Living in the US, I used to buy yogurt from the store like most people here. It was too creamy for my Indian taste buds. I would always wonder, have they added something to it?? Sure enough...most of the yogurts in the market have gelatin added to make them seem creamier than they really are. Huh...so now what? There are yogurt brands which do claim to be gelatin free and live probiotic and organic.
I was living with them, but only until I started making homemade yogurt. You will never go back to the store bought one after having fresh homemade yogurt. And you might also save some bucks!
When preparing yogurt without the instant pot, it was hard to get it right each time. Especially in the winter when the weather is cold. Sometimes it would not get set properly, would be a bit runny and sticky. But with the instant pot, you take some of the possible uncertainties out.
That said, you can still prepare homemade yogurt if you don't have Instant Pot. After you have mixed in the starter, place the bowl in an oven with the light on. That has also given me very good results.
This recipe is to make yogurt with the pot-in-pot method. I prefer this, so I can just remove the bowl and refrigerate it. Use whole milk to make yogurt, and you will get a better result. I also prefer to use organic milk, not just for this recipe, but in general. The reasons for that can easily be a separate post.
Try this easy yogurt recipe and Enjoy the taste of real yogurt.
Update: There is another new method to make yogurt in the instant pot, called cold-ingredients or no-boil method. This method does not need boiling and cooling of milk, but requires a specific type of milk which is ultra filtered (Fairlife).
Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt (Pot-in-pot / PIP)
- 4 cups Whole Milk
- 3 tablespoon Starter culture or any yogurt with live culture
- 1 cup Water
- Place the wire rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Pour in 1 cup of water and place the milk in a glass bowl on the rack. Close the Instant Pot and set it to "Steam" mode for 1 minutes with vent in sealing position.
- Remove the yogurt culture and keep it at room temperature.
- After the instant pot timer goes off, release the pressure naturally.
- Open the instant pot and let the milk cool down to about 110°F or 43°C, anything in the range from 108-115°F works as well. Approximately it will take an hour to cool down to this temperature. (I used a digital thermometer to check the temperature, until I got used to checking with my finger).
- Mix the yogurt culture and start the instant pot again in "Yogurt" mode. This will automatically set the timer to 8 hours.
- When the timer beeps, yogurt should be ready. Enjoy the yogurt as a side with your meal or as a snack topped with fruit or granola.
- (Optional) Sanitizing the instant pot to remove any odors: If you do a lot of cooking with spices, you may want to add this step. Add 2 cups of water with a few drops of lemon juice and put the instant pot in steam mode.
- Have the yogurt culture at room temperature when you are ready to mix.
- The temperature when you mix in the starter with the milk is very important. Initially it can be hard to get it right, so you can use a digital thermometer to check the temperature.
- Don't keep the yogurt in the instant pot for long after the timer beeps, as it might be more sour. Unless you prefer sour yogurt.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
Bushra Singh says
I was super excited to try this but unfortunately disaster happed in first step… my glass bowl cracked as I seemed in instant pot…..☹️.
But not going up..will try again later this evening… Can I use steel bowl or perhaps more stable glass bowl not sure how to ensure it doesn’t happen agian.
Appreciate any insight.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Bushra - So sorry to hear the bowl cracked. Steel bowls are actually best to use in the pressure cooker. If you have one that fits, I would suggest to use that. Would love to hear how it turns out.
I'm a newbie to Instant Pot. My food turns out great.
Yogurt on the other hand hasn't worked in 2 attempts.
I used 1 pint of blue organic milk...followed your process.
Added starter of 1 tbsp the first time and 3 tbsp the 2nd.
Both times it didn't set even after 12 hours. 🙁
Setting it in India was simpler ...not sure what's not working in this one
Meeta Arora says
Hello - Sorry to hear it did not work well. Did you try a different starter? I wonder if that is the reason. Make sure to use a fresh starter with active live cultures. You can also try to set the yogurt in the oven with the light on.
If I use yogurt instead of a starter culture, do I still need to have it at room temperature?
Meeta Arora says
Hi Soujanya - I do try to take the yogurt out of the refrigerator when I start boiling the milk. That way, it is at room temperature when I am ready to mix it into the milk.
Following step 1, my milk curdled. Should that happen or is there a way to avoid that?
Meeta Arora says
Hello - If the milk curdled in step 1, I would guess that it was already about to go bad. Or it is possible that there were some impurities, that made it curdle when boiled. It might just be by chance this happened (has happened to me when making tea), I would suggest to try again 🙂
How are you..
I tried the recipe and taste was really good but texture I felt little watery, any suggestion?
I used our indian yogurt and milk temperature was 110.3 F
Meeta Arora says
Hi Kav - Did you use whole milk? I would suggest to try with another brand or fresh starter yogurt. You can also try with Greek Yogurt which can give a thicker texture. Thank you for sharing back your experience.
Made this yesterday and was totally successful. I used 4 canning jars with 1 cup of milk in each. Since it was the first time trying the pot-in-pot method I didn't want to use the starter I have frozen and instead used almost 1T Fage 5% in each jar and I used non-homogenized whole milk from a local dairy...cream top. I normally make a more tart yogurt but with the Fage this had no sour/tartness to it...a first for me and I liked it. My IP duo 6 qt (covered with a huge towel) does not reach the incubation temp of 110, but is always in the 104-105 range when I peak so I was worried it might not firm up enough with 8 hours incubation. It did. One of the jars I strained to make really, really thick yogurt. I am going to start another batch tomorrow.
Thank you for your precise directions and sharing your method.
Piping Pot Curry says
Hi - So happy to hear that. Thank you for sharing your experience 🙂