Making crockpot yogurt is a great way to get started making yogurt without needing any new equipment. If you own a crock pot then you are well aware of the help it can be in the kitchen. Most people think of it for one-pot-wonder meals like chili, soup, or stew.
An additional wonder is that the crock pot can act as a one-pot container for heating and incubating the milk when making yogurt at home. And it really couldn’t be much simpler.
BEFORE YOU START MAKING YOGURT IN A CROCK POT
- This recipe was developed using a 2-quart slow cooker. If you are using a crock pot with a different capacity, adjustments may be required. Always test the temperature of the unit first, using water. Make adjustments as necessary to maintain the temperature required by your yogurt starter.
- This process can be used with any of the yogurt starters from Cultures for Health. Just keep in mind, if you are using the Greek Yogurt Starter or Bulgarian Yogurt Starter, you will need to activate the starter first, according to the included instructions. You will then be using yogurt from one of your batches as the starter in step 4.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR CROCK POT YOGURT
- Yogurt Starter Culture (Read our article on Choosing a Yogurt Starter for a comparison)
- 1/2 Gallon of Milk (Read Choosing Milk for Making Yogurt to learn more about your options.)
- Crock Pot with Lid
CROCK POT YOGURT RECIPE
Turn crock pot to low and pour in ½ gallon of milk.
- Heat on low for 2½ hours. This will give plenty of time for your milk to get up to temperature.
- Turn crock pot off and unplug it. Cool milk in the crock with the lid on for 3 hours, down to 110º unless otherwise indicated in the directions of your specific starter. This time will vary according to your crock pot, so keep an eye on it. Some will cool faster than others.
- After 3 hours, remove 1-2 cups of warmed milk and place in a bowl. To that milk, add a direct-set starter culture or starter yogurt, according to the culture's instructions. Make sure to check the temperature of your milk before adding your starter. If it's higher than 110º, you risk killing the live yogurt cultures.
NOTE: For reusable (heirloom) yogurt starters, please activate the starter first, according to the instructions included with your starter.
- Thoroughly combine the milk and yogurt starter, mixing very well.
- Pour the starter-milk mixture back into the crock pot with the rest of the milk and whisk thoroughly.
- Place the cover back on the crock and wrap the entire crock pot in a thick bath towel or two.
- Culture the yogurt for 8-12 hours or overnight.
- After the culturing period, store the crock pot yogurt in glass quart jars in refrigerator.
- For optimum texture, refrigerate for at least 6 hours before using.
SLOW COOKER YOGURT RECIPE NOTES
- If your crock pot reaches temperatures greater than 115°F it will pasteurize raw milk, killing the raw milk's ambient bacteria. For more instructions on making raw milk yogurt, visit our tutorial: How to Make Raw Milk Yogurt.
- If your crock pot does not maintain a consistent temperature, results may vary.
Homemade yogurt sometimes turns out thinner than store-bought yogurt, which often contains additives and thickeners. If you'd like to enhance the texture and consistency of your homemade yogurt, try one of the thickener suggestions in our tutorial: Thickening Homemade Yogurt
WHAT'S NEXT AFTER YOUR CROCKPOT YOGURT?
Making homemade yogurt gives you control over the ingredients that go into it. But yogurt isn't the only cultured dairy product you can make at home. Browse our collections of expert advice on making milk kefir and homemade cheese for more project ideas. We are here to support you along the way!