There have been so many questions about making yogurt in the pressure cooker, due to this popular Homemade Yogurt recipe and method. Here we will do our best to discuss the most common questions asked and give our answers to your inquiries.
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Can I make yogurt in my pressure cooker if it doesn’t have the yogurt setting?
Pressure cookers that have a specific yogurt setting are designed to take milk to the necessary 180 degrees and then keep the milk between 110-115 degrees so that the bacteria can thrive and create yogurt. For this reason, there isn’t a setting on other pressure cookers that can reliably keep them in that safe zone. However, I have seen methods where people make their yogurt inside mason jars inside a pressure cooker. A quick search should find you a recipe.
What’s the best way to store your yogurt in the fridge?
I like to store mine in the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Strainers. Quart size Mason jars are also a great option. But any clean, sealed container will do.
Can this same process work for Almond, Soy, or Raw milk?
While I’ve never done it myself, I’ve had people comment that they had success with Almond and soy milk. However, I suggest you read posts specific to this type of milk before attempting it. As far as Raw Milk goes, the tutorials I’ve read about making yogurt with raw milk don’t warm it to 180 degrees in order to preserve the food enzymes and bacteria contained in raw milk. So again, I would suggest researching the process before trying it.
Is this any cheaper than store bought yogurt? Is it worth it?
Yes and Yes! A cheap brand of yogurt is about $4.00 for 1 quart. For the cost of 1 gallon of milk (which is typically less than $3.00) I can make nearly 3 quarts of yogurt plus 1 quart or more of leftover whey that I can use as a replacement for buttermilk in many recipes. So roughly, what I can make for myself for $3.00 would cost $12-15 at the store. And for how much yogurt we go through in my house, I’ve definitely paid for my pressure cooker with yogurt savings alone!
What about the taste? Is it any better than store bought?
I prefer to eat my yogurt unsweetened and the one store brand that I could tolerate without any sweetener was very expensive. The taste is so mildly tart and oh so creamy, that I’ve been able to convert others to eating their yogurt with just adding fruit, almond butter, and a sprinkle of granola. But for those who like a little something sweet on it, you only have to put a little. Much less than you would find in any sweetened variety at the store.
What’s the best way to strain your yogurt?
These NUT MILK BAGS are what I strained my yogurt in in the beginning. They are cheap but not very convenient in my opinion. They’re inexpensive and have held up flawlessly. I suggest buying 2 if you plan on doing a full gallon of milk. Although, I admit, I reeeeaaaally dread cleaning the bags afterwards, so much so that I went on a hunt for something easier.
Enter my favorite Euro Cuisine Yogurt Strainers. The down side is that you will need 2 of them to strain the full recipe all at once and that makes them much pricier than the nut milk bags. On the positive side, its easier, cleaner, and you don’t have to deal with people giving you a strange look every time you mention your nut bags ;). AND once your yogurt is strained, it will all fit into one of the containers and can be stored that way in your fridge. Which means less dirty dishes and it takes up less room than my jars! Many people use Cheesecloth or large coffee filters, but I don’t have any experience with that method.
What do I use for my starter?
When I was first studying the process of yogurt and trying to figure out how to adapt it to my Instant Pot, I realized a lot of people have an opinion on what’s best. So I’ll keep my reply simple, I use Fage 2% every time because it has been the most realiable in giving me my 3 quarts of creamy, smooth, perfectly tart (but not too tart) yogurt. I’ve tried different brands and ones containing less fat and it seems to produce less yogurt that is also slightly grainy and has a taste that I don’t like as much. That being said, I’ve seen many Dannon and Yoplait starter lovers so find what works for you.
My yogurt is still runny after 8 hours! What went wrong?
Here are some possibilities:
- It may be a malfunction on the side of the cooker. Make sure your milk is coming to 180-185 degrees on the boil function and that your milk is staying in the safe zone of 110-115 while incubating.
- If you’re using your homemade yogurt as your starter, it can become weaker and weaker with each batch. Try again with a new yogurt from the store.
- If you get impatient and stir in the starter before it gets down to 115 degrees, it will kill the bacteria needed to create yogurt.
- The lower the fat content in your milk, the thinner your yogurt will turn out.
- Alcohol in vanilla extract can affect the bacteria in your yogurt. If your yogurt isn’t turning out, try omitting the vanilla or using vanilla bean paste or scraping a vanilla bean pod to get that vanilla flavor. Or simply add your vanilla after the yogurt is done and has been strained.
- Make sure you stir in the starter really well. One way to gurantee it’s mixed in well is to put a couple ladles of milk in a bowl, stir in your yogurt, and then add that back to the main bowl.
What’s the best thermometer to use?
It’s important to have a thermometer that will beep at you for the high temperature and the low temperature. THIS THERMOMETER is the one I have and about the only one I’ve seen that will count down – and I love that feature!
Have you ever sweetened your yogurt? How much should I use?
I’ve sweetened it with a half cup of honey or pure maple syrup and it gives it a perfect amount of sweetness. Add sweetener and/or vanilla extract after the yogurt has been strained.
Does the whey really work as a good buttermilk substitute?
Yes and no. When I use just the whey in my pancakes, muffins, waffles, etc, I felt like it was too thin and it was messing up my go to recipes. Now I fill my quart jars 1/3 full with yogurt and 2/3 whey and it gives me a thicker, creamier buttermilk substitute that works much better.
Can I make a fat free yogurt?
I’ve tried. My yogurt ends up slightly grainy and it produces much less. So for me, it’s not worth it. Store bought, fat free yogurt has additives in it that fix these problems. If you want to make a fat free version, go with this Skyr recipe instead.
What if my yogurt is in the pot for longer than 8 hours?
It’s fine to incubate longer than 8 hours, just be aware that the longer it sits, the more tart it will become. Which some people like, of course.
Is there a way to cool the milk down quicker after it has reached the 180 Degrees?
Yes. Just taking it out of the base and setting it on a cooling rack helps (it will take about 2 hours), but if you’re in a big hurry, place it in a sink full of ice and cold water and it will cool it down in less than 20 minutes.
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