Let’s talk about this simple homemade Crock-Pot vanilla yogurt, which is creamy, all natural, and delicious! Made at home in your own kitchen, using your Crock-Pot. Simply healthy, without any artificial ingredients.
Simple Homemade Crock-Pot Vanilla Yogurt
I always wanted to make homemade yogurt. I thought is was really complicated and needed a “special” yogurt maker. Then, I came across a post on Instagram – from Stefanie, at “Eating A Healthy Life.” She made a batch of yogurt in a Crock-Pot. What…! I was intrigued, and needed to learn more about this method. The process is very easy. It takes time, but worth it! My 6 year old son, and I, loved our simple homemade Crock-Pot vanilla yogurt!
*I have only made homemade yogurt with dairy milk.
Here’s what I did:
I poured half a gallon of milk into my Crock-Pot, and set it on high. I placed the lid on, and let it heat up to 180 F degrees (this will take 3 – 4 hours). Once the milk has reached 180 F degrees, I turned off the Crock-Pot (and unplug). Now, the milk needs to cool down to 110 F degrees (this will take another 3 – 4 hours).
While the milk is cooling – remove the yogurt starter with live cultures, out of the refrigerator. Allow it to reach room temperature (you don’t want to shock the live cultures, by mixing them from cold to very warm). After the milk has cooled down enough, remove the milk skin, that has formed on top. Then it’s time to stir in the sugar, vanilla, and room temperature yogurt starter. Just mix until everything is evenly combined.
Time to incubate the yogurt (this is the step that “magically” creates the yogurt). Place the lid back on the Crock-Pot. Grab a large, clean, bathroom towel, and wrap it around the Crock-Pot. Leave the wrapped Crock-Pot alone over-night, or 8 – 12 hours.
After the incubation period, you can lift the lid to see your homemade yogurt! It’s truly exciting – trust me! You will see some watery, and yellowish, liquid. It’s called whey, and it’s normal. You can gently stir your homemade pot of yogurt, and place in the refrigerator. It will thicken up slightly, while chilling in the refrigerator.
Or… you can strain it, and make Greek yogurt. To make Greek yogurt – you will need a large colander, lined with cheesecloth (I have also used coffee filters, in place of the cheesecloth. You will need to be careful with the coffee filters, because they can tear, while scooping out the strained yogurt.) Place the lined colander over a large bowl, to drain off the liquid whey. If you’re straining for a couple hours, it can be covered and left out on the counter. If you’re planning to strain longer, place in the refrigerator, until desired thickness has been reached.
Liquid whey is full of protein, so don’t waste it! You can save the liquid whey, that has been drained off (pour in a jar, and store in the refrigerator). My yogurt recipe produces a sweet tasting whey, so you can drink it for a natural protein boost. Add it to smoothies. I pour some on top of our dogs dry food, they love it! You can bake with it – replace it when buttermilk is needed.
Here’s a couple links with step-by-step photos, that helped me through the process:
- Eating A Healthy Life – How to make Greek Yogurt At Home
- The Daring Gourmet – Easy Homemade Greek Yogurt
Simple Homemade Crock-Pot Vanilla Yogurt
- half a gallon of milk ( 8 cups) – I used whole milk
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt with live cultures (this is your yogurt starter)
Step One: Pour milk into Crock-Pot, set on high. Heat until the milk reaches a temperature of 180 F degrees (this will take about 3 – 4 hours).
Step Two: Once milk reaches 180 F degrees, turn off and unplug the Crock-Pot. Allow the milk to cool down to 110 F degrees (this will take about 3 – 4 hours). Remove the 1/4 cup of plain yogurt starter from the refrigerator. Allow it to reach room temperature.
Step Three: Once the milk reaches 110 F degrees – (remove milk skin from top), stir in the sugar, vanilla, and room temperature yogurt starter. Stir to combine.
Step Four: Place the lid back onto the Crock-Pot. Cover the Crock-Pot with a clean bathroom towel. Allow the milk to “incubate” over-night, or around 8 – 10 hours.
Step Five: You should now have homemade vanilla yogurt! You can stir it up and transfer into a container, and place in the refrigerator. Or… you can make Greek yogurt.
To make Greek yogurt: you’ll need a large colander, lined with cheesecloth (I have also used coffee filters, in place of the cheesecloth. You will need to be careful with the coffee filters, because they can tear, while scooping out the strained yogurt.) Place the lined colander over a large bowl, to drain off the liquid whey. If you’re straining for a couple hours, it can be covered and left out on the counter. If you’re planning to strain longer, place in the refrigerator, until desired thickness has been reached.
Notes: For best consistency, whole dairy milk is advised. Dairy milk at 2% can be used. Anything less than 2% will have a runnier consistency. Save 1/4 cup of your homemade yogurt, and place in the refrigerator – for your next batch.
Get in the kitchen, and bake up some memories!
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