Earlier this year I discovered the joys of the Instant Pot. Yes, I know – pressure cookers have been around for years. And I own a stove top one which I purchased a few years ago after my friend raved about hers but, quite honestly I had to get over my fear that they would explode! What I love about the Instant Pot in particular is the pre-programmed buttons.
One of my favorite buttons is the Yogurt button. I love that I can make yogurt at home without any sweeteners or add junk. It’s purely milk and the cultures. My kids don’t want to eat it, but I enjoy it thoroughly. You can make a large batch using the inner pot, but I don’t eat that much yogurt, so I find it easier to do it directly into 1/2 pint jars. This has the added benefit that when it’s done – it’s done. I simply plop a lid on the jars & pop them into the fridge. Some folks like to strain their yogurt, so they would be better off using the inner pot.
Here’s how easy it is…
Pour milk (of your choice – full fat, skim, or whatever %) into clean canning jars. Place the jars of milk on top of the steam rack with 1 Cup of water in the Instant Pot.
Steam the milk for 1 minute then let the pressure release naturally. This kills off any unwanted yuckies – bacteria, mold, yeast – you want your good yogurt making bacteria that you’ll add later to be the only thing in there. This step also breaks down some of the proteins so the bacteria can get to work on them.
Remove the jars from the IP and wait for the temperature to drop below 115 degrees. I use a canning jar lifter so I don’t have to worry about spilling hot milk on myself.
The cooled milk will have a slight skim of milk on top – remove this with a clean spoon. Add a spoonful of plain yogurt to each jar and stir. For my initial batch, I bought a container of plain Greek yogurt for my starter. Now, whenever I’m down to my last jar, I start a new batch using the yogurt I made. You can also freeze your starter – but you’ll need to remember to thaw it before you start the new batch.
Move the jars back to the IP and press the Yogurt button. I believe the standard time is 8 hours – I generally leave it as set. I usually make my yogurt at night before I go to bed, so sometimes I will add time so the finished product is not sitting on the counter until I get up. I’ve heard this could make the yogurt tangier – but I haven’t noticed a difference.
When it’s all finished, the IP shows ‘Yogt’ – and your yummy yogurt is waiting for you. You’ll notice the liquid on top of my finished product – this is the whey that some people like to strain off. I just stir it back in when I’m ready to eat.
So there you go – the whole process (using 8 hours for the incubation) takes about 9 hours. The active time in the beginning (steaming & cooling the milk, adding in the cultures) probably takes about an hour. So – you can plan it just right to start at night before you go to bed and wake up to a fresh batch of yogurt.
I use mine in sauces and I like to eat it with freeze dried fruit & sometimes some granola. If I want it a bit sweeter, I just add a touch of local honey. If you’ve made yogurt, or decide to try – I’d love to hear how it works for you.