Homemade Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is fun and easy to make.  It is also healthier for you because you can control the fat and sugar content as well as omit undesirable ingredients such as preservatives and thickeners included in the yogurt sold at the grocery stores.


Milk – I use fat free milk because we prefer to keep our fat consumption to a minimum and it still produces delicious creamy yogurt. However, you can use any kind of milk you prefer. The fatter the milk, the creamier and thicker the yogurt.

Incubating vessel – I use a small Styrofoam cooler for my incubating vessel. These are very inexpensive and can be purchased at any store.

Heating unit – You will need to keep a constant temperature of about 90 degrees inside of the cooler during the incubating period. An inexpensive heating pad works wonderfully. Just make sure it has at least a low setting.

Glass containers with lid – Any glass container with a lid will do. Recycled spaghetti sauce jars are perfect for this application. They can be easily sterilized, you can fit exactly 6 25 oz jars in the cooler and will store the gallon of yogurt made.

Store bought yogurt – You will need a starter batch of yogurt bacteria to make your own yogurt. For your first batch, just buy a small container of plain yogurt at the grocery store. Just make sure it contains live bacteria. Also, the more strains of bacteria the better. Always read your labels so you know what you are feeding your family. You can save some of your homemade yogurt for starter for future batches. They can be used about 5 or 6 times before you need new starter.

Here’s a list of the items you will need to have on hand:

  1. 1 gallon of milk
  2. store bought yogurt
  3. thermometer
  4. whisk
  5. pitcher
  6. 6 glass containers with lids
  7. large pot
  8. spoon
  9. oven mitts
  10. small Styrofoam cooler (incubating vessel)
  11. an old but clean bath towel
  12. a heating pad


It is very important to sterilize all your equipment before making your yogurt because you are dealing with live bacteria.  In a large pot bring a gallon of water to a boil.

Fill the pitcher with the boiling water.

Place the thermometer and spoon in the glass jars, fill with boiling water from the pitcher to sterilize them.

Place the lids in the pitcher, fill with the remaining boiling water and set aside.

Making the yogurt:

In the large pot heat milk to 180 degrees (about 25 minutes) in medium low heat.  Insert the thermometer in the pot occasionally to keep track of the temperature and watch it closely to make sure the milk doesn’t burn.

Once you’ve reached 180 degrees, cool the milk down to 110 degrees in a water bath in the sink.  Again, watch the temperature closely as it will drop fast.

Meanwhile, empty the glass containers, turn the heating pad to low and cover it with a towel to get the incubation ambient temperature set.

Once the milk has been cooled down to 110 degrees, pour about 3 cups of cooled milk into the pitcher.

Add 1/3 cup yogurt and whisk well.

Add the yogurt mix back into the pot with the remaining milk and mix well.  This will make it easier to fully incorporate the yogurt bacteria into the milk.

Pour the yogurt mix into the pitcher and fill the jars.

Lightly place the lids on and place them inside of the incubating cooler.

Place the heating pad over the jars, put the cooler’s cover on and cover it with a towel.

You can incubate the yogurt for 7 to 12 hours.  The longer the incubating period the thicker and more bite the yogurt will have. I find that 10 hours is perfect for our taste.  After the incubation is complete, place the yogurt in the back of the fridge (coldest part).  The yogurt will last 4 to 6 weeks if properly stored.

0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. adam #

    You are awesome! I am so on board with all this! Turkey sounds awesome!

  2. ftt8 #

    Congratulations. Great instructions. Love the pictures- they make it easier to follow.

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