeks ago and was so disappointed in its taste that I decided it was finally time to give this DIY yogurt a try. Not only was it easy to make and tastes great, but I even feel better after I eat it. It amazes how many Greek yogurts and yogurt in general contain additional undesirable ingredients (ie corn syrup). Thanks for posting this recipe with step by step photos! (And sorry I wrote a novel, but I wanted you to know how thrilled I was this recipe success). :)

  • annieseats

    I am thrilled that you are thrilled :) This is one of my most favorite recipes on the site and I still get a sense of accomplishment every time I make it, so I love hearing comments from readers who feel the same!

  • Ana from Buenos Aires

    OMG Annie! This is amazing! I been in Greece last month and been craving some “real” Greek yougurt since then… this is as good as the real one! congrats and thanks for the recipe!

  • Francisca Donoso Villela

    hello Annie, last friday i made my very first own yogurt, but i was curious to see that none “yellow” liquid on the top was form…..neither way it was good…not so thick and kind of gooey…..i used an entire yogurt a sa starter

  • annieseats

    You should use the amount of starter indicated in the recipe. Too much starter inhibits proper culturing of the bacteria and makes for bad (or no) yogurt. Hope that helps!

  • Susan Pazera

    Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for this! My husband and I are Greek yogurt addicts but we’re tired of paying $4-$5 for a carton, not to mention the ecological nightmare of all those empty cartons. Plus, we are moving to Panama soon and I’ll bet Greek yogurt is hard to come by there. I’m so looking forward to trying this!

  • Dona Kanavy

    Hey Annie! I made yogurt for the first time this weekend, I incubated it for 8 hours and tried to drain it, but only 1/2 cup of whey drained. I had it in the fridge for 24 hours and it’s still fairly running. Any suggestions? I can’t find a reason for the whey not draining anywhere. Thanks so much! I love your blog.

  • annieseats

    If the liquid is staying in and not draining out, my primary concern would be an issue with your sieve or whatever you are using to strain it maybe being so fine that liquid isn’t getting through.

    Was the yogurt fully set? My first concern would be that maybe it wasn’t completely incubated to begin with. I sometimes let mine go for 12-16 hours and then drain it.

    Even if your yogurt wasn’t fully cultured, the liquid should still drain off, so the fact that it is not makes me think it’s more of an issue with the draining mechanism.

  • Amber

    So thankful you linked to this, Annie! I keep going back and forth whether to make my own, because I love my Fage so much- but I guess it’s worth a try at least once! So one strain is enough to make it the thick consistency of Greek versus normal yogurt? Also, how do you make sure your inside oven temp stays within that 115-120 range? Did you monitor the first time you did it, or just cross your fingers?

  • annieseats

    I just strain it until it is as thick as I like. Keep in mind that if you overstrain, you can always whisk some whey back in. My typical routine is:
    Set up the culture late at night.
    Let incubate in the oven all night and all the following day while I’m at work.
    Come home, strain a few hours, and then put in a storage container.

    I never check the temp once the incubation has started, since opening the door will let heat out. As long as your yogurt cultures, there is no need to monitor the temp. Enjoy!