Instant Pot Greek Yogurt

(with or without the yogurt function!)

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My love for Greek yogurt has grown over the last couple of years. I also just got an instant pot last Christmas! However, I didn’t get the one with the yogurt function because I thought I would never make it myself. Never say “never”, friends! There I was a month ago wanting to make it after all!

Why make Greek Yogurt yourself? Firstly, it’s quite cost effective! Depending on the milk you buy you can cut your yogurt cost in half or quarter it. Second, taste! Oh my gracious, y’all, it is so much better homemade (isn’t everything?).

The problem then became, how? I knew I did not want to make it on the stovetop and my instant pot didn’t have the yogurt function. However, after doing some research and discovering no recipes for it this way I decided to go for it on my own!

The trick is to use the sous vide program on the instant pot. Sous vide is a low and slow type of cooking typically in a water bath. It is perfect to get your food to a specific temperature and then hold it there for a set time. This is just what I needed to make homemade yogurt!

What you will need:

Here are the steps without a yogurt function on your instant pot:

1. Clean and sanitize your instant pot. This will remove any lingering flavors from whatever you cooked last. I just crank up my sink faucet to the highest heat and let the instant pot insert sit in that for a few minutes.

2. You have to get the milk to boiling. This will help it set later on as well as kill off any bacteria. I poured ½ gallon of fat-free organic milk into the instant pot and used the sous vide function at 180˚F for 15-20 minutes. Unfortunately, the sous vide does not have a timer as low as that, so I just time it myself then press cancel when the time is up.

3. Cool down the milk to 105-115˚F. You can do this by leaving your pot inside the machine or you can take it out to make it quicker. You HAVE to cool the milk down before adding your yogurt culture or the high heat will kill the good bacteria.

I check the temperature of the milk with a thermometer, when it is between 105=115˚F it is time for step 4.

4. Remove the “skin” from the top of the yogurt. It is the solid, thin layer that has risen to the top. Just skim it off and dispose. Add the yogurt culture from a store bought cultured Greek yogurt (make sure it is plain, non-flavored, and contains probiotic cultures!) or from a Greek Yogurt you have previously made. I add about ½ cup when using skim milk but you can use as little as 1/4 cup with whole milk.

5. The most time consuming step is to incubate the bacteria, but it is 99% hands-off. Place the pot back in the base if you removed it. Turn on the instant pot to sous vide at 115˚F for 8-10 hours. The longer it goes the more the yogurt will be set and the more flavor it will have. Personally I like to have it incubate overnight. I set it up before bed and it’s ready in the morning!

6. There will be a lot of liquid on top once you have finished incubating. This is called the whey. You can save it for smoothies or dispose of it. You can simply pour out the liquid from the pot and the solid you have remaining is yogurt! You now have the option to make it into Greek yogurt by placing the yogurt in a strainer over a bowl to get all the whey out. What you will be left with in the strainer is a thick, creamy Greek Yogurt. Store in a closed container in the fridge (I use old Chobani containers or mason jars). If you find it to be a bit more clumpy than you like just whisk it smooth.

If you do have an instant pot with a yogurt function it is even easier! Instead of step 2 above just use the yogurt BOIL setting. Then instead of step 5 just use the yogurt setting under the yogurt program. It will default to 8 hrs but you can adjust that as you please.

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