I looked at yogurt makers a few years ago, but dismissed the idea because of the cost and space issue, as well as mixed reviews. When I saw this blog post
about making yogurt in your crock pot, I knew I had to try it. We go through tons of the stuff. We eat it plain, with a little fruit, or with a drizzle of agave nectar. It’s the only thing my son will eat with gusto!
I am blessed to have a handful of stores near me with reasonable prices; I choked when I saw the comment that someone was paying $6.00 for a 6 pack of YoBaby?! Eek!
Regular whole milk yogurt costs me about $3.69 for 32 oz, or 11 1/2 cents per ounce. The brand of Greek yogurt I like (tastes the best, has the best texture and has the highest protein content) costs $1.79-$1.89 for a 7 oz container. Well, that’s the price where I will buy it! It’s over $2 many places. That is 25 1/2-27 cents per ounce.
The cost to try making my own yogurt was $3.29 for the milk, plus the cost of 1/2 cup of yogurt. I figured it didn’t hurt to try, and if it was a disaster, I was just out a few bucks.
I read through all 300something comments and got ready to try. When it was suggested to get the freshest milk possible, I took that to heart.
Sorry the pics aren’t that great, I forgot my camera & took these with my phone.
Just for cutes & awws, a calf less than a month old napping.
About 5 days old.
Back at home, I got things ready.
Set my crock pot on low.
Ick, why do I not realize how dirty household objects are until I photograph them?
I poured the whole half gallon of milk in the crock pot.
Put the lid on, then set my timer for 2 1/2 hours.
When the timer went off, I unplugged the crock pot, leaving the lid on, and set the timer for 3 hours to allow the milk to cool somewhat.
When the 3 hours of cooling was up, I ladled out 2 cups of the warm milk, and measured out 1/2 cup of my starter yogurt.
Poured the mixture back in the crock pot.
Then I put the lid back on. Here’s where people seemed to run into problems. You have to “incubate” the yogurt for about 8 hours, and you need to keep it warm in that time. People wrapped the crock in towels, put it in the oven, put it in a warmed then turned off oven, put it in the oven with the light on, even put it on heating pads.
I had a ginormous insulated bag, so I put it in there, then left it on the counter!
It stayed in there, overnight, for about 10 hours. I was anxious to see it in the morning!
I spooned out two 1/2 cup portions and froze them, to use as starters for future batches. Word is, you can only use a batch as starter maybe 5 times, before the bacteria lose potency…or something.
Many comments said it was too thin, or thinner than store bought. people were adding powdered milk, gelatin, pudding…mine was great. I think it must have something to do with the temperature. Mine seemed to be the same consistency as store bought.
Half, I put in a clean yogurt container. Mine is on the left.
I thought the homemade yogurt tasted much more mild, almost sweet, compared to the store bought. I was afraid it would end up too tart. Next time, I think I will incubate it longer. Maybe 12 hours.
I wanted to make some Greek yogurt with the other half, so I lined a strainer with opened coffee filters, then set it over a bowl.
Spooned the yogurt in.
I let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, until it seemed like most of the whey had drained, and the consistency was similar to Greek yogurt.
I got almost a cup and a half of whey! I want to try to use it in pancakes.
The consistency was great!
I dished it out into 4 servings of about 4 ounces each.
Just a little more mild/sweet than store bought.
The yield was about 32 ounces of regular yogurt and 16 ounces of Greek style (volume was reduced by about half by draining).
Cost of regular, about 5 cents per ounce. Greek about 10.2 cents per ounce. Much better than 11.5/25.5 cents per ounce for store bought.
I want to try 12 hours next time, and I also want to try with low fat milk. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to consume it all in the 7-10 days in which homemade yogurt is best, but it’s about half gone already in just one day. So, I may make myself a batch of low fat yogurt! I think it’s safe to assume that the nutrition content is equal to that of it’s ingredients. So around 160 calories/8g protein for 1 cup of regular or 1/2 cup of Greek made with whole milk and whole milk yogurt.
No preservatives, added sugar, processing etc. Just deliciousness!
I also want to try draining some overnight to make yogurt cheese!
Let me know if you give this a try, it seems the key is keeping it warm overnight!