This sounded like such a fun thing to try, so I bought a half-gallon of milk and set off on my experiment to make yogurt IN the crock.
Crock-Pot Homemade Yogurt
Half Gallon Milk (8 Cups), can be Pasteurized and Homogenized BUT not Ultra-pasteurized (Use Whole Milk if you want it very thick, I used 2%)
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt with Live and Active Cultures
1 Packet Non-Flavored Gelatin OR 1/4th Cup Nonfat Dry milk (this is optional for thickening, I did not use it)
1/2th Cup Agave Nectar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4-Quart or Larger Crock-Pot
2 Very Large Thick Towels
- Turn on crock-pot to low.
- Pour the entire 1/2 Gallon into the crock and cover with the lid.
- Cook for 2 1/2 hours, check to see if temp has reached 180 degree’s.
- Once it has reached 180 degree’s, unplug crock and leave top on.
- Let the crock-pot sit completely undisturbed for 3 hours.
- After the 3 hours are up, gently put in the 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and wisk carefully about 4 or 5 times.
- Cover crock, wrap with the heavy towels completely around the crock.
- Let it sit for 8 hours or overnight.
- Now the yogurt will be quite runny. You can choose to have runny yogurt, add one of the thickeners or strain it.
- I choose straining.
- Line a colander with coffee filters, one with good side handles will make this easier.
- Place that colander into another bowl, where the whey will strain into.
- Carefully pour the yogurt onto the coffee filters.
- Set it into the fridge and let it strain.
- If you want lumpy yogurt strain for 2 hours.
- If you want thicker “greek” yogurt strain 3 or more hours.
- Once it has fully strained scoop it out into a clean dish with a cover.
- At this point you can add the 1/2 cup of Agave Nectar or another sweetener (honey, Stevia, sugar ect)
- Add 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- Now you have some yummy Vanilla yogurt!
- At this point you can add fruit, frozen fruit, granola, jam, whatever you wish to flavor it.
- Before adding the flavoring if you so choose you can save 1/2 Cup of the yogurt as your new starter.
- The whey that you strained off, is wonderful to bake bread with instead of milk, make ricotta cheese, or even add to your compost pile; it’s really good for gardens too.
The prep/cooking time may be a bit confusing with what I can enter.
You first cook for 2 1/2 hours.
Let sit for 3 hours.
You then let it sit again in crock for 8 plus hours.
You then let it strain in fridge for 3 hours.